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Quartz is the most common mineral on Earth’s surface, partly because of its natural abundance, and partly because it is highly resistant to chemical weathering and persists in surface deposits (unlike feldspar, the most abundant mineral in Earth’s crust, which weathers to clay minerals on exposure to surface conditions). 

In addition to many varieties of quartz (for example, chlorite quartz, “red” quartz, smoky quartz, etc.), larger quartz crystals are also classified by the geometric configuration of the crystal faces.

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Mineral formula: SiO2

Mineral group: member of the silicate group

Crystal system: trigonal

Crystal habit: macrocrystalline quartz is typically prismatic

Cleavage: none

Fracture: conchoidal

Color: clear to milky white, rose, violet, yellow, gray etc.

Luster: vitreous

Diaphaneity: transparent to translucent

Moh’s scale hardness: 7

Streak: clear (none; harder than streak plate)

Specific gravity: 2.65 – 2.66

Named after: The earliest references to the mineral quartz called it “rock crystal” in reference to its resemblance to ice. “Querz” was used in 1505, and “quarzum” by Agricola in 1530, along with “crystallum” and “silicum.” The present-day usage of “quartz” is hypothesized to derive from mining terminology in Middle Age Saxony (Germany), where the term “Querkluftertz” was used for the gangue minerals in ore veins. 

Geological occurrence: Quartz forms in nearly all geologic environments – igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary, from high to low temperatures and pressures. Prismatic, macrocrystalline quartz typically forms in hollow spaces in sedimentary or igneous rocks associated with low to high temperature aqueous fluids percolating through the rocks.

Energetic properties: Quartz is the great amplifier; it is said to boost the energy of any intention or prayer, or other mineral, in its presence. It represents pure light. For those who work with crystals, quartz is said to accelerate energetic healing, spiritual growth, and manifestation of intentions. It was used by the Tsalage (Cherokee) as a stone of protection worn over the sternum.

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