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- Natural Quartz Crystals -

   Although quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on earth, quartz crystals are of particular beauty. Quartz is made of Silicon and Oxygen, with two oxygen atoms for every silicon atom (SiO2). During crystalization, every silicon atom is surrounded by four oxygen atoms to form units called SiO4 tetrahedra.

(3D sterogram)

As the crystal grows, the three dimensional framework fits neatly and precisely into a stairlike spiral taking on a hexagonal (six-sided) shape.

(3D sterogram)
Many minerals, including appatite, beryl and snow crystals, share this property. Crystals begin growing from a "seed" or nucleus, usually on the inside walls of cavities, so only possess a single termination point.

Single Point Crystal
On occassion, the seed is free-floating and the crystal will grow in both direction, resulting in a crystal with double termination points.
Double Termination Point Crystal

   Quartz crystals have many other special properties giving them an almost magical charm. Quartz crystals are naturally prismatic, meaning sunlight shining through the crystal separates into colours matching that of a rainbow. They are also well know for their piezoelectricity effect, meaning they develop electrical charges at their ends when pressure is applied and vice versa. This makes them of particular use in pressure sensors and timing devices.


Sand Treasures
Minden, Ontario, Canada
K0M 2K0