Facts About Quartz Rocks

By Denise Brandenberg
Quartz rocks have been used by man for thousands of years.

The quartz rock is the most prevalent mineral found on earth. It is found in granite and other rocks, such as sandstone. According to an article in the "American Mineralogist," the U.S. supply of quartz crystals come almost entirely from Brazil, but they are also found in the United States, Mexico, South Africa, Australia and Russia. This mineral has been used by mankind for centuries, and has played an integral role in both technology and spiritual practices.

Formation

Quartz is usually the last mineral to crystallize, and it typically fills in the spaces between other minerals in rock formations. It is colorless and reflects the surrounding mineral colors. Quartz needs heat and water to form. According to the Mineral Information Institute, quartz can form in two ways-- in open cavities in rocks and deep within the earth. When it is formed in open-cavity rocks, quartz takes the shape of six-sided (hexagonal) prismatic crystals. When it is formed within the earth, it usually crystallizes in small, round masses. Quartz may be found in metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks.

Mineral Properties

Quartz is formed from the two most abundant elements found in the earth's crust, silicon and oxygen, according to the U.S. Geological Society. It has a glossy luster and is ranked 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale. It fractures like glass when it is broken, which means it has a conchoidal fracture (curved). This mineral is also very resistant to weathering, and its eroded form is found in soil, rivers and beaches. Quartz is highly valued in many cultures and societies because it is a semi-precious stone that has piezoelectric properties.

Types

This mineral comes in a wide variety of types and colors. The clear, rock crystal quartz is usually colorless. According to the Mineral Information Institute, the colored varieties of quartz contain many different impurities, which is why they have colors. For example, milky quartz is white, and smoky quartz is black. Purple quartz is typically called amethyst quartz, and pink quartz is called rose quartz. Yellow or orange quartz varieties are called citrine quartzes.

Technological Uses

According to the Mineral Information Institute, quartz has piezoelectric properties, which means that when pressure is applied to it, a positive charge occurs at one end of it, and a negative charge occurs at the opposite end. It also has pyroelectric properties, which indicates that the rock reacts to temperature changes with positive and negative charges within the crystal. Quartz is used in watches, radios and clocks. It is also commonly used in the windows of resonators, wave stabilizers, pressure gauges and oscillators. Because of quartz's transparency, it is utilized in the development of prism and spectrographic lenses.

Metaphysical Properties

In spiritual cultures, quartz is one of the most commonly used minerals for spiritual attunement and cleansing. The quartz rock has a specific vibration that can work with all seven chakra vibration levels to assist in healing and balancing. The different colors of quartz rocks are used to help with specific spiritual ailments. According to the authors of "Michael's Gemstone Dictionary," clear-white quartz crystal rocks are the most versatile gemstones available, and they have the ability to promote clarity, clear sightedness and stimulate the body's energy field.

About the Author

Denise Brandenberg has more than 15 years professional experience as a marketing copywriter, with a focus in public relations. She also worked as a recruiter for many years and is a certified resume writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.