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Known for its delicate shades of pink and beautiful translucent luster, rose quartz is a favorite among modern gemstone and jewelry lovers. The stone has been used for thousands of years and has rich history as a gemstone for jewelry.
Affordable, durable and abundant, there is no reason not to add rose quartz to your jewelry collection.
Here’s everything you need to know before you buy rose quartz.
What is Rose Quartz?
Rose quartz is the rose colored variety of quartz, an extremely common mineral found abundantly around the world, occurring in very large specimens. Other famous quartz gemstones include citrine and amethyst which are also popular in jewelry.
Most rose quartz comes from Brazil, with Madagascar, India, Mozambique, Germany and South Africa also being notable sources of the gemstone.
Rose quartz beads dating back to 7000 BC from Mesapotamia (present-day Iraq) were discovered demonstrating that this stone has a long rich history in jewelry use.
One of the largest and most famous rose quartz specimens is the La Madona Rosa, which was auctioned for over $500,000 some years ago. It stood at close to 40cm in height and is known as one of the most valuable fine mineral sold at an auction.
- How to Choose Rose Quartz Color
Rose gold comes in a variety of pink shades, from pale pink to deep rosy hues. Gemstones with vivid coloring are the most sought after for use in jewelry, while rarer deep pink colors are the most in demand.
It’s believed that rose quartz gets its color from traces of titanium, manganese or iron present during the stone’s formation.
Rose Quartz Clarity
Rose quartz is often translucent, displaying a milky, turbid appearance. It is never fully transparent. This is a feature that reduces the value of the gemstone and a step-behind other major pink gemstones such as kunzite, morganite and tourmaline.
Rose quartz can sometimes contain rutile inclusions which can cause the stone to exhibit the highly desirable asterism effect, also known as the star effect.
Choosing Rose Quartz Cut
Rose quartz occurs in large formations in nature, which means that large-sized gemstones can be fashioned out of the rough. These are commonly cut en cabochon which enhances its smooth, lustrous surface.
Rose quartz can also be cut into numerous gemstone shapes, including more uncommon shapes such as Asscher, emerald, the rose cut and so on, although this is much less commonly done and often only with more transparent varieties.
Rose Quartz vs. Morganite
Morganite and rose quartz are very similar in terms of color. While they are generally easy to tell apart, some shoppers are confused by the similarity of these gemstones, especially when in rough form.
Here are some fundamental differences between rose quartz and morganite:
- Morganite has excellent transparency and luster whereas rose quartz is almost always milky or hazy. As a result, morganite is often used for engagement rings and other important types of jewelry while rose quartz remains a minor gemstone.
- In terms of durability, morganite ranks at 8 on the Mohs scale and is quite a hard gemstone whereas rose quartz ranks at 7. This means that morganite is able to scratch rose quartz.
- Morganite is much more valuable than rose quartz and retails at a much higher price.
- Rose quartz is a variety of the abundant quartz family while morganite comes from the beryl family and is a cousin of illustrious gemstones such as emerald and aquamarine.
Synthetic, Treated and Imitation Rose Quartz
Rose quartz is sometimes treated with radiation to enhance and intensify its pink color, but in general, specimens on the market are in their natural form.
While there is synthetic rose quartz, this is not common in jewelry as natural rose quartz is plentiful and affordable. Taken this way, there really isn’t enough incentive to produce rose quartz in laboratories.
Rose Quartz Jewelry
Rose quartz is very popular in craft jewelry and is often used in rough or cut form. It’s increasingly being used to create beautiful and well-crafted pieces as the demand for colored gemstones continues to rise. While rose quartz itself is not expensive, it can command high prices depending on the quality of the setting, the materials used and the brand name of the designer.
Rose quartz is rather durable and has excellent toughness with no cleavage. As a result, it can be used in any type of jewelry and is able to withstand exposure. Rose quartz fashioned into pendants, rings, earrings and bracelets is quite popular. It can also be worn in rings, although it is more likely to be scratched or damaged in this form. Protective settings such as bezel or halo can provide safety for the gemstone and keep it from knocks and shocks.
