The Importance of The Quartz Family

The Crystal Workshop: A Journey into the Healing Power of Crystals - Azalea Lee 2020

The Importance of The Quartz Family

HAVE YOU EVER looked at a watch and seen the word quartz written on its face? You may understand that quartz is a part of the watch, but why is it so important that it gets such high billing, written alongside the watch’s brand name?

This is because of the revolutionary way quartz has affected timekeeping.

It used to be that watches were entirely dependent on some mechanical force to keep accurate time. To keep this consistent time, they need something oscillating—something swinging back and forth at a regular speed. For instance, the ticktock of an old grandfather clock is a result of the giant pendulum beneath, swinging rhythmically to and fro, keeping time with its steady oscillations.

One of the miraculous properties of quartz is that it’s piezoelectric, meaning that when you apply mechanical stress to it (for example, by squeezing it), it generates an electric charge. This property also works in reverse. If you run an electric current through quartz, the quartz will change shape, as if it’s being physically squeezed. Accurately shaping and positioning the quartz, then applying continual electrical energy to it, causes the quartz to oscillate and vibrate in a rhythmic way. And because quartz oscillates with an especially precise and consistent frequency, it is used to keep supremely accurate time in watches.

Although there are other piezoelectric minerals, quartz’s abundance and physical stability means that it is the standard timekeeping material around the world. Cell phones, cars, computers, GPS, pressure and temperature sensors, printers, cochlear implants, and heart pacemakers also depend on quartz’s precise resonating frequency in order to function. So it is accurate to say that the existence of our modern technological world is based on quartz. But . . .


When a single silicon atom (Si) bonds with two oxygen atoms (O2) the result is a molecule called silicon dioxide (SiO2). The bonding of these three atoms forms a building block that, when stacked and bonded in a coherent and orderly way, creates a crystalline structure known as quartz.

Now for a little lesson on silicon and its prevalence on our planet. Also interchangeably called silica, silicon dioxide makes up 15 percent of the Earth’s crust. Any mineral that contains any amount of silicon dioxide is called a silicate. The class of silicates includes many different kinds of crystal subclasses including all feldspars, garnets, zircons, rhyolites, flints, tourmalines, zeolites, and more. The next page shows examples of some of these silicates, including chrysocolla [Cu2H2Si2O5(OH)4], andradite garnet [Ca3Fe2Si3O12], lepidolite [K(Li,Al)3(Si,Al)4O10(F,OH)2], phenakite [Be2SiO4], topaz [Al2SiO4(F,OH)2], zircon [ZrSiO4], epidote [{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)], sodalite [Na8Al6Si6O24Cl2], and hemimorphite [Zn4Si2O7(OH)2 • H2O]. Notice how all have some combination of silicon (Si) and oxygen (O). It is the silicate family that makes up over 95 percent of the Earth’s crust. This means . . .

We’re literally floating on a crystal ball in outer space!

As you now see, much of our planet’s crust is derived from some combination of silicon and oxygen, with a significant percentage in the form of quartz.


When most people think of quartz, they think of the colorless and translucent variety known as rock crystal. Many people are also familiar with varieties that have quartz in their names, like rose quartz and smoky quartz. But did you know amethyst and citrine are quartzes too? Quartzes like these can become colored when trace minerals are built into their crystal lattice during their growth. Quartz actually comes in hundreds of varieties that differ in color, shape, and size, with new variations discovered every year.

The classic image of quartz is of a colorless, translucent crystal with angular points. When quartz has individual and distinct crystals that can be seen by your naked eye, it fits in a subgroup of quartzes known as macrocrystalline quartz. Examples in this category include clear quartz (aka rock crystal), amethyst, and smoky quartz. But there are also varieties of quartz where the individual crystals are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. If you can see the crystals under an optical microscope, then the quartz is considered a microcrystalline quartz. If you need an X-ray or electron microscope to see the individual crystals, it is considered a type of cryptocrystalline quartz.

Here’s where the subgroups can get a little confusing (but hang in there with me, because this is helpful background information to know when shopping for crystals): Any rock called an agate, onyx, jasper, aventurine, chert, flint, chrysoprase, or chalcedony is either a micro- or cryptocrystalline quartz. But whether the stone is actually considered micro- or cryptocrystalline depends on if you are using the old or modern classification system. To add even more confusion, people who discover rocks sometimes misidentify them and call a stone, say, a jasper, when in fact it is not. (And these names can stick—as with Dalmatian jasper, which is not truly a jasper because it does not contain any quartz.) However, to simplify this information using the modern classification system, it is precise to call all micro- and cryptocrystalline quartzes types of chalcedony.

