While the diamond is a popular choice for engagement rings, it is not officially the "love stone." That title belongs to rose quartz, a soft pink crystal you can find in several parts of the world. Despite its beauty, its lack of rarity keeps it from being highly valued as a gem.
Nevertheless, people have used rose quartz for thousands of years for adornment and healing. Learn more about the pink quartz meaning and how the semiprecious stone can contribute to emotional healing.
Rose quartz gets its name from its color, according to Carson Lee, instructor at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It is pink and falls somewhere between translucent and cloudy. "Some stones come in a wide range of colors, not rose quartz," Lee says. "Rose quartz is springtime; it's Easter; it's the color of the sunset."
The stone's hue can range from a pale pink to a medium-dark pink. It might also run to violet, orange- or purple-pink and occasionally a rose-red, according to the International Gem Society.
Typically, you find the deeper colors in the larger specimens; smaller pieces appear a lighter color. The special color of rose quartz comes from "microscopic inclusions of aligned silicate mineral fibers" that crystallized during cooling, according to GIA.
What's Love Got to Do With It?
Connected to the heart chakra, the rose quartz meaning is often one representing all types of love, including romantic love and familial bonds.
"As a necklace, rose quartz is especially powerful because it's worn close to the heart and heart chakra," crystal healer Keith Birch tells Healthline. "This enables the heart center to open and release any tensions or stresses held there."
Where Can You Find Rose Quartz?
You can find rose quartz crystals in numerous places worldwide, from Brazil and Uruguay to Germany, India and South Africa. Mozambique and Madagascar have big rose quartz mining operations. You can also find the stone of unconditional love in South Dakota.
People have mined and used the pink stone for millennia. Archaeologists have found rose quartz beads from as long ago as 7,000 B.C.E., according to Lee. "What a cool illustration of timelessness," he says.
From ancient Iraq, or Mesopotamia, to Egyptian and Roman civilizations, people were wearing rose quartz as adornment. The stone has a long history.
Compared to substances like marble, rose quartz is rare, but unlike other gemstones, it is abundant. Compositionally, it is a silicon dioxide (SiO2), or quartz.
So while other stones get their value from their scarcity, rose quartz offers an opportunity for a carver, sculptor or artist to add value. Because it comes in large sizes, you can turn rose quartz into sculptures, something other stones do not allow. Because it's not rare, making these items is not incredibly cost-prohibitive, Lee says.
Clearly, rose quartz is not a rare find. You can buy rose quartz for about $3.50 per carat on GemPundit. Despite its abundance, rose quartz has different categories of quality, including heirloom, best, better and good. Just the top 1 percent of rose quartz fall under the heirloom category, and these stones are medium-dark pink with an appealing cloudy translucence.
Buying Rose Quartz Crystal
The main factor in valuing rose quartz is its color — the more saturated and richer the color, the more sought-after the stone, Lee says. Bigger pieces usually display a more intense color, and rose quartz stones can be feet tall and wide, which only makes sculptures and figurine carvings more desirable because they will have that rich color.
The stone shows a range of transparency. In its finest quality, it is saturated pink and has translucent transparency.
Rose quartz also has fine inclusions that can create a phenomenon, which can be just as beautiful as it sounds. These inclusions are typically needle-like, and when someone cuts the stone or shines a light on the rose quartz, it reflects the internal inclusions.
That might sound unimpressive, but the result is that the stone can display an asterism (star) or a cat's eye, also called a chatoyancy. It might even show Tyndall scattering, which is a rare effect that makes the quartz appear blue in the right light.
Rose Quartz Properties and Uses
Rose quartz is relatively durable — ranking a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale — and tough, and not prone to breaking. That makes it a wearable material, according to Lee. In this sense, it's versatile and can be made into beads or cabochons, but the more translucent rose quartz might be faceted instead. It works well in multiple types of jewelry from earrings to pendants to rings.
Sculptors can carve larger pieces into figurines or often spheres. This was a historic use of rose quartz. Unlike other gems like lapis lazuli, ancient Egyptians did not crush it for makeup. However, ancient peoples did use rose quartz for talismans and medicinal purposes based on their belief in its ability to bring calm and improve anger, depression, emotional wounds and other negative emotions.
Rose Quartz Healing Properties
Like the ancients, many people today believe the heart stone has significant healing properties. Associated with unconditional love, the stone reportedly opens the heart chakra. Rose quartz helps heal or strengthen relationships or provide a sense of relaxation. In addition to promoting self-love, many believe that rose quartz may attract new love.
Crystal healing experts attribute a variety of physical benefits to rose quartz, too. According to Crystal Vaults, it boosts the skin, has anti-aging effects, helps the heart and circulatory system function properly, aids the body in releasing impurities and supports the female reproductive system in multiple ways.
Placing rose quartz under a pillow supposedly brings pleasant dreams; when the healing stone is on a pendant near your heart, it might relieve stress. Although you should not use rose quartz as a replacement for medical care, its soothing appearance alone might make a wearer feel better.
How to Recharge Rose Quartz
To reset your rose quartz, you must be in the right mental space. A good way to do that is to start with affirmations. Then, on a night when there's a full moon, place rose quartz somewhere the moon can reach it, whether that's inside or outside.
Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article: