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Water Included Quartz

Alan - I have examples of water included quartz from Herkimer.
Arkansas and Colorado. When I was mining Herkimer “diamonds” those
with the inclusions were identified as two-phase (like a bubble
level, with water and a gas) or three-phase (with the addition of
particulates, sometime free-floating crystals of another sort). The
majority of the material I’ve seen has not been suitable for jewelry
use, but makes excellent small cabinet specimens. The age of the
included water is supposed to be the same as the crystals, as there
are no “channels” as there are in agates. As with enhydro agates, the
water will come out if you open the cavity - it would not occur to me
to try to taste it, especially if it contained the carbonaceous
solids. Those pieces which are showy command nice prices from
specimen dealers.

Jim Small
Small Wonders

   Water Included Quartz Does anybody know about quartz with water

What is its proper name? Enhydro

Where does it come from? Water is trapped in the Quartz during the
growth of the crystal structure. This is a very common inclusion,
but are usually minute and microscopic in size. Alan, in your
specimen this cavity contains both liquid and gas phases which is
called a two-phase inclusion or Enhydros. It is rare when these
two-phase inclusions are visible to the unaided eye and show movement
of the gas phase within the liquid phase. Enhydro inclusions are
more common, but still rare, in Herkimer diamonds since they are
formed within water filled pockets.

Where is it available? These are one-of-a-kind specimens. Mineral
specimen dealers would be a good source.

What is its value? Depends mainly on the value of the specimen
itself. Being a collectors item, they bring a premium. In your
case, it may more than double the price of the same specimen without
an inclusion since yours contains multiple inclusions.

How old is the water? As old as the specimen at the time the water
became trapped. If it is a Herkimer diamond, chances are the black
sediment in the water is anthraxolite (decayed plant life) and is
around five hundred million years old.

How does it taste? Maybe, like, really old vegetable soup? I don’t
know of any precedent. Just a guess.

Charles Heick

All, I am surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that bubble
inclusions in Quartz can be lethal ! There are many instances of such
forms of Quartz exploding because the gas inside the cavity was under
astronomical pressure and was induced, either by lapidary
manipulation or temperature shock to break its bonds. You must
remember that what appears to be water is very often actually
liquified gas and that it was included under the conditions ambient
at the time of formation of the crystal. Those conditions may have
been those of extreme pressure and temperature. Don’t screw around
with quartz bubbles…especially if you are considering working them
into a lapidary product ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

Some of these two phase inclusions are composed of carbon dioxide at
many hundreds of atmospheres of pressure. This is how the liquid
phase of carbon dioxide was discovered.

Remember the phrase " dry ice ", carbon dioxide has no liquid phase
at room pressure. The two phase carbon dioxide’s liquid inclusion’s
refractive index did not match any then known liquids.

Another reason not to " Taste too freely" of minerals is that there is
the possibility of ingesting heavy minerals. —

Now I will mention that one test for raw or untreated Turquoise is to
touch a specimen to your lightly moistened tongue. It will be drawn
to the stone in a fashion which You can call " sticking " as the
moisture on your tongue is wicked away in to the dry, porous, and
unfilled ( with oil, wax or resin ) Turquoise…

If You want to check a Copalite, taste it your own risk. A real one
will have very little taste.

I would recomend washing your mouth out with a little water , then
spitting out the used water. This will prevent consumption of heavy
minerals which are cumulative and deadly , ( Or in case the copalite
was too fresh ) .


Thanks to all Orchidians for the wonderful wealth of information
about Enhydro Quartz. I had no idea so many people knew so much about
this obscure phenomenon of Quartz with inclusions representing the
three phases of matter: solid sediment, liquid water and bubbles of
air. As one informer noted, it is when the stone is tilted or moved
that the included material steals the stage. I hope you all get a
chance someday to see it. Once again Orchid has proven to be the most
effective way of gathering knowledge from generous, knowledgeable
people from around the world.


Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
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San Francisco, CA 94102
tel: 415-391-4179 fax: 415-391-7570