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Rose Quartz

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Colour:
Pink
Lustre:
Vitreous
A variety of Quartz

Two varieties of quartz are commonly called "rose quartz".

1. One is found in translucent masses made of intergrown anhedral crystals. It occurs in different hues of pink, sometimes blueish, sometimes more reddish; irradiation may cause the formation of smoky quartz color centers and add a gray tone.

Rose quartz is always showing a hazy to translucent character due to microscopic fibrous inclusions of a pink borosilicate mineral related to dumortierite (Applin and Hicks, 1987; Goreva et al, 2001; Ma et al, 2002), which group leader Rossman names "dididumortierite" (Nadin, 2007). These inclusions are probably the result of an exsolution from an initially homogeneous material.

The color of the fibrous mineral as well as the color of rose quartz is stable up to temperatures of about 575°C (Lehmann and Bambauer, 1978; Goreva et al, 2001) and is also generally stable in ultraviolet light (Goreva et al, 2001), although there have been occasional reports of material that pales quickly in daylight.
Pink fibers extracted from rose quartz
SEM image of pink fibers
TEM image of pink fibers
Pink fibers extracted from rose quartz
SEM image of pink fibers
TEM image of pink fibers
Pink fibers extracted from rose quartz
SEM image of pink fibers
TEM image of pink fibers

Rose quartz is dichroic, reflecting a preferential orientation of the included fibers.

Star rose quartz
Rose quartz from some localities shows asterism when cut as spheres or cabochons, much like that seen in certain sapphires. It is sometimes called star rose quartz. The six-rayed star is caused by reflections of the light from embedded fibers that intersect at an angle of 60°. The star's position depends both on the location of the light source and the position of the observer (Schmetzer and Krzemnicki, 2006; Killingback, 2008).

Rose quartz is commonly found in the quartz cores of pegmatites and is believed to form at high temperatures, but it has also been found in hydrothermal veins.

This variety is the rose quartz that is used in lapidary and carvings.
Crystals of this type of rose quartz have never been found.


2. The other variety occurs in well-formed crystals of similar color. Because of the substantial differences in the physical properties and causes of color it has been suggested to give the variety of pink-colored quartz that forms crystals the name "pink quartz"(Hori, 2001) or "Rosaquarz" (German for pink quartz, Rykart, 1995).

They are found as a late formation in pegmatite pockets, often overgrowing smoky quartz crystals in groups of parallel-grown crystals. According to Maschmeyer and Lehmann (1983), the color is caused by irradiation induced color centers based on aluminum, Al, and phosphorous, P, that replace Si in the atom lattice. A synthetic counterpart has been synthesized, and irradiation-induced P-bearing color centers have found to be responsible for its color, too, but aluminum was absent (Balitsky et al 1998). The crystals are also slightly dichroic; the strongest color is observed when the polarization plane is perpendicular to the c-axis.
UV-bleaching of euhedral rose quartz / pink quartz
The color in both natural and synthetic specimens is very light- and heat sensitive (Balitsky et al 1998). An example for its UV-sensitivity is shown on the photo to the left: a natural specimen was completely bleached within 10 hours of UV irradiation. This is much faster than the bleaching observed in smoky quartz or amethyst, and specimen should be kept in the dark to preserve their color.

The term "rose quartz" has also occasionally been used for quartz that is colored by other inclusions. Pale amethyst may be confused with euhedral rose quartz/pink quartz. Amethyst and euhedral rose quartz/pink quartz are both occasionally found overgrowing smoky quartz and may show similar sheet-like surface patterns. The non-destructive distinction between amethyst and euhedral rose quartz/pink quartz is difficult unless the crystals are free-standing. Then the different dichroic behaviour can be used to determine the variety: when the polarization of the light is changed from parallel to the c-axis to perpendicular to the c-axis, amethyst changes its color from blueish to reddish, whereas euhedral rose quartz/pink quartz changes from a more pale to a more intense pink color.


Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Rose Quartz.

Classification of Rose Quartz

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Physical Properties of Rose Quartz

Vitreous
Colour:
Pink

Other Names for Rose Quartz

Name in Other Languages:
German:Rosenquarz
Norwegian (Bokmål):Rosenkvarts
Simplified Chinese:芙蓉石

Other Information

Thermal Behaviour:
Pink quartz (euhedral) pales at about 200°C (Balitsky et al 1998).
The color of rose quartz (massive) is stable to about 500°C (Goreva et al. 2001)
Other Information:
Rose quartz (massive): may show asterism.
Special Storage/
Display Requirements:
Pink quartz (euhedral): Keep in the dark to prevent bleaching.
Rose quartz (massive): insensitive to light and UV, no special requirements.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Rose Quartz

Reference List:
References for Massive Rose Quartz

Wright, P.M., Weil, J.A., Buch, T., Anderson, J.H. (1963) Titanium colour centres in rose quartz. Nature: 197: 246-248.

Lehmann, G., Bambauer, H.U. (1973) Quarzkristalle und ihre Farben. Angewandte Chemie: 86: 281-290. [in German]

Applin, K.R., Hicks, B.D. (1987) Fibers of dumortierite in quartz. American Mineralogist: 72: 170-172.

Rykart, R. (1995) Quarz-Monographie - Die Eigenheiten von Bergkristall, Rauchquarz, Amethyst, Chalcedon, Achat, Opal und anderen Varietäten. Ott Verlag, Thun.

Goreva, J.S., Ma, C., Rossman, G.R. (2001) Fibrous nanoinclusions in massive rose quartz: The origin of rose coloration. American Mineralogist: 86: 466-471.

Hori, H. (2001) Nomenclature of Quartz Color Variation: Pink and Rose. Mineralogical Record: 32(1).

Ma, C., Goreva, J.S., Rossman, G.R. (2002) Fibrous nanoinclusions in massive rose quartz: HRTEM and AEM investigations. American Mineralogist: 87: 269–276.

Schmetzer, K., Krzemnicki, M. (2006) The orientation and symmetry of light spots and asterism in rose quartz spheres from Madagascar. Journal of Gemmology: 30: 183-191.

Kibar, R., Garcia-Guinea, J., Cetin, A., Selvi, S., Karal, T., Can, N. (2007) Luminescent, optical and color properties of natural rose quartz. Radiation Measurements: 42: 1610-1617.

Nadin, E. (2007): The secret lives of minerals. Engineering & Science: 1: 10-20.

Killingback, H. (2008) The positions of light spots on rose quartz star spheres. Journal of Gemmology: 31: 40-42.

References for Euhedral Rose Quartz / Pink Quartz

Fraser, H. J. (1930) Paragenesis of the Newry Pegmatite, Maine. American Mineralogist: 15: 349-364.

Maschmeyer, D., Lehmann, G. (1983) A trapped-hole center causing rose coloration of natural quartz. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 163: 181-186.

King, V.T., Foord, E.E., editors (1994) Mineralogy of Maine, Volume 1: Descriptive Mineralogy. Maine Geological Survey (publisher), 290-291.

Rykart, R. (1995) Quarz-Monographie - Die Eigenheiten von Bergkristall, Rauchquarz, Amethyst, Chalcedon, Achat, Opal und anderen Varietäten. Ott Verlag, Thun.

Balitsky, V.S., Makhina, I.B., Prygov, V.I., Mar'in, A.A., Emel'henko, A.G., Fritsch, E., McClure, S.F., Taijing, L., DeGhionno, D., Koivula, J.I., Shigley, J.E. (1998) Russian Synthetic Pink Quartz. Gems and Gemology: 34: 34-43.

King, V.T., editor (2000) Mineralogy of Maine, Volume 2: Mining History, Gems, Geology. Maine Geological Survey (publisher), 172.

Hori, H. (2001) Nomenclature of Quartz Color Variation: Pink and Rose. Mineralogical Record: 32(1).

Internet Links for Rose Quartz

Specimens:
The following Rose Quartz specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Rose Quartz

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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