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Strawberry Quartz


Within the last seven years Lapidary Journal had an article on
Strawberry Quartz. As I recall that material was then considered
new. It was from Brazil and was a rutilated quartz except that the
rutile crystals were red, about a newly polished copper color
instead of gold. I actually bought some ofit a few years ago that
and still have one some including a large uncut crystal . Anyone
know anything about this stuff?

Derek Levin


Hi Folks, I=92m trying to light a candle instead of cursing the
darkness. This strawberry quartz discussion is seemingly endless. I
posted the gemological about the beads studied by the GIA
some days ago and there=92s no doubt the stuff sold at Tucson this pas=
February was glass.

Go first to and arrow
down until you find the strawberry quartz specimen. Read the
description, look at the price, then Google the words =93strawberry
quartz.=94 You’ll come up with hundreds of presentations many of which
I consider violations of the Federal Trade Commission guidelines on
gemstone disclosure.

I found the article in Lapidary Journal by Cathleen McCarthy that
discussed this material (March, 1997). While the original material
came from Mexico, as several Orchid stalwarts have already mentioned,
the buzz in 1997 was about new material from Kazakhstan and
Madagascar, and some from Washington state.

Interestingly, the original material from Mexico often had included
crystal arrangements resulting in a fixed =93star=94 in cabochons.
Gemstone authority John Sinkankas declared the inclusions to be
hematite at the time (1960s). In an interesting sidebar to the
McCarthy article, John Sampson White investigated the inclusions in
the new quartz and says that Raman spectroscopy determined inclusions
in the Kazakhstan quartz to be hematite as well.

In recent years I=92ve seen a rather different-appearing material
(very attractive!) with blobby red inclusions in highly transparent
clear quartz offered as lepidocrosite (in quartz). Knowing the
dealers offering it I=92m sure they=92ve done their homework and are
certain the inclusions are lepidocrosite, another iron mineral, and
not hematite.

I suppose the lesson to be learned here is that the world of
gemstones is huge, varied, complex and frequently confusing, even to
people who have devoted lifetimes to studying it. It constantly
changes, too, as new deposits are unearthed and scientists piece
together the remarkable ways nature has found to create exciting new
chemical combinations that can delight our minds and spirits.

Rick Martin