Quartz and gold are often