The colorless, transparent variety of quartz. Quartz is composed of silicon dioxide, the most common mineral in Earth’s crust after ice and feldspar. The name “rock crystal” emerged in the Middle Ages to differentiate it from colorless glass. The Greeks called water-color crystals krystalos, hence the name “crystal.” The name quartz comes from Old German, but its origins are unknown. Metaphysically, quartz is used for power, communication, and cleansing. Found worldwide, fine specimens of quartz can be found in Arkansas, Brazil, and Madagascar.
Birthstone for March
Meaning “sea water,” aquamarine is the light green to blue variety of the mineral beryl. Its ocean hues come from traces of iron. Aquamarine is almost always found in cavities in pegmatites or in alluvial deposits, and forms larger and clearer crystals than its cousin, emerald. One crystal found in Brazil weighed 245 lbs. Vikings wore aquamarine for protection on their long sea voyages. Today, aquamarine is used to bring peace and calm to its user. Fine specimens of aquamarine are found in Afghanistan, Brazil, USA, and Pakistan.