Metaphysical guide of Quartz, Physical properties of Quartz
Madagascar Minerals®
Login Register
My Account Shopping Cart Wishlist
Museum Gallery    
Gem Decor    
Gem Decor Rough    
Gemstone Bottle Stoppers    
Ammonite Fossils    
Tumbling Rough    
Tumbled Stones    
Animal Carvings    
Freeform Shapes    
Display Specimens    
Fetish Shapes    
Gemstone Tabletops    
Gemstone Tiles    
Gemstone Sinks    
Jewellery Products    
Massage Tools    
Polished Specimens    
Rough Minerals and Gems from Madagascar    
Healing Birthstones For Energy and Metaphysical Uses    
Rhodonite Heart 90g    
Apatite Decorative Hearts    
Labradorite Bookend (3-5KG) - AAA    

Metaphysical guide of Quartz, Physical properties of Quartz


Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2.

There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones. Especially in Europe and the Middle East, varieties of quartz have been since antiquity the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewelry and hardstone carvings.
The word "quartz" is derived from the German word "quarz", which was imported from Middle High German, "twarc", which originated in Slavic (cf. Czech tvrdy ("hard"), Polish twardy ("hard"), Russian твёрдый ("hard")), from Old Church Slavonic тврьдъ ("firm"), from Proto-Slavic *tvьrdъ.

The word "quartz" comes from the German Quarz (help•info), which is of Slavic origin (Czech miners called it křemen). Other sources attribute the word's origin to the Saxon word Querkluftertz, meaning cross-vein ore.
Quartz is the most common material identified as the mystical substance maban in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It is found regularly in passage tomb cemeteries in Europe in a burial context, such as Newgrange or Carrowmore in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish word for quartz is grian cloch, which means 'stone of the sun'. Quartz was also used in Prehistoric Ireland, as well as many other countries, for stone tools; both vein quartz and rock crystal were knapped as part of the lithic technology of the prehistoric peoples.
While jade has been since earliest times the most prized semi-precious stone for carving in East Asia and Pre-Columbian America, in Europe and the Middle East the different varieties of quartz were the most commonly used for the various types of jewelry and hardstone carving, including engraved gems and cameo gems, rock crystal vases, and extravagant vessels. The tradition continued to produce objects that were very highly valued until the mid-19th century, when it largely fell from fashion except in jewelry. Cameo technique exploits the bands of color in onyx and other varieties.
Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder believed quartz to be water ice, permanently frozen after great lengths of time. (The word "crystal" comes from the Greek word κρύσταλλος, "ice".) He supported this idea by saying that quartz is found near glaciers in the Alps, but not on volcanic mountains, and that large quartz crystals were fashioned into spheres to cool the hands. He also knew of the ability of quartz to split light into a spectrum. This idea persisted until at least the 1600s.
In the 17th century, Nicolas Steno's study of quartz paved the way for modern crystallography. He discovered that no matter how distorted a quartz crystal, the long prism faces always made a perfect 60° angle.
Charles B. Sawyer invented the commercial quartz crystal manufacturing process in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. This initiated the transition from mined and cut quartz for electrical appliances to manufactured quartz.
Quartz's piezoelectric properties were discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880. The quartz oscillator or resonator was first developed by Walter Guyton Cady in 1921. George Washington Pierce designed and patented quartz crystal oscillators in 1923. Warren Marrison created the first quartz oscillator clock based on the work of Cady and Pierce in 1927.

