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In need of some education please


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I collect and have lots of quartz. I thought quartz was quartz except you have rose quartz, smokey quartz, etc... i had some quartz that was a bit pinkish and thought that was rose quartz but i was told is wasnt.  I was told it was quartzite. How can i tell the difference between quartz and quartzite? Also is quartz crystal different than quartz and quartzite?

Take this piece of quartz for example. 

Its not crystal clear but light and a laser goes through it pretty well. It is not mixed with any other kind of rock either. How can i tell what kid of quart it is without posting pics of quartz all the time asking people to identify it for me lol. I am sure everyone will get sick of those posts lol.  Are there field tests i can do or is it mostly just visual? 

7BB400EF-7D55-41F1-A641-0CAE459989ED_zps

C7FAF0CF-D997-4EE3-9FBB-03AC74A3ECA9_zps

093B203B-3C90-41E1-9432-241797F5E61D_zps

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That piece looks like it's probably quartz. It's always hard to tell from photos alone though.

As to giving you a bit of an education, I'll give you a little info. This first part is going to confuse you, but I promise, by the end it will make sense.

Quartz and quartzite are both quartz. 

Quartz is igneous in nature. That means it formed from molten rock that solidified. As magma cools, the minerals in it begin to form crystals. The slower it cools, the larger the crystals can be. If the magma cools quickly, lots of smaller crystals form, and are mixed with other minerals. This is how fine grained granite forms. Generally speaking granites are composed of quartz, feldspar, and mica. It's difficult to pick out the individual minerals in fine grained granite. A slower cooling magma can form a type of granite called pegmatite. Larger crystals form in pegmatites and it's very easy to tell which mineral is which. The sample you posted in this thread appears to have come from a pegmatite.

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock. That means it formed from sediments. Granites and other quartz bearing rocks are broken down down by various natural forces, eventually becoming sand. Sand can be a mix of minerals or composed almost 100% by a single mineral. When these sands are compressed over a long time, they become sandstone. When the sandstone is composed mainly of quartz sand, it's called quartz sandstone. 

Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have been changed by vast amounts of heat and pressure. Both igneous and sedimentary rock can become metamorphic. When quartz sandstone undergoes metamorphosis, it becomes quartzite. 

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Thanks for your post it was very helpful. 

Your post did bring up another question though. Are you able to tell me how I find so much quartz  in southern Alberta? When I travel to the south I know a farmer there and I collect loads of quartz. It is scattered all over his land. The quartz there is where I find all my biggest pieces purest looking pieces. If quartz is igneous how can there be so much in Alberta? As far as I know we don't have any volcanoes near here. 

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5 hours ago, pRoDiEuS said:

Thanks for your post it was very helpful. 

Your post did bring up another question though. Are you able to tell me how I find so much quartz  in southern Alberta? When I travel to the south I know a farmer there and I collect loads of quartz. It is scattered all over his land. The quartz there is where I find all my biggest pieces purest looking pieces. If quartz is igneous how can there be so much in Alberta? As far as I know we don't have any volcanoes near here. 

When the rocks we see everyday were forming it was millions upon millions of years ago, at that time the entire planet had volcanic activity.

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3 hours ago, Au Seeker said:

When the rocks we see everyday were forming it was millions upon millions of years ago, at that time the entire planet had volcanic activity.

And volcanoes create igneous rock, but not all igneous rock is volcanic. Magma is essentially lava that never reaches the surface. There can be magma literally anywhere.

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