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Quartz Properties, Facts and Types of Quartz

four terminated quartz crystals

1. What is Quartz?
2. What Does Quartz Do?
3. Rock Crystal Clear Quartz
4. Types of Quartz
5. Quartz Healing Properties
6. Article Pictures
7. Shop Quartz

What is Quartz?

Quartz is the most common mineral in Earth's crust after ice and feldspar.  It can be found in almost every geological environment and is a component of virtually every rock type.  It has exceptional durability and is the main constituent in all types of sand.

Quartz is the world's most diverse mineral in terms of varieties, colours and forms because of its abundance and widespread distribution.  It can be found in sedimentary rocks as grains of sand and as crystals in igneous and metamorphic rocks.

Quartzite which is composed almost completely of the mineral quartz is produced through the metamorphism of sandstone.

Silicon dioxide is a chemical compound of two of the most abundant elements in Earth's crust, silicon and oxygen.  Found most commonly in nature as the mineral quartz, it exists in several crystalline forms and a number of cryptocrystalline forms.

Silicon dioxide is also known as silica.

The name 'quartz' is believed to come from the old German word 'quarz' which first appeared in 1530. In ancient Greece it was known as 'krustallos' from 'kruos' meaning 'icy cold'.  This may be because of the clarity of some quartz crystals.

Theophrastus ancient Greek philosopher and successor to Aristotle believed colourless quartz crystals were a unique type of ice that wouldn't melt.

What Does Quartz Do?

Quartz crystals possess a unique property called piezoelectricity.  This means they generate an electric charge when exposed to mechanical stress or pressure.

Crystals vibrate at exceptionally precise intervals when an electric current is applied. This could be likened to a metronome that's ticking repeatedly at a steady pace.

The piezoelectricity produced by a quartz crystal enables an electronic circuit to generate regular accurate signals.  These are essential for measuring time.

The frequency at which a quartz crystal vibrates is determined by its shape, size, thickness and how it's cut.  The frequency can be adjusted by altering any one of these properties.

Quartz crystals used in timekeeping devices vibrate at precisely 32,768 times per second.

Quartz was the first crystal to be used in a radio transmission and was fundamental to the development of computers.

two clear quartz terminated crystals on two slabs of blue sodalite. 4 small sodalite terminated points standing behind

Rock Crystal Clear Colourless Quartz

Rock crystal is an alternative name for the purest type of quartz.  In its purest form quartz is colourless and transparent hence the term 'crystal clear'.

The presence of impurities causes a wide variety of colours from milky white to dark brown verging on black.

Many different varieties of quartz exist.  It occurs in two forms, crystalline and cryptocrystalline which means crystals are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

Coloured varieties of quartz tend to be translucent as opposed to transparent and most have their own unique name.  Inclusions in quartz are relatively common.

Material with inclusions is often referred to as included quartz. Rutile and tourmaline are two of the most common mineral inclusions.

The optical properties of quartz led to its extensive use in lenses and prisms.  It was once widely used in electronic components but has now been replaced with a synthetic alternative.

As well as its electrical properties quartz is also resistant to heat.  Being graded 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness makes it harder than many other natural minerals.  It's therefore often used as an abrasive.

Despite its hardness quartz is brittle so will break or shatter easily.  Hardness and toughness are different characteristics. Hardness refers to a mineral's resistance to being scratched by another.  Toughness correctly known as tenacity refers to its resistance to being bent, cracked, chipped or broken.

Different Types of Quartz

Translucent variety of chalcedony known for its distinctive banding

Purple variety of quartz whose colour is caused primarily by iron but also manganese

Type of translucent quartz usually identified by its platy inclusions

Dark green chalcedony, often features red markings from inclusions of hematite

Reddish to rich orange coloured quartz.  Translucent variety of chalcedony.  Sometimes referred to as cornelian

Variety of microcrystalline quartz, white in its purest form.  Most types of chalcedony have their own unique name such as agate, bloodstone or carnelian

Chevron Amethyst
Combination of colourless or milky white quartz combined with amethyst.  Named for its chevron-like markings.  Tends to be known as banded amethyst in the UK

Translucent apple green variety of chalcedony. The colour comes from nickel

Yellow to yellowish brown coloured quartz that's fairly rare.  Most commercial grade citrine is heated amethyst

Included Quartz
Inclusions are common in quartz and although some varieties have their own name, most are known as included quartz

Cryptocrystalline variety of chalcedony. Features fine inclusions of varying amounts of other minerals and substances. These cause the stone to be opaque and are responsible for its colour

Milky Quartz
White to greyish-white translucent to opaque variety.  Often occurs in the same deposit as rock crystal

Striped variety of agate with alternating black and white bands. The name is widely used incorrectly

Rose Quartz
Pink coloured stone usually translucent. Crystal habit is massive.  Pink quartz which is considered to be a different variety is often confused for rose quartz.  The main difference is crystals are quite common whereas in rose quartz individual crystals have never been found

Rock Crystal
Colourless and transparent.  The name came about during the late Middle Ages in order to differentiate this type of quartz from a newly produced colourless material known as glass.  Glass was known as crystal or crystal glass tumbled quartz crystals Sard
Translucent light to dark brown coloured chalcedony.  Until the Middle Ages sard shared its name with carnelian.  Gemstones with bands of white sard and chalcedony are called are called sardonyx

Smoky Quartz
Translucent to transparent mineral that occurs in various shades of brown.  Colour can vary from light to so dark it almost appears to be black.  Sometimes incorrectly referred to as smoky topaz which is a different mineral

Tigers Eye
Type of quartz with a rich golden yellow colour caused by the presence of iron.  Also known as tiger eye

Quartz Healing Properties

Quartz is an exceptional crystal with endless healing properties.  Known as the 'master healer' it holds immense power and is one of the most versatile of all crystals.

It absorbs and regulates energy and intensifies the power of other stones.

Quartz can be used to balance all seven chakras, to increase psychic ability and to boost memory and concentration.  It can help to block the incessant stream of thoughts that often dominate our mind.

Clear quartz brings inner peace and clarity. It alleviates stress, worries and anxieties and allows you to experience a deeper state of relaxation and tranquility.  This makes it particularly suitable for use with meditation.

The healing properties of quartz can be used to enhance intuition and insight.  It helps you to think clearly and make sound decisions.

With quartz comes strength and positivity.  Its energy can drive you to achieve more in life.  A positive state of mind can influence others especially through your choices and actions.

Quartz builds emotional resilience and the ability to navigate challenges with grace and composure. It brings capacity to regulate emotions, strengthens emotional intelligence and creates awareness about building genuine positive relationships.

It can help you to appreciate the present moment and to find happiness in simple pleasures.

The finely tuned energy of quartz enhances holistic well-being.  By keeping mental and physical health in perfect harmony we can live a purposeful, fulfilling and joyful life.

The healing properties of quartz are highly personal and subjective. Different people may experience different benefits based on their own beliefs, experiences and intentions.

Different quartz varieties can be used for their healing properties in different ways.

freestanding colourless terminated quartz crystal with subtle inclusions and iridescence

Article Pictures

The quartz crystals and blue sodalite in our first photo are pieces from our collection.

The clear quartz tumbled stones are also from our collection.

The third photo is another clear quartz crystal.

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