Recognized by its milky pink color, which ranges from pale pink to rosy red, rose quartz is a common but desirable variety of quartz. Most rose quartz is somewhat hazy and translucent, so light passes through it and shows the stone's veins and clouds. Like other members of the quartz family of minerals, rose quartz is made of silicon dioxide and has a hardness rating of 7 on a scale of 10, which means it's a pretty hard stone that will last a very long time. It gets its coloring from trace amounts of impurities such as titanium, iron, or manganese.
This popular semi-precious gemstone is used by jewelry makers worldwide and in China for carving animal sculptures. The ancient Egyptians used it as a facial mask for preventing wrinkles. Rose quartz is found in many places, including the USA, Brazil, Madagascar, India, and Germany. I love using this wonderful stone in jewelry designs, because it's strong, solid, and feminine; it combines well with crystals, pearls, glass beads, and other gemstones.
What do you look for when buying rose quartz? Gemologists look for clarity, which is rare in rose quartz. Designers of beaded jewelry look for beauty, color, polish, natural striations, and inclusions. I look for overall attractiveness, medium pink hue, a little cloudiness, a few inclusions, and a nice shiny polish. I also look for a moderate price. Hurray! You don't have to spend a fortune for decent rose quartz!
There's more good news: Taking care of your rose quartz is easy. If it gets dirty, simply use warm, soapy water to clean it. Avoid using ultrasonic or steam cleaners. That's it--easy, peasy!
Enjoy your rose quartz!