While macrocrystalline quartzes like amethyst or smoky quartz have a consistent chemical formula throughout the crystal, chalcedonies intermix quartz with other minerals. For example, jaspers are rocks that have fractures and voids filled with other kinds of rocks, while agates have bands of quartz of varying translucency, with layers sometimes picking up color as other minerals become embedded within them. Onyx is really just black-and-white banded agate, though there’s been such a long history of using it as a lapidary stone, the name has stuck.

When the same silicon dioxide molecules that make up quartz are not bonded in an orderly structure but are instead connected as a jumble of atoms like Lego blocks randomly attached to one another, they form what is known as an amorphous solid. Seventy percent of obsidian, a natural glass created by volcanoes, consists of silicon dioxide in this form. Opal is another form of silicon dioxide in amorphous solid form that is additionally hydrated with water. Because the molecules in opal and obsidian do not have a regularly repeating crystalline structure, they are not considered true minerals but are known as mineraloids.


Interestingly, the most common way we encounter amorphous solid silicon dioxide is in manmade products derived from sand. Though sand on tropical beaches is made mostly of ground pieces of coral and shellfish, nontropical sand is made mostly of silicon dioxide (aka silica). Over time, quartz crystals, exposed to weathering, are ground down into small bits of sand, and this silica-rich sand becomes the raw material used to create every manmade glass object you encounter, including glass tumblers, computer and television screens, solar panels, glass-bottled beverages, and every window on every building you see. Glass has special properties that make it uniquely valuable and useful. Not only is glass strong, it can be warped into different shapes while still maintaining the ability to transmit light. It is also nonporous, stable at normal temperatures, and able to resist corrosion, which is why scientific labs use glass in their labware to store hazardous and dangerous materials. Sand also shapes our modern life as a major component of two of the most commonly used construction materials on Earth: concrete and asphalt. Sand, a nonrenewable resource, is in such global demand that it is the second most-used raw material in the world after water, and demand for it continues to rise.

Another huge part of our modern lives is the ubiquitous silicon microchip, a component of virtually every electrical device used by man and on which every computer-related product depends. Silicon too is derived from an ore of, you guessed it—quartz.

Not only do we live on a quartz crystal ball, but it is quartz crystals that make our modern life possible!

Examples of silicates, clockwise from top left: chrysocolla, andradite garnet, lepidolite, phenakite, topaz, spinel, epidote, sodalite, hemimorphite


Quartz is extremely common and found on every continent of the world—and that’s precisely why it is energetically important. Though quartz is a significant raw material that our modern world depends on, Mother Earth has made quartz widely accessible to us so that we can use it metaphysically. Despite all the hype that can surround rarer and harder-to-find crystals, they are not the crystals metaphysically needed the most. Mother Earth has purposefully set things up so the crystals most helpful to you are the same crystals that are easiest to access. Thus, the globally available quartz and quartz-based crystals are the core of your personal crystal healing tool kit.


In 2016, researchers at the University of Southampton developed a form of digital data storage that laser-inscribed information onto quartz glass. Each one-inch disk holds the equivalent of 360 terabytes of information, which would amount to over 121 million copies of War and Peace or over seventy-six thousand DVDs! Not only does the quartz glass hold incredible amounts of information, each disk has an estimated life span of 13.8 billion years—which is over three times the current age of the Earth, and almost the entire age of the physical universe itself!

Modern science is continuing to discover more about the amazing physical properties of quartz, but the incredible power of this crystal was something the ancients already knew. From the sacred jewelry of the Egyptians to crystal divination practiced by the Greeks and Romans to the quartz artifacts buried all over the world, quartz has long been used in mystic ceremonies all around the planet.

One of the more captivating uses of quartz in the ancient world was with crystal skulls. Most closely associated with Mesoamerican tribes, crystal skulls are also known to be used by Tibetan Buddhist monks. Though the two cultural groups come from opposite sides of the world, spiritual leaders from both say these skulls are ancient and sacred repositories of cosmic information and that they act as record-keepers, observing the world and recording the history of humanity as the eons pass. Current descendants of the ancient Maya see quartz as a kind of supernatural device, similar to that of an ancient radio, television, or computer, in that it acts as a mechanism to facilitate communication between this world and the world of the spirits and ancestors. Modern practitioners who work with crystal skulls explain that the geometry of the human skull holds unique cosmic properties that become enhanced when this geometry is replicated in quartz. They report that the crystal skulls amplify quartz’s ability to work as a recording device, which supports the statements made by Mesoamericans and Tibetans. In addition to their ability to record and communicate, crystal skulls are said to possess healing ability.

