Discover the Allure of Quartz: The First in our Blog Series about Le Vian Gems
Welcome to our first in a series of many blog posts about Le Vian gems and the love and lore behind them! Today, we invite you to discover the allure of QUARTZ!
Some quartz may appear ordinary, while others are extra-ordinary! Both colorful and clear, quartz crystals are the most abundant in the world. They comprise the largest and most diverse family in the gem and mineral kingdom, making up about 20% of the earth’s crust. From ancient times till today, quartz crystals have been a source of light to mankind. Highly valued by spiritual leaders and healers as well as scientists and inventors, their attributes have played a key role in mankind’s evolutionary development.
Throughout history, quartz gems have been valued by nearly every civilization. As far back as Atlantis, the sun’s power was believed to be harnessed through a crystal as a source of solar energy refraction. It was used for diagnostic healing, meditations, spiritual development, as religious objects and to dispel evil and magical enchantments.
The Categories of Quartz
There are two main categories of quartz: One is Crystalline Quartz, which are usually transparent to translucent, and occur in fully formed crystals recognizable by the shape of the crystal. Quartz that fall into this category include: Rock Crystal Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Green Quartz, Smokey Quartz & Rose Quartz. The other is Cryptocrystalline Quartz, or Chalcedony, which are usually opaque to semi translucent. They usually consist of large numbers of tiny little crystals bonded together and they might include other rocks and minerals within them as well. They come in a large number of varieties and subvarieties. Some of the common varieties includes: Agates, Onyx, Carnelian, Blood Stone, Chrysoprase and the newest gemstone on earth, Aquaprase.
Today, we are writing about Crystalline Quartz since most of the Quartz gemstones that Le Vian offers is from this group.
The varieties of quartz that we are most familiar with are: Grape Amethyst™, Cinnamon Citrine®, Chocolate Quartz® and Mint Julep Quartz™. These varieties are a triple A meaning...they are abundant, available and affordable!
Amethyst is the most highly valued gem in the quartz family, with shades ranging from delicate pale lilac (Cotton Candy Amethyst®) to deep intense violet (Grape Amethyst™) This gem is the traditional birthstone for February and sixth wedding anniversary.
What was called the Bishop’s stone by Christian scholars for its purple color similar to their robes, is also associated with the tears of Bacchus, the God of the Grapes. Amethysto in ancient Greek means “not drunk” and the power of this gem is to provide clarity and sobriety.
Smoky Quartz, the Le Vianese variety named Chocolate Quartz®, was first reported to the gem world in 1837 and was named for its smoky brown hue. In the realm of dark stones smoky quartz offers a rare and beautiful transparency, that draws light from shades of brown.
We love the warmth of Citrine especially the spicy hued Le Vian® Cinnamon Citrine®. The name “citrine” is derived from the French, citron, meaning lemon. The colors of this gem range from pale yellow to deep orange. It is no surprise that it is associated with the power of the sun. Citrine is a comforting gem, energizing and life giving and encourages the flow of abundance in all areas of life.
Mint Julep Quartz™
Another favorite is Mint Julep Quartz™, one of the beautiful greens on Spring 2020 Le Vian Nature Greens trend. Mint Julep Quartz™ is a Praseolite (or Green Quartz), its color achieved through heat treating an amethyst.
Quartz gems are truly fantastic stones for jewelry. Because of the availability and abundance of some of the varieties of quartz, their availability from multiple sources, there really are no limitations to size, shape, and tones of color available. The only limitation would be a person’s imagination as to how the different shapes, sizes, and tones of color available in this gemstone group can be made into beautiful jewelry.
Gemological Properties of Quartz:
The name quartz comes from the Greek ‘krystallos’, meaning ice. Quartz is a mineral species that is made up mostly of silicon dioxide and forms in the hexagonal crystal system. Quartz comes in nearly all colors, and all transparencies. Quartz has a refractive index of 1.54 to 1.55.
Wear and Care for Your Quartz Jewelry:
With a hardness of 7 and good toughness, quartz is well suited to everyday wear in all types of jewelry. Special care should be taken to protect your Quartz jewelry from sharp blows, abrasion and abrupt temperature changes. To clean and maintain your Quartz design, we recommend the use of alcohol. When not being worn, jewelry should always be stored in a location that keeps pieces separated from each other, and away from heat, direct sunlight, and excessive moisture. Careful storage is important to ensure your design retains its “like new” beauty.