Stellate Zircon Inclusions in Vivid Purple-Pink Morganite
Gemological properties revealed an RI of 1.577–1.583 and a hydrostatic SG of 2.73. It did not show fluorescence under either long- or short-wave UV. All of these properties were consistent with beryl, which was further confirmed by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy.
Inclusions in the stone showed an interesting starburst pattern, with thin needles radiating from a central point of nucleation. Viewed with polarized light, the needles exhibited birefringence. A sub-adamantine luster was observed where some of the needles broke the surface (figure 2). Raman spectroscopy identified the inclusions as zircon, consistent with our initial observations. Zircon inclusions are occasionally found in pegmatitic beryl, but they usually occur as prismatic or rounded crystals that cause damage to their host due to zircon’s relative instability (E.J. Gübelin and J.I. Koivula, Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones, ABC Edition, Zurich, 1986, p. 197).
In addition to the zircon clusters, the stone also contained fluid inclusions, transparent crystals, particulate clouds, and singular needles. The distinctive morphology of the zircon inclusions, coupled with the vivid purple-pink color, create a rather unique gemstone.