Crystal Rock: Earth’s Most Common Mineral
When you think of crystals, you can easily picture a luminescent, shiny rock that is used in mythical folklore. What you may not know is that crystal rock is actually a very common mineral in the Earth’s surface that has many uses, can come in many different forms and also found in different rocks as well. Crystal rock is typically called “quartz”, and is made up of a system of crystals that form together a hexagon pyramid. Crystal rock has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and its density weighs about 2.65 grams per centimeter. Although the most common form of crystal that we see as consumers is clear, flawless with pointed edges, most crystal in its natural, untouched form does not appear as this. This process of synthesizing crystals to get them in this shape involves hydrothermal action, which is the process of circulating hot water into the rock in order to loosen up the minerals to reach that “perfect” state. There are many forms of crystal rock that we see in the consumer market today; such as amethyst, and can also be found in other rocks such as granite, limestone and sandstone. Quartz can also come in different varieties, such as milk quartz, rose quartz and smoky quartz, depending upon their mineral makeup.
History of Crystal Rock
In history, Pliny the Elder, a Roman Naturalist believed that crystal rock was “permanent ice”, and thus was located at the top of the Alps. In Australia mythology, the aborigines used crystal rock as a common mineral in “maban”, the source by which wise men gain their magical powers. In more recent times, Charles Sawyer invented the crystal oscillator, which enabled the move from mined and cut crystal rock to being manufactured. In today’s consumer world, crystal rock is synthesized for polarization (rotating the plane of polarization of light), which allows for electricity to pass easily through them, proving to be useful in the production of oscillators, watches and gauges. It often gives a beautiful shine to any item.
As one could see, crystal rock is an extremely common and useful mineral found in Earth’s surface. Whether in its natural form or synthesized, crystal rock can morph either way and prove useful in today’s commerce driven world, or in historical folklore. Some rock collectors have crystal rocks in their collection. They remain one of their many prized possessions.