A Variety of Quartz, Part 2: Is It or Isn’t It?

There are a lot of varieties of quartz on the market but there are also varieties of so-called quartz that are not actually quartz or are altered quartz.  Your seller SHOULD be up front and tell you what you’re buying.

Typical quartz varieties include:

Herkimer diamonds mined in Herkimer, NY by Dragon Dreams Jewelry, LLC (quarter for size reference)
  • quartz (clear, colorless)
  • milky quartz (translucent white)
  • rose quartz (pink/milky pink)
  • amethyst (purple quartz)
  • citrine (yellow/yellow green/yellow brown quartz – often heat treated to get golden/orange colors; natural is dichroic)
  • ametrine (bi-color yellow/purple quartz – amethyst & citrine)
  • aventurine (dark green quartz)
  • prasiolite (also green amethyst; pale green quartz – often heat treated, sometimes irradiated)
  • smoky quartz (gray/gray brown quartz)
  • cairngorm (brown smoky quartz)
  • morion (black smoky quartz)
  • Herkimer diamond (clear quartz, usually double terminated; from the area around Herkimer, NY)
  • for more details and a very thorough discussion of quartz and quartz varieties (including agate, jasper, chalcedony, tiger eye, and others) see http://www.quartzpage.de/intro.html

Quartz that is usually treated:

  • citrine (heat treated amethyst or smoky quartz is more common than natural citrine)
  • prasiolite (heat treated amethyst is more common than natural prasiolite)
  • carnelian (often dyed/heat treated)
  • onyx (colored onyx is almost always dyed

Quartz that is definitely treated

  • “aura” quartz is coated/bonded with a mineral to alter the color, like these:
    • aqua aura (gold coated quartz)
    • angel aura (platinum and/or silver coated quartz, sometimes with gold or other minerals)
    • flame aura (titanium coated quartz)
    • opal aura (platinum coated quartz)
    • rainbow aura (titanium and gold coated quartz)
    • cobalt aura (cobalt coated quartz)
    • rose aura (platinum coated quartz)
    • copper or tangerine or sun aura (copper coated quartz)
    • apple or emerald aura (nickle coated quartz)
  • mystic quartz (coated with titanium via thin film disposition)
  • azotic quartz (coated with thin metallic film disposition, similar to mystic)

Quartz that has been altered:

  • smelt quartz (melted down and reformed, may be colored in the process)

“Quartz” that is actually colored glass:

  • cherry quartz
  • volcano cherry quartz

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