The original name of quartz, crystal, comes from ancient Greek. The word is kristalos, which means ice, or according to some authors, crystalline waters. Pliny the Elder, the Roman naturalist, believed that quartz is actually ice so deeply frozen that it cannot possibly be thawed, and his belief was substantiate by finding crystals close to glacier in the Alps. It is also believed that quartz has the ability to decompose light. One other author, Diodorus Siculus, believed that crystal was made from water hardened by heavenly fires. To be honest, we find this belief the most beautiful of all.
It is certain that the origin of the modern name for this mineral came from the Saxon word "Qerluftertz" meaning "cross-vein-ore," which was later shortened to "Qurertz" - quartz. Saxon miners were the first to mention that word in relation to this type of stone in literature. A Saxon physician interested in mining matters by the name of Georg Bauer wrote: "The sparks of the same gold are seen to be almost attached to a species of a certain very white stone called by us [Saxon miners] quartz, and which is excavated in Cottenheide, and as far as I know your Nevio has seen it…this is another kind of stone, which at times is transparent, and is called by us quartz; sometimes it is very white, sometimes yellowish and sometimes bluish.”
Quartz was represented in the mythology of Australian Aborigines and the American Indians. It was used as a talisman. Often it is found in tombs in Europe, such as in Ireland, and was probably part of the ritual burial. The Irish called quartz "grian cloche" which means "stone of the sun."
In Europe rhinestones were made from quartz pebbles that were found on the shores of river Rhine, hence the name rhinestone. Although it can be as clean and transparent as a diamond, it is much more common and abundant, so it was usually used for production of less valuable jewelry and beautiful items, ornaments, various figurines, decorative crystal balls, and similar items. Quartz is easily faceted. One object of tremendous beauty is the Faceted egg made of Brazilian quartz. It has 240 facets and 7478 Carat. A glance at that artefact and it will convince everyone of what Pliny believed - that quartz rips light open and shows it to the world in its true form.
Many interesting facts are related to this mineral. So for example, a controversial crystal skull was made of quartz. It caused turmoil at the end of the 20th century as it was believed to be a relict of an old civilisation. Scientists, researchers, and writers flared into fierce debates about the origin and purpose, of the skull until it was discovered that it was actually the work of Eugene Boban, a notorious forger of works of art and antiquities. Of course, admirers of good conspiracy are easy led to doubt this - it is in fact just something that you would say if you wanted to cover up the existence of some alien civilisation. So it goes on.
Another fact related to quartz that raised many questions was the picture of the human body made by Kirilian photography that established the existence of aura - or so it seems. The person holding a pure quartz crystal would have a larger aura, as can clearly be seen in the photograph. It has since caused constant controversy between scientists and metaphysicians.
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