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Rock Crystal Gemstone

Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on  Earth  and  can  be  found  in  large  crystals, sometimes measuring many feet in length. Most  Quartz however, cannot be regarded as a gem as it is neither rare nor beautiful.

The term Rock Crystal is often used to describe  colourless Quartz, which for many centuries has been used to create such items as crystal balls.

Ancient Romans believed that Rock Crystal was formed by gods who were able to permanently freeze  ice.  It  is  often  formed  in  igneous  and metamorphic  rocks;  however  smaller,  finer quality Rock Crystals are discovered in geodes and pegmatites.

Rock Crystal should not be confused with “lead  crystal glass”. Rock Crystal is made by Mother  Nature,  whereas  lead  crystal  glass  is  man- made. With lead crystal, lead oxide is added to  the molten glass, which dramatically increases  the  refractive  index  of  the  glass,  giving  it  a  greater sparkle. For example, Swarovski - the  famous  producers  of  jewellery  and  sculptures  - is believed to add approximately 32% lead in  their manufacturing process, in order to produce  items that demonstrate maximum brilliance. 

Although  natural  Rock  Crystals  can  be  found  worldwide, some of the better quality samples,  those regarded as gem-quality, are located in the  UK, Switzerland, Madagascar and Brazil.

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