Quartz is undoubtedly one of the most common gemstones in the world, with many variations and colours to choose from. In its pure form, Quartz resembles a stereotypical crystal, growing at angles. It’s most commonly used in jewellery though it has many other, somewhat surprising uses, too.
This material has been used for centuries to decorate tombs and even for tools. The name Quartz is of German origin, though there’s some debate about when it was first used. It’s precious within many cultures, from the Irish to the Aboriginals; it’s a well-travelled gemstone. Though it occurs plentifully in nature, it can also be grown in laboratories. Man-made Quartz may be a term you’re familiar with, as it’s becoming increasingly common. This process is being used in labs all over the world and starts with a single, small piece of natural Quartz that grows into a much larger piece.
This gemstone has long since puzzled those that have sought to study it, with Pliny the Elder even recording that he thought Quartz was a form of frozen water. In later years, scientists came to discover that this gem has a range of impressive properties; it can even keep time within a watch.
Below, we cover everything you need to know about Quartz, from what kinds you can find to where it comes from. If you’ve ever been curious, then now is your time to find out all about Quartz!
It can be a tricky task to identify the many different types of Quartz out there, as they all have slightly different properties. The easiest way to go about identifying any type is to look at the shape, which should be a prism. You can also perform a scratch test to find out more about the mineral; if it’s scratched by a small blade, it’s most likely not real Quartz but instead an imitation.
Halite and Calcite bear some resemblances to Quartz, so these are quite easy to mix up. If in doubt, you can check with a jeweller or specialist for more information on the mineral.
As we’ve mentioned, this mineral is very prolific and comes in a lot of forms, including:
This cloudy pink stone is incredibly popular for jewellers and healers alike. It’s a beautiful stone that can range from a dusky pink colour to a redder hue, depending on its composition. This is often associated with romantic intentions and jewellery such as earrings and pendants.
This type of quartz is not as clear as the traditional version; some are opaque because of the clouding beneath the surface. When polished, this stone has a lot of different threads and colours.
Most people don’t realise that Amethyst is, in fact, purple Quartz. It can grow in seams alone or can grow alongside other colours of Quartz and even combine with them for a striking colour medley.
This layered quartz usually exhibits gold and brown bands within it. This can be polished to show these layers in stasis, which resembles the big cat’s eye for which it is named. It’s a multi-faceted stone with many colours that make it enjoyable to look at and wear.
Onyx is a deep black version of Quartz, with almost no variance in colour. It’s very popular within the jewellery trade, as its polished form can be breathtaking.
These common types of Quartz can come in a range of shapes and sizes; some even fuse together to create hybrids. There are other, rarer versions too with varying colours, formations and undertones.
As this is such a common stone, it can be found in many parts of the world. Many of the colours and varieties of Quartz listed above can only be found in certain areas, but on the whole, Quartz can be found almost anywhere in the world. The largest Quartz deposit ever found in one excavation was in a mine in Brazil, in which a total of 44 tonnes of the mineral was discovered close to the surface.
High-purity Quartz is of interest to the scientific community but this is much harder to find and does not occur in as large volumes. A mine for this type of quartz exists in North Carolina, though it is much more expensive to mine. This is used in the production of silica glass, which is used in lighting, solar energy, and even ceramics.
Each type of Quartz is rumoured to have its own healing properties. The clear version of the gemstone is considered something of a master healer, having the ability to help with a number of mental ailments. It can be used by those that are experiencing deep emotional turmoil, as the clarity of the stone is said to help to clear the mind and, therefore, bring the body’s energy into balance.
Other forms of Quartz, such as the rose variety, are said to help with self-love and general mindfulness. They are featured in many jewellery settings and are most effective when worn near the head, in the form of earrings or necklaces. Smoky quartz is also linked to the treatment of back pain and even allergies, which can be linked to the practical nature of the stone.
Cool crystals can also be used in the treatment of head or stomach aches. By cooling the crystal in the freezer and then applying it to the affected area, you may find that your ache disperses. As crystals tend to retain their cool temperature, this can be more effective than ice or soothing gels.
Quartz is an exceptionally varied gem, coming in different colours, formations, and purities. These can be used for a range of applications, from the spiritual to the ecological. It’s a great mineral to know more about, and now that you do you can peruse some beautiful Quartz jewellery for yourself.