This alluring gem is a variety of the mineral quartz and is named after its delicate hue. Rose quartz has been admired by both crystal collectors and gem enthusiasts for its soft translucence and beautiful shade that ranges from very light to medium-dark pink.
It is believed that the Assyrians, along with the Romans, were probably the first to have used this gem for crafting jewelry back in 800-600 BC. Rose quartz beads belonging to 7000 BC have also been found in Mesopotamia (now known as Iraq). This discovery draws focus to the gem’s considerable durability.
Rose quartz, in enormous forms, is typically found in pegmatites. It also occurs in hydrothermal veins. While Brazil mines the finest quality rose quartz, this gem is also found in Sri Lanka, South Africa, India and Madagascar.
People have been enamored by rose quartz for centuries as it was believed to have magical powers. The Egyptians considered it to have potent anti-aging properties, while Romans used it as a seal to signify ownership. In Egyptian and Greek civilizations rose quartz was often worn as a talisman for good luck.
It was also used by medical practitioners of the Middle Ages for creating healing potions. This gem is claimed to be beneficial in balancing emotions and for helping one deal with anger and disappointments. Additionally, it is considered a symbol of love and is thought to help create harmony in a relationship.
Today, the soft blush-hued rose quartz continues to entice people with its sheer beauty.
Hardness & Strength
A rating of 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, along with the lack of cleavage makes this gem durable for use in almost all types of jewelry. Heart-shaped rose quartz, often used in rings, is extremely popular and is sturdy enough to be worn on a daily basis.
Rose quartz is easily accessible and found in many deposits present across the world. They are usually not enhanced or treated in any way.
Abundance of natural material eliminates the incentive to produce synthetic rose quartz up to a significant level. The ones produced in laboratories do not hold a considerable presence in the gem and jewelry industry.
Quality & Grading
This gem can be found in different shades of pink, with the dark pink hue being the most desirable. It is usually difficult to find small specimens of this stone with good color. On the other hand, large sized rose quartz stones tend to display the most appealing shades.
There has been plenty of debate over the elements that are responsible for the color of a rose quartz. While mineralogical literature attributes titanium, manganese, and iron for its hue, other sources claim that it is actually caused due to microscopic inclusions of dumortierite — an aluminium boro-silicate mineral.
As with almost all gems, cutting and polishing can significantly alter the depth of color in a rose quartz. A highly polished version of this stone can look translucent and even transparent in some cases.
The translucent appearance of most rose quartz stones can be attributed to tiny inclusions. When polished, these inclusions (depending on their position and size) will actually enhance the beauty of the gem. Large surface cracks, however, bring down the value significantly as they can affect the stone’s durability and the way it reflects light.
Rose quartz is normally cut into cabochons and beads. Translucent rough is also used for carving dainty and whimsical figurines.
Certain specimens of this gem include a dense network of fine inclusions that align with the hexagonal crystal structure. When a cabochon is cut in a certain way, the base becomes perpendicular to the c-axis of the quartz crystal. This may result in asterism in the form of a six-ray star.
Rose quartz that is extremely transparent will be faceted for use in jewelry. Round, oval, pear and cushion are some of the most common shapes in which this gem is available. Its delicate color is often intensified by cutting the stone in larger sizes.
Rose quartz can be found naturally in a variety of sizes, including very large formations. This gives gem designers an opportunity to experiment with an assortment of shapes.
In terms of value, size is more important than carat weight because the density may vary across stones.
Based on its various properties, rose quartz can be further distinguished into the following categories of quality:
Only the top 1% of remarkably rare rose quartz stones belong to this category. They are medium-dark pink in color and have an appealing cloudy translucence.
This category comprises of the top 10% of rose quartz stones. They have a soft medium pink color and a cloudy appearance.
Top 33% of rose quartz stones fall in this category. Light pink in color; they have slight inclusions that give them a cloudy appearance.
This category includes the top 75% of rose quartz stones that are very light pink in color. They have slight inclusions and a cloudy appearance.
This gem is durable enough for most types of jewelry, and is perfect for daily wear. But it is essential to keep the following tips in mind to ensure that your rose quartz remains beautiful.
- Keep aside your rose quartz jewelry when engaging in vigorous activities, like sports, exercise and cleaning to avoid chipping and scratches.
- Always store rose quartz separately to avoid friction with other gems.
- You can use a warm soap water solution to clean your rose quartz jewelry.
- Use of ultrasonic and steam cleaners for rose quartz is not recommended.
This alluring gem is one of the most famous members of the quartz family and will never go out of style. Informed knowledge about its various physical and structural qualities will help you choose a beautiful piece of jewelry that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.