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Roger Weller, geology instructor

by Kurt Kutzner
Physical Geology
Fall 2012

Phantom Quartz Crystals

            There are many types of quartz crystals out there. Phantom Quartz is just one of them, and is also known as ghost crystals or shadow crystals. Phantom quartz is a macrocrystalline variety of the mineral quartz (SiO2). It is also the most abundant mineral on earth. It gets its name because you can see a smaller crystal
or ghost-like crystal inside of the bigger one. or ghost-like crystal inside of the bigger one.


            The shadow occurs when the crystal's matrix cools for thousands of years. Then, the matrix heats up and the crystal grows around its previous self. They are becoming very rare in today's world and are much harder to find then before because they take years to form. Its physical properties are a seven in hardness and often very transparent. The color can be of wide variety and can range from green, milky white, or shades of orange, red, purple or brown commonly. They are all transparent colors and are more shaded rather than solid colors.


            The other way phantoms can occur is the result of another mineral growing over the surface of the crystal. Then the quartz overtakes that mineral, trapping it inside. This can happen multiple times showing layer after layer of the crystals evolutionary process.

            These quartz are not only pretty to look at or fun to collect but people use these crystals for many reasons and some of them can be spiritual. Women have used them for wanting to conceive or they are sometimes used for spiritual healing or mediation. Whatever you might want it for they are still very valuable.  Quartz crystals can be found all over the world because of how common they are, but with these ghost crystals thatís just not the case. They are rare and while they can be found where quartz are located, the odds of finding one compared to normal quartz are very slim. The process of one of these things forming is a very long and difficult occurrence that doesnít always happen, itís an interruption during the forming process that actually gets this to start happening. These often occur in rock crystals or smoky quartz.


            Phantom crystals are an extraordinary natural occurrence and are great additions for rock or mineral collectors. You can also find them at rock display shows to buy them or locate them over the Internet. This is much easier than going out there yourself to look for them.



          They come in all shapes and sizes but the outcome of the inner ghost-like look is always there. They standout and are very easy to identify compared to other forms or types of quartz crystals. Phantom quartz crystal shapes can sometimes be seen in the interior of the crystal, showing an outline at the earlier stage of the crystal's formation. These phantoms are usually composed of different minerals such as chlorite, goethite or hematite or even different forms of quartz. I find these to be one of my favorite kinds of crystals and my favorite form of quartz as well. They are very beautiful to look at and come in a wide variety of shapes, shades, and transparencies.