Zektzerite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

view gemstone encyclopedia

Zektzerite, 0.42 cts. Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

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.

Zektzerite Information

Data Value
Name Zektzerite
Crystallography Orthorhombic crystals generally tabular, pseudo-hexagonal.
Refractive Index 1.582-1.584
Colors Colorless to pink, white, light brownish/tan, light yellowish orange/peach, light purplish pink/lavender. Sometimes has color zoning.
Luster Pearly on crystal faces, vitreous on cleavage and fracture surfaces.
Fracture Luster Vitreous.
Hardness 6
Specific Gravity 2.79
Birefringence 0.002
Cleavage Perfect in 2 directions
Dispersion Very weak
Luminescence Fluoresces light yellow or blue in SW, inert in LW, no phosphorescence either SW or LW.
Luminescence Present Yes
Luminescence Type Fluorescent, UV-Short
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Formula LiNa(Zr,Ti,Hf)Si6O15.
Pleochroism None
Optics α = 1.582; β = 1.584; γ = 1.584. Biaxial (-).
Optic Sign Biaxial -
Etymology After Jack Zektzer of Seattle, Washington, who initiated the investigation of the newly discovered mineral.
Occurrence Very rarely in miarolitic cavities in riebeckite granite.
Inclusions Liquid-filled fingerprints, veils, crystals.
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.

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, 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.

Ready to learn how to identify gems on your own?

Join our mailing list below to download a FREE gem ID checklist tutorial. See what’s inside…

• Discover the 17 practical steps to gemstone identification (even if you’re just getting started with gemology)

• Learn how you can use specific tools to gather data, make observations & arrive at an accurate ID

• Explore a range of gemological tests… not only will you get familiar with the process but also time-saving shortcuts!