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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

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Quartz

A mineral that is a form of silica which commonly occurs as crystals. When free from impurities it is colourless and limpid (rock crystal) but it is also found in many colours.

There are three basic varieties:

  • Crystalline, including amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, cairngorm, morion, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and cat's-eye quartz.
  • Cryptocrystalline, including chalcedony (in several varieties), plasma (bloodstones), and flint.
  • Massive, including quartzite, aventurine quartz, and jasper.

Some quartz displays a chatoyant effect when properly cut en cabochon, resulting in a variety of cat's-eye stones. Quartz has a vitreous lustre and is piezoelectric, making it useful for broadcast emission and accurate timepieces.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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