Though crystal skulls are powerful, quartz does not need to be in the shape of a skull in order for you to access its incredible properties, for even quartz in its original state is still the premier programming crystal.


Marcel Joseph Vogel (1917—91) was a brilliant scientist whose discoveries helped propel modern technology as we now know it. His lifelong research into phosphorescence influenced popular culture through his development of the fluorescent paints that defined the look of the ’60s. He was also responsible for creating black-light technology and discovering applications for it including cancer detection. Later in his career he spent twenty-seven years working at IBM as a research scientist in their prestigious Advanced Systems Development lab, where he pioneered the understanding of liquid crystal displays (used in everything from calculators to televisions) as well as the creation of the revolutionary magnetic coating that is still used on hard drives today. By the end of his tenure at IBM, Vogel’s accomplishments also included thirty-two patents filed in the fields of luminescence, phosphor technology, magnetics, and liquid crystal systems. After retiring from IBM, and still insatiably curious, he opened his own laboratory. There, he would go on to research bioenergetic fields and energetically structured water.

During this time Vogel also stumbled upon a discovery that would captivate him for the rest of his life. While conducting experiments intended to study communication between humans and plants, he accidentally discovered that the quartz in his lab was reacting to the same experiments and was responding to the humans’ bioenergetic fields as well. This led him to dedicate much of his research to quartz, for in it he found a structurally perfect material that could be directly programmed to hold vibrations of thought and intent that could be used for healing. Vogel would go on to declare the quartz crystal to be “a neutral object whose inner structure exhibits a state of perfection and balance” and that “when the human mind enters into relationship with its structural perfection, the crystal emits a vibration which extends and amplifies the power of the user’s mind.”

This is why quartz is such a powerful stone, for it is an amplifier of vibration. Though Vogel’s research on quartz specifically focused on amplifying the power of the mind, quartz’s inherent neutrality and ability to “turbo-boost” vibrations means that it will amplify any vibration put into it.


On an atomic level, quartz is made up of pyramid-shaped building blocks consisting of silicon and oxygen. These atomic pyramids (technically called tetrahedrons) stack on top of each other in rows of spirals that converge to a point at the tip of a crystal (see next page). As energy moves through the crystal, it follows this helix pattern in the quartz crystalline lattice. And just like a roller coaster gaining momentum on a spiraling track, the energy moving through the quartz gains velocity as it moves through the spirals.

Think of the spirals found in nature: Hurricanes and tornadoes increasing in intensity as their giant spirals whirl across the Earth, black holes with vortexes so powerful they distort both gravity and time. There is even a spiral of water that helps you flush your toilet! The energy in a spiral is powerful because it leads and concentrates energy to a specific point, which creates the “turbo-boosting” of energies. And it is this property within quartz that makes it a very powerful stone.

This is why you must be careful about where quartz is placed.

Because quartz is energetically neutral, it amplifies any vibration around it, including negative electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) coming from your electronics on a subtle level.

Have you had the experience of standing close to a power line or electric transformer, hearing and feeling its weird buzz vibrating though you? It’s not a pleasant experience. EMFs from electronics also create the same kind of buzzing on a metaphysically energetic level, but because most electronics are much smaller, they vibrate on a much lower “volume.” But if you place quartz next to your electronics, you amplify their EMF energies and “turn up” this volume energetically. You may not notice the effects on a physical level, but your energetic bodies can be affected by them in ways that can cascade into your physical experience. As cool as a quartz crystal looks on your desk, if placed close to your computer it will magnify the negative EMFs coming off it. And since your computer can be a place where you feel stressed, the quartz will also amplify your stress and any other negative feelings you may be experiencing near it. This same advice applies to cell phones. If you keep your phone by your bed next to a quartz crystal, the interaction of the cell phone EMFs amplified by the quartz crystal will create energies that are disruptive to your sleep.

Solution: Move the quartz away from electronics.

