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Phantom quartz?


#1

I thought that phantom quartz was clear, with a “phantom” (also
colourless but less transparent) smaller shadow of the crystal shape
apparent within it?

I have bought a very pretty piece of clear quartz with green-ish and
pink-ish structures in it that look almost like bits of scouring pad.
The seller called it phantom quartz, but I’m not convinced. I think
it’s rock not glass, but the only I have of testing that is pretty
destructive (!)

I’ve found photos like this on the net also labelled as phantom
quartz, but they’re not necessarily from reputable sources. I think
it is a quartz, but does anybody have any idea what the inclusions
are?

many thanks,
sophie


#2

Hi Sophie.

I’m no expert but have a rather simple understanding, much like your
own “phantom” description.

When the appearance of a smaller quartz crystal’s form is visible
within the larger crystal, it is called a “phantom”. Sometimes the
form is accentuated due to a different mineral having coated the
smaller crystal surface at some time in its formation. Later, the
quartz crystal resumes it’s growth, enclosing or “including” the
other mineral. When this happens, the new crystalline structure
aligns with the earlier formation so that the internal form mimics
the larger form, giving the appearance of a smaller “ghost” or
"phantom" crystal inside.

I’ve seen phantoms with white coatings and with chlorite (green)
coatings and I’m sure there are others as well.

Additionally, quartz crystals may grow around and "include"
minerals, oxides, clay and sand without creating a true “phantom”.
Some of these inclusions take a form (dendritic, plume, etc.) that
resembles a garden or colored mosses in pink, green, white, etc. and
can be quite attractive. It sounds like the pieces you have are of
this type though it’s not possible to tell without seeing them.

You may be more familiar with these inclusions in quartz: golden or
red rutile needles - rutilated quartz; black or green (usually)
tourmaline crystals - tourmalinated quartz; green actinolite needles

  • actinolated and so on.

Hope this helps.
Pam
http://www.songofthephoenix.com


#3

A phantom quartz crystal is a macrocrystalline quartz that has the
shape of a smaller crystal within it. This can be from the formation
process where one quartz crystal grows in a vug, then later another
hydrothermal water intrusion causes another crystal to grow over the
first. Rutile and Tourmaline inclusions can also occur in either
crystal.

John


#4

dear Sophie

I use a lot of this material in my pieces, recently i found and
bought on ebay what they are calling Phantom quartz. it turned out
to be the same exact material i buy from my Brazilian cutters,except
it is the quarter of the price i pay and is also the quarter of the
cutting quality that i am used to. everything i bought will have to
be recut…

well, although this material does not come from China; this name
seems to come from there since the culture there is more prone to
that type of notion and visual estethic/ religious opinions and
cultural outlook. you know Phantoms and ghosts and spirits.

here is how my cutter and dealer from brazil puts it, they were
calling this material Cosmic Quartz, and i think it is a more
endearing term but also closer to a truth of the material inside
which is a mixture of one or more of these elements or minerals,
cupric oxides, which is the greens and some of the reds, the iron
oxides which is some of the reds and browns, there are some that
have pyrites, and some that i have with titanium oxides which
usually is yellows and oranges and some cherry reds there is a large
amount of differences of this material depending of what area it was
mined from,what ever the quartz enveloped close by while in molten
state that’s what solidified inside of it, and the all surprising
natural asbestos which is white in color.

these could be in any combination lighter or heavier encasement.
which in the case of the lighter coloration and cloudiness looks like
ghosts inside the stone,or in our case like the cosmos, or the
bottom of the ocean… I bought some that have amazing red specs with
green tourmilated lines, the Chinese were calling these cherry
blossoms Quartz… there is a lot of variants in the material, but
as my cutter was saying that the chineese had been to his mines
amongst others and were buying everything in site of this material.
but the cutting has left a lot to be desired for, the Brazilian cuts
are quite well done, they are no German cuttings but still pretty
good if I may say so.

the greenish pinkish hue you speek of is probably the copper oxides
to degrees of clarity or muddled.

