Quartz Crystals from California
Why do we Love quartz crystals?
From prehistoric times, humans have treasured quartz crystals. Almost all indigenous peoples attributed near magical qualities to them,
as good luck charms, tips on sacred ceremonial wands, and used crystals in healing rituals. Ancient burial mounds in the Sacramento
Delta contained hundreds of clear, flawless quartz crystals, showing the ancient ones traveled great distances to obtain them, and revered them.
Imagine their wonderment, finding six sided spikes of clear stones that looked like ice but never melted, with rainbows that sparkled.
Quartz is the mineral on which the Stone Age was based, most early stone tools were fashioned from quartz. Outcrops suitable for tool making were some of the
earliest known mining activities, and mined quartz was traded across vast distances long before humans began to establish agricultural societies.
Micro-crystalline varieties of quartz, called chert or flint, were the first materials beyond wood and bone to be sculpted into tools. When struck properly,
chert fractures to create sharp edges. Throughout the Neolithic Age, most stone tools were made of chert. Quartz crystals lent well to the making of
projectile points and spear tips. Its hardness made it good for a flake cutting knife, hide scrapers, atlatl tips, and later arrowheads.
The single most important prehistoric use of quartz may have been to start fire. When struck with skill, particularly against iron or other metallic rock,
chert produces a long-lived spark, making it one of the most reliable and portable means of starting fires.
Today, we still treasure quartz crystals, for their pure aesthetic beauty which stimulates feelings of Joy, and for the Inspiration that flows
through you as you gaze into the interior of a crystal, often seeing rainbows, veils, phantoms, and inclusions. Incredible colors and
unusual shapes of completely formed crystals promote contemplation of the greater mysteries of Life. Scientists are intrigued with crystallography,
piezoelectric properties, and silicon chip technologies. From crystal and mineral collecting, to Feng Shui, to creating therapeutic environments
that promote healing, quartz crystals have abundant uses in modern times.
When you visit the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa, look for two quartz crystals from This Old Rock on display.
All photos by This Old Rock, or John French, are Copyrighted, ©, and may not be used without written consent. All Rights Reserved. This Old Rock 1998 - 2015