Quartz is one of the most common crystal minerals on Earth, and offers a bewildering array of varieties and names.
Quartz varieties are commonly separated into two groups based upon the size of the individual grains or crystals; Macrocrystalline Quartz, in which individual crystals are visible to the unaided eye, and Cryptocrystalline Quartz, in which crystals are only visible under high magnification.
Gemstone Quartz varieties include, but are not limited to, Agate, Amethyst, Ametrine, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Chrysoprase, Citrine, Jasper, Rose Quartz, and Smoky Quartz.
Please refer to specific Quartz variety for information regarding birthstone months.
Please refer to specific Quartz variety for information regarding zodiac signs.
Quartz is a Silicon Dioxide.
History & Lore:
There is not 100% agreement regarding the exact origins of the name Quartz, but the two most widely accepted opinions are that the word Quartz is derived from the Greek 'krystallos', meaning “ice”, or the German 'quarz'.
Some of the earliest primitive tools fashioned by man some 2.5 million years ago, and discovered in the Omo valley in Ethiopia were made of Quartz. It is believed that Quartz was used because of its hardness and isotropic brittleness that made the fashioning of the tools relatively easy.
Chipped flint projectile points used for fire-making have been found on Mousterian sites in western Europe that date back around 40,000 years.
In addition to its use in tool-making, certain varieties of Quartz were used for divination. Spherical Quartz rock crystals were often shaped into crystal balls and used for disease diagnosis and awareness of events occurring in distant places.
More recently there was major production of synthetic Quartz during World War II. This synthetic Quartz was used to supply crystals for radios.
Today, Quartz is not only used for gemstone purposes, but also as a raw chemical ingredient in the manufacturing of abrasives, cements, concrete, porcelain, glass, and many other industrial materials.
Because of its piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties, Quartz is commonly used in the production of watches, clocks, computers, and radios.
Please refer to specific Quartz variety for information regarding metaphysical properties.
Quartz is one of the most abundant single minerals on earth - it makes up close to 12% of the earth's crust, and occurs in a wide variety of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. However, availability differs from one Quartz variety to the next, and many varieties are in fact classified as rare. Please refer to specific Quartz variety for more information regarding availability.
Quartz deposits occur worldwide.
Quartz is rated at 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and besides for all of its practical uses, Quartz is greatly important to the gem trade, accounting for a vast, diverse population of gemstones that are for the most part suitable for all jewelry applications. The family of gemstones offered by Quartz exhibit each and every color of the spectrum, many of which exhibiting unique attributes that can match your very own unique individuality. Whether it be the light, pinkish violet to royal purple of Amethyst, the light lemon yellow to rich orange of Citrine, the landscape painting appearance of Jasper, the distinctive and extraordinary patterns of Agate, or the deep opaque black of Black Onyx, they can all be categorized as the family of Quartz gemstones.
Please refer to specific Quartz variety for further information regarding Evaluation.
Quartz can generally be cut into all of the common gemstone shapes/cuts, although it should be noted that certain Quartz varieties demand a specific shape / cut in order to display their unique properties and beauty to the fullest extent.
Quartz is today synthetically grown on a large scale for industrial purposes. Please refer to specific Quartz variety for more information regarding routine enhancements.
Care & Cleaning:
Quartz varieties are generally best cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. As with most gemstones, Quartz should be kept away from household chemicals and from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat as this can cause damage or permanent changes in coloration. Quartz should be kept in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items in order to avoid scratching. It is recommended that you refer to a specific Quartz variety for more information regarding care & cleaning.