Along with Feldspars, Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals found on earth. It is also one of the most popular gemstone groups in the world of coloured stones.The name 'quartz' is thought to be derived from the German word 'quarz', which likely originated from the Slavic and Polish words meaning 'hard'.
All quartz gemstones share the same silicon dioxide (SiO2) chemical composition, but they have differing crystal classes and formations. The two main varieties of Quartz are macrocrystalline quartz and cryptocrystalline quartz.
Macrocrystalline quartz is typically transparent to translucent and forms with larger crystals than cryptocrystalline quartz. Macrocrystalline quartz includes amethyst, aventurine, rock crystal, blue quartz, citrine, hawk's eye, prasiolite, quartz cat's eye, smoky quartz, rose quartz and tiger's eye.
Cryptocrystalline quartz is usually opaque or translucent in clarity. It forms with microscopically small crystals, which in most cases cannot be seen even under magnification. Cryptocrystalline quartz intergrown with moganite, a polymorph of quartz, is referred to as chalcedony. Chalcedony actually includes a wide variety of quartz gemstones, including agate, chrysoprase, bloodstone, jasper and carnelian.
Quartz gemstones are found in locations all around the world. Their colours are as variable as the spectrum but clear quartz is the most common colour followed by white or cloudy quartz. Purple, rose and grey or brown are also common colours. Cryptocrystalline quartz varieties can be multi-coloured. Colourless, transparent quartz crystals represent the modern concept of "crystal".
Quartz crystals are among the earliest talismans and every culture on the planet has attributed magical powers to them. Native American Indians, African tribes, ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans, Scots and countless other cultures used Clear Quartz in diagnostic healing, meditations and spiritual development, as religious objects and in funerary rites, and to dispel evil and magical enchantments.
Pictured above is my Snow and Crystal Quartz Sterling Silver Necklace. This is an asymmetrical necklace which includes two large Rock Crystal (clear quartz) bead. Pictured below is my Rose Quartz Butterfly Necklace where the Rose Quartz has been used for both the body and the wings of the butterfly.