Mineral Class: Silicate
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Diaphaneity: Transparent to Nearly Opaque
Colors: Clear, White, Blue, Yellow, Brown, Black, Pink, Green, and Red
Quartz is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms in a crystalline structure called a tetrahedra. Quartz is the most common mineral on Earth, but the second most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust after feldspar. Quartz crystals exist in two basic forms, the normal a-type and the high temperature b-type. The temperature cut off between the two is 575°C. There are several different varieties of quartz, many are considered semi-precious gemstones.
Varieties of Quartz have been the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewelry and carvings, particularly in Eurasia. A major mining location for high purity Quartz is the Spruce Pine Gem Mine in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Quartz may also be found in Caldoveiro Peak, in Asturias, Spain. Quartz gets its name from the German word, “quarz” meaning hard. The ancient Greeks called it “krustallos” meaning icy cold, as many of the ancient philosophers believed it to be a supercooled ice.