A Rock of Many Colours
This blog will dive into the wonderful world of quartz, a fascinating mineral that comes in a variety of colours. Get ready to travel through the rainbow as we learn all about the variations of our favorite mineral, Quartz!
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a special rock made up of one type of crystal, known as a mineral. It’s the second most common mineral on Earth, and can be found in every continent. Quartz is generally made up of Silica and Oxygen but the best part about quartz is that it comes in so many colours, each with its own unique beauty.
Clear Crystal Quartz
The most recognizable type of quartz – clear quartz! When light passes through it, it can look like it’s sparkling and shining. Some people also call it “rock crystal” because it’s so clear and transparent. You might even mix it up with a diamond.
How about some sunshine in rock form? Citrine is a bright and sunny quartz, commonly yellow or orange. What gives citrine its yellow colour, is actually still a mystery to scientists, but many think it’s due to some titanium inside the stone.
Quartz var. Citrine, rutile – Gery Parent, CC BY-ND 2.0, Flickr, https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48941875858_642d7eaaab_b.jpg
Next is one of the strongest colour appearances in rose quartz. This variety can look like the stone was painted or stained. The colour is caused by a sneaky mineral that was mixed in with the quartz called dididumortierite. What a mouthful!
Now we have the royal world of amethyst. This quartz comes in the wonderful shade of purple. The purple of amethyst is due to the presence of iron inside the crystals.
Just like the colours of a cozy campfire, quartz also comes in a smokey variety. Smoky quartz is grey to brownish-black and has a hazy appearance. It can appear as though a little bit of campfire smoke has been trapped inside the crystal.
Rob Lavinsky, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Agate adds a magical twist to our quartz journey, showing off the many surprises the earth has to offer. With the colourful stripes and patterns, agate is a natural wonder. This type of quartz is a marbled mix of layers. Each piece is as unique as a fingerprint!
Quartz var. moss agate – Gery Parent, CC BY-ND 2.0, Flickr, https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48308542271_b3eeb856ba_b.jpg
Where can I find quartz?
Everywhere! Your backyard, your kitchen countertop, the sand on the beach, quartz is used to make sandpaper rough, or you might even have a collection of minerals that feature one of the varieties of quartz.