What Gives Rose Quartz Its Color?
One of the most common forms of quartz crystals is rose quartz, having inclusions causing the stone to appear pink. The vast majority of rose quartz occurs in a translucent or opaque form as opposed to having true transparency.
Rose quartz often occurs in massive formations. It can be found in large specimens and is commonly used to make jewelry and other decorative items. Rose quartz is often quite milky or opaque, especially in comparison to clear quartz crystals.
The pink color of rose quartz makes this type of quartz crystal a particularly popular gemstone. Rose quartz is one of the most common varieties of crystalline quartz, with massive occurrences found on every continent around the world.
Its standard colors are gentle pastel pinks that range from almost white to an intense vivid mauve, but many specimens have an antique or raspberry tone due to vanadium impurities typically present within the crystal structure itself. Its because of these unique “rose” colors that makes rose quartz a highly sought after gemstone.
Read More: 6 Interesting Facts About Rose Quartz
What Makes Rose Quartz Pink?
Microscopic inclusions of a pink variant of the mineral dumortierite are what give rose quartz its pink hue. Typically, there are enough of these inclusions in rose quartz to prevent it from being transparent.
According to Geology.com, in rare cases, quartz can sometimes occur as transparent euhedral crystals with a pink color to them. These pink hued transparent crystals are usually a late-stage mineralization in pegmatite pockets.
The pink color of these specimens, especially those that are transparent, is thought to be caused by irradiation-induced color centers. This colors are prone to fading with exposure to heat or sunlight.
Quartz that is pink and transparent is rare in nature, but can be found in a number of locations around the globe.
Read More: Rose Quartz vs. Strawberry Quartz
A Deeper Look At What Gives Rose Quartz It’s Pink Color
For over a century, the scientific community has believed that the pink color of rose quartz has been attributed to a combination of titanium, manganese, and iron.
In the 90’s, a study was done that looked into both the color and asterism of rose quartz. And what they found after dissolving the stones in hydrofluoric acid was that a “tangle of extremely thin pink fibers remained after the acid treatment.”
Upon close examination of these pink fibers, they discovered that the fibers were a borosilicate with properties similar to dumortierite. After this study, it’s believed that it’s these pink fibers that give rose quartz its pink color and asterism. The fibers were named dididumortierite.
Types of Rose Quartz
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.