I am not sure what you are refering to as Rock or glass, quartz is
quartz not glass, and in this feild a rock could be a pebble or a
diamond so…

I hope this helped some.

Hratch Babikian
Hratch Babikian Atelier
contemporary Jewelery and sculpture


#5

thank you for all the replies!

the reason I was wondering initially if it might be glass is because
there are a lot of things named as and sold as quartz which are just
fancy glass…

Hratch, we seem to be talking about exactly the same stuff - and
oddly, mine is not well cut at all, despite the fact that seller I
bought it from usually has really nicely cut stones. The inclusions
aren’t dendritic or plumes; as I said, they look very much like
scouring pad, though arranged in distinct planes if you look at them
from the side. Buying things

the stone is here:

buying stones from China can be a little adventurous :wink: - i’ve got
some very pretty pieces of something which is usually called
"impression jasper", but I’ve also bought as “african opal” “sea
sediment jasper” and once as “variscite”. I’m sure it’s not
variscite, other than that it feels more like a non-gem opal in
matrix than a jasper. I wish I knew what it actually was, though!

thanks again,
sophie


#6

thank you for all the replies!

the reason I was wondering initially if it might be glass is because
there are a lot of things named as and sold as quartz which are just
fancy glass…

Hratch, we seem to be talking about exactly the same stuff - and
oddly, mine is not well cut at all, despite the fact that seller I
bought it from usually has really nicely cut stones. The inclusions
aren’t dendritic or plumes; as I said, they look very much like
scouring pad, though arranged in distinct planes if you look at them
from the side. Buying things

the stone is here:

buying stones from China can be a little adventurous :wink: - i’ve got
some very pretty pieces of something which is usually called
"impression jasper", but I’ve also bought as “african opal” “sea
sediment jasper” and once as “variscite”. I’m sure it’s not
variscite, other than that it feels more like a non-gem opal in
matrix than a jasper. I wish I knew what it actually was, though!

thanks again,
sophie


#7

Here is a site that shows phantom quartz:
http://www.mineralminers.com/html/phqpolx.stm

The picture on Orchid looks like a crystal with inclusions, not a
phantom. A phantom looks like the outline of a crystal within a
crystal.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#8

It is possible that the inner crystal was coated with these designs
and only a portion of the crystal was used so that you are seeing
simply one crystal side with the flat minerals inside. I have noticed
in digging crystals that you will often have a phantom that will
break partially along the contact line between the two crystals and
leave you with a partial piece.

Rose Alene


#9

Dear Richard

i am very glad you had posted the site for images of the phantom
quartz, i had seen and purchased some of this material never knowing
that this was the Phantom quartz’s. if you log on to ebay and look
for Phantom quartz it is in huge numbers of the other type of quartz
that image was in Sophie’s message that comes up, not this type in
yours, they are two different animals, this makes more sense.

i guess it is either misrepresentation or a marketing gimmic.
phantom quartz sounds much more appealing from a sales point?

Hratch Babikian
Hratch Babikian Atelier


#10
I have noticed in digging crystals that you will often have a
phantom that will break partially along the contact line between
the two crystals and leave you with a partial piece. 

A phantom crystal is a quartz crystal that contains another crystal
that you can see the outline of within. The phantom is the crystal
contained within another quartz crystal, and the combination of a
crystal within another crystal is referred to as a phantom crystal.
Phantom is like, like a ghost image. Think of jello that you can see
a grape inside of, except the jello is a crystal, and the grape is
another crystal.

I have seen a lot of phantom crystals, I have only seen crystals with
phantoms contained in the center of the crystal containing the
phantom, and you can Google phantom quartz and see exactly what I
described.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#11

While I cannot really tell you what the coppery red material is, the
green is Chlorite And yes, this is not glass, but rock crystal. It
isn’t a phantom however. Sometimes it’s called “Garden Quartz”.
Sometimes “Picture Quartz”. Great cabbing material.

TL Goodwin
Lapidary/Metalsmith
The Pacifik Image