Try this out: If you’re keeping your quartz by your computer, move the quartz across the room and away from any electronics. Then go back to your computer, reimmerse yourself in your work, and forget that you’ve moved the crystal. When you take a break and finally remember that your crystal is no longer at your desk, notice how you feel. Do you feel different than you did before you moved it? Has your work been going more smoothly? The results can be quite surprising. I have had many people try this experiment and report significant drops in stress levels, an increase in productivity, and the experience of difficult projects suddenly coming together, just because they moved their quartz crystal away from the electronics on their desks.

You can try this experiment the other way around too: Place a quartz crystal next to your computer for a few days and see how you end up feeling. You may not notice anything at first because you will quickly acclimate to the quartz’s energy. But after a few days, put the quartz away, and see if you feel any different once it’s no longer sitting at your desk. The instantaneous drop in stress levels is always nice.

You can do a similar experiment if you have been sleeping next to both a quartz crystal and your phone. Move the phone out of the room, or at least to the part of your room farthest away from your bed. Take notice of any improvement in your sleep. You will likely find that you are sleeping better than you were before.

I will talk more about programming your quartz crystals to help direct their energy in a particular, chosen direction in chapter 12. But even if your crystal is programmed, know that I would still avoid keeping quartz crystals next to electronics. There are other crystals better suited as desk or bed crystals, including ones that will be explained in the next chapter.

Because quartz is indiscriminate about what it amplifies, you also need to be cautious about wearing it in jewelry. Now that crystals have become so popular, I often see people wearing quartz jewelry. But not only will the quartz amplify any EMF energies coming out of a cell phone kept in your pocket or held in your hand, it will also amplify any negative feelings or thoughts you may have. So even if you are feeling confident on the outside, if you have any hidden or subconscious thoughts bouncing inside your head criticizing you or telling you you’re not good enough, the energy of those thoughts will become magnified by the quartz. Even worse, if you are suppressing or trying to ignore this kind of thought energy, it will prevent the energy from releasing and resolving and instead make it grow larger. Energetically, denial is like trying to pack a large amount of clothes into a very small suitcase. The energy can never be completely locked up, for it will always spill at the seams. And if the suitcase gets any sliver of an opening (especially when it’s opened up a crack so more denial can be added into it), it will burst. Add some unprogrammed quartz, and it’s like adding some explosives to the suitcase too!

Even more concerning is when people wear quartz point pendants with the point facing down toward their feet. This means they are sending accelerated energy from out-of-alignment thoughts down from their mind toward their lower chakras. Then, the solar plexus, which governs emotion, may translate this energy as negative feelings, while the root chakra may pick up the energy and perceive it as a lack of physical security. Then, in a bad feedback loop, the mind responds to the experiences of the lower chakras with more anxiety, sending the person further on a downward spiral of energy. Unbeknownst to the wearer, the crystal point around their neck has been intensifying their insecurities this whole time.

Because quartz energy has so much power, you don’t want to work with it in an unconscious way. You want to work with crystals to support your highest energies of love, fulfillment, and happiness. But that’s why you’re reading this book, right?

An idealized version of a left-handed quartz with a counterclockwise spiral of molecules. (Quartz can also be right-handed, with a clockwise-turning spiral of molecules.) For visual clarity this illustration shows just one spiral, but in actuality each column has two spirals wrapping around each other, creating a double helix—just like our DNA.


While all quartzes have turbo-boosting spirals within their crystal lattice, different varieties will cause the amplifying energies to be projected in a particular direction. The following are the most common quartz varieties used in crystal healing, each with its own “flavor” for what it is energetically inclined to do.

Clear Quartz

Also known as rock crystal, this type of quartz is translucent and colorless and most often found as a crystal point or cluster of crystal points. Because it does not contain any other chemical elements or minerals that shift its color, it is the most energetically neutral quartz to work with.

While colored crystals have a specific focus for their energies, clear quartz is like a blank sheet of white paper and thus has an unlimited range of what can be programmed into it. This makes clear quartz the ultimate programming stone as well as the ideal stone to use for turbo-boosting the energies of other stones.


You know when you walk into a spa and notice that the air smells different? Minute particles of essential oils and moisture escape the treatment rooms, ever so faintly scenting the air with their calming aroma. Even if you focused only on this one subtle detail, you would still be able to recognize how the smell demarcates the space of the spa from the world outside. This is the energy of amethyst. It is energy that is subtle and very quiet, and like the faint smell that lets you know you are in a different place, the energy of amethyst subtly shifts the energetic space around you and gently eases you into the spiritual worlds.

Amethyst is a gateway stone. When people begin their journey connecting with the crystals, amethyst is often the first stone they find themselves especially attracted to. And it makes sense, since amethyst is a stone that helps you become more aware of the spiritual worlds.

Working with amethyst is similar to turning on the radio and discovering a station you didn’t realize was even available. As you tune in to its frequency, you are able to connect to a tone of energy that you had not known was there before, which is the higher, more subtle frequency of the spiritual worlds.

Instead of other crystals that can forcefully fling you into intense third-eye journeys, amethyst creates a soft and gentle space for you to experience spirituality. So if you are interested in delving deeper into the spiritual dimensions and do not have the assistance of an experienced healer, or do not yet possess the metaphysical skills to navigate these dimensions’ more potent aspects, it’s best to begin your journey into the spiritual worlds in a gentle way, for this will minimize any trauma you would experience by going too deep and fast before you were prepared to do so.

If you are already familiar with traveling the spiritual worlds, amethyst is a perfect stone to use for a relatively more gentle and leisurely jaunt into the spiritual dimensions than what you might experience with other stones or modalities.

Rose Quartz

In the next chapter I’ll go into more depth about the significance of rose quartz, but for the time being know that rose quartz is the stone that most closely resonates with the vibration of pure love.

Rose quartz is most commonly found as simple and humble semiopaque chunks of rough pink rock. Often mistaken as a stone of romance, the healing energy of rose quartz does not specifically apply to any particular kind of relationship. Instead, rose quartz represents love in its most basic and essential form. It’s the energy of love when it’s undramatic, constant, and secure. It is a love for all relationships, including love of self.

Because there is no situation that could not use more love, rose quartz is an infinitely useful stone.


Real citrine is most often a softly tinted yellow or greenish yellow stone with brown undertones, frequently imbued with smoky gray hues. Though it is most popularly known as a manifestation stone especially as it relates to money, this is only a cursory understanding of citrine’s metaphysical properties. While citrine does resonate with manifestation and can help with manifesting more money, money problems themselves are more than likely related to the root chakra (which I will explain in the next chapter). But because citrine is so popularly associated with money manifestation, it stays in high demand.

However, true citrine is actually quite rare and not easy to come by. To meet demand, citrine is often artificially manufactured by heat-treating amethyst, which results in a “citrine” with a dark orangey-yellow hue. I’ll go more into depth about artificial citrine in chapter 6, but in the meantime I suggest avoiding using citrine that has this hypersaturated hue.

If, however, you are able to get the real citrine, it is a wonderful stone to help facilitate manifestation by giving a turbo-boost both to your willpower and to the energy around whatever idea you want to manifest.

Smoky Quartz

When clear quartz is buried in the ground, it can receive natural radiation from Mother Earth. This radiation changes the color of the quartz from clear to a black-hued form of varying opacities known as smoky quartz. Smoky quartz can also be found in combination with other types of quartz where it can create faint wisps of smokiness within amethyst or citrine crystals.

Further explanation of the root chakra will appear in the next chapter, but in the meantime know that smoky quartz increases the capacity for spiritual light to enter the root chakra, which is especially useful for those who have root chakras that have become energetically dense. This heaviness of the root chakra can be a result of feeling mired by physical life—for instance, when one feels as if one is continually slogging through one’s day-to-day existence—or experiencing life-threatening health issues that drain one’s physical strength. Smoky quartz will strengthen the root chakra on a grassroots level by giving an energetic boost to a person’s life force. And, because of its natural exposure to radiation, smoky quartz is excellent for helping people get energetically acclimated to any radiative treatment, including chemotherapy.

But as with citrine, be aware that artificially created smoky quartz is prevalent. Unlike real smoky quartz, the color of artificially treated smoky quartz is a sharp and shiny black, especially toward the crystal’s tips. I’ll go into more information about artificially treated crystals in chapter 6, but in the meantime avoid this type of smoky quartz, as it does more energetic harm than good.


Quartz with specular hematite

Quartz with hematite

Agate slice

Ocean Jasper

“In a crystal we have the clear evidence of the existence of a formative life-principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal—it is nonetheless still a living being.”

—Nikola Tesla

Quartz Chalcedony

Gold Sheen Obsidian (aka Mahogany Obsidian)