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Zektzerite and Others from Dara-i-Pioz, Tajikistan

This rock contains a beautiful assemblage of rare fluorescent minerals from the remote Dara-i-Pioz massif in Tajikistan. Only reactive under short wave UV (254 nm), this rock contains bright blue-white fluorescent zektzerite and red fluorescent microcline feldspar. There is also an unknown green fluorescent mineral present that is likely uranyl-activated. The marble-like matrix is also dimly fluorescent, and provides a contrasting, neutral-colored background to the more brightly fluorescent minerals. There are also embedded crystals of black, non-fluorescent neptunite present. The size of this specimen is 57 x 32 x 23 mm, and it weighs 42 grams.

Although specimen collecting is relatively easy in the alkaline rocks of the Dara-i-Pioz massif, it is located in a very remote area of northern Tajikistan that is best accessed by helicopter.

The above two images show the a and b sides of the specimen under short wave UV. Zektzerite shows a bright blue-white response and microcline fluoresces red. The green fluorescent mineral has not been identified. Note that the matrix also shows dim to moderate fluorescence.

Visible light photograph of same side as shown in the upper short wave UV image above. The dark crystals are non-fluorescent neptunite.

Visible light photograph of same side as shown in the lower short wave UV image above.

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