Quartz is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall chemical formula of SiO2. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in Earth's continental crust, behind feldspar.[7]

Quartz crystals are chiral, and exist in two forms, the normal α-quartz and the high-temperature β-quartz. The transformation from α-quartz to β-quartz takes place abruptly at 573 °C (846 K). Since the transformation is accompanied by a significant change in volume, it can easily induce fracturing of ceramics or rocks passing through this temperature limit.

There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones. Since antiquity, varieties of quartz have been the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewelry and hardstone carvings, especially in Eurasia.

Quartz, Tibet
Categoryoxide mineral[1][2]
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification4.DA.05 (Oxides)
Dana classification75.01.03.01 (tectosilicates)
Crystal systemα-quartz: trigonal
β-quartz: hexagonal
Crystal classα-quartz: trapezohedral (class 3 2); β-quartz: trapezohedral (class 6 2 2)[3]
Unit cella = 4.9133 Å, c = 5.4053 Å; Z=3
Formula mass60.08 g·mol−1
ColorColorless through various colors to black
Crystal habit6-sided prism ending in 6-sided pyramid (typical), drusy, fine-grained to microcrystalline, massive
TwinningCommon Dauphine law, Brazil law and Japan law
Cleavage{0110} Indistinct
Mohs scale hardness7 – lower in impure varieties (defining mineral)
LusterVitreous – waxy to dull when massive
DiaphaneityTransparent to nearly opaque
Specific gravity2.65; variable 2.59–2.63 in impure varieties
Optical propertiesUniaxial (+)
Refractive indexnω = 1.543–1.545
nε = 1.552–1.554
Birefringence+0.009 (B-G interval)
Melting point1670 °C (β tridymite) 1713 °C (β cristobalite)[3]
SolubilityInsoluble at STP; 1 ppmmass at 400 °C and 500 lb/in2 to 2600 ppmmass at 500 °C and 1500 lb/in2[3]
Other characteristicslattice: hexagonal, Piezoelectric, may be triboluminescent, chiral (hence optically active if not racemic)


The word "quartz" is derived from the German word "Quarz", which had the same form in the first half of the 14th century in Middle High German in East Central German[8] and which came from the Polish dialect term kwardy, which corresponds to the Czech term tvrdý ("hard").[9]

The Ancient Greeks referred to quartz as κρύσταλλος (krustallos) derived from the Ancient Greek κρύος (kruos) meaning "icy cold", because some philosophers (including Theophrastus) apparently believed the mineral to be a form of supercooled ice.[10] Today, the term rock crystal is sometimes used as an alternative name for the purest form of quartz.

Crystal habit and structure

Quartz crystals on section of limestone core
Quartz mineral embedded in limestone (top right of the sample), easily identifiable by its hexagonal form. It cannot be scratched by steel (see Mohs scale).

Quartz belongs to the trigonal crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end. In nature quartz crystals are often twinned (with twin right-handed and left-handed quartz crystals), distorted, or so intergrown with adjacent crystals of quartz or other minerals as to only show part of this shape, or to lack obvious crystal faces altogether and appear massive. Well-formed crystals typically form in a 'bed' that has unconstrained growth into a void; usually the crystals are attached at the other end to a matrix and only one termination pyramid is present. However, doubly terminated crystals do occur where they develop freely without attachment, for instance within gypsum. A quartz geode is such a situation where the void is approximately spherical in shape, lined with a bed of crystals pointing inward.

α-quartz crystallizes in the trigonal crystal system, space group P3121 or P3221 depending on the chirality. β-quartz belongs to the hexagonal system, space group P6222 and P6422, respectively.[11] These space groups are truly chiral (they each belong to the 11 enantiomorphous pairs). Both α-quartz and β-quartz are examples of chiral crystal structures composed of achiral building blocks (SiO4 tetrahedra in the present case). The transformation between α- and β-quartz only involves a comparatively minor rotation of the tetrahedra with respect to one another, without change in the way they are linked.


Crystal structure of α-quartz (red balls are oxygen, grey are silicon)



Varieties (according to microstructure)

Although many of the varietal names historically arose from the color of the mineral, current scientific naming schemes refer primarily to the microstructure of the mineral. Color is a secondary identifier for the cryptocrystalline minerals, although it is a primary identifier for the macrocrystalline varieties.[12]

Major varieties of quartz
Type Color & Description Transparent
Herkimer Diamond Colorless Transparent
Rock crystal Colorless Transparent
Amethyst Purple Transparent
Ametrine Zones of purple and yellow or orange Transparent
Rose quartz Pink, may display diasterism Transparent
Chalcedony Cryptocrystalline quartz and moganite mixture.
The term is generally only used for white or lightly
colored material. Otherwise more specific names are used.
Carnelian Reddish orange chalcedony Translucent
Aventurine Chalcedony with small inclusions (usually mica) that shimmer Translucent
Agate Multi-colored, banded chalcedony Semi-translucent to translucent
Onyx Agate where the bands are straight, parallel and consistent in size.
Jasper Cryptocrystalline quartz, typically red to brown Opaque
Milky quartz White, may display diasterism Translucent to opaque
Smoky quartz Brown to gray Opaque
Tiger's eye Fibrous gold to red-brown colored quartz, exhibiting chatoyancy.
Citrine Yellow to reddish orange to brown, greenish yellow Transparent
Prasiolite Mint green Transparent
Rutilated quartz Contains acicular (needle-like) inclusions of rutile
Dumortierite quartz Contains large amounts of dumortierite crystals

