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Why do the "same" crystals e.g. Clear Quartz, feel and look so different depending on where they were found? Part 1

This is a really interesting question, and I am going to talk about it using Clear Quartz as my example, but this applies to all crystals and rocks including Jasper and Agate and ...

Most geologists would initially same "yes, all clear quartz, whether from Brazil, USA, Australia, Madagascar or China ..., is all the same because its all made from Silicon and Oxygen and has a formula of SiO2."

Which is interesting in itself to know the most abundant mineral on the planet is made up of oxygen - and that's what we need to breathe to stay alive!

But there is other "bits" that make up the look of a crystal and the "feel" of it.

What happened as it grew?

Was there a flood and it grew in water for a while?

Was it very dry so it could only grow slowly and it kept getting dirt blowing on it making it not clear?

Was there earth quakes that created it to partly shatter and then grow back together?

Did other minerals fall on it like carbon to add "black" or hematite / iron to add "red" to its colour?

Did it have space to grow into an air bubble so that it grew obvious crystals?

Did it cool quickly so you cannot see crystals at all?

Did it grow "high up" on a mountain like the Himalayan Clear Quartz, or in the deepest mine that man has gone down into like in South Africa?

So depending on where it was grew/ was mined, can mean clear quartz in Brazil can look and feel very different to clear quartz in Australia. Australian quartz is usually very unclear because of the dry heat of weather, and Brazil's are clear, bright and sparkly because the land has a lot of rain.

So the weather, the movement of the earth in a local area, the closeness to a volcano, the height of the land in which the crystal was found, and the minerals in the surrounding soil or cave all create crystals that feel different and even look different.

Was the crystal formed by a lighting stick - making sand suddenly glass! This is called Lechatelierite a silica glass without structure (amorphous) SiO2. The result is an irregular, often foamy hollow tube of silica glass called a fulgurite.

Lechatelierite also forms from high pressure shock during meteoriteimpact cratering and the pure tektites known as Libyan desert glass, are composed of almost pure silica.

And there is the artificially created form produced by melting of quartz sand during a nuclear bomb explosion.

Next newsletter we will discuss more things that influence how a crystal feels in your hand and varies from one place to another.


This crystal grew in a glacier in high mountains of the Himalayan Ranges.


This crystal grew where a green mineral fell on the quartz creating a layer, then brown-purple, then green again, and so on


This crystals grew in starts and stops creating air pockets in it.


This crystal grew in water.


This crystal grew in an area of a lot of earthquakes.


This crystal grew where there was a big air pocket for big crystals to form.

Libyan Desert Glass

Libyan desert glass created by the extreme temperature and pressure from a meteorite over desert sand.


Very dry looking quartz from Australia's very dry climate.