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Quartz is an ubiquitous mineral that forms in all geologic environments including diagenetic, metamorphic, plutonic, and volcanic settings. Quartz is relatively unreactive and is likely to preserve its geologic history. Trace elements in quartz offer clues to formation temperatures and pressures, fluid chemistry, and tectonic setting. Rutile and zircon are refractory minerals also found in a variety of settings. The trace element chemistry of these minerals can also be used as indicators of provenance. In collaboration with John Donovan, we have implemented instrument operating conditions and standardization procedures that optimize elemental detection limits in quartz, rutile, and zircon. We used these new methods and approaches to quantitatively analyze these minerals from a variety of ore deposits and igneous and metamorphic environments. We also determined the best operating conditions necessary to collect high spatially resolved x-ray intensity maps of elements that are typically below concentrations that can be mapped routinely.