, 10 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
I’m totally amused how #quartz is catering the pity vote. All of #MinCup was created to make it feel special, yet every year other minerals win. Poor quartz.

Meanwhile #calcite is both fun & a climate indicator.
#Calcite is a mineral with neat optical properties, fizzes with acid, flags your attention when you stumble on to an ancient sea floor in the mountains, was a critical plot point for the premiere of #Stargate #SGU, and tracks climate.

But I lost a bet.
Whoo #quartz. Screenshot of a Stargate team in a desert investigating geology
So. #Quartz.

It’s most of Earth’s crust. If you’re only learning one mineral, quartz is a good default guess.

I can’t help with ID more than”uh, it’s hard?” unless it happens to be a pointy crystal, but I’ve never found those in the wild. It’s the white bits of granite. Large quartz crystal with plastic dinosaur
If you can’t grow it, you have to mine it.

#Quartz has rich friends. When hot fluids crystallize into veins filling rock cracks, it’s quartz ± precious minerals like silver & gold.

Gold lost in Round 1, but still. Quartz is important by association.
Something handy about quartz is that if you hit it hard enough, it generates electricity.

#Quartz, #apatite (thus dry bones), cane sugar, #tourmaline, & a few other oddball materials are piezoelectric. Quartz crystals resonate at reliable frequency, making them good timekeepers.
Uh. Other neat things about quartz. I can do this...

It’s really common in rock shops & very cheap, #quartz crystals or dyed slices are often in childhood rock collections.

Quartz is a good paperweight, although typically a poor doorstop or bookend.
Contaminated #quartz is amethyst, which is a pretty purple and named for not being drunk. Amethyst’s character arc in Steven Universe is another reason to give quartz a pity vote.

Baked quartz is citrine, a yellow someone must find pretty because it’s very popular.
Oh! Along with being piezoelectric, #quartz is also triboluminescent: if you hit or break it, it’ll glow.

If you’re getting the idea that thumping on quartz is the best way to make it interesting, you’re not wrong.
Meanwhile, #calcite quietly tracks sea temperature by trading off with its polymorph aragonite in seashells.

#Calcite is my scifi BFF of a mineral.

Along with quietly using it in Stargate, it’s one of the minerals I turned to for inspiration when working out mineralogical properties of the crystals in Star Wars lightsabers.
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