Our planet has various types of minerals, many of which can be turned into fine jewelry. A type of mineral is cherished for its beauty and its large variety of colors. It is widely known as Quartz. On Moh’s Scale, Quartz has a hardness of 7/10, therefore, is classified as a soft gemstone. With this level of hardness, Quartz is quite resistant to scratching, making it suitable for jewelry uses. Quartz is only a general term for various types of Quartz. In fact, Quartz goes by an array of different names based on its color:
Citrine – Citrine is derived from the Latin word “Citrina” which means yellow. It is a variety of quartz whose color ranges from pale yellow to dark yellow. Citrine’s price highly correlates with its color, that is, the more orange the color, the higher the price. Liquor color-like is the most priced color of Citrine. Unlike other varieties of Quartz, Citrine is rarely found naturally, therefore, most Citrines are heat-treated Amethyst or Smoky Quartz, both of which turn yellow when heated. Brazil is the leading producer and exporter of Citrine.
Amethyst – it has color ranges from bright to dark or dull purple. Large deposits of Amethyst can be found in Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Russia, France, Namibia, and Morocco. The most popular color is Deep Siberian, which is 75-80% purple and 15-20% blue.
Ametrine – when Amethyst and citrine are found growing in the same crystal, it is uniquely referred to as Ametrine. It has a mixture of yellow and bluish-purple in the same stone. Lapidaries can polish Ametrine so that it has two zones of separate colors in a single stone, making the stone an interesting choice for collectors.
Smoky Quartz – its color ranges from grey, brown to black.
Rose Quartz – it is a type of Quartz whose color is pale pink, similar to pink rose. Its color is a result of trace amounts of titanium, iron, and manganese. Rose Quartz is generally clouded with impurities and usually contains needle-like inclusion. Sometimes, a star can also be found in Rose Quartz.
Milky Quartz – its color is opaque white, similar to that of milk. It can be found and purchased anywhere at considerably low price.
Prasiolite – is a form of Quartz whose color ranges from green to dark green. It is rare in nature relative to other varieties of quartz. Most Prasiolite in the market is heat-treated amethyst. Amethyst’s bluish-purple color will change to green when heated. Despite this fact, only a handful of Amethyst will turn green because heat-treated amethyst usually gives us citrine. Prasiolite is also known as “Green Amethyst”, which can be misleading and causes confusion with normal Amethyst.
Pink Amethyst – it is a medium pink Quartz, pinker than Rose Quartz. In some cases where pink is mixed with Amethyst’s bluish-purple, the resulting color is lavender, which commands a higher premium.
Quartz is a large family of gemstone relative to other types of gemstones. There are still a number of Quartz that I have not mentioned in this article, so please stay tuned for the next edition.