Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rock Review: Dendritic Quartz

"cosmos ring" on etsy
While researching for this article, I learned something totally new! For the longest time, I was under the impression that my beautiful dendritic quartz stones were marked with impressions of fossilized plant material. That is what I had been told by the gem dealer who first sold me the stone. Even the word dendrite comes from the Greek “dendron” meaning “tree.” I continued buying the stone because it has such beautiful patterns, and it is a good, hearty stone. It is not easily scratched or broken.

I started looking things up about dendritic stones (they come in more than just
quartz) I found out that I was totally wrong about how those beautiful patterns got in the stone! My apologies for any previous mis-information on the subject. As it turns out, the patterns in dendritic quartz are part of a fascinating geological process. Where a deposit of quartz in the ground may have tiny fissures running through it, mineral solutions flow through the rock fissures. Hot mineral solutions including manganese and iron are percolating through the quartz base, and when cooled quickly, they are solidified and frozen in time!
I feel glad to have that cleared up. I learn something new every day. Do you have any favorite stones with fun patterns? Let me know, and I'll try to find out how the cool patterns got there!

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