There are two types or forms of quartz: crystalline which comes in a single crystal and chalcedony which is formed from millions of microcrystals.
Quartz may derive its name from the German word Quarz. It is extremely widespread across the earth and comes in just about every colour and form.
Of the crystalline form Amethyst and Citrine are the most popular and the most well known. Rose quartz and rock crystal are also well known and commonly used as gemstones in jewellery. Rock crystal is colorless and is the clear quartz that we often see carved and polished into gorgeous shapes such as skulls and crystal balls.
The microcrystal from provides us with the chalcedony group. Of these are the very common and well known agates such as jasper, chrysoprase, onyx, carnelian and sard. These are very beautiful stones and not expensive. They have been used over the centuries as minerals to make adornments and items of jewellery to be worn by kings and queens as well as the common people.
Quartz has a hardness of seven on the Mohs’ scale of hardness and that make it a good stone to make jewellery from.
I particularly like large pear shape pieces of lemon, smoky or brown quartz for making modern pendants. It is affordable enough to use large pieces and can be set in gold or silver and goes well with diamond accents.
Quartz is used extensively in industry and was used in radios and most of all it had its impact in the watch industry. Since the thirteen hundred watches made no significant changes in their development although they were constantly improved but in the 1970s along came the quartz crystal that changed the watch industry forever. It was the development of the watch which flashed the numbers of the time of day with LEDs.
Many cultures have recognized the healing quality of quartz crystals and you only have to go to a health exhibition or fair to find booths with mystical looking and colorfully dressed people selling an array of crystals. So crystals can be functional jewellery as well as adornment of the body.
Author: Gary Hocking
Gary Hocking makes custom jewellery specializing in Australian opals. http://www.jewelleryexpress.com.au
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