Fluorescent Zircon Crystals in Biotite Schist - Norway
This beautiful specimen contains deep red-orange zircon crystals that are still partially embedded in the hornblende and biotite (mica schist) matrix that they formed within. It was collected from Finnmark, Norway and the largest crystal measures .65" wide. Under short-wave UV the zircon fluoresces a stunning yellow color! A photo of this specimen under short-wave UV can be seen above.
Zircon belongs to the nesosilicates group and forms as tetragonal crystals. Its common chemical formula is ZrSiO4, which can be altered by a variety of impurities. Certain impurities result in formation of zircon crystals with a wide variety of colors (white, colorless, blue, red, green, yellow, orange, brown, pink, purple, and gray). Certain impurities within zircon crystals can be radioactive, however the radioactivity is typically minimal and is generally believed to be safe, without posing any health hazards.