Varieties (according to color)

Quartz crystal demonstrating transparency

Pure quartz, traditionally called rock crystal or clear quartz, is colorless and transparent or translucent, and has often been used for hardstone carvings, such as the Lothair Crystal. Common colored varieties include citrine, rose quartz, amethyst, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and others.[13]

The most important distinction between types of quartz is that of macrocrystalline (individual crystals visible to the unaided eye) and the microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline varieties (aggregates of crystals visible only under high magnification). The cryptocrystalline varieties are either translucent or mostly opaque, while the transparent varieties tend to be macrocrystalline. Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica consisting of fine intergrowths of both quartz, and its monoclinic polymorph moganite.[14] Other opaque gemstone varieties of quartz, or mixed rocks including quartz, often including contrasting bands or patterns of color, are agate, carnelian or sard, onyx, heliotrope, and jasper.


Amethyst is a form of quartz that ranges from a bright to dark or dull purple color. The world's largest deposits of amethysts can be found in Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Russia, France, Namibia and Morocco. Sometimes amethyst and citrine are found growing in the same crystal. It is then referred to as ametrine. An amethyst is formed when there is iron in the area where it was formed.

Blue quartz

Blue quartz contains inclusions of fibrous magnesio-riebeckite or crocidolite.[15]

Dumortierite quartz

Inclusions of the mineral dumortierite within quartz pieces often result in silky-appearing splotches with a blue hue, shades giving off purple and/or grey colors additionally being found. "Dumortierite quartz" (sometimes called "blue quartz") will sometimes feature contrasting light and dark color zones across the material.[16][17] Interest in the certain quality forms of blue quartz as a collectible gemstone particularly arises in India and in the United States.[16]


Citrine is a variety of quartz whose color ranges from a pale yellow to brown due to ferric impurities. Natural citrines are rare; most commercial citrines are heat-treated amethysts or smoky quartzes. However, a heat-treated amethyst will have small lines in the crystal, as opposed to a natural citrine's cloudy or smokey appearance. It is nearly impossible to differentiate between cut citrine and yellow topaz visually, but they differ in hardness. Brazil is the leading producer of citrine, with much of its production coming from the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The name is derived from the Latin word citrina which means "yellow" and is also the origin of the word "citron". Sometimes citrine and amethyst can be found together in the same crystal, which is then referred to as ametrine.[18] Citrine has been referred to as the "merchant's stone" or "money stone", due to a superstition that it would bring prosperity.[19]

Citrine was first appreciated as a golden-yellow gemstone in Greece between 300 and 150 BC, during the Hellenistic Age. The yellow quartz was used prior to that to decorate jewelry and tools but it was not highly sought-after.[20]

Milky quartz

Milk quartz or milky quartz is the most common variety of crystalline quartz. The white color is caused by minute fluid inclusions of gas, liquid, or both, trapped during crystal formation,[21] making it of little value for optical and quality gemstone applications.[22]

Rose quartz

Rose quartz is a type of quartz which exhibits a pale pink to rose red hue. The color is usually considered as due to trace amounts of titanium, iron, or manganese, in the material. Some rose quartz contains microscopic rutile needles which produces an asterism in transmitted light. Recent X-ray diffraction studies suggest that the color is due to thin microscopic fibers of possibly dumortierite within the quartz.[23]

Additionally, there is a rare type of pink quartz (also frequently called crystalline rose quartz) with color that is thought to be caused by trace amounts of phosphate or aluminium. The color in crystals is apparently photosensitive and subject to fading. The first crystals were found in a pegmatite found near Rumford, Maine, USA and in Minas Gerais, Brazil.[24]

Smoky quartz

Smoky quartz is a gray, translucent version of quartz. It ranges in clarity from almost complete transparency to a brownish-gray crystal that is almost opaque. Some can also be black. The translucency results from natural irradiation creating free silicon within the crystal.


Prasiolite, also known as vermarine, is a variety of quartz that is green in color. Since 1950, almost all natural prasiolite has come from a small Brazilian mine, but it is also seen in Lower Silesia in Poland. Naturally occurring prasiolite is also found in the Thunder Bay area of Canada. It is a rare mineral in nature; most green quartz is heat-treated amethyst.[25]


Herkimer Diamond

Pure Quartz at Senckenberg Natural History Museum

Rock crystal

Ametrin from Bolivia


(61-365) Can you imagine? (5320329773)



Blue quartz



Citrine 1 (Russie)



Rose quartz

Quarzo, varietà prase, da avissalos, grecia



Rutilated quartz


Sceptred quartz


Smoky quartz

Synthetic and artificial treatments

Quartz synthese
A synthetic quartz crystal grown by the hydrothermal method, about 19 cm long and weighing about 127 grams

Not all varieties of quartz are naturally occurring. Some clear quartz crystals can be treated using heat or gamma-irradiation to induce color where it would not otherwise have occurred naturally. Susceptibility to such treatments depends on the location from which the quartz was mined.[26]

Prasiolite, an olive colored material, is produced by heat treatment; natural prasiolite has also been observed in Lower Silesia in Poland. Although citrine occurs naturally, the majority is the result of heat-treating amethyst or smoky quartz. Carnelian is widely heat-treated to deepen its color.

