The term "quartz" is used to refer to numerous minerals with the same chemical composition and similar physical properties. In turn, it belongs to the mineral family of silica.
It is the second most common mineral in the earth's crust behind feldspars. We can find it in magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary rock around the world.
The origin of its name is partly a mystery, but it could be a derivative of the German "Quarz", which in turn would come from a Slavic dialect or language and Czech and means "hard".
Rock crystal is what is sometimes called light-colored or transparent rough crystalline quartz.
The word "crystal" comes from the Greek "Krustallos", which means "ice cold". Quartz crystals would be extremely cold ice formed by the gods of Olympus.
A resistant stone with a score of 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, quartz was used in prehistoric times to create knives, arrowheads and as a firestone to light fires.
Because some quartz objects were found near burial sites, it is also theorized that they were used for funeral rites.
The Romans, ancient Egyptians and the Greeks used it to make ornaments such as amulets. For these different cultures it represented different notions: for the ancient Egyptians rose quartz stopped aging but for the Romans it symbolized belonging.
In the Middle Ages, medical practitioners prepared elixirs with quartz, which were said to alleviate digestive and urinary problems, skin conditions, and painful areas of the body.
Throughout history it was used to make highly detailed engraved cameos and jewelry, as well as extravagant vases and crockery.
Due to the magical properties and powers attributed to it, it has often been used to create crystal balls.
Gem of synergy both light and dark, it amplifies the effects of other gems and crystals. It is believed to be able to improve and balance the energy flow.
Particularly powerful, it is used to purify gems and crystals as well as the subtle bodies, strengthening the bonds between the body, the emotions and the spirit, leading to greater awareness.
Allowing greater detachment from the material and superfluous, it helps to deal with change with joy and equanimity.
The effects of a quartz gemstone also depends on its color, we can mention rose quartz for instance as it is considered the stone of unconditional love due to its tones. It is also a support in emotional wellbeing by influencing relationships with others and self-love by promoting compassion, gentleness, calm and forgiveness.
On a physical level, quartz is said to stimulate the immune and circulatory systems, in addition to regulating metabolism and ridding the body of toxins that affect the digestive system, bladder, and kidneys.
There are numerous colors and varieties of quartz, this is due to the presence of impurities that modify the crystals at the molecular level, causing color changes in the visible spectrum.
Smoky quartz for instance, which is brown and can range in color from light to dark, owes its color to natural and artificial exposure of the crystal to gamma rays.
Quartz is divided into 2 main types; first the macrocrystalline in which an individual crystal can be easily observed due to its size. Some quartz of this type are amethyst, blue quartz, citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, milky quartz, hematoid quartz and Herkimer quartz.
These are usually transparent.
The other type is microcrystalline quartz, made of microscopic agglomerated crystals. Some microcrystalline varieties of quartz or composed of quartz and other minerals are agate, carnelian, onyx, heliotrope (bloodstone) and jasper.
These gems have bands or patterns of color due to the presence of inclusions of other minerals and are usually translucent to opaque.