Home > American Minerals III – May 26 > MS1572 Zektzerite

Zektzerite - Sold

Zektzerite is a lithium sodium zirconium silicate. While initially presumed to be beryl (i.e. morganite), two Seattle mineral collectors, Jack Zektzer and Bart Cannon, decided to investigate the material further. Initial X-ray diffraction results did not match any species in the 1974 Encyclopedia of Minerals. The pair sent samples to the Smithsonian Institution, and ultimately Dunn et al. (1977) characterized the new species, naming it after Jack Zektzer (1936- ). Zektzerite is remarkable among rare species for its maximal crystal size (3.7 cm!). Despite routine searching, collectors recover only a few zektzerite crystals each year; none have yet surpassed the size of the early finds.

This specimen features two tan zektzerite crystals, one 5 mm across, and the other 4 mm across. The zektzerite formed on a surface of albite microcrystals with a few scattered zircon microcrystals. A vintage Schneider's Minerals label accompanies this specimen.