Because natural quartz is often twinned, synthetic quartz is produced for use in industry. Large, flawless, single crystals are synthesized in an autoclave via the hydrothermal process; emeralds are also synthesized in this fashion.

Like other crystals, quartz may be coated with metal vapors to give it an attractive sheen.


Granite rock in the cliff of Gros la Tête – Aride Island, Seychelles. The thin (1-3 cm wide) brighter layers are quartz veins, formed during the late stages of crystallization of granitic magmas. They are sometimes called "hydrothermal veins".

Quartz is a defining constituent of granite and other felsic igneous rocks. It is very common in sedimentary rocks such as sandstone and shale. It is a common constituent of schist, gneiss, quartzite and other metamorphic rocks. Quartz has the lowest potential for weathering in the Goldich dissolution series and consequently it is very common as a residual mineral in stream sediments and residual soils.

While the majority of quartz crystallizes from molten magma, much quartz also chemically precipitates from hot hydrothermal veins as gangue, sometimes with ore minerals like gold, silver and copper. Large crystals of quartz are found in magmatic pegmatites. Well-formed crystals may reach several meters in length and weigh hundreds of kilograms.

Naturally occurring quartz crystals of extremely high purity, necessary for the crucibles and other equipment used for growing silicon wafers in the semiconductor industry, are expensive and rare. A major mining location for high purity quartz is the Spruce Pine Gem Mine in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, United States.[27] Quartz may also be found in Caldoveiro Peak, in Asturias, Spain.[28]

The largest documented single crystal of quartz was found near Itapore, Goiaz, Brazil; it measured approximately 6.1×1.5×1.5 m and weighed more than 44 tonnes.[29]

Related silica minerals

Tridymite and cristobalite are high-temperature polymorphs of SiO2 that occur in high-silica volcanic rocks. Coesite is a denser polymorph of SiO2 found in some meteorite impact sites and in metamorphic rocks formed at pressures greater than those typical of the Earth's crust. Stishovite is a yet denser and higher-pressure polymorph of SiO2 found in some meteorite impact sites. Lechatelierite is an amorphous silica glass SiO2 which is formed by lightning strikes in quartz sand.


Ewer birds Louvre MR333
Fatimid ewer in carved rock crystal (clear quartz) with gold lid, c. 1000.

The word "quartz" comes from the German Quarz ,[30] which is of Slavic origin (Czech miners called it křemen). Other sources attribute the word's origin to the Saxon word Querkluftertz, meaning cross-vein ore.[31]

Quartz is the most common material identified as the mystical substance maban in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It is found regularly in passage tomb cemeteries in Europe in a burial context, such as Newgrange or Carrowmore in Ireland. The Irish word for quartz is grianchloch, which means 'sunstone'. Quartz was also used in Prehistoric Ireland, as well as many other countries, for stone tools; both vein quartz and rock crystal were knapped as part of the lithic technology of the prehistoric peoples.[32]

While jade has been since earliest times the most prized semi-precious stone for carving in East Asia and Pre-Columbian America, in Europe and the Middle East the different varieties of quartz were the most commonly used for the various types of jewelry and hardstone carving, including engraved gems and cameo gems, rock crystal vases, and extravagant vessels. The tradition continued to produce objects that were very highly valued until the mid-19th century, when it largely fell from fashion except in jewelry. Cameo technique exploits the bands of color in onyx and other varieties.

Milan Jug with cut festoon decoration
Rock crystal jug with cut festoon decoration by Milan workshop from the second half of the 16th century, National Museum in Warsaw. The city of Milan, apart from Prague and Florence, was the main Renaissance centre for crystal cutting.[33]

Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder believed quartz to be water ice, permanently frozen after great lengths of time.[34] (The word "crystal" comes from the Greek word κρύσταλλος, "ice".) He supported this idea by saying that quartz is found near glaciers in the Alps, but not on volcanic mountains, and that large quartz crystals were fashioned into spheres to cool the hands. This idea persisted until at least the 17th century. He also knew of the ability of quartz to split light into a spectrum.

