By Jennifer A. Conley
Quartz is commonly found all around the world and due to its abundance is not typically valued today, but Quartz was once an important part of fashion, as well as the beliefs of people all over the world.
Quartz & Scottish history: Those who have studied Scottish history, or know a bit about Scottish lore, know that the Scots tended to be very superstitious. From luck charms to omens, Scots believed gemstones possessed a greater spiritual power. Quartz was often carried by soldiers before battles, for it was a common belief that quartz had healing powers that could aid an injured soldier. Quartz was also passed down from one “wise woman” or healer to another healer after death. The new owner would take the quartz, place it in a large bowl of water and proceed to soak their feet in the water because water was often believed to charge the powers of the quartz. This would allow the transference of wisdom and healing power to the next wise woman.
In 2009, a four thousand year old tomb was discovered which is believed to belong to a Bronze-Age Scottish ruler1. Inside the tomb was a bed of white quartz, which historians believe was used to guarantee the rebirth of the ruler into the next world. From royalty to everyday people, quartz played an important role in the spiritual beliefs of Scots for thousands of years.
Ancient civilizations have also valued quartz, and throughout history quartz gems were often worn as protection against supernatural forces as well as fashion statements. Quartz would be set in gold and worn throughout Greece, Egypt, and Western Asian cultures. Early Western Asian cultures paired quartz with another dark stone, to be a symbol of balance, very similar to the Yin/Yang symbol in China. Grecian women would wear gold hair pins that featured clear quartz, and other forms of quartz such as amethyst. High born Grecians would wear quartz diadems set in gold as markers of their status. Interestingly Grecians believed that quartz was a varying form of permanent ice, which is where its nickname “Greek ice” originated.
Quartz reached its peak fashion popularity in the Byzantine Era, as well as the High Medieval and Renaissance periods; and the 17th & 18th century. Quartz throughout its history was used as more than just a fashion statement: as a means of protection and healing for various ailments.
Rose Quartz was used as a love charm as well as a fertility stone.
Rutilated quartz, often referred to by Romans as the “hair of Venus”, is still to this day believed to help with depression.
Smoky quartz was often believed to help overcome grief.
Phantom quartz is also, still to this day, believed to help with mediation and act as a protection talisman.
Chalcedony, a microcrystallization of quartz, was very popular during the Antiquities and was often used in figurines and goblets.
Agate, a microcrystallization of quartz, helps with pregnancy ailments, dizziness, and impaired balance.
Onyx, a microcrystallization of quartz, aids in mediation and mindfulness
Jasper, a microcrystallization of quartz, helps with kidney, liver, and gallbladder pains. Ancient Egyptians believed Jasper increased sexual energy and used it as an aphrodisiac. Today, Jasper is still used to help with fertility.
Amethyst, another variation of quartz, often used to help with migraines
1. Keys, David. “Ancient Royal Tomb Found in Scotland” The Independent. UK News. August 14th, 2009. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ancient-royal-tomb-found-in-scotland-1771875.html