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Crystalline Quartz Buying Guide

Although often overlooked, quartz is available in many styles at reasonable prices. Our crystalline quartz buying guide can help you pick your next piece.

5 Minute Read

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, star quartz, and gold in quartz. Separate value listings for amethyst and citrine contain price guidelines for these varieties.


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

Rock Crystal

Without trace impurities, quartz is colorless. This abundant material occurs in very large sizes. Often called “rock crystal,” colorless quartz can serve as an inexpensive alternative to other colorless gemstones.

In this video, Jake Talve-Goodman of The Concierge Gemologist discusses rock crystal and shows us many beautiful examples of this gemstone.

Doubly terminated rough crystals are somewhat rare. Gem enthusiasts sometimes erroneously call these gems “Herkimer diamonds.” This misnomer comes from their source, Herkimer, NY, where they occur in abundance. With high transparency, these gems sparkle when rough.

Smoky Quartz

Ranging in color from light tan to nearly black, smoky quartz can simulate imperial topaz. When faceted and set, these…

Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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