Quartz varieties get confusing, but keeping them straight can also help keep you from getting ripped off. Rose Quartz and Strawberry Quartz are both varieties, but their price and qualities have enormous differences.
Ready to learn? Here’s our quick guide to Rose Quartz versus Strawberry Quartz.
What is Rose Quartz?
Rose Quartz is one of the most common forms of quartz crystal, having inclusions that make it appear pink at first glance. The vast majority of rose quartz occurs in a translucent or opaque form, instead of having true transparency.
Rose Quartz is used for two types of pink-colored quartz:
- Anhedral Rose Quartz- Formed as a mass, instead of distinct crystals. This is the most common variety and it’s rarely transparent, although light can often pass through. This variety of quartz is colored by titanium, iron, and/or manganese.
- Euhedral Quartz- Sharp-edged, well-formed crystals with high transparency and pink color are also called rose quartz. This variety is much rarer, and highly sought after.
Rose Quartz is easy to find, even if you’re looking for the euhedral form.
The anhedral form occurs in large enough formations you can even find furniture-sized carvings of it available, and it’s often pennies per gram in raw or tumbled form.
Rose Quartz is subjected to the usual treatment for crystals in the trade. It can be found as spheres, carved towers, cabochons, and many other decorative forms. The anhedral form is almost never faceted, it doesn’t have enough transparency to benefit from it.
More transparent specimens of euhedral Rose Quartz are cut as gemstones on occasion. While not overly expensive, these faceted stones are rare unless custom ordered. These specimens are also sold as raw crystals as well.
In nature, Rose Quartz commonly occurs alongside Smoky Quartz. This is seen dramatically in one of the few famous Rose Quartz specimens, La Madona Rosa. That particular formation sold for over half a million dollars at auction.
Rare specimens contain rutile, creating a star effect similar to that seen in rubies and sapphires when cut en cabochon. This asterism is highly sought after, and perhaps the most expensive form of rose quartz.
If nothing else, remember that Rose Quartz is usually translucent, as opposed to transparent, stone with a pink color. The crystalline form is more rarely available, and it’s hallmark is transparency.
Read More: 6 Interesting Facts About Rose Quartz
What is Strawberry Quartz?
Strawberry Quartz is a marketing name for hematite-included, clear quartz. People sometimes get them confused, since the usual use for “strawberry” in a product’s name means it’s pink.
Strawberry Quartz isn’t overly common, and it can command a good price. That’s dependent on the specimen for the most part since each is different. The inclusions in strawberry quartz are usually red lines or splotches inside the crystal. They’re rarely thick enough to color the whole stone.
Strawberry Quartz is often faked, especially for larger “formations” like towers. The tell-tale is bubbles contained within the transparent portions of the specimen. The few rare quartz crystals that have “bubbles” are inevitably things like enhydro quartz.
I’ve seen Rose Quartz sold as Strawberry Quartz on occasion, in addition to the name being attributed to red-dyed quartz or chalcedony. The important thing for the prospective buyer to note is that Strawberry Quartz is not a solid color, and rarely occurs in large formations.
Strawberry Quartz mainly finds itself into mineral collections as whole crystals. They can be a rather dramatic display, especially if the quartz crystal itself is of ultra-high clarity. It’s occasionally cut into cabochons, and very rarely into faceted stones.
Fortunately, the fine jewelry trade doesn’t move on interesting inclusions so the stone has remained affordable for the most part. Unique and high-end specimens can still command high prices, but that’s true of any stone.
The key takeaway is that Strawberry Quartz is named for pink-to-red inclusions rather than due to its overall color.
How Are They Similar?
The similarities start and end with the euhedral crystals of rose quartz compared to strawberry quartz. In that case, both are sharply defined silicate minerals, they just have different inclusions.
They’ll test out the same when it comes to hardness and most other qualities. Chemically they’re very similar, both being comprised of silica with some impurities for color.
The anhedral form of Pink Quartz isn’t easily confused for Strawberry Quartz unless the seller is being purposefully deceptive about the names of the mineral.
How Are They Different?
The main difference between these two minerals is in their crystalline form.
Strawberry Quartz is almost always contained in tight crystal formations while the vast majority of Rose Quartz occurs as a shapeless mass of silica. Tumbles of both materials compared side-by-side still have a big difference in appearance.
Strawberry Quartz is also more valuable, or at least valuable enough that it’s faked. While synthetic rose quartz does exist, it’s not viable commercially to produce as fakes when there are more valuable stones just as easy to mimic.
The level of inclusions is also different. The fibrous inclusions in Rose Quartz render the stone pink as a whole, while Strawberry Quartz is a speckled variety of clear quartz.
How Do I Tell Rose Quartz and Strawberry Quartz Apart?
Fortunately, you can easily tell these minerals apart at a glance.
Strawberry Quartz is usually high-transparency quartz with speckles and lines, Rose Quartz is just pink.
On very rare occasions you may run across a particularly heavy inclusion of hematite in quartz. The resulting Strawberry Quartz may appear dark pink or very light red at first glance, giving the impression that it’s Rose Quartz.
Closer inspection should reveal the spots or lines inside the crystal if it’s Strawberry Quartz. Color also matters: Rose Quartz is inevitably light pink instead of moving close to red in color. At the very most a weak loupe should reveal the inclusions contained in Strawberry Quartz.
So, there you have it: all you need to remember is that Strawberry Quartz is a clear quartz crystal with splotchy, hematite inclusions while Rose Quartz is simply pink quartz.