Quartz belongs to the trigonal crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end. In nature quartz crystals are often twinned, distorted, or so intergrown with adjacent crystals of quartz or other minerals as to only show part of this shape, or to lack obvious crystal faces altogether and appear massive. Well-formed crystals typically form in a 'bed' that has unconstrained growth into a void, but because the crystals must be attached at the other end to a matrix; only one termination pyramid is present. A quartz geode is such a situation where the void is approximately spherical in shape, lined with a bed of crystals pointing inward.
At surface temperatures and pressures, quartz is the most stable form of silicon dioxide. Quartz will remain stable up to 573 °C at 1 kilobar of pressure. As the pressure increases the temperature at which quartz will lose stability also increases.
Above 1300 °C and at a pressure of approximately 35 kilobars, only β-quartz is stable. The latter is not the same as normal quartz (or α-quartz), low quartz or just quartz. β-quartz has higher symmetry, is less dense and has a slightly lower specific gravity. The conversion, from one solid substance to another solid substance, of quartz to β-quartz is quick, reversible and accompanied with a slight energy absorption. The conversion is so easily accomplished that when a crystal of quartz is heated to β-quartz, cooled back down, heated again to β-quartz, etc., the quartz will be the same as when it started.
The reason that the conversion is so easily accomplished is that the difference between quartz and β-quartz is relatively slight. The bonds between the oxygen and silicon atoms are "kinked" or bent in quartz and are not so "kinked" in β-quartz. At the higher temperatures the atoms move away from each other just enough to allow the bonds to unkink or straighten and produce the higher symmetry. As the temperature is lowered, the atoms close in on each other and the bonds must kink in order to be stable and this lowers the symmetry back down again.
Although all quartz at temperatures lower than 573 °C is low quartz, there are a few examples of crystals that obviously started out as β-quartz. Sometimes these are labeled as β-quartz but are actually examples of pseudomorphic or "falsely shaped" crystals more correctly labeled 'quartz after β-quartz'. These crystals are of higher symmetry than low quartz although low quartz can form similar crystals to them. They are composed of hexagonal dipyramids which are a pair of opposing six sided pyramids and the crystals lack prism faces. Quartz's typical termination is composed of two sets of three rhombic faces that can look like a six sided pyramid.
(Microscopic) crystal structure
α-quartz crystallizes in the trigonal crystal system, space group P3121 and P3221 respectively. β-quartz belongs to the hexagonal system, space group P6221 and P6421, respectively. These spacegroups are truly chiral (they each belong to the 11 enantiomorphous pairs). Both α-quartz and β-quartz are examples of chiral crystal structures composed of achiral building blocks (SiO4 tetrahedra in the present case). The transformation between α- and β-quartz only involves a comparatively minor rotation of the tetrahedra with respect to one another, without change in the way they are linked.

Not all varieties of quartz are naturally occurring. Prasiolite, an olive colored material, is produced by heat treatment; natural prasiolite has also been observed in Lower Silesia in Poland. Although citrine occurs naturally, the majority is the result of heat-treated amethyst. Carnelian is widely heat-treated to deepen its color.
Due to natural quartz being so often twinned, much of the quartz used in industry is synthesized. Large, flawless and untwinned crystals are produced in an autoclave via the hydrothermal process; emeralds are also synthesized in this fashion. While these are still commonly referred to as quartz, the correct term for this material is silicon dioxide.

Quartz is an essential constituent of granite and other felsic igneous rocks. It is very common in sedimentary rocks such as sandstone and shale and is also present in variable amounts as an accessory mineral in most carbonate rocks. It is also a common constituent of schist, gneiss, quartzite and other metamorphic rocks. Because of its resistance to weathering it is very common in stream sediments and in residual soils. Quartz, therefore, occupies the lowest potential to weather in the Goldich dissolution series.
Quartz occurs in hydrothermal veins as gangue along with ore minerals. Large crystals of quartz are found in pegmatites. Well-formed crystals may reach several meters in length and weigh hundreds of kilograms.
Naturally occurring quartz crystals of extremely high purity, necessary for the crucibles and other equipment used for growing silicon wafers in the semiconductor industry, are expensive and rare. A major mining location for high purity quartz is the Spruce Pine Gem Mine in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, United States.

Tridymite and cristobalite are high-temperature polymorphs of SiO2 that occur in high-silica volcanic rocks. Coesite is a denser polymorph of quartz found in some meteorite impact sites and in metamorphic rocks formed at pressures greater than those typical of the Earth's crust. Stishovite is a yet denser and higher-pressure polymorph of quartz found in some meteorite impact sites. Lechatelierite is an amorphous silica glass SiO2 which is formed by lightning strikes in quartz sand.

