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July 15, 2011 in Natural
I’m always obsessing with something or other, and at the moment my obsession revolves around crystals. More specifically; quartz. As fascinating as they are to look at, their origin is at least equally interesting. Let’s take a look at some amazing crystals frequently used in home decor, and maybe learn something new along the way? =)
Available at OM Decor.
Second to the most common mineral in the Earth’s crust, quartz in it’s pure form is translucent. Common colored varieties include citrine, rose quartz, amethyst, milky quartz and smoky quartz. The one above is a milky quartz dipped in 24kt gold.
available at Trillium.
This votive is a beautiful example of a black “smokey” quartz. Quartz is not a rock, a but mineral (Specifically Silicon Dioxide, SiO2). A rock consists of more than one type of minerals =)
Available at Neiman Marcus.
Another milky quartz in it’s natural macrocrystalline form. So pretty!!
Designed by Eduardo Garza, available at Formentero.
These rose quartz bookends are mounted on 24kt gold stands and covered in gold leaf.
Available at OM Decor.
As previously mentioned, amethyst is also a variety of quartz, and can be seen in hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple.
available at HigherHeart
A subvariety of quartz, the Agate in it’s natural state is a roundish lump, a nodule, usually found in volcanic rock. When cut open and polished, the characteristic bands and patterns reveals itself. But how does the agate come to be? Volcanic rock frequently contain cavities formed by gasses in its molten state. It is into these cavities that water containing silica, finds it’s way in and lines the hollow, layer by layer. Variation in concentrations and chemical composition creates the layers we see as the beautiful bands in the agate.
available at A+R Store.
Agate is commonly dyed to produce clear bright colors. The dyeing process involves boiling the stone in an alkaline solution (bicarbonate), then soaking it in a dyeing agent, with different chemicals producing different colors. The bands are maintained in the dyeing process because the denser layers absorbs more “dye”.
image via Viva Terra.
So what’s the deal with the geode? The geode differs from the nodule in that it is hollow, the center part haven’t been “filled out” entirely. A geode may for example consist of beautifully banded agate, with clear quartz or purple amethyst lining the hollow cavity.
available at 1st dibs
A beautiful lamp designed around a geode. You can see the agate bands as well as the clear quartz crystals lining the center.
This is my own blue agate geode. It is very obviously dyed, let’s take a closer look:
Isn’t it amazing what beauty nature creates on it’s own? I find all of this super interesting (but I’m kind of nerdy), hope I didn’t bore you all to death. At least the images were pretty =)