Quartz crystals are used to produce glass, abrasives and slurries for oil production.
Quartz is the most common mineral found on the Earth’s surface. It can be found in every geological environment, and is at least a component of all different kinds of rock. Quartz is a chemical composition of silicone and oxygen (SiO2). It comes in many forms called allotropes, which results in crystals of different colors and forms.
Quartz is commonly clear in color, according to the Galleries website. But it can also be cloudy, white, purple, pink, gray, brown and black. Quartz can be found all over the world. Purple quartz, which is also called an amethyst, can be found in Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Russia, Canada and U.S. Pink quartz, also called rose quartz, can be found in Brazil.
Quartz crystal rates a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. The Mohs scale was created in the 1822 by Friedrich Mohs. The scale is used to help classify rocks and minerals based on their hardness. The scale is 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest. Quartz is considered relatively hard, but it’s not as hard as topaz, corundum and diamonds.
Quartz is a piezoelectric cyrstal. Piezoelectric effect refers to the relationship between mechanical stress and electric voltage in solids. Quartz in a normal state is not a good conductor of electricity. However, when it’s compressed and heated, two separate electrical poles are created at each end of the crystal structure. Applications of piezoelectric devices are similar to air bags. in which a certain amount of force has to be applied prior to an electrical signal being sent to deploy the air bag.
Cleavage refers to how a mineral fractures and breaks. Minerals with perfect cleavage create flat-looking surfaces. Quartz cleavage is considered rhombohedral, which means that the cleavage along three sides of the crystal is weak. A rhombohedral shape is similar to a squashed box. Quartz crystals all demonstrate the same cleavage no matter what color the crystal is.