How To Identify Quartzite ( 4 Tips For Beginners)

Quartzite is a strong and durable rock, making it a favorite of collectors.

However, as soon as you think you’ve discovered the perfect quartzite, it begins to look a little different, and you realize it’s a marble. 

The key to avoiding the confusion of mixing these two minerals is to learn how to identify quartzite like a professional.

In our blog post, you’ll learn how to identify quartzite. So now, let’s get started!

How To Identify Quartzite (4 Tips For Beginners)

What Is a Quartzite?

Heat and pressure turn sandstone into hard, non-foliated quartzite in the metamorphic process.

The rock is usually white or gray.

However, it is also found in other pale colors.

The surface of a Quartzite is grainy and rough. 

The main component of quartzite is silicon dioxide, SiO2.

The rock is called orthoquartzite if its purity is more than 99% SiO2.

Other than iron oxide, quartzite contains rutile, zircon, and magnetite in traces.

There may also be fossils in quartzite.

On the Mohs hardness scale, the mineral is a factor of 7.

The rating means quartzite is harder than quartz and significantly harder than sandstone.

Like obsidian and glass, it is prone to conchoidal fractures. 

If you try to hone a quartzite edge, it can be hard to do due to the material’s coarse texture.

However, the interlocked crystal structure of quartzite is visible under magnification.

The strength and toughness of quartzite make it ideal for various applications.

For example, Quartzite is used for railway ballast and road construction.

It is also used for flooring, roofing tiles, and stairs. 

It is quite beautiful and durable when cut and polished.

Countertops and decorative walls are often made from quartzite.

In addition, the natural mineral quartzite is used to manufacture silica sand, ferrosilicon, and silicon.

How to Identify Quartzite?

Surely you are wondering how you will know your quartzite countertops are real?

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell if quartzite is real when the rock is often confused with marble and quartz.

Of course, we’ll discuss this further in another section.

But for you to find out if your quartzite test is real, there’s an easy test you can do.

Below are the steps to do a glass test on quartzite:

  • Find a glass tile
  • Choose a section of stone with a rough edge, preferably one with a pointy edge
  • Scratch the glass tile with the stone, then put it on a table. Make sure to press hard
  • Examine the scratch. Are you certain it is a scratch? Or is it a dust trail caused by a crumbled rock?
  • The test should be repeated in various places if the stone is variable or contains more than one type of mineral.

What Does the Glass Test on Quartzite Results Mean?

Always remember it is easy for real quartzite to scratch glass.

The glass will grind as it bites into it.

You will be able to see the scratch.

So, if this happens, then definitely, Quartzite is in your hands!

The material that is not quartz will either not scratch at all or will leave only a very faint scratch.

When the rock is in contact with the glass, it will feel slippery. Also, no sound is made.

Instead, it leaves a powdery trail that is easily washed off.

What a shame; it’s not quartzite!

What Rocks Are Often Confused With Quartzite?

One rock that is often confused with quartzite is marble.

They are both metamorphic rocks.

Their compositions change under pressure and heat, but they do not melt. 

Stones such as marble and granite are minerals that originate from dolomite and limestone, and quartzite does not originate from a mineral.

Instead, quartz grains fused with heat and pressure are responsible for its formation.

On the other hand, quartzite is hard and durable, while marble is soft.

In addition, marble and quartzite differ chemically in that marble contains calcite while quartzite doesn’t.

Therefore, if any acidic liquid, such as tomato sauce, spills on marble, it can leave a stain known as an etch on the surface.

Another rock quartzite is often confused with is sandstone.

Also, remember that quartz and quartzite are not the same.

Builders combine the natural material of quartz, to create an engineered, artificial surface.

Quartzite is a stone made from natural material.

The two terms are sometimes confused due to their similar sound.

Despite this, they are not the same, nor do they share the same characteristics.

Why Is It Important for You to Identify Quartzite?

First, you can see that quartzite often gets confused with other rocks, so knowing how to identify quartzite is essential.

If you find it hard to identify quartzite from other minerals, remember how strong and durable the rock is.

Finally, make sure to do the glass test to help you identify a real quartzite.

Now You Know How to Identify Quartzite

When you are trying to identify rocks and minerals can be hard to do at times.

Luckily there are ways around to help you know if your quartzite is real.

The glass test is one way to find out for sure.

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how to identify quartzite