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The Gemstone Rose Quartz
Chemistry: SiO 2
Composition: Silicon Dioxide
Crystal System: Hexagonal-Rhombohedral
Specific Gravity: 2.65
Refractive Index: 1.544-1.553
Pleochroism: weak to distinct
Color: various shades of pink to a rosy-red
Transparency: Usually opaque to translucent, some times transparent
Associated Minerals: Quartz is found with many other minerals
One of the more desirable varieties of quartz. The pink can be almost rose red and some African verities border on lavender. The color seems to be caused by iron and titanium impurities. However the color of rose quartz is still not completely understood. It has been said to be due to a number of different minor impurities present in the rose quartz including titanium, manganese and even colloidal gold.
However, recent studies using micro-analytical methods have discovered that the color of massive rose quartz is actually due to microscopic mineral fibers in the rose quartz. X-ray diffraction tests on these microscopic fibers yielded patterns similar to the mineral dumortierite but slightly different, suggesting the possibility of a totally new and as yet unknown fibrous mineral causing the color in massive rose quartz.
The rare transparent euhedral crystals of rose quartz owe their coloration to aluminum and phosphorous impurities.
If rutile needles are present in the rose quartz then a star effect or asterism is sometimes seen. The star is best seen when light is viewed through the rose quartz. This is different from asterisms in most other gemstones, such as ruby and sapphire, where the stars are seen when light is shown on the gems.
The pink color in Rose Quartz is photosensitive and can fade in sunlight.
Rose Quartz is almost always massive, rarely occurring in small horizontally striated hexagonal prisms . Scientifically, there is no reason why Rose Quartz does not occur more commonly in crystals. This remains a scientific mystery. Because quartz crystallizes into well formed crystals in all its other macroscopic varieties. Brazil is also the only source of true well formed crystals of rose quartz. Rose Quartz crystals are thus extremely valuable.
Rose quartz is found in Madagascar, India, Germany and several localities in the USA. Much rose quartz was extracted from a famous site near Custer, South Dakota, but now, most of the worlds supply of good carvable rose quartz comes from Brazil. Rose quartz is only one of several quartz varieties. Other varieties that form macroscopic (large enough to see) crystals are as follows: Amethyst is the purple gemstone variety. Citrine is a yellow to orange gemstone variety that is rare in nature but is often created by heating Amethyst. Milky Quartz is the cloudy white variety. Rock crystal is the clear variety that is also used as a gemstone. Smoky quartz is the brown to gray variety.
Rose quartz is used as an ornamental stone and as a gemstone. Rose Quartz is usually, but not always, too cloudy to be used as a cut gemstone. Most gemmy rose quartz is used as cabochons where the clarity is not as important as the color. Rose quartz is also a very attractive ornamental stone and is carved into popular spheres, pyramids, obelisks, figurines and ornate statues.
FACTS & HISTORY:
Rose quartz has been used as a gemstone and as other ornamental and religious objects for thousands of years. Historically, it is a symbol of love and beauty. The name quartz comes from the Saxon word querklufterz which meant cross vein ore.
The astrological signs of rose quartz are Taurus and Libra.