What’s This White Line In These Quartz Crystals? A Look at Faden Quartz

Faden Quartz

Faden quartz crystals with secondary crystal growth on them are a fascinating and unique variety of quartz that are prized by collectors and crystal enthusiasts for their distinctive appearance and intriguing formation process.

What is Faden Quartz?

Faden quartz is a unique variety of quartz crystal that features a visible, thread-like inclusion running through the crystal, commonly referred to as a “faden” (German for “thread”). This inclusion appears as a white, fibrous line and is a key characteristic that sets faden quartz apart from other quartz varieties.

Formation and Characteristics

Faden quartz forms in fissures within host rocks under conditions of low pressure and temperature. These conditions facilitate the slow growth of the quartz crystal and the incorporation of gas or liquid inclusions, which create the thread-like faden. As the crystal grows, it can undergo interruptions such as fractures, which it subsequently heals, leading to further growth around the faden line.

Key characteristics of faden quartz include:

  • Thread-like Inclusions: The defining feature is the visible faden that runs through the crystal.
  • Clarity: Faden quartz can range from clear to milky, depending on the presence of inclusions and the overall quality of the crystal.
  • Crystal Habit: Typically forms in tabular (flat) shapes and can be found in clusters or as single specimens.

Secondary Crystal Growth

One of the intriguing aspects of faden quartz is the potential for secondary crystal growth along the faden line. This process involves:

  1. Initial Formation: The faden line forms within the quartz as it grows in a fissure or cavity, incorporating gas or liquid inclusions.
  2. Healing and Regrowth: The crystal may experience fractures or shifts within the host rock, leading to interruptions. The quartz heals these fractures, and new growth can occur along the faden line, effectively “stitching” the crystal together.
  3. Secondary Crystals: Other quartz crystals or different mineral crystals can grow from the faden line. These secondary crystals often appear as smaller, parallel growths extending outward from the main crystal or the faden line itself.

Appearance of Secondary Growth

  • Cluster Formation: Secondary crystals can form clusters around the faden line, creating a complex and visually interesting specimen.
  • Parallel Growth: These secondary crystals typically grow in a parallel orientation to the main crystal, enhancing the visual effect of the faden line.
  • Varied Sizes: Secondary crystals can vary in size, from tiny needle-like formations to larger, more prominent crystal points.

More Images of Faden Quartz

Share This Article With a Friend!

Love rocks? We do too!
Rock Seeker Club & Community
  • Online rock and mineral club for collectors of all levels!
  • Find community with like-minded rock and mineral enthusiasts.
  • Monthly Giveaways!
  • Free Access to Entire Digital Library of Products (annual memberships)
Join Now!