Quartz is one of the most common minerals in the Earth's continental crust.
It has a hexagonal crystal structure made of trigonal crystallized silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2), with a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. Density is 2.65 g/cm³. The typical shape is a six-sided prism that ends in six-sided pyramids, although these are often twinned, distorted, or so massive that only part of the shape is apparent from a mined specimen.
Additionally a bed is a common form, particularly for varieties such as amethyst, where the crystals grow up from a matrix and thus only one termination pyramid is present. A quartz geode consists of a hollow rock (usually with an approximately spherical shape) with a core lined with a bed of crystals
History of Quartz
The name "quartz" comes from the German "Quarz", which is of Slavic origin (Czech miners called it k?em). Other sources insist the name is from the Saxon word "Querkluftertz", meaning cross-vein ore.
Quartz is the most common material identified as the mystical substance maban in Australian Aboriginal mythology.
Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder believed quartz to be permanently frozen ice. He supported this idea by saying that quartz is found near glaciers in the Alps and that large quartz crystals were fashioned into spheres to cool the hands. He also knew of the ability of quartz to split light into a spectrum.
Nicolas Steno's study of quartz paved the way for modern crystallography. He discovered that no matter how distorted a quartz crystal, the long prism faces always made a perfect 60 degree angle.
Charles Sawyer invented the commercial quartz crystal manufacturing process in Cleveland, OH. This initiated the transition from mined and cut quartz for electrical appliances to manufactured quartz..