faceted zektzerite, 0.42 ctsfaceted zektzerite, 0.42 cts

Zektzerite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Small, cuttable crystals of very rare zektzerite are found only in a mountainous location in Washington state. Faceted pieces would make prized specimens for any collection of American gems.

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Small, cuttable crystals of very rare zektzerite are found only in a mountainous location in Washington state. Faceted pieces would make prized specimens for any collection of American gems.

faceted zektzerite, 0.42 cts
Zektzerite, 0.42 cts. Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.
zektzerites on matrix
Zektzerites on albite matrix, 4.7 x 3.1 x 2.3 cm, crystals up to 6 mm, Washington Pass, Okanogan Co., Washington (type locality). © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Does Zektzerite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?

You're more likely to find zektzerites in mineral collections, if at all, than in jewelry collections. Cuttable material and, thus, cut stones are exceedingly rare.

Since zektzerites have a hardness of 6, they have greater susceptibility to scratches than more common jewelry stones like quartz and topaz. Their perfect cleavage in two directions and brittle tenacity also make them susceptible to damage from impacts. Due to these factors, any zektzerites in jewelry should have protective settings.

zektzerites - finished gem and crystal
Zektzerites, finished gem and crystal. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

Identifying Characteristics

With a birefringence of only 0.002, zektzerite is virtually isotropic. 2V = ~ 0°.

Zektzerites may fluoresce light yellow or blue in ultraviolet (UV) shortwave (SW). However, they have no reaction to UV longwave (LW) and show no phosphorescence in either SW or LW UV.

  • zektzerite crystal, white light
  • zektzerite crystal, UV light

    This large, translucent off-white zektzerite crystal fluoresces blue under UV light. 3.1 x 2.0 x 1.9 cm, Washington Pass, Okanogan County, Washington, USA. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

    Are There Synthetic Zektzerites?

    Scientists have synthesized zektzerite for research into its crystal structure and physical properties. However, there's no known jewelry use for this synthetic material.

    There are no known gemstone enhancements or treatments for zektzerites.

    Where is Zektzerite Found?

    To date, facetable, gem-quality zektzerites occur only in a small number of miarolitic cavities in riebeckite granite in Okanogan County, Washington. 

    Crystals also occur in Dara-i-Pioz massif, Alai Range, Tien Shan, Tajikistan.

    • zektzerite rough and cut set
    • square brilliant-cut zektzerite
    • peach-tan zektzerite crystal on matrix

      Zektzerite rough and cut set, 1.5 x 1.4 x 1.3 cm (peach-tan crystal on matrix), 0.15 cts (gem, square brilliant cut, 3.1 mm), Washington Pass, Okanogan County, Washington. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

      Stone Sizes

      Crystals may occur in sizes up to 35 mm in size, some with enough transparency to yield small faceted gems of less than 2 carats. Typical crystals range in size from 4-15 mm in size, sometimes perched on riebeckite crystals.

      Caring for Zektzerites

      Clean zektzerites only with a warm damp cloth, mild detergent, and soft brush. For more care recommendations, consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide.

      freeform cut
      0.84-ct zektzerite, medium pink-orange, freeform cut, 7.3 x 4.7 mm, Golden Horn Batholith, Washington. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

      Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA

      Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.

      Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com

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