This specimen hosts three lustrous zircon crystals, up to 0.8 cm, embedded in black mica with some feldspar. The zircon crystals are sharp and show a only a little interaction with the feldspar. In excellent condition, no damage. The colour ranges from a dark wine-red, to deep intense red in the second crystal, to a lighter shade in the smallest, transclucent crystal. Under short-wave fluorescent light, the zircon crystals are yellow, as shown in the last photo. A nice matrix zircon!
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About these Zircon Specimens
These zircons are from a relatively large new find of zircons from Astor Valley, in Pakistan. A locality that has sporadically produced moderate amounts of material in recent years, this recent find produced a large number of pieces. However, fine zircons are proportionally very few. There are two key reasons for this. First, the zircons are enclosed within solid rock with other hard constituent minerals, such that a good number of zircons were broken when they were collected. However, the second reason is the much more prevalent issue based on the material I’ve seen: the zircon crystals seem to have formed more or less contemporaneously with most of the other minerals in the deposit – feldspar, biotite mica, and pyroxene – and as a result, most of the zircon crystals are not fully developed. Instead, most zircon crystal growth was interrupted by the growth of these other minerals, and therefore most zircons are simply incomplete, or malformed. And yet, among well over 1000 pieces I went through from this find, there were a few excellent specimens.