Quartz is the third most common mineral in the Earth's crust after ice and Feldspar. It is found in nearly every geological environment and is a component of almost every rock type. It is also the most diverse in terms of varieties, colours and forms because of its abundance and widespread distribution. The name comes from old German and first appeared in 1530 although its exact origin is uncertain.
It mainly comes in two forms, crystalline more commonly abbreviated to crystal (crystal Quartz) and cryptocrystalline (made up of such minute crystals, that they are only vaguely revealed even under high magnification). The definition of crystalline is "relating to, or composed of, crystal or crystals". The word came from the Latin "crystallinus" which in turn came from Greek "krustallinos" which was derived from "krustallos" meaning "ice" or "crystal". Crystalline Quartz is usually colourless and transparent hence the term "crystal clear", but it can also occur in many colours from milky white to dark brown verging on black and these varieties are generally translucent. Those with crystallized impurities are known as Included Quartz. The optical properties of rock crystal led to its extensive use in lenses and prisms and it was also used in electronic components although it has now been replaced with synthetic crystal. Most Rock Crystal that is mined today is used in crystal healing.
Bloodstone: Also known as Heliotrope, Bloodstone is the dark green variety of Chalcedony coloured by traces of Iron with patches of bright red Jasper.
Carnelian: Reddish orange to deep marmalade orange translucent variety of Chalcedony. Sometimes incorrectly called Cornelian.
Chalcedony: Microcrystalline Quartz, white in its purest form but frequently contains elements or minute inclusions of other minerals which give it colour. Most Chalcedony have their own names for example those with distinct banding is called Agate.
Chrysoprase: Translucent apple green variety of Chalcedony whose colour comes from the presence of Nickel.
Citrine: Yellow to brownish Quartz, natural Citrine is quite rare
Jasper: An opaque variety of cryptocrystalline Quartz. A Chalcedony with fine inclusions of various amounts of other materials which cause its opacity and colour.
Onyx: Striped variety of Agate with white and black alternating bands. Natural Onyx is not very common.
Rock Crystal: Colourless, transparent variety whose name came about during the late Middle Ages to differentiate it from a newly introduced colourless material known as glass which was then known as crystal or crystal glass.
Milky Quartz: White to grayish white translucent to almost opaque variety of silicon dioxide. Often occurs in the same deposit as Rock Crystal .
Quartz was the first crystal to be used in radio transmission and reception and was essential in the development of computers. In crystal healing it is an extremely powerful healing stone that has always been in highly sought after. All varieties have different healing capabilities and properties. Clear Quartz absorbs, stores, releases and regulates energy and doubles your bio magnetic field when held. Acupuncture needles coated in Quartz dramatically increase efficiency. Crystals can be used to amplify body, energy and thoughts, they can create power and provide for clarity in thinking. The natural tendency of this crystal is for harmony and it's recognized as a "stone of power".
Being graded 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness makes it ideal for use in jewellery.
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