Quartz crystals have piezoelectric properties; they develop an electric potential upon the application of mechanical stress. An early use of this property of quartz crystals was in phonograph pickups. One of the most common piezoelectric uses of quartz today is as a crystal oscillator. The quartz clock is a familiar device using the mineral. The resonant frequency of a quartz crystal oscillator is changed by mechanically loading it, and this principle is used for very accurate measurements of very small mass changes in the quartz crystal microbalance and in thin-film thickness monitors.

Physical properties of Quartz:

Category: Silicate mineral
Chemical formula: Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2)
Strunz classification: 04.DA.05
Dana classification:
Crystal symmetry: Trigonal 32
Unit cell: a = 4.9133 Å, c = 5.4053 Å; Z=3
Color: clear, white, Colorless through various colors to black
Crystal habit: 6-sided prism ending in 6-sided pyramid (typical), drusy, fine-grained to microcrystalline, massive
Crystal system: α-quartz: trigonal trapezohedral class 3 2; β-quartz: hexagonal 622
Twinning: Common Dauphine law, Brazil law and Japan law
Cleavage: {0110} Indistinct
Fracture: Conchoidal
Tenacity: Brittle
Mohs scale hardness: 7 – lower in impure varieties
Luster: Vitreous – waxy to dull when massive
Streak: White
Diaphaneity: Transparent to nearly opaque
Specific gravity: 2.65; variable 2.59–2.63 in impure varieties
Optical properties: Uniaxial (+)
Refractive index: nω = 1.543–1.545 nε = 1.552–1.554
Birefringence: +0.009 (B-G interval)
Pleochroism: None
Melting point: 1670 °C (β tridymite) 1713 °C (β cristobalite)
Solubility: Insoluble at STP; 1 ppmmass at 400 °C and 500 lb/in2 to 2600 ppmmass at 500 °C and 1500 lb/in2
Other characteristics: Piezoelectric, pyroelectric, may be triboluminescent, chiral (hence optically active if not racemic)
Location: World wide
Rarity: Common
Fun Fact: Quartz is not the only mineral composed of (SiO2) Silicon Dioxide. There are no less than eight other known structures that are composed of (SiO2) Silicon Dioxide

Metaphysical guide of Quartz:

Healing, Enhancing, Amplification
Primary Chakras: ALL Astrological signs: ALL
Primary Chakra: ALL
Astrological sign(s): ALL
Vibration: Number 4

Extremely popular metaphysically, Clear Quartz is the most versatile healing stone among all crystals. Quartz is the most powerful healing stone of the mineral kingdom, able to work on any condition. Clear Quartz is known as the stone of power and amplifies any energy or intention. Clear Quartz protects against negativity, attunes to your higher self, and relieves pain.

Clear Quartz has been shown to enhance and strengthen the aura. As gifts from our Mother Earth, Clear Quartz comes to us with information for the higher self to assimilate in the process of one's spiritual growth. Clear Quartz is often used to cleanse, open, activate, and align all of the chakras. Since Clear Quartz absorbs energies very easily, it is important to clear these stones on a regular basis.
In natural form, Clear Quartz Points radiate their energies outward, into the surrounding environment. Clear Quartz can be programmed with intention and kept in a central place to emit its helpful energies. Quartz Points naturally form in a 6-sided (hexagon) shape. The Sacred Geometry of a 6-sided Clear Quartz Point contributes to its ability to magnify energetic vibrations. Quartz Points are wonderful crystals to use with any type of meditation or energy work, including Reiki, table work, and Energy Grids.

See Our Shopping Guarantee
See Our FAQ
Customer Testimonials
Read Our Privacy Policy
Press Releases
Madagascar Minerals Club
Investor Relations
View Our Trade Show Schedule
Denver Gem Show 2017
Tucson Gem Show 2018
Mining Properties
Visit our Factory
Norcross Schools
Visit our Gallery
Visit Madagascar
Career Opportunities
Copyright & Trademark Disclaimer
Metaphysical Guide to our Stones
Physical Properties of our Stones