In the 17th century, Nicolas Steno's study of quartz paved the way for modern crystallography. He discovered that regardless of a quartz crystal's size or shape, its long prism faces always joined at a perfect 60° angle.[35]

Quartz's piezoelectric properties were discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880.[36][37] The quartz oscillator or resonator was first developed by Walter Guyton Cady in 1921.[38][39] George Washington Pierce designed and patented quartz crystal oscillators in 1923.[40][41][42] Warren Marrison created the first quartz oscillator clock based on the work of Cady and Pierce in 1927.[43]

Efforts to synthesize quartz began in the mid nineteenth century as scientists attempted to create minerals under laboratory conditions that mimicked the conditions in which the minerals formed in nature: German geologist Karl Emil von Schafhäutl (1803–1890)[44] was the first person to synthesize quartz when in 1845 he created microscopic quartz crystals in a pressure cooker.[45] However, the quality and size of the crystals that were produced by these early efforts were poor.[46]

Prototype synthetic quartz autoclave 1959
Synthetic quartz crystals produced in the autoclave shown in Western Electric's pilot hydrothermal quartz plant in 1959

By the 1930s, the electronics industry had become dependent on quartz crystals. The only source of suitable crystals was Brazil; however, World War II disrupted the supplies from Brazil, so nations attempted to synthesize quartz on a commercial scale. German mineralogist Richard Nacken (1884–1971) achieved some success during the 1930s and 1940s.[47] After the war, many laboratories attempted to grow large quartz crystals. In the United States, the U.S. Army Signal Corps contracted with Bell Laboratories and with the Brush Development Company of Cleveland, Ohio to synthesize crystals following Nacken's lead.[48][49] (Prior to World War II, Brush Development produced piezoelectric crystals for record players.) By 1948, Brush Development had grown crystals that were 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter, the largest to date.[50][51] By the 1950s, hydrothermal synthesis techniques were producing synthetic quartz crystals on an industrial scale, and today virtually all the quartz crystal used in the modern electronics industry is synthetic.


Some types of quartz crystals have piezoelectric properties; they develop an electric potential upon the application of mechanical stress.[52] An early use of this property of quartz crystals was in phonograph pickups. One of the most common piezoelectric uses of quartz today is as a crystal oscillator. The quartz clock is a familiar device using the mineral. The resonant frequency of a quartz crystal oscillator is changed by mechanically loading it, and this principle is used for very accurate measurements of very small mass changes in the quartz crystal microbalance and in thin-film thickness monitors.

See also


  1. ^ a b Quartz Archived 14 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine.. Mindat.org. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  2. ^ Quartz page on Mineralien Atlas
  3. ^ a b c Deer, W. A., R. A. Howie and J. Zussman, An Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals, Logman, 1966, pp. 340–355 ISBN 0-582-44210-9
  4. ^ Anthony, John W.; Bideaux, Richard A.; Bladh, Kenneth W.; Nichols, Monte C. (eds.). "Quartz". Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF). III (Halides, Hydroxides, Oxides). Chantilly, VA, US: Mineralogical Society of America. ISBN 0962209724. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  5. ^ Quartz Archived 12 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Webmineral.com. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  6. ^ Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis (1985). Manual of Mineralogy (20 ed.). ISBN 0-471-80580-7.
  7. ^ Anderson, Robert S.; Anderson, Suzanne P. (2010). Geomorphology: The Mechanics and Chemistry of Landscapes. Cambridge University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-139-78870-0.
  8. ^ Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine. (in German)
  9. ^ "{title}". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  10. ^ Tomkeieff, S.I. (1942). "On the origin of the name 'quartz'" (PDF). Mineralogical Magazine. 26: 172–178. doi:10.1180/minmag.1942.026.176.04. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  11. ^ Crystal Data, Determinative Tables, ACA Monograph No. 5, American Crystallographic Association, 1963
  12. ^ "Quartz Gemstone and Jewelry Information: Natural Quartz - GemSelect". www.gemselect.com. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Quartz: The gemstone Quartz information and pictures". www.minerals.net. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  14. ^ Heaney, Peter J. (1994). "Structure and Chemistry of the low-pressure silica polymorphs". Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry. 29 (1): 1–40. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
  15. ^ "Blue Quartz". Mindat.org. Archived from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  16. ^ a b Oldershaw, Cally (2003). Firefly Guide to Gems. Firefly Books. p. 100. ISBN 9781552978146. Archived from the original on 22 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  17. ^ "The Gemstone Dumortierite". Minerals.net. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  18. ^ Citrine Archived 2 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. Mindat.org (2013-03-01). Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  19. ^ The Encyclopedia of Superstitions By Richard Webster, p.19
  20. ^ "{title}". Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  21. ^ Hurrell, Karen; Johnson, Mary L. (2016-12-15). Gemstones: A Complete Color Reference for Precious and Semiprecious Stones of the World. Book Sales. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-7858-3498-4.
  22. ^ Milky quartz at Mineral Galleries Archived 19 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Galleries.com. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  23. ^ Rose Quartz Archived 1 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Mindat.org (2013-02-18). Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  24. ^ Colored Varieties of Quartz Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Caltech
  25. ^ "Prasiolite". quarzpage.de. 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  26. ^ Liccini, Mark, Treating Quartz to Create Color Archived 23 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine., International Gem Society website. Retrieved 22 December 2014
  27. ^ Nelson, Sue (2 August 2009). "Silicon Valley's secret recipe". BBC News. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  28. ^ "Caldoveiro Mine, Tameza, Asturias, Spain". mindat.org. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  29. ^ Rickwood, P. C. (1981). "The largest crystals" (PDF). American Mineralogist. 66: 885–907 (903). Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  30. ^ German Loan Words in English Archived 21 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. German.about.com (2012-04-10). Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  31. ^ Mineral Atlas Archived 4 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine., Queensland University of Technology. Mineralatlas.com. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  32. ^ "Driscoll, Killian. 2010. Understanding quartz technology in early prehistoric Ireland". Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  33. ^ The International Antiques Yearbook. Studio Vista Limited. 1972. p. 78. Apart from Prague and Florence, the main Renaissance centre for crystal cutting was Milan.
  34. ^ Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Book 37, Chapter 9. Available on-line at: Perseus.Tufts.edu Archived 9 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine..
  35. ^ Nicolaus Steno (Latinized name of Niels Steensen) with John Garrett Winter, trans., The Prodromus of Nicolaus Steno's Dissertation Concerning a Solid Body Enclosed by Process of Nature Within a Solid (New York, New York: Macmillan Co., 1916). On page 272 Archived 4 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine., Steno states his law of constancy of interfacial angles: "Figures 5 and 6 belong to the class of those which I could present in countless numbers to prove that in the plane of the axis both the number and the length of the sides are changed in various ways without changing the angles; … "
  36. ^ Curie, Jacques; Curie, Pierre (1880). "Développement par compression de l'électricité polaire dans les cristaux hémièdres à faces inclinées" [Development, via compression, of electric polarization in hemihedral crystals with inclined faces]. Bulletin de la Société minérologique de France. 3: 90–93.. Reprinted in: Curie, Jacques; Curie, Pierre (1880). "Développement, par pression, de l'électricité polaire dans les cristaux hémièdres à faces inclinées". Comptes rendus. 91: 294–295. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  37. ^ Curie, Jacques; Curie, Pierre (1880). "Sur l'électricité polaire dans les cristaux hémièdres à faces inclinées" [On electric polarization in hemihedral crystals with inclined faces]. Comptes rendus. 91: 383–386. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  38. ^ Cady, W. G. (1921). "The piezoelectric resonator". Physical Review. 17: 531–533. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.17.508.
  39. ^ "The Quartz Watch – Walter Guyton Cady". The Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on 4 January 2009.
  40. ^ Pierce, G. W. (1923). "Piezoelectric crystal resonators and crystal oscillators applied to the precision calibration of wavemeters". Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 59 (4): 81–106. doi:10.2307/20026061. JSTOR 20026061.
  41. ^ Pierce, George W. "Electrical system," U.S. Patent 2,133,642, filed: 25 February 1924; issued: 18 October 1938.
  42. ^ "The Quartz Watch – George Washington Pierce". The Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on 4 January 2009.
  43. ^ "The Quartz Watch – Warren Marrison". The Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009.
  44. ^ For biographical information about Karl von Schafhäutl, see German Wikipedia's article: Karl Emil von Schafhäutl (in German).
  45. ^ von Schafhäutl, Karl Emil (10 April 1845). "Die neuesten geologischen Hypothesen und ihr Verhältniß zur Naturwissenschaft überhaupt (Fortsetzung)" [The latest geological hypotheses and their relation to science in general (continuation)]. Gelehrte Anzeigen. München: im Verlage der königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, in Commission der Franz'schen Buchhandlung. 20 (72): 577–584. OCLC 1478717. From page 578: 5) Bildeten sich aus Wasser, in welchen ich im Papinianischen Topfe frisch gefällte Kieselsäure aufgelöst hatte, beym Verdampfen schon nach 8 Tagen Krystalle, die zwar mikroscopisch, aber sehr wohl erkenntlich aus sechseitigen Prismen mit derselben gewöhnlichen Pyramide bestanden. ( 5) There formed from water in which I had dissolved freshly precipitated silicic acid in a Papin pot [i.e., pressure cooker], after just 8 days of evaporating, crystals, which albeit were microscopic but consisted of very easily recognizable six-sided prisms with their usual pyramids.)
  46. ^ Byrappa, K. and Yoshimura, Masahiro (2001) Handbook of Hydrothermal Technology. Norwich, New York: Noyes Publications. ISBN 008094681X. Chapter 2: History of Hydrothermal Technology.
  47. ^ Nacken, R. (1950) "Hydrothermal Synthese als Grundlage für Züchtung von Quarz-Kristallen" (Hydrothermal synthesis as a basis for the production of quartz crystals), Chemiker Zeitung, 74 : 745–749.
  48. ^ Hale, D. R. (1948). "The Laboratory Growing of Quartz". Science. 107 (2781): 393–394. doi:10.1126/science.107.2781.393.
  49. ^ Lombardi, M. (2011). "The evolution of time measurement, Part 2: Quartz clocks [Recalibration]" (PDF). IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine. 14 (5): 41–48. doi:10.1109/MIM.2011.6041381. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  50. ^ "Record crystal," Popular Science, 154 (2) : 148 (February 1949).
  51. ^ Brush Development's team of scientists included: Danforth R. Hale, Andrew R. Sobek, and Charles Baldwin Sawyer (1895–1964). The company's U.S. patents included:
    • Sobek, Andrew R. "Apparatus for growing single crystals of quartz," U.S. Patent 2,674,520; filed: 11 April 1950; issued: 6 April 1954.
    • Sobek, Andrew R. and Hale, Danforth R. "Method and apparatus for growing single crystals of quartz," U.S. Patent 2,675,303; filed: 11 April 1950; issued: 13 April 1954.
    • Sawyer, Charles B. "Production of artificial crystals," U.S. Patent 3,013,867; filed: 27 March 1959; issued: 19 December 1961. (This patent was assigned to Sawyer Research Products of Eastlake, Ohio.)
  52. ^ Forwood, Anthony K. (2011). They Would Be Gods. Lulu.com. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-257-37362-8.

External links


Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz.

The name comes from the Koine Greek ἀμέθυστος amethystos from ἀ- a-, "not" and μεθύσκω methysko / μεθύω methyo, "intoxicate", a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.

Amethyst is a semiprecious stone often used in jewelry and is the traditional birthstone for February.


Chert ( ) is a hard, fine-grained sedimentary rock composed of crystals of quartz (silica) that are very small (microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline). Quartz (silica) is the mineral form of silicon dioxide (SiO2). Chert is often of biological origin (organic) but may also occur inorganically as a chemical precipitate or a diagenetic replacement (e.g., petrified wood). Geologists use chert as a generic name for any type of microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline quartz.

Chert is usually of biological origin, being the petrified remains of siliceous ooze, the biogenic sediment that covers large areas of the deep ocean floor, and which contains the silicon skeletal remains of diatoms, silicoflagellates, and radiolarians. Depending on its origin, it can contain either microfossils, small macrofossils, or both. It varies greatly in color (from white to black), but most often manifests as gray, brown, grayish brown and light green to rusty red (occasionally dark green too); its color is an expression of trace elements present in the rock, and both red and green are most often related to traces of iron (in its oxidized and reduced forms respectively).

Crystal oscillator

A crystal oscillator is an electronic oscillator circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a precise frequency. This frequency is often used to keep track of time, as in quartz wristwatches, to provide a stable clock signal for digital integrated circuits, and to stabilize frequencies for radio transmitters and receivers. The most common type of piezoelectric resonator used is the quartz crystal, so oscillator circuits incorporating them became known as crystal oscillators, but other piezoelectric materials including polycrystalline ceramics are used in similar circuits.

A crystal oscillator, particularly one made of quartz crystal, works by being distorted by an electric field when voltage is applied to an electrode near or on the crystal. This property is known as electrostriction or inverse piezoelectricity. When the field is removed, the quartz - which oscillates in a precise frequency - generates an electric field as it returns to its previous shape, and this can generate a voltage. The result is that a quartz crystal behaves like an RLC circuit.

Quartz crystals are manufactured for frequencies from a few tens of kilohertz to hundreds of megahertz. More than two billion crystals are manufactured annually. Most are used for consumer devices such as wristwatches, clocks, radios, computers, and cellphones. Quartz crystals are also found inside test and measurement equipment, such as counters, signal generators, and oscilloscopes.

Fused quartz

Fused quartz or fused silica is glass consisting of silica in amorphous (non-crystalline) form. It differs from traditional glasses in containing no other ingredients, which are typically added to glass to lower the melt temperature. Although the terms quartz and fused silica are used interchangeably, the fundamental structures and creation of each glass differ. Fused silica, therefore, has high working and melting temperatures. The optical and thermal properties of fused quartz are superior to those of other types of glass due to its purity. For these reasons, it finds use in situations such as semiconductor fabrication and laboratory equipment. It transmits ultraviolet better than other glasses, so is used to make lenses and optics for the ultraviolet spectrum. Its low coefficient of thermal expansion also makes it a useful material for precision mirror substrates.


Granite ( ) is a common type of felsic intrusive igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture. Granites can be predominantly white, pink, or gray in color, depending on their mineralogy. The word "granite" comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a holocrystalline rock. Strictly speaking, granite is an igneous rock with between 20% and 60% quartz by volume, and at least 35% of the total feldspar consisting of alkali feldspar, although commonly the term "granite" is used to refer to a wider range of coarse-grained igneous rocks containing quartz and feldspar.

The term "granitic" means granite-like and is applied to granite and a group of intrusive igneous rocks with similar textures and slight variations in composition and origin. These rocks mainly consist of feldspar, quartz, mica, and amphibole minerals, which form an interlocking, somewhat equigranular matrix of feldspar and quartz with scattered darker biotite mica and amphibole (often hornblende) peppering the lighter color minerals. Occasionally some individual crystals (phenocrysts) are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic texture is known as a granite porphyry. Granitoid is a general, descriptive field term for lighter-colored, coarse-grained igneous rocks. Petrographic examination is required for identification of specific types of granitoids. The extrusive igneous rock equivalent of granite is rhyolite.

Granite is nearly always massive (i.e., lacking any internal structures), hard, and tough. These properties have made granite a widespread construction stone throughout human history. The average density of granite is between 2.65 and 2.75 g/cm3 (165 and 172 lb/cu ft), its compressive strength usually lies above 200 MPa, and its viscosity near STP is 3–6·1019 Pa·s.The melting temperature of dry granite at ambient pressure is 1215–1260 °C (2219–2300 °F); it is strongly reduced in the presence of water, down to 650 °C at a few kBar pressure.Granite has poor primary permeability overall, but strong secondary permeability through cracks and fractures if they are present.

