Quartz is the most abundant gemstone found on Earth, it makes up about 12% of the Earth's crust, and is the gemstone of the week this week. There are many colors and types of Quartz used in jewelry. The color and variety coming from different mineral inclusions. Quartz is a component of almost all kinds of rocks. It is in the silica family. There are a lot of gemstones in the Quartz family. I'll cover three types of quartz in this posting.
Clear Quartz or Rock Crystal is clear and colorless and is one of the most common varieties. It has often been used in hardstone carvings. On the Moh scale, it is a 7. Roman ladies used to carry quartz crystal balls to cool their hands in warm weather. Roman soldiers used it to capture sunlight to cauterize wounds. Since the middle ages, quartz crystal balls have been used for telling the future. Quartz is believed to be a universal healing stone, able to clarify what needs healing and balancing and to aid in doing this. It is also believed to enhance the properties of other gemstones.
Rutilated Quartz is considered to be one of the most unusual types of quartz. Rutilated Quartz has a Moh hardness of 6-6.5. It is easily recognized by the gold “rutiles”, which are a titanium dioxide, that run through it. They sparkle and look like liquid gold in the vein of the clear Quartz stone. No two stones are alike. One may only have a few inclusions, while another is almost opaque with inclusions. Where most stones are less valuable when there are visible inclusions in it, this particular type of Quartz is more valuable the more inclusions there are in it. Also called Venus hairstone, this stone has been used in jewelry for centuries. It is believed that Rutilated Quartz has the power to aid sleep, help depression, slow aging and enhance creativity. It is also believed to enhance self reliance and diminish fear.
Tourmalinated Quartz also has rutiles, but they are due to the inclusions of tourmaline in the stone. The inclusions are a dark green or black. The quartz can be clear to dark gray in color. It is believed that Tourmalinated Quartz can balance and unite concious with subconcious, spirit with matter and heaven with earth.
There are stones on the market that are called quartz, but are really glass. Some of the names they are sold under are cherry quartz, pineapple quartz, blueberry quartz ,moonstone quartz or opalite, cloud quartz, blue quartz, watermelon quartz and pepper quartz. These imitations have a lower resistance to scratches and may occasionally have air bubbles in them. As always, when buying gemstones, buying from a reputable seller helps cut down on the chances of getting imitations.