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Let us first point out that the main motivation for this article is to show
a couple of examples of macroscopic quartz stones. You may first find it
easier to inspect the figures presented bellow, as they offer a visual
presentation of this subject. If you are not so much interested in the
details, examining the photos should be enough to get a general feeling on
Above is summarized almost everything one needs to know (at least for most of the practical purposes, including collecting and using crystals and stones in a non professional, hobbyist way) about the most important varieties of macrocrystalline quartz.
Most of the stones in this group are macroscopic crystals, meaning that their structure is regular and their atoms repeat their positions in a regular fashion so many times, that we are capable of seeing the individual grains with naked eyes. Here is a non-exhaustive list of stones that belong in this category:
First and foremost, here we have the rock crystal, which is a transparent quartz stone that come in various shapes and forms, as individual, or in clusters and aggregates.
Then, we can notice the next two in line: amethyst and citrine. Those are probably the best known types of colored quartz. The first one is notorious for its unique purple color. No other crystal or stone can match it with its color -- and I can assure you, there are many more minerals that can be purple colored. The second one is more rare. Citrine is not as abundant as amethyst (or rock crystal for that matter). Its characteristic yellow color is what makes it stand out amongst all the other minerals from this family. An interesting fact worth noticing is that citrine and amethyst can be transformed into each other by using some simple techniques. This is exactly what some lapidarists will do to obtain citrine if not otherwise obtainable.
Not too far behind is rose quartz. This is the rose variety of quartz prized for its gentle color which is associated with love. Smoky quartz is another dark colored crystal from this group. Its color can be grayish, black or sometimes brownish of different intensity --- sometimes only a touch of black can make the otherwise transparent rock crystal a little bit dim, other times the black can be so intense that the transparency is almost lost.
Rutilated quartz is a composite built up by rutile needles added up to the original clear quartz matrix. Tiger's eye is another example. Its color is very specific as it is its shine. You can hardly get the feeling how beautiful it is just by looking at the photo.
Finally, we have given a couple of not so common specimens. Herkimer diamond is a real treat for many mineral and gem collectors. It is certainly one of visually most attractive gems from this group, with its 18 facets perfectly faceted by Nature Itself. Atlas diamond is one the rarest form of rock crystal from Morocco.
Last but not least in this list we present Girasol stone, which some people technically consider a white rose quartz, but its milky color is really unique and you get a very special feeling just by looking at it.
Tags: amethyst, citrine, rock crystal, rose quartz, rutilated quartz, smoky quartz, tiger's eye