Gem Profile Feb. 24: About Rose Quartz

By on February 24, 2012
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
February 24, 2012

Today's Gem Profile is...

Rose Quartz, one in a Series on Quartz

Shop Rose Quartz Cabochons | Shop Rose Quartz Beads

rose quartz wire wrapped pendant

This rose quartz pendant by Judy Copeland is wrapped with gold craft wire in a plaited frame with pearl accents.

by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong, Wire-Sculpture.com

Quartz that has been colored by trace inclusions of iron (hematite), manganese and/or titanium, from pale pink hues through rose, mauve, smoky pink, rose red, and lavender pink colors, is the variety we know best as rose quartz.

(In fact, rose quartz may or may not be called pink quartz – keep reading to find out about this distinction!)

This beautiful pink stone is rarely found in crystal form; rather, it occurs massively in pegmatites; which means it can also be a component of the rock we call granite.

Rough rose quartz

A pretty chunk of rough rose quartz that I have decided to keep as a specimen, rather than to cut and cab it.

Rose Quartz in the East

Rose quartz wire jewelry set

Gina Smith recently won a blue ribbon at a state fair with this 3 piece set, made with pink quartz, Swarovski crystals, and sterling silver wire.

Although huge dikes of rose quartz that yield large blocks of carving material can be found and have been used by Oriental artists for centuries, one great example of a pink quartz that is not truly rose quartz but more likely a granite, is the amazing Pink Quartz Mountain Range in Sri Lanka called Jathika Namal Uyana.

Geologically, the rocks that form this huge area of mountains are said to be at least 550 million years old, and contain plant fossils that are said to be about 250 million years old! Such research almost verifies that the mountains are actually made of a form of granite. Nevertheless, as the material is a lovely color and easily carved, it is said that part of the Taj Mahal was made from this stone. Around the East, there are also many statues and tributes to Buddha intricately carved of this same material.

Rose Quartz carvings

Two nice examples of carved rose quartz that live in my studio.

Rose Quartz Properties

rose quartz wire pendant

Terri McMahon wrapped this 24x40mm rose quartz cabochon in 21-gauge round bronze wire with 4mm amethyst beads.

Some milky pink quartz is almost opaque, but most rose quartz is translucent. Rarely found is a transparent, or gemmy piece large enough to be faceted. The gem quality of rose quartz is usually compromised by internal fractures that either formed during climate changes in northern locations, or when mining procedures include blasting. Rose quartz is slightly dichroic, meaning that it has the ability to split light into a variety of polarizations or slight color changes in a mineral. When rose quartz has included rutile crystals that formed on an axis or asterism, a star pattern similar to a star sapphire can be visible. This very special stone is called ‘Star’ rose quartz.

Rose quartz faceted stones and rose quarts cabochons

A nice selection of rose quartz that has been faceted and cabbed. Private collection, Dale Armstrong.

Rose Quartz and Pink Quartz

wire wrapped rose quartz crystal

This rose quartz cluster reminded Jackie Morris of a castle with its points, so she kept the sterling silver wrap wires away from the main body to showcase the stone.

Actually there are two classifications for this color of quartz, and there are some who think the two should be distinctly separated from one another.

“Rose” quartz never forms as crystals whereas “pink” quartz occasionally does.

“Rose” is not sensitive to light, but “pink” should be kept out of sunlight to prevent fading.

Each variety forms in distinctly different environments, “pink” is rarely transparent while “rose” can be found clear; and “pink” owes its color to aluminum and is often found with smoky quartz.

Does the color/name of your quartz really matter when you are making a piece of wire jewelry?

Probably not, but I thought this was an interesting tidbit to share with you.

Rose quartz sphere

I actually picked this beautiful sphere up while I was in Tucson a few weeks ago, anticipating this article!

Rose Quartz in Culture

No matter the name, pink or rose quartz is the anniversary stone for the 5th year of marriage and it has been used by humans since the beginning of time, as seen by these arrowheads from Illinois that date between 2,200-1800 BP (before the present). It is also the official state “mineral” of South Dakota (the state “gem” is the Fairburn Agate) where no less than 10 rose quartz mines operate; a mansion was built from blocks of rose quartz in Rapid City; many store fronts in the Black Hills area are made of rose quartz, and tons of the hard, pink lapidary material are shipped all over the world to be used in the creation of ornamental items and carvings.

