Quartz – Day 8 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

This holiday season, why not get a mineral every day instead of chocolate? Today’s mineral is Quartz find out more about it below..

I dearly love this time of year, the sparkly lights, the cheerful music, the parties, the snuggly blankets, the cheesy movies – its FANTASTIC! And one of my favourite things is decorating the tree and our tree is a beauty!

Sparkly lights, lovely pine smell - the tree is the best!

Sparkly lights, lovely pine smell – the tree is the best!

Baubles are the glowing circular icing on the cake of the tree, and the best quality ones are made of glass. These baubles are often based on the original vintage baubles that were used throughout the last century. And glass is made from silica, the crystal form of which is Quartz!

Lovely vintage glass baubles from nordichouse.co.uk

Lovely vintage glass baubles from nordichouse.co.uk

 

A lovley quartz crystal photo from the MinDat website, taken by Rock Currier.

A lovely quartz crystal photo from the MinDat website, taken by Rock Currier.

 Quartz:

Chemical formula: SiO2
Colour: Colorless, Purple, Rose, Red, Black, Yellow, Brown, Green, Blue, Orange, and so on!
System: Trigonal
Hardness (Mohs): 7
Can you find it in the UK? Yes!

You can find quartz crystals all over the place, you can even find it easily yourself, especially on the beach!

Look for quartz crystals on the beach - but be aware that they will probably look rougher and white in colour than the lovely crystals you see in the shop!

Look for quartz crystals on the beach – but be aware that they will probably look rougher and white in colour than the lovely crystals you see in the shop!

For more information about Quartz please visit the MinDat website.

 

Rozenite – Day 6 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

This holiday season, why not get a mineral every day instead of chocolate? Today’s mineral is Rozenite find out more about it below..

So it’s the first Sunday of December and if you are anything like me then you probably spent most of the day getting your tree and decorating it!!

Decorating the tree is one of my favourite parts of the season - I wish it could stay up until March!

Decorating the tree is one of my favourite parts of the season – I wish it could stay up until March!

But now that the evening is drawing in, it’s time to snuggle up with a warm cup of hot chocolate (try putting some gingerbread flavour in – it’s AMAZING!) and start writing your greetings cards. This is something that I struggle with, as I always forget at least one person or can’t find the right address, and goodness me postage stamps cost a fortune now! There is also the argument that in this day of wasteful culture we shouldn’t send paper greetings cards as it is bad for the environment, but I love getting real cards, and so try to send them as often as I can. For you my dear readers, in lieu of a card I have made a donation to the MinDat website – a brilliant website that lists all the minerals we know about and provides beautiful images as well as extremely valuable information, so if you are looking for a good cause to support this holiday season, why not make it a mineral-ly one (full disclosure: I have no connection with the MinDat website apart from knowing a few people who add data to it, I am just a huge fan and [clearly] use it a lot so I like to give back)!

 

Seasons greetings to all my lovely readers! Here is a small donation to keep the wonderful MinDat website in business!

Seasons greetings to all my lovely readers! Here is a small donation to keep the wonderful MinDat website in business!

 

So many cards to choose from!

So many cards to choose from!

If you are like me though and want to send a real card, get out your pens and get ready to get writing – but in order for your pen to work you need ink, and some of the most famous inks throughout the ages have been made by oxidsing ferrous salts with different pigments. One of these salts can be found in the mineral Rozenite and it’s gorgeous – especially under the microscope!

 

The mineral Rozenite from the MinDat website, image by Mischa Crumbach.

The mineral Rozenite from the MinDat website, image by Mischa Crumbach.

Rozenite:

Chemical formula: FeSO4 · 4H2O
Colour: Colourless to white
System: Monoclinic
Hardness (Mohs): 2 – 3
Can you find it in the UK? Yes

The location of Rozenite in the UK from the MinDat website.

The location of Rozenite in the UK from the MinDat website.

Rozenite is not common in any quantity in the UK, but it has been found in the past on Anglesea, so perhaps if you visit you may still find some – however it is difficult to identify, given its generally white powdery nature as it forms as the alteration product of other more common iron sulphides (like Pyrite).

For more information about Rozenite please visit the MinDat website.