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Quartz – the Most Magical of Stones

By Melusine Draco

The most common mineral in the Earth’s crust is the quartz element of granite that reconnects us with the spirit within the landscape. Quartz is also one of the most popular of ‘crystals’, and pebbles having quartz as their dominant constituent are to be found on almost every beach, the differences in colour and appearance due to varying amounts of other minerals in each one, and also the way in which the quartz has formed.

Coloured varieties of quartz can be found on certain kinds of beach, the best known being amethyst, which is transparent to semi-transparent, purple to pale pink, with some white banding. Citrine is transparent to semi-transparent and golden yellow, while smoky quartz is deep yellow to brown. A variety of quartz that did not form large crystals when it cooled is known as chalcedony; it has a waxy lustre, is translucent, and has a milky-white, blue, gray or pale brown colour. The red variety, carnelian, glows with a warm fire when held up to the light and soon catches the eye on a sunny day near the water’s edge: the colours vary from pale to deep red.

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