Detailed skull carving in quartz crystal.
The word “quartz” is derived from the German word “Quarz” and its Middle High German ancestor “twarc”, which probably originated in Slavic, cf. Czech tvrdý (“hard”), Polish twardy (“hard”), Serbian and Croatian tvrd (“hard”).
The Ancient Greeks referred to quartz as κρύσταλλος (krustallos) derived from the Ancient Greek κρύος (kruos) meaning “icy cold”, because some philosophers (including Theophrastus) apparently believed the mineral to be a form of supercooled ice. Today, the term rock crystal is sometimes used as an alternative name for the purest form of quartz.
Quartz is the most common material identified as the mystical substance maban in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It is found regularly in passage tomb cemeteries in Europe in a burial context, such as Newgrange or Carrowmore in Ireland. The Irish word for quartz is grianchloch, which means ‘sunstone’. Quartz was also used in Prehistoric Ireland, as well as many other countries, for stone tools; both vein quartz and rock crystal were knapped as part of the lithic technology of the prehistoric peoples.
In the 17th century, Nicolas Steno’s study of quartz paved the way for modern crystallography. He discovered that regardless of a quartz crystal’s size or shape, its long prism faces always joined at a perfect 60° angle. Quartz’s piezoelectric properties were discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880. Quartz crystals have piezoelectric properties; they develop an electric potential upon the application of mechanical stress. An early use of this property of quartz crystals was in phonograph pickups. One of the most common piezoelectric uses of quartz today is as a crystal oscillator.
Quartz crystal balls have been used for scrying for thousands of years. Scrying is the art of looking into a reflective surface, such as glass, water, a mirror, or a crystal, to gain mystical insight.
Size: 6cm x 5cm x 4cm