Halogen lamp

A halogen lamp, also known as a tungsten halogen, quartz-halogen or quartz iodine lamp, is an incandescent lamp consisting of a tungsten filament sealed into a compact transparent envelope that is filled with a mixture of an inert gas and a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine. The combination of the halogen gas and the tungsten filament produces a halogen cycle chemical reaction which redeposits evaporated tungsten to the filament, increasing its life and maintaining the clarity of the envelope. For this to happen, a halogen lamp must be operated at a higher temperature (250° C; 482º F) than a standard gas-filled lamp of similar power and operating life, with the side benefit of producing light of a higher luminous efficacy and color temperature. The small size of halogen lamps permits their use in compact optical systems for projectors and illumination.

Due to their relative inefficiency compared to LED and compact fluorescent lamps, halogen bulbs have been banned in many jurisdictions.

List of minerals

This is a list of minerals for which there are articles on Wikipedia.

Minerals are distinguished by various chemical and physical properties. Differences in chemical composition and crystal structure distinguish the various species. Within a mineral species there may be variation in physical properties or minor amounts of impurities that are recognized by mineralogists or wider society as a mineral variety.

Mineral variety names and mineraloids are to be listed after the valid minerals for each letter.

For a complete listing (about 5,000) of all mineral names, see List of minerals (complete).

List of rock types

The following is a list of rock types recognized by geologists. There is no agreed number of specific types of rocks. Any unique combination of chemical composition, mineralogy, grain size, texture, or other distinguishing characteristics can describe rock types. Additionally, different classification systems exist for each major type of rock. There are three major types of rock: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. They are all identified by their texture, streak, and location, among other factors.


A pangram (Greek: παν γράμμα, pan gramma, "every letter") or holoalphabetic sentence is a sentence using every letter of a given alphabet at least once. Pangrams have been used to display typefaces, test equipment, and develop skills in handwriting, calligraphy, and keyboarding.

The best-known English pangram is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". It has been used since at least the late 19th century, was utilized by Western Union to test Telex / TWX data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability, and is now used by a number of computer programs (most notably the font viewer built into Microsoft Windows) to display computer fonts.

Pangrams exist in practically every alphabet-based language. An example from German is Victor jagt zwölf Boxkämpfer quer über den großen Sylter Deich, which contains all letters, including every umlaut (ä, ö, ü) plus the ß. It has been used since before 1800.

In a sense, the pangram is the opposite of the lipogram, in which the aim is to omit one or more letters.

Quartz (graphics layer)

In Apple's macOS operating system, Quartz is the Quartz 2D and Quartz Compositor part of the Core Graphics framework. Quartz includes both a 2D renderer in Core Graphics and the composition engine that sends instructions to the graphics card. Because of this vertical nature, Quartz is often synonymous with Core Graphics.In a general sense, Quartz or Quartz technologies can refer to almost every part of the macOS graphics model from the rendering layer down to the compositor including Core Image and Core Video. Other Apple graphics technologies that use the "Quartz" prefix include these:

Quartz Extreme

QuartzGL (originally Quartz 2D Extreme)


Quartz Display Services

Quartz Event Services

Quartz (publication)

Quartz is a news website. It launched in 2012 and operates editions in Africa and India. The Quartz website and newsletters are free digital news publications with no paywalls nor registration requirements. In 2018, Quartz was sold to Uzabase, a Japanese business media company, for between $75 and $110 million.Quartz targets high-earning readers, calling itself a "digitally native news outlet for business people in the new global economy". Sixty percent of its readers access the site via mobile devices and forty percent of its readers are outside the United States.

In August 2017, Quartz's website saw more than 22 million unique visitors. More than 700,000 people subscribe to its roster of email newsletters, which includes its flagship Daily Brief.According to AdAge, Quartz made around $30 million in revenue in 2016, and employed 175 people. The same year, Harvard's Nieman Lab described Quartz as “among the fastest-growing and most closely watched digital news sites”.

Quartz Hill, California

Quartz Hill is a census-designated place (CDP) in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 10,912 at the 2010 census, up from 9,890 at the 2000 census. The name is also shared with the neighboring district areas of its border cities, Palmdale, and Lancaster. Quartz Hill was once home to the Quartz Hill Airport. According to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance report of 2009, the Palmdale / Lancaster urban area of which Quartz Hill is a part, has a population of 483,998.

Quartz clock

A quartz clock is a clock that uses an electronic oscillator that is regulated by a quartz crystal to keep time. This crystal oscillator creates a signal with very precise frequency, so that quartz clocks are at least an order of magnitude more accurate than mechanical clocks. Generally, some form of digital logic counts the cycles of this signal and provides a numeric time display, usually in units of hours, minutes, and seconds. The first quartz clock was built in 1927 by Warren Marrison and J. W. Horton at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Since the 1980s, when the advent of solid-state digital electronics allowed them to be made compact and inexpensive, quartz timekeepers have become the world's most widely used timekeeping technology, used in most clocks and watches, as well as computers and other appliances that keep time.


Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Other colors, such as yellow, green, blue and orange, are due to other minerals.

When sandstone is cemented to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism. The grainy, sandpaper-like surface becomes glassy in appearance. Minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, often migrate during recrystallization and metamorphosis. This causes streaks and lenses to form within the quartzite.

Orthoquartzite is a very pure quartz sandstone composed of usually well-rounded quartz grains cemented by silica. Orthoquartzite is often 99% SiO2 with only very minor amounts of iron oxide and trace resistant minerals such as zircon, rutile and magnetite. Although few fossils are normally present, the original texture and sedimentary structures are preserved.

The term is also traditionally used for quartz-cemented quartz arenites, and both usages are found in the literature. The typical distinction between the two (since each is a gradation into the other) is a metamorphic quartzite is so highly cemented, diagenetically altered, and metamorphosized so that it will fracture and break across grain boundaries, not around them.

Quartzite is very resistant to chemical weathering and often forms ridges and resistant hilltops. The nearly pure silica content of the rock provides little for soil; therefore, the quartzite ridges are often bare or covered only with a very thin layer of soil and little (if any) vegetation.


Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized (0.0625 to 2 mm) mineral particles or rock fragments.

Most sandstone is composed of quartz or feldspar (both silicates) because they are the most resistant minerals to weathering processes at the Earth's surface, as seen in Bowen's reaction series. Like uncemented sand, sandstone may be any color due to impurities within the minerals, but the most common colors are tan, brown, yellow, red, grey, pink, white, and black. Since sandstone beds often form highly visible cliffs and other topographic features, certain colors of sandstone have been strongly identified with certain regions.

Rock formations that are primarily composed of sandstone usually allow the percolation of water and other fluids and are porous enough to store large quantities, making them valuable aquifers and petroleum reservoirs. Fine-grained aquifers, such as sandstones, are better able to filter out pollutants from the surface than are rocks with cracks and crevices, such as limestone or other rocks fractured by seismic activity.

Quartz-bearing sandstone can be changed into quartzite through metamorphism, usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts.


Seiko Holdings Corporation (セイコーホールディングス株式会社, Seikō Hōrudingusu Kabushiki-gaisha), commonly known as Seiko ( SAY-koh), is a Japanese holding company that has subsidiaries which manufactures and sells watches, clocks, electronic devices, semiconductors, jewelries, and optical products.

Shocked quartz

Shocked quartz is a form of quartz that has a microscopic structure that is different from normal quartz. Under intense pressure (but limited temperature), the crystalline structure of quartz is deformed along planes inside the crystal. These planes, which show up as lines under a microscope, are called planar deformation features (PDFs), or shock lamellae.

Silicon dioxide

Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, silicic acid or silicic acid anydride is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2, most commonly found in nature as quartz and in various living organisms. In many parts of the world, silica is the major constituent of sand. Silica is one of the most complex and most abundant families of materials, existing as a compound of several minerals and as synthetic product. Notable examples include fused quartz, fumed silica, silica gel, and aerogels. It is used in structural materials, microelectronics (as an electrical insulator), and as components in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Inhaling finely divided crystalline silica is toxic and can lead to severe inflammation of the lung tissue, silicosis, bronchitis, lung cancer, and systemic autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Uptake of amorphous silicon dioxide, in high doses, leads to non-permanent short-term inflammation, where all effects heal.


A watch is a timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep working despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet. A pocket watch is designed for a person to carry in a pocket. The study of timekeeping is known as horology.

Watches progressed in the 17th century from spring-powered clocks, which appeared as early as the 14th century. During most of its history the watch was a mechanical device, driven by clockwork, powered by winding a mainspring, and keeping time with an oscillating balance wheel. These are called mechanical watches. In the 1960s the electronic quartz watch was invented, which was powered by a battery and kept time with a vibrating quartz crystal. By the 1980s the quartz watch had taken over most of the market from the mechanical watch. Historically, this is called the quartz revolution. Developments in the 2010s include smartwatches, which are elaborate computer-like electronic devices designed to be worn on a wrist. They generally incorporate timekeeping functions, but these are only a small subset of the smartwatch's facilities.

In general, modern watches often display the day, date, month and year. For mechanical watches, various extra features called "complications", such as moon-phase displays and the different types of tourbillon, are sometimes included. Most electronic quartz watches, on the other hand, include time-related features such as timers, chronographs and alarm functions. Furthermore, some modern smartwatches even incorporate calculators, GPS and Bluetooth technology or have heart-rate monitoring capabilities, and some of them use radio clock technology to regularly correct the time.

Today, most watches in the market that are inexpensive and medium-priced, used mainly for timekeeping, have quartz movements. However, expensive collectible watches, valued more for their elaborate craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal and glamorous design than for simple timekeeping, often have traditional mechanical movements, even though they are less accurate and more expensive than electronic ones. As of November 2018, the most expensive watch ever sold at auction is the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication, which is a mechanical pocket watch, reaching a final price of 24 million US dollars (23,237,000 CHF) in Geneva on November 11th, 2014.

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