Rose quartz cut stones

Part of my personal rose quartz component collection.

Rose Quartz Locations

rose quartz cross

Linda Overman wire wrapped this rose quartz cross with rose gold craft wire.

Rose quartz can also be found in several global locations that include Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. View this link to see a beautiful specimen of pink quartz crystals from Maine; other notable North American areas are California, Georgia, Colorado, Virginia and Arizona. Stones that can be confused with rose quartz include: kunzite, morganite (pink beryl), pale amethyst and chalcedony.

Rose Quartz Metaphysical Properties

Wire wrapped rose quartz heart

Wire wrapped rose quartz heart by Joan Madouse in rose gold craft wire and rose gold beads.

Most of the legends and lore about rose quartz relate it to being the one stone responsible for all forms of “love” on the earth. Love of one’s self and of others, reconciliation of friends and/or lovers, attaining friendship, and unconditional love.

rose quartz metaphysical wand

A metaphysical "wand" that was cut from a large piece of rose quartz. Private collection, Dale Armstrong

Next week I will write a bit about the green quartz that we call aventurine. Have you made wire jewelry with aventurine before? Email pictures to tips@wire-sculpture.com, and they could be featured!

Shop Rose Quartz Cabochons | Shop Rose Quartz Beads

Resources

Print Resources:

  • Love is in the Earth by Melody, ISBN 0-9628190-3-4
  • Minerals of the World by Walter Schumann, ISBN 0-8069-8570-4

  • The Peterson Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals
    by Frederick H. Pough, ISBN 0-395-24049-2
  • Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Gems and Precious Stones by Curzio Cipriani and Alessandro Borelli, ISBN 0-671-60430-9

Internet Resources:

Gem Profile by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email


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6 Comments

  1. avatar

    BA

    February 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I’m loving these posts on FB. I get the email, but sometimes they get lost in all the black and white print. (Hundreds of emails a day / no time).
    I wanted to encourage you for your FB posts! Still want my emails too, they are saved as references.
    The past few years and now, I’m so embroiled in the matters taking care of my mum (88). She is my heart, but no time for passions like making jewelry, or anything else. So these posts keep the fires stoked in my artists heart, just as my ‘artist’s painting’ periodicals and books do my painting.
    You should know just how valuable these are!
    I love stones, the Rose Q you’ve shone here are lovely! I’d love to be able to go to THE show sometime and pick some rare treasures!
    Joyous Creations To You!

  2. avatar

    David

    February 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Hey, Dale – love the articles. I believe morganite is the pink to violet variety of beryl (the same family of emerald and aquamarine) not tourmaline. Keep ‘em coming!

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      February 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      You are absolutely correct David!! Thanks for catching that :)

  3. avatar

    Mindy Billings

    February 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Hello! I hope all is well with you and yours! I have a serious problem. My HP g7 (g series) laptop crashed. I have had to return it to hp and it has been weeks with no guarantee anything on it will be retrieved. Apparently this happens a lot w/ the g series so everyone: BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS!
    I have been a loyal customer and have been saving all the gemstone profiles as they are an invaluable resource. I referr to them often in my work. My question is then do you have any past profiles anywhere on this site or elsewhere? Or does anyone else have copies they can share? I am praying for good news.
    860jewelrylady@gmail.com

    • avatar

      Rose

      February 24, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Hi Mindy,

      You’re in luck! If you go to the left side of this screen, under “Jewelry Topics,” we’ve got a list of all the categories on our blog. Near the top is Gem Profiles, which is a list of all our Gem Profiles.

      I’m sorry to hear about your computer, I’ve had my computer decide to erase itself before and I know it is not fun :( I hope it is an easy fix and that you have it back soon!
      Rose

  4. avatar

    Ginny

    February 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Ok this is just funny becouse I was lookin threw my stuff and had just picked up a rose quartz dounut pendant and was thinkin of what to do with it as my lappy was booting up and what do I find in my inbox but this email about rose quartz.. Is that a hint about what i need to work on today or what..

    Thank you soo much for all you do and share with us you are awsome !

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