Ancient civilizations thought the gods had petrified ice to make quartz crystals. Although our understanding of mineralogy has greatly increased, some still believe this gem holds mystical qualities. Indeed, with so many varieties, quartz offers something for all types of gem collectors. Available in extremely large sizes and often cut with mesmerizing designs, quartz is an excellent choice of material for lapidaries just learning their craft. In addition, its low cost makes it perfect for buyers on a budget and those looking to keep up with jewelry trends without breaking the bank.

This buying guide outlines the quality factors for crystalline varieties of quartz. Cryptocrystalline varieties, such as chalcedony and jasper, aren’t included.

Crystalline Quartz Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS quartz value listing has price guidelines for smoky quartz, rose quartz, rutilated and tourmalinated quartz, quartz with lepidocrocite, and star quartz. Separate value listings for amethyst, citrine, and gold in quartz contain price guidelines for these varieties.

Color

Quartz is a large family of gemstones. Not surprisingly, it occurs in many colors and varieties.

Colorless

Without trace impurities, quartz is colorless. This abundant material occurs in very large sizes. Often called “rock crystal,” colorless quartz…