Clear Quartz (Rock Crystal) (17)
Milky Quartz (6)
Rose Quartz (13)
Rutilated Quartz (7)
Smoky Quartz (11)
Tourmalinated Quartz (7)
Unusual, Dyed, and Man-Made Quartz (28)
Appearance, Uses and History
Quartz is found worldwide, and is one of the most common minerals on the Earth.
Listing locales would be difficult, there are excellent Quartz specimens on nearly every continent – many of the fine gemmy specimens available online are a few key locations, though.
- Minas Gerais, Brazil.
- Herkimer County, New York, USA
- Montgomery County, Arkansas, USA
- Madan ore field, Smolyan province, Bulgaria
- Hunan province, China
- Guangdong province, China
- Marrakesh-Safi, Morocco
- Western Sahara geode beds, Morocco
- Amoron’i Mania, Madagascar
- Zomba, Southern Malawi
- Agadez, Niger
- Chihuahua, Mexico
- Ancash, Peru
- Balochistan, Pakistan
- Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
- Maramures, Romania
- Primorsky Krai, Russia
- Morogoro, Tanzania
- Cumbria, UK
- Cornwall, UK
- Artigas, Uruguay
There are numerous ‘sub-groups’ under Quartz, and it does get a little complicated.
The most important distinction to make is the difference between macrocrystalline and microcrystalline (also called cryptocrystalline). Microcrystalline varieties have individual crystals that are visible to the naked eye; microcrystalline varieties are aggregates of crystals only visible under high magnification.
There are various forms of both macrocrystalline and microcrystalline Quartz. Macrocrystalline varieties include rock crystal Quartz, Rose Quartz, Rutilated Quartz, etc, and microcrystalline varieties include Chalcedony, Carnelian, Aventurine, Agate, Onyx, Jasper, and Tigers Eye.
Common varieties of Quartz
Of Quartz itself, there are many well known varieties; going into specifics would take hours.
- Amethyst – a purple variety of Quartz ranging from a vivid violet purple to a pale lavender grey.
- Aura Quartz – a form of Quartz that has been metal film coated with precious metals to give it an iridescent sheen.
- Blue Quartz
- Cactus Quartz
- Chlorite Quartz – Quartz with inclusions of the mineral Chlorite – sometimes very transparent and prized as a gemstone.
- Dumortierite Quartz –
- Enhydro Quartz
- Faden Quartz
- Ferruginous Quartz
- Herkimer Diamond
- Lemon Quartz
- Milky Quartz – sometimes known as snowy Quartz, a milky white form of Quartz caused by tiny inclusions trapped during the formation of the crystal. Often sold tumbled, found in large rough chunks.
- Phantom Quartz
- Rock crystal Quartz
- Rose Quartz – a pale pink to rosy pink-red hue. In some cases it may show asterism. Very popular for jewellery.
- Rutilated Quartz – clear Quartz with needle like inclusions of Rutile.
- Scepter Quartz
- Smoky Quartz – a grey-brown translucent to transparent form of Quartz, with a colour caused by irradiation.
- Star Quartz – a trade name for any Quartz showing asterism, a star on its surface.
- Tourmalinated Quartz – Quartz with Tourmaline inclusions, in the form of needle like straight crystals, typically black but sometimes pink, green, blue and other colours common to Tourmaline.
Photos of Quartz
Hazards and Warnings
Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.
Quartz especially has been linked to silicosis.
When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.
Mandarin and Traditional Chinese: