Quartz is common mineral which represents the group of varieties such as pure quartz or so-called Rock Crystal, Amethyst, Citrine and many others. But chiefly the Quartz group is divided into two main categories: Crystalline varieties & Cryptocrystalline varieties.
Rock Crystal was known to the ancients. The name Rock Crystal derived from its similarity to ice, because the ancients noticed that the pieces of this gemstone are similar to the crystals of ice.
Brief History & Superstitions
The ancients took Quartz for a piece of ice, because it was obtained from the peak of the Alps. They have supposed, that it was too hard because it has been too frozen, until such time as such known English scientist as Robert Boyle dispelled the myth in 1676. Boyle argued that the Quartz is 2,5 times heavier than water, and has been first found in Oriental countries with a hot tropical climate, furthermore.
Quartz was an ornamental stone for the centuries. Rock Crystal was used for decoration of dwelling, personal adornment and for the manufacture of vases, cups, wine glasses, etc.
There is an information, that the Emperor Nero have possessed adorable cup, made of Rock Crystal, engraved with the strings from the Iliad. Indian and Chines locals have also created various stuff of Rock Crystal, because there was a superstition, that any stuff, made of Quartz, are capable to counteract poison.
However, in Romans times, Rock Crystal frequently cut into spheres and the noble ladies carried them in their hands. Later, this custom came to Japan and have been preserved until XX century. Subsequently, this custom came in vogue in Europe and the US, and the balls, made of Rock Crystal, became to use as the destiny predictors.
Rock Crystal has been also cut into rhinestone or “false diamond” because it possesses high refractive powers. Later, it was used to produce the lenses for eye-glasses.
Healing and Magical Power, attributed to the Quartz
The Indian tribes have used big pieces of Quartz in their sacred rituals. Since Middle Ages until today, the balls made of Rock Crystal have been used to predict the future. Quartz has been endowed with medicinal powers and has been considered to be able to cure dysentery and hemorrhage. Our ancestors believed that a powder made of Quartz, mixed with wine, could serve as a remedy capable to cure many diseases. Quartz also mentioned as a remedy against sty and headache.
Quartz is mined all around the world, therefore it would be superfluous to describe all the locations. However, it is worth noting that the first specimens of Quartz were obtained from Madagascar in XVII century. Some specimens reached a size of 100’s of pounds. This mine has been used to supply Quartz crystals in Japan to produce the “magic balls,” described above.
Nowadays, Brazil is a chief source of Quartz mining. The region, known as Minas Geraes is a main spot of Quartz mines. There are the Quartz crystals of immense masses, that are supplied to the international markets for a cheap price. Indian region Madras and the French & Swiss Alps are the next in line mines of Quartz.
The Varieties of Quartz
Quartz is the most widely spread mineral on the Earth. There are the most commonly known varieties, presented below, namely:
- Asteriated Star-Quartz
- Cat’s Eye
- False Topaz
- Milk Quartz
- Rock Crystal
- Rose Quartz
- Smoky Quartz
- Agate Chalcedony
- Agate Jasper
- Egyptian Jasper