Crystal Quartz: What is it and what is it worth?
In a Scioly.org post from 2014, one anonymous user asks another anonymous user a question which has likely crossed the mind of anyone interested in mineral specimens. The user asks for someone to explain the difference between Crystal Quartz and Selenite, Albite, Calcite, and other colorless minerals with similar crystal structures. The user’s request is both simple and complicated. At first glance, it can be confusing to attempt to differentiate one colorless mineral from another, since they appear nearly identical to the untrained eye. As the second user explains, however, the difference lies solely with the intricacy and composition of the various crystal structures each mineral possesses.
The second user explains that Crystal Quartz, the subject of today’s post, is recognized by the six-sided crystals it forms, which create sharp points on the mineral’s surface. If you’ve looked for the six-sided crystals, but still aren’t sure, scrape the surface of the mineral against glass. If the glass gets scratched, it’s definitely Crystal Quartz, since crystal quartz possesses a score of seven on the mineral hardness scale. Other clear, crystalline minerals, as the second user explains, are considerably softer and will not scratch glass.
Now that you know how to identify Crystal Quartz, here’s how to tell what it’s worth: evaluate clarity, color, carat, and condition. The four C’s of mineral-appraisal are expanded upon in Rockhounding Arkansas’s article, “What are Quartz Crystals Worth?” The author writes that in terms of clarity, a high degree of transparency is considered valuable. For color, more unique colors will have a higher value. Smoky Quartz, such as Littlefield Home’s Smoky Quartz Clusters, is a rare quartz color caused by radiation and is considered more valuable than clear quartz specimens. In terms of carat (size), bigger specimens are more valuable. The last of the four C’s, condition, refers to how perfectly the mineral formed and how it was handled during mining/sourcing. If the quartz lacks internal flaws, external breakage, and overall luster, its value decreases. Quartz specimens loose additional value if they’re attached to a matrix, which adds unnecessary weight to the specimen and clouds its transparency.
Other factors which come into play when determining specimen value include aesthetics, scarcity, and collector’s value. Collector’s value is the most subjective factor of them all, since it varies by individual collector and refers to the work which put into obtaining the specimen. While some collectors might be more attached to a mineral they mined themselves, others might be more attached to a mineral they found and bought online or in-person. With Littlefield Home you can discover your own mineral specimens without having to be a mine or even a mineral expert. Determine your own collector’s value when you purchase a Littlefield Home luxury Crystal Quartz specimen!
(Crystal points in first photograph currently for sale at ADAC Suite 311!)