Zircon reference material 91500 is one of the best characterised geochemical reference materials for microanalysis. It has been characterised for its U-Th-Pb, hafnium and oxygen isotopic systematics. It is homogeneous in its Pb/U, Pb/Pb and oxygen isotope composition and exhibits homogeneity for some trace elements at the 10% level. It is the only single crystal, natural zircon reference material accepted as such by both the secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and the laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) communities.
Zircon 91500 has proved its value over nearly two decades since the publication of the seminal papers by Wiedenbeck et al. (1995)1 and Wiedenbeck et al. (2004)2. Since March 2004, when the original aliquot housed at the CRPG in Nancy was exhausted, the apparent unavailability of zircon 91500 presented a problem for most laboratories. So, in November 2012, the IAG teamed up with the Harvard Mineralogical Museum to provide the geoanalytical community with ready access to this reference material once again. Proceeds from the sale of zircon 91500 will be used by Harvard to develop its collections for the benefit of the scientific community.
Units of approximately 100 mg of sub-2 mm chips have been carefully prepared by Michael Wiedenbeck in his SIMS laboratory in Potsdam from two large fragments of the original 91500 crystal provided by the Harvard Mineralogical Museum.
To maintain the availability of zircon 91500 for as long as possible and to ensure its global distribution, sales will be limited to one unit per laboratory per year.
1 Wiedenbeck, M., Allé, P., Corfu, F., Griffin, W.L., Meier, M., Oberli, F., von Quadt, A., Roddick, J.C. and Spiegel, W. (1995). Three natural zircon standards for U-Th-Pb, Lu-Hf, trace element and REE analyses. Geostandards Newsletter, 19, 1-23
2 Wiedenbeck, M., Hanchar, J.M., Peck, W.H., Sylvester, P., Valley, J., Whitehouse, M., Kronz, A., Morishita, Y., Nasdala, L., Fiebig, J., Franchi, I., Girard, J.-P., Greenwood, R.C., Hinton, R., Kita, N., Mason, P.R.D., Norman, M., Ogasawara, M., Piccoli., P.M. , Rhede, D., Satoh, H., Schulz-Dobrick, B., Skår, Ø., Spicuzza, M.J., Terada, K., Tindle, A., Togashi, S., Vennemann, T., Xie, Q. and Zheng, Y.-F. (2004). Further characterisation of the 91500 zircon crystal. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 28, 9-39.