In terms of metal colors, rose quartz is commonly set in rose gold settings, as the two colors complement each other perfectly. The rose gold tends to bring out the color of the rose quartz and gives it a rich, sophisticated appearance. Most high-end rose quartz jewelry is made with this metal.
Yellow gold settings also create an interesting effect and adds a vintage touch to the piece. Rose quartz set in silver or white gold has a stronger contrast and makes for more striking, modern designs.
Because rose quartz is also recognized as the birthstone for January (along with garnet), jewelry made with this gemstone is an appropriate gift for January babies. And because it is a very affordable gemstone, it’s a gift that doesn’t burn a huge hole in your purse.
Cleaning and Caring for Rose Quartz
Although fairly durable, rose quartz can easily be scratched. If exposed to hard knocks, the gemstone can fracture or chip.
The safest way to clean rose quartz jewelry is to simply use a mild liquid soap and warm water to wash the piece. If you need to brush dirt and grime out, use either a soft cloth or soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners as they can cause damage to rose quartz.
When engaging in vigorous activities, such as gardening, playing sports or swimming, take your rose quartz jewelry off to keep it safe. Always keep rose quartz jewelry (or any gemstone jewelry for that matter) away from chemicals and detergents, including hairspray, cosmetics or perfumes. If it comes into contact with such chemicals, immediately wipe it clean.
Rose quartz has been known to be photosensitive. As a result, it can fade over time if exposed to sunlight, although this is apparently a slow process. In any case, it’s best to keep rose quartz jewelry out of direct sunlight.
Finally, when storing rose quartz, always place it in a separate dust-free bag or pouch, away from other gemstones and metals. Because of its softer nature, harder gemstones can easily scratch the stone.
Rose Quartz Meaning
Rose quartz is full of lore and symbolism as it is an ancient gemstone that has been around for thousands of years. Over time, the stone has grown to symbolize various positive aspects of physical and mental health.
Most importantly, rose quartz is known as the love stone, opening up the heart chakras to unconditional love, sensuality and beauty. Its soft blush tones have made it the perfect token of love and a popular stone among lovers and is seen as an aphrodisiac. It is believed to be able to restore trust in a relationship and is the perfect gift to a loved one.
Since ancient times, rose quartz was believed to hold magical properties. In ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian times, the stone was used as a talisman against evil and was believed to offer protection to the wearer. It has long been seen as an antidote to poison and a cleanser of the physical body.
Another benefit of rose quartz is as a sleep crystal, providing sweet dreams and taking away nightmares. It’s also a calming, relaxing crystal that is especially useful during traumatic or stressful times. Rose quartz also has strong connections with feminine energy and is believed to carry warmth, compassion, tenderness and nurturing forces within it.
It is also an important stone in Feng Shui and is highly prized among those who practise Feng Shui.
*Disclaimer: Jewelry Shopping Guide does not guarantee or validate any of the claims related to the metaphysical and alternative healing powers of this or any other gemstone. This information should in no way be used as a substitute for medical advice.
Where to Buy Rose Quartz Jewelry
Rose quartz may be a minor pink gemstone, but it is quite popular among gemstone and jewelry lovers. You may be able to find rose quartz jewelry at your local store, but taking your search online will give you a range of options to choose from, from high-end pricey jewelry to more budget-friendly designs.
Blue Nile offers a collection of high-end rose quartz and diamond jewelry that showcase the gemstone beautifully.
Helzberg Diamonds feature an extensive rose quartz collection at more affordable prices with most pieces retailing for under $100.
Amazon also has a wide range of rose quartz jewelry on offer to suit every budget and taste. Do your due diligence and vet the retailer’s after sales policies (especially returns policies) and trustworthiness before you buy. Check out their stunning rose quartz range here.