Quartz is a widespread mineral which represents a group of varieties such as pure Quartz or so-called Rock Crystal, Amethyst, Citrine, and many others. But chiefly the Quartz group is split into two principal categories: Crystalline and Cryptocrystalline varieties.
The ancients knew Rock Crystal. The name Rock Crystal derived from its similarity to ice. Our predecessors noticed that the pieces of this gemstone are similar to the crystals of ice. The locals of India believed that Quartz is a “mother of Diamond.” However, the modern name of this gem is probably of German origin.
Brief History & Superstitions
The ancients took Quartz for a piece of ice because of its origin from the peak of the Alps. They assumed that it was too durable because it has been too frozen, until one renown English scientist, Robert Boyle, unraveled the myth in 1676. Boyle argued that Quartz is 2,5 times heavier than water. Furthermore, this gem came to the European market from Oriental countries with a hot tropical climate.
Quartz was an ornamental stone for centuries. Rock Crystal used in the decoration of dwelling, personal adornment, as well as for the manufacture of vases, cups, wine glasses, etc.
There is a myth that Emperor Nero possessed an adorable cup made of Rock Crystal, engraved with the strings from the Iliad. Hindu and Chines locals also created various stuff made of Rock Crystal, due to a superstition, that any article made of Quartz are capable of counteracting any poison.
However, in the period of the Roman Empire, Rock Crystal frequently cut into spheres. The noble ladies wore the gems in their hands. Later, this custom came to Japan and preserved until the 20th century. Subsequently, this custom came in vogue in Europe and the US. People used the balls made of Rock Crystal to predict the destiny.
Rock Crystal has also been cut into rhinestone or “false diamond” because it possesses high refractive powers. Later, people used it to produce the lenses for eyeglasses.
Subsequently, the Venetians invented the art of engraving on rock crystal.
Healing and Magical Power
The Indian tribes used big pieces of Quartz in their sacred rituals. The ancients endowed Quartz with the healing powers. They assumed that the stone is capable of curing dysentery and hemorrhage. Our ancestors believed that a powder made of Quartz mixed with wine could serve as a remedy capable of curing many diseases. Quartz also mentioned as a medicine against sty and headache.
The mines of Quartz are located 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 arrived from Madagascar in the 17th century. Some specimens were a size of 100 of pounds and more. This mine has been used to supply Quartz crystals in Japan, to produce the “magic balls” described above.
Nowadays, Brazil is a primary source of Quartz. The region, known as Minas Gerais is a central spot of the Quartz mines. There are the Quartz crystals of immense masses that supplied to the international markets for a low 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 Earth. There are the most commonly known types presented below:
- Asteriated Star-Quartz
- Cat’s Eye
- False Topaz
- Milk Quartz
- Rock Crystal
- Rose Quartz
- Smoky Quartz
- Agate Chalcedony
- Agate Jasper
- Egyptian Jasper