Quartz comes in soooo many types, but specifically, I really like clear quartz.
A lot of people consider clear quartz to be a sort of jack-of-all-trades crystal that can substitute any other crystal. Personally, I find this to be a bit insulting. Clear quartz is incredible in its own way. It has a very specific feel to it that I can't quite describe. It's calm and aids in clarity. It's like water and air solidified into earth. It has no color, but there are times the light hits it just right and you learn that it actually contains all of the colors. There’s something about its transparency that really gets to me. I feel like it knows me. So simple, but still so beautiful.
I could wax poetic about this stuff all day, but let’s get to the facts.
Sometimes called "rock crystal" or even just "crystal," this mineral is pretty tough. It has a Mohs hardness scale number of 7, meaning it's a fairly scratch-resistant little dude. (For reference, 10 is the hardest on the scale.) If you have a piece of quartz sharpened to a point, it should be able to scratch glass, which is anywhere from 5.5 to 7 on the scale. Sometimes clear calcite is sold as clear quartz, but it's much softer, coming in at about a 4 on the Mohs scale. Calcite will feel somewhat "waxy" and often has a shimmery effect not typically found in quartz.
Sometimes people will try to sell glass or plastic as clear quartz. Plastic is easy to figure out, because it will feel warm/room temperature to the touch whereas glass or quartz will feel a bit cooler. One way to differentiate quartz from glass is the "sound test," because tapping them will produce different sounds. Here is a video demonstrating that.
It's not well-understood at this point in time but hitting broken bits of quartz against other broken bits of quartz can create a cold light called triboluminescence. If you're curious to see what this looks like, here is a video showing how it works.
According to The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, people once believed that clear quartz was congealed water. It makes sense. The stone can be very reminiscent of ice and was found underground where water might be. I've seen it written that clear quartz has the same "vibration" as water, so I wonder if this is related at all.
Quartz is used in watches and electronic devices. Some quartz crystals are called singing quartz which make a lovely tinkling noise when they tap each other. My goal is to get enough to make a windchime, but they're expensive, so it might be a while...
So it's clear (haha) that quartz is a very versatile crystal. Maybe that's why it's often used to substitute for other crystals in spells: not necessarily because it's just a stand-in for anything, but because it can do so many different things. It's pretty impressive what we've learned to use minerals for. Humans are somethin' else.
That's all for this post.