Quartz crystal is a clear variety of quartz sometimes called “rock crystal” and one of the most common minerals. The name, crystal, comes from the Greek, meaning, “ice.” Legends tell us that ancient people once believed that quartz was actually frozen ice crystals, frozen so hard it would never melt. Quartz crystal is probably most popular for it’s use in making crystal balls to predict the future, as far back as the Middle Ages.
Rock crystal is often known to have inclusions of other minerals, which form a new and different, but popular gemstone. Golden rutile inclusions produce a most beautiful stone, rutilated quartz, which has very thin strands of golden needles and spikes. Another form of quartz, called tourmalinated quartz, contains black needles, which cross and are quite beautiful when trapped inside the crystal. Phantom crystals, yet another form of quartz, have inclusions from other minerals like chlorite, hematite, or milky quartz. These inclusions form on the surface of the crystal and then the crystal grows out and around the growth, enclosing it inside. Since these new crystals are formed over a crystal complete with crystal faces it appears that there is a crystal inside the crystal. The enclosed crystals appear ghost-like, better know as phantom crystals.
Quartz is also sometimes heat treated to create different colors and it is occasionally dyed. The heat-treated quartz has a prettier and truer color. There are many varieties of quartz, which have stories of their own, such as amethyst, citrine, rose quartz and smoky quartz. The citrine is a very rare gemstone in its natural form but is often created by heating amethyst.