Rose quartz is highly desirable because of its unique color.
Rose quartz is a mineral in the quartz family. Quartz is the most abundant mineral found on earth; it makes up about 12 percent of the earth’s crust and is found in many places throughout the world. Rose quartz is named for its translucent rosy color and it is highly desirable for decorative carving. Today most rose quartz is mined in Brazil but other deposits have been found in India, Germany and, in the United States, in South Dakota.
Rose quartz is a silicate and is made of one part silica and two parts oxygen. Its unique color is due to metals within the crystal, but the question of “which metals” is still up for discussion among geologists, though most scientists attribute the rosy color to trace amounts of titanium. This crystal has a conchoidal fracture and no cleavage, meaning that it does not break in a specific pattern but, instead, breaks in curved surfaces much like a chunk of glass.
Quartz has many uses and rose quartz especially so. Because of its unique color, rose quartz is superb for use in the decorative arts. Carvings, statues and crystal balls are commonly made from rose quartz. Also, quartz is a hard mineral, possessing a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, a geologic scale of hardness from 1 to 10. This makes it a perfect abrasive mineral and, when ground, it is often used for blasting or sanding. Quartz is sometimes found on a micro scale as sand; this sand has many uses. Because of the mineral’s resistance to wear and high temperature, quartz sand makes for good foundry sand. Its melting point is higher than most metals, making it a perfect molding medium. Quartz sand is also used as filler in rubber, paint and putty. The petroleum industry uses quartz sand to make fractures in rock reservoirs.
Rose quartz is an igneous mineral, meaning that it forms from liquid rock. Quartz forms in slow cooling magma, which is liquid rock beneath the surface of the earth. As molten magma rises in the earth’s crust from a large reservoir called a pluton, it branches out in finger-like formations called pegmatites. Because they are on the outskirts of the pluton, the pegmatites are often rich in silica and oxygen. When magma rich in silica and oxygen cools slowly, crystallization forms deposits of quartz. Quartz is most often found in massive deposits and does not grow shapely crystals.
Many metaphysical enthusiasts believe that rose quartz has specific healing properties and can be used as a spiritual medicine. Because of its pink color it is often associated with friendship and love. It is associated with rights of forgiveness, compassion and is used in Wiccan spells to attract such attributes. According to the Psychics and Mediums Network, rose quartz can aid in the removal of repressed anger, hatred and jealousy. It is said to be good for the spleen or kidneys and can even be employed to increase chances of fertility.
A large deposit of rose quartz was found in South Dakota in the late 1880s. In February 1966 rose quartz was named South Dakota’s official state mineral. You can collect your own crystals; however, regulations have been adopted to prevent overmining. No more than one square meter of land may be disturbed by people collecting for their own pleasure and no public collecting is allowed on state or federal lands. Obviously it is against the law to remove a crystal found on private property without permission from the landowner but you can take home small pieces found on the sides of roadways with permission from the South Dakota Department of Transportation. Laws are in place because of concern that overmining of the mineral may lead to hastened erosion of the land.