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Rock Study #6 – Quartz

Quartz is a common rock found in my part of the world. We see it just about everywhere we go whether it is on our walking trail or down by the river. We mostly have milky quartz.

Here is my specimen gathered locally and now sitting in my collection. Okay, I already had lots of quartz in my collection but since my nature study goals were to collect the samples this year, I decided to get another one…you can never have too many rocks. 🙂

According to Wikipedia, milky quartz is the most commonly found type of quartz and can be found almost everywhere. I know we have found it a lot of places we have traveled. Even though it is very common, it is still beautiful and amazing to look at.

Some more interesting facts I learned this time:

  • All granite has quartz and feldspar crystals in it. The crystals in granite are not large and perfect.
  • Amethysts are crystals of quartz colored a beautiful violet by the presence of a tiny amount of manganese.
  • Quartz crystals are six-sided.
Photo courtesy of Rob Lavinsky at

Another interesting aspect of our quartz study was the knowledge that our local gold mines were commonly quartz gold mines. The gold was extracted using a series of stamp mills, mixed with water, and then extracted using mercury. I have seen the stamp mill replica in our town and was told that when it was in operation the noise echoed all over the town. I can only imagine how that would have sounded!

If you are interested in studying more about quartz using the Handbook of Nature Study, don’t miss this challenge from the archives: Quartz Study

To refresh your memory, I am going to try to collect all fifteen rocks discussed in the Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads (Take-Along Guides).This month we spent lots of time out and about looking at rocks, collecting a few new ones, and enjoying our rock adventures. We did not actually complete any of the fifteen rocks from the book. I can see now that I need to be more purposeful if I am going to achieve this goal in the year 2013.

The affiliate links in this post are to things I own and highly recommend.


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