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Quartz Family
Current inventory:  0 gems

Quartz Family

Quartz is named from the German word quarz (of uncertain origin). The word crystal was originally used only for Quartz and is from the Greek word krystallos, meaning ice, because the Greeks thought the gods had created an unnatural frost that froze ice hard forever.

Prehistoric Discovery; IMA status: Valid (pre-IMA; Grandfathered)





Chemical Formula:



Silicon Dioxide

Molecular Weight:

60.08 gm



46.74 %


100.00 %




53.26 %






100.00 %


100.00 %







Mineral Classification:


Strunz 8th Ed. ID:


Nickel-Strunz 10th Ed. ID:



4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
D : Metal: Oxygen = 1:2 and similar
A : With small cations: Silica family

Related to:

Polymorph of Coesite, Cristobalite, Mogánite, Seifertite, Stishovite, Tridymite. Isostructural with Berlinite.


Abakusz-kö, Agate, Agate-Jasper, Agatized coral, Amarillo Stone, Amberine, Amethyst, Ametrine, Apricotine, Arkansas Candle, Aventurine, Azurchalcedony, Babel-Quartz, Ball Jasper, Basanite, Bayate, Beekite, Binghamite, Bloodstone, Blue Chalcedony, Blue Lace Agate, Blue Quartz, Botswana Agate, Brazilian Pebble, Brecciated Agate, Bristol Diamonds, Buhrstone, Bull Quartz, Burnt amethyst, Cactus Quartz, Cape May Diamonds, Capped Quartz, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Chrome-Chalcedony, Chrysojasper, Citrine, Clear Lake Diamonds, Cloud Agate, Cotterite, Crazy Lace Agate, Creolite, Cubosilicite, Dallasite, Damsonite, Darlingite, Dendritic Agate, Diackethyst, Dragonite, Egyptian Jasper, Eisenkiesel, El Doradoite, Enhydro Agate, Eye Agate, Fairburn Agate, Fensterquarz, Ferruginous Quartz, Fire Agate, Fortification Agate, Fossil Agate, Gwindel, Haema-ovoid-agates, Hair Amethyst, Haytorite, Hedgehog Stone, Herbeckite, Herkimer Diamond, Herradura Diamonds, Iris Agate, Iris Quartz, Irnimite, Jacinto de Compostela Quartz, Jasper, Keystonite Chalcedony, Kinradite, Laguna Agate, Lake County Diamonds, Lake Superior Agate, Landscape Agate, Lithium Quartz, Marmaroscher Diamanten, Mexican Lace Agate, Milky Quartz, Mocha Stone, Moss Agate, Mutzschen Diamonds, Myrickite, Nipomo Agate, Oil Quartz, Onyx, Owyhee Jasper, Pastelite, Pietersite, Pigeon Blood Agate, Plasma, Plume Agate, Prase, Prase-malachite, Prasiolite, Pseudocubic Quartz, Quartzine, Quetzalitztli, Riband Agate


α-Quartz, Alpha-Quartz, Azetulite, Azeztulite, β-Quartz (of Geophys. Lab), Brazillian Pebble, Conite (of Macculloch), Cornish Diamond, Konilite, Lemurian Seed Crystal, Lodolite, Low Quartz, Mexican Diamond, Quartz-alpha, Quartz-α, Quertz



Crystal Data




Trigonal - Trapezohedal

Crystal Habit:

Widely variable; but typically long prismatic with steep pyramidal terminations, but may be short prismatic to nearly bipyramidal; fibrous (Agate & Chalcedony)


Very common, penetration twins on the Dauphiné law, about [0001], and the Brazil law, with [1120] as contact plane; contact twins on the Japan law, with [1122] as contact plane, may be repeated; and several other laws.



Physical Properties




[0110] Indistinct




Brittle, tough when massive

Moh's Hardness:



2.60 - 2.65 (g/cm3)


Fluorescent; Shortwave UV = yellow-orange, Longwave UV = yellow-orange.
May be Triboluminescent


Not Radioactive


Piezoelectric and Pyroelectric and may be Triboluminescent



Optical Properties




Colorless, white, gray, and many shades of violet, purple, yellow, orange, red, brown, pink, green, blue and black


Transparent to nearly Opaque


Vitreous, waxy to dull when massive

Refractive Index:

1.543 - 1.554  Uniaxial ( + )




0.013 (low)


Quartz: none; Amethyst: weak; Citrine: weak; Rose Quartz: strong






Geological Setting:

In hydrothermal veins, epithermal to alpine; characteristic of granites and granite pegmatites; in sandstones and quartzites, less abundant in other rock types; in hydrothermal metal deposits. Common in carbonate rocks; a residual mineral in soils and sediments.

Common Associations:

Calcite, Chlorite, Epidote, Feldspars, Fluorite, Micas, Zeolites, many other species.

Type Locality:


Year Discovered:


View mineral photos:

Quartz Mineral Photos and Locations



More Information




Quartz is one of the most common minerals on Earth. It is composed of silicon and oxygen, the two most abundant elements in the crust of the Earth. Quartz comes in many colors including purple/violet (Amethyst); yellow and purple (Ametrine); yellow/orange (Citrine); pink (Rose Quartz); brown (Smoky Quartz); green (
Prasiolite) and colorless (Rock Crystal). The various colors are due to trace elements added to the basic Silicon Dioxide formula. Quartz also has many attractive and collectable inclusions (see below) created by the addition of other minerals such as Actinolite,  Gilalite, Lepidocrocite, Pyrite, Rutile, Tourmaline and many others. Quartz catseyes and stars are also available and are created by the presence of fine asbestos or rutile fibers. Quartz gems have been faceted in enormous sizes. The Smithsonian Institute (SI) has a perfect sphere of flawless Burmese Rock Crystal that is 12.75 inch in diameter and weighs 107 pounds. SI also has a 7000 carat faceted Quartz, a 2258 carat Brazilian Citrine, a 4500 carat Smoky Quartz and a 1362 carat Brazilian Amethyst!

Quartz Family varieties


colorful, but barely translucent, type of Chalcedony 


banded or patterned variety of Chalcedony; there are many names given to the various patterns of Agate: Dendritic, Fire, Lace, Moss, Scenic, Shell, Turritella (fossil or silicified shells), etc. Other names are due to the location of origin.


colored Quartz; pale lilac (Rose of France), violet, purple, deep purple with red flashes (Siberian)


colored Quartz; both yellow and purple colors in zonal patterns


also known as Heliotrope; dark green Plasma with blood-red and orange spots of iron oxides


translucent to semiopaque red, orange or brownish type of Chalcedony colored by the presence of iron oxide

Cat's Eye

chatoyant due to asbestos or rutile fibers


microcrystalline Quartz; grayish blue, blue, purplish blue


cryptocrystalline Quartz; opaque, dull gray or whitish Chalcedony; very hard


apple green type of Chalcedonly; colored by presence of nickel


colored Quartz; pale yellow, yellow, golden yellow, yellow-orange

Dinosaur Bone

silicified dinosaur bone; brownish, red, pink, blue, purple, green, orange, etc.


cryptocrystalline Quartz; opaque, dull gray or whitish Chalcedony; very hard




patterned variety of Chalcedony; shades of red, brown, yellow and green; there are many names given to the various patterns of Jasper: Orbicular, Picture, Scenic, etc. Other names are due to the location of origin.

Milky Quartz

milky due to many tiny cavities and bubbles filled with CO2 or water; may also contain Gold

Moss Agate

a variety of Agate with "mossy" inclusions


opaque black and white banded type of Chalcedony


deep green Chalcedony (opaque due to densely packed actinolite crystals)

Petrified Wood

colorful Agate that has replaced tree trunks and limbs


green or yellowish green type of Chalcedony

Rock Crystal

colorless, white

Rose Quartz

pale to deep pink (due to titanium)

Sapphire Quartz

blue Quartz


similar to Carnelian but more brownish and more opaque


banded Onyx with red and white layers

Smokey Quartz

pale beige, tan, brown, deep brown (Cairngorm), black

Tiger Eye

pseudomorph of asbestos

Inclusions in Quartz




Quartz crystals grow in many different environments along with many different minerals. These minerals, as well as gas bubbles, water and petroleum solutions, can become enclosed or trapped within the growing Quartz crystals. These "inclusions" have become a very popular gem collecting category with incredible beauty and variety. Below are some of the many types of inclusions found in Quartz gems.








Anatase in Quartz


Ankangite in Quartz


Bismuthinite in Quartz


Brookite in Quartz
Anatase (incl.)


Ankangite (incl.)


Bismuthinite (incl.)


Brookite (incl.)








Cacoxenite in Quartz


Calcite in Quartz


Celadonite in Quartz


Cervantite in Quartz
Cacoxenite (incl.)


Calcite (incl.)


Celadonite (incl.)


Cervantite (incl.)








Chlorite in Quartz


Chrysocolla in Quartz (Gem Silica)


Cleavelandite in Quartz


Connellite in Quartz
Chlorite (incl.)


Chrysocolla (incl.)


Cleavelandite (incl.)


Connellite (incl.)








Cookeite in Quartz


Dendrites in Quartz


Epidote in Quartz


Fluorite in Quartz
Cookeite (incl.)


Dendrites (incl.)


Epidote (incl.)


Fluorite (incl.)








Gilalite in Quartz


Hedenbergite in Quartz


Goethite in Quartz


Helvite in Quartz
Gilalite (incl.)


Hedenbergite (incl.)


Goethite (incl.)


Helvite (incl.)








Hematite in Quartz


Hollandite in Quartz


Jamesonite in Quartz


Lepidicrocite in Quartz
Hematite (incl.)


Hollandite (incl.)


Jamesonite (incl.)


Lepidocrocite (incl.)








Lithiophilite in Quartz


Macfallite in Quartz


Lazulite in Quartz


Marcasite in Quartz
Lithiophilite (incl.)


Macfallite (incl.)


Lazulite (incl.)


Marcasite (incl.)








Molybdenite in Quartz


Petroleum in Quartz


Pyrite in Quartz


Quartz in Quartz
Molybdenite (incl.)


Petroleum (incl.)


Pyrite (incl.)


Quartz in Quartz (incl.)








Rutile in Quartz


Tourmaline in Quartz





Rutile (incl.)


Tourmaline (incl.)













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