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Roger Weller, geology instructor

Rose Quartz
by Melissa R. Stevens
Physical Geology
Fall 2007

Rose Quartz: One of a Kind


         Quartz is one of one of the single most abundant materials on the planet. It makes up approximately 12% of our earth’s crust by being present in several varieties of rocks. Quartz can be fibrous or microgranular and can come in many different varieties. Generally, quartz varieties are separated into two main categories, macrocrystalline or cryptocrystalline. Macrocrystalline varieties are those in which you can clearly see the individual crystals with the naked eye, and cryptocrystalline are those in which the crystals are so small they can sometimes go unseen even under a microscope. Amethyst, citrine, rock crystal and rose quartz are all different varieties of macrocystalline quartz; and flint and jasper are varieties of cryptocrystalline quartz.


*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College



*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College


Rock Crystal

*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College


Rose Quartz

*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College



*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College



*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College


Rose quartz in particular is an extremely interesting variety of the mineral quartz. This mineral varies from a pale pink to a rose red in color, has a vitreous luster, and a chemical composition of SiO2 This color is photosensitive and can fade when exposed to extreme constant heat and/or sunlight. This mineral has no cleavage, white streak and can be opaque to translucent and sometimes, but very rarely, transparent.

The mineral rose quartz is most often found in large, massive pieces, rarely in crystal form, and can be found in several different locations around the world, including Germany, India, Madagascar and the United States. One of the specific locations where a fair amount of mass rose quartz is found is in South Dakota. However, there have been some exceptional supplies of rose quartz crystals come from mining in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Rose quartz’s color varies from a pale pink to a rose red and is different from any other mineral that we are aware of because of this variation. In fact, nobody is quite positive exactly how the mineral obtains such a unique color. It has been said that it is due to traces of iron and/or titanium impurities within its composition. However, some geologists and mineralogists disagree with that idea and believe that it is due to traces of phosphate and/or aluminum. Recently, there has been much research done trying to determine the reason for rose quartz’s color. It has been discovered that there is a possibility that the reasons for the color differ when the mineral is found in crystal form and in massive form. Russian scientists have declared that when found in massive pieces, it gets its color from traces of titanium, but when found in crystal form, the pink color is due to the presence of phosphate minerals. As of now, it appears that the exact reason for this minerals unique coloration is still being decided, however, it seems safe to say that it definitely has something to do with the presence of titanium.

Generally speaking, rose quartz is very cloudy in appearance. Occasionally traces of the mineral rutile, which is an ore of titanium, are present, which cause an asterism effect in the rose quartz.

Rose quartz is used for a wide variety of things including ornamental and religious carvings, statues and jewelry.  Due to its cloudy appearance, often times pale color, and visible flaws in the stone it is the most attractive to the human eye when carved or rounded.  Most often this mineral is cut in pieces and used to make items such as figurines, vases, religious statues and carved trinkets. However, it is also popular for use in jewelry, but generally as cabochons or rounded beads, not as a gemstone.

An elephant carved in rose quartz, 4 inches (10 cm) long

Rose Quartz Carving

*Photo Courtesy of


Rose Quartz Spheres

*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College


Rose Quartz Cabochons

*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College


Rose Quartz Beads/Necklaces

*Photo Courtesy of R. Weller/Cochise College



In addition to being used for carvings and jewelry rose quartz is said to have many metaphysical properties as well. Many people believe that wearing a piece of rose quartz, whether it be in jewelry form or otherwise will bring you good fortune and assistance in many physical, mental and emotional aspects of your life. It is said that the mineral is helpful in treating depression, aiding in weight loss, preventing wrinkles, increasing self confidence, enhancing compassion, protecting against radiation, calming aggression, achieving inner peace and harmony and many, many more. The metaphysical properties that rose quartz is said to possess have been one influencing factor in its popularity.  



Works Cited