Rose Quartz Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
A popular variety of colored quartz, rose quartz makes a durable jewelry stone. Although commonly cabbed and carved, more transparent material can also be faceted.
Rose Quartz Value
Although quartz is one of the most common minerals on Earth, natural rose quartz is one of the rarer colored varieties of crystalline quartz. Still, it’s not an expensive gemstone. The most coveted colors are pure to purplish pink. These colors are hard to find with transparent clarity, instead showing a milky look.
For more information on quality factors for rose quartz, consult our crystalline quartz buying guide.
The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.
Rose Quartz Information
|Is a Variety of||Quartz|
|Colors||Light to medium pink, sometimes with a violet shade, also orangish pink, purplish pink, and (rarely) rose red.|
|Fracture||Conchoidal to uneven, granular in aggregates|
|Luminescence||Inert to weak, purple, SW only. X-rays produce faint blue glow.|
|Enhancements||Usually none. So-called “pink quartz” may turn strawberry red after laboratory irradiation.|
|Transparency||Transparent to opaque.|
|Absorption Spectrum||Not diagnostic.|
|Phenomena||Asterism, Tyndall scattering.|
|Pleochroism||Weak to strong, different shades of pink.|
|Optics||o = 1.544; e = 1.553. Uniaxial (+).|
|Etymology||Named after its color.|
|Occurrence||Primarily found in pegmatites, also hydrothermal veins.|
Rose quartz has long been known as an opaque to translucent gem material. Indeed, it remains a popular choice for spheres, beads, decorative objects, and other types of carvings as well as cabochons.
In the 1980s, transparent material was discovered in Madagascar. As a result, faceted rose quartzes entered the jewelry stone market.
With romantic associations due to its color as well as good durability, rose quartzes can make beautiful and affordable engagement ring stones. Rose quartzes are also considered gemstone options for 2nd and 5th wedding anniversary gifts.
Rose quartz gems seldom show transparency, especially above 20-30 carats. Large spheres of rose quartz appear milky at best.
Asterism, or the “star stone” effect, occurs rarely in quartz but is especially striking in rose quartz. Since rose quartzes may contain microscopic inclusions of rutile needles, cabs can sometimes show a six-rayed star when properly cut. Some cabs may display chatoyancy, a “cat’s eye” effect.
Rose quartzes may also display another phenomenal effect, Tyndall scattering, which occurs very rarely in gemstones. Fine particles of the appropriate size suspended in a medium can make light appear blue. While dust in the air makes the daytime sky blue, inclusions in some rose quartzes can turn all or part of the gem blue, when light strikes at the proper angle. This rare effect appears relatively frequently in Madagascar rose quartz.
Rose quartz may share its color with some other very popular gemstones, but its specific gravity (2.651) and refractive index range (1.544-1.553) can help readily distinguish it from pink varieties of sapphire, spinel, tourmaline, and topaz, as well as the more rarely encountered kunzite.
“Rose Quartz” or “Pink Quartz”?
Typically, rose quartz shows a light to medium pink color. It receives its coloring from fibrous inclusions of a mineral similar to dumortierite. Sometimes, amethyst (the purple variety of quartz) may influence it and give it a violet or purplish shade.
Researchers have discovered another rarer type of pink quartz that gets its color through a different process. Natural irradiation causes color centers based on aluminum (Al) or phosphorus (P) to replace silicon (Si) in the quartz atom lattice.
Although this quartz is still called “rose quartz,” some researchers have suggested naming it “pink quartz” to distinguish it from the more commonly encountered rose quartz, since it demonstrates some different physical and optical properties. Pink quartz occurs in euhedral or regular, distinct crystal shapes with well-formed faces, whereas rose quartz occurs in anhedral or irregular, intergrown crystal shapes with less distinct faces. Pink quartz may also show greater transparency.
Most significantly for jewelry use or display, pink quartz has significant sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) light. It can lose its color rapidly under exposure. Irradiation can restore the color.
In contrast, the more common rose quartz doesn’t have this sensitivity.
The crystal specimen in this rough and cut set features transparent, well-formed hexagonal shapes. It may belong to the rarer variety some refer to as “pink quartz.” The faceted gem, on the other hand, has the milky appearance more typical of rose quartz. Crystal, 4.6 x 2.7 x 2.3 cm, Sapucaia Mine, Galileia, Minas Gerais, Brazil; trilliant-cut gem, 6.40 cts, Madagascar. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
Many varieties of quartz can be synthesized in labs. Rose quartz (more specifically, “pink quartz”) has been created by adding Al or P to synthetic quartz and subjecting it to gamma radiation.
Rose quartz typically receives no treatments or enhancements. However, terminated crystals of rose quartz from Ganga Rosa, near Minas Gerais, Brazil, may turn strawberry red when irradiated. (Most other rose quartzes will turn yellow if irradiated). These quartzes may be the euhedral “pink quartz” variety.
Rose quartz occurs in many locations across the globe. Brazil and Madagascar are the main sources of gem material. (Brazil also produces “pink quartz”).
Other notable gem-quality sources include the following:
- United States: Maine, New York, South Dakota.
- Afghanistan; India; Japan; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Russia; Sri Lanka.
Unlike most other colored crystalline quartz varieties, rose quartz doesn’t form large, facetable rough. Transparent gems rarely exceed 30 carats, although translucent specimens can weigh several pounds.
The Smithsonian Institution holds a sphere of Brazilian star rose quartz that weighs 615 carats.
Rose quartz has a hardness of 7 and no cleavage, which make it an excellent choice for any type of jewelry use. However, since this material often contains inclusions, refrain from cleaning it with mechanical systems. Instead, use warm water, detergent, and a soft brush.
Reserve any jewelry made from the euhedral “pink quartz” variety for evening or occasional wear only. Store it in darkness, away from sunlight or other UV light sources, to preserve its color.
For more care recommendations, consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide.