In lockstep with jewelry collectors’ growing knowledge of all things gemmy, retailers are always eager to present rare, beautiful, and even the curious gemstones to customers. Shoppers want to own something out of the ordinary, and we have so many options to offer to satisfy this desire for eclectic and unusual stones.
Out of the Ordinary – Into the Exotic
Consumers adore alexandrite and other color-change stones. Their alluring natural phenomenon never gets old. Gemstones in unexpected colors (think Montana sapphire or pink diamonds) continue to thrill jewelry fans. And since gemstone buffs want to know the back-story about the gems they love, anything that puts them at the source is a big deal and a strong draw.
Lately I’ve been paying some attention to gold in quartz. It also goes by the moniker gold-bearing quartz and other variations of that descriptor. Yet, it doesn’t elicit the respect that it deserves. And while jewelers may have seen it for years and cast it aside as a curiosity – something to sell in old gold rush tourist attractions – this material has a lot going for it.
Overlooked & Underutilized
Your customers may have never seen it, so for them, an initial introduction could be one of wonder and amazement. Gold is one of the most precious and coveted metals on earth – and not found everywhere. Quartz on the other hand is the most plentiful substance on our planet. Found in certain sites where both of these substances occur naturally, these gold-bearing quartz veins produce an exotic and beautiful gemstone suitable for both men’s and women’s jewelry.
Formed some 1,500 to 2,500 feet below the earth’s surface, these natural gold-filled veins were created by hydrothermal pressure deep within the earth where the elements were generated. While the host quartz may come in various colors or even exhibit other minerals, the pearly white quartz variety with gleaming gold veins is the most appealing for jewelry application.
When the elements were being formed some millions of years back, they were in a fluid-like state deep inside the earth’s crust. Through natural geologic movement, these elements went through rocks over vast areas carrying the fluid-like gold. When this extraordinary occurrence took place, gold often filled fissures, veins, and hollow spaces in the quartz, thus forming it as a solid and beautifully marbled specimen.
Locating Gold in Quartz
Gold bearing quartz is harvested from underground rock mines where gold nuggets were traditionally located. In Alaska for example, the town of Juneau first turned up this pretty anomaly in the late 19th century. But then, areas of California, the Western US, Canada, and Australia also became known for pockets of gold in quartz.
Its limited availability has caused some manufacturers to produce a look-alike created material, especially for the tourist trade. While it may be pretty enough at first glance, with some of this material being embedded with gold bits, it has little real value and can’t match the beauty of natural gold veining in quartz.
Like turquoise which has an interesting matrix that is desirable with its unique markings, real gold in quartz is also one-of-a-kind. Few jewelry buffs have seen the natural occurrence of gold veins in quartz – making this all-natural stone a unique storied item to love.
Each gold in quartz stone not only has distinct designs created by its gold veining, but different amounts of gold appear in each piece. So prices reflect its gold content besides its attractiveness.
Until lately, gold in quartz jewelry has mostly been tied to classic mining regions of the world. So travelers to the now abandoned gold mining sites in California or even Alaska could find gold in quartz jewelry.
At a time when collectors crave something as individual as they are, and stay on the hunt for signature gems, it seems like gold in quartz is a stone for our times and for consumers who want a good backstory with their personal jewels.