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Roger Weller, geology instructor                                
Quartz Family Gemstones-by Audrey LaClair
                               Rose Quartz

         "Rose quartz is opaque to translucent macrocrystalline quartz of pink to rose-red color. It normally occurs in the cores of large pegmatites as solid masses of rose colored quartz whose individual crystals have poorly formed boundaries" (  Rose quartz gets it's color from manganese, iron, or titanium.  It is sensitive to light and can fade.  It is rare to find rose quartz in the crystal form.  Rose quartz is rarely used as a gem because of the cloudiness and it's pale color.  But "rose quartz from the Black Hills has been used for mineral specimens, faceted gems, oriental carvings, beads, decorator items, building stones, and objects of art" (Larson and Honert p. 534).

photo by R.Weller


          "The color of rose quartz is still not completely understood. It has been said to be due to a number of different minor impurities present in the rose quartz including titanium, manganese and even colloidal gold.  However, recent studies using micro-analytical methods have discovered that the color of massive rose quartz is actually due to microscopic mineral fibers in the rose quartz. X-ray diffraction tests on these microscopic fibers yielded patterns similar to the mineral dumortierite but slightly different, suggesting the possibility of a totally new and as yet unknown fibrous mineral causing the color in massive rose quartz.  The rare transparent euhedral crystals of rose quartz owe their coloration to aluminum and phosphorous impurities. Their pink color is photosensitive and can fade in sunlight""

         Rose quartz is the alternative birthstone for January and is also the love stone.  This quartz can be used as a healing stone because it is said to heal broken hearts and lift up the emotional spirit.  It is said to increase fertility and helps to avoid miscarriages.  It can help prevent wrinkles and clear up one's complexion.  The rose quartz is said to have a calm, gentle effect; which is why this is popular in times of stress.

photo by R.Weller



·        Rose Quartz chemical composition: SiO2

·        Class: tectosilicate

·        Crystal system: Hexagonal-Rhombohedral; 32 (trigonal-trapezohedral)

·        Crystal habit: Usually massive with occaisional contact crystal faces, occurs rarely as small horizontally striated hexagonal prisms terminated by a combination of positive and negative rhombohedrons forming six sided pyramids.

·        Specific gravity: 2.65

·        Index of refraction: 1.54-1.55

·        Pleochroism: weak to distinct

·        Hardness: 7

·        Color: pale-pink to rose-red

·        Luster: vitreous

·        Transparency: opaque to translucent, rarely transparent

·        Cleavage: none

·        Fracture: conchoidal

·        Streak: white


Larson, Peter and Honert, James. “Rose Quartz of the Black Hills.” Lapidary Journal May 1997:534-538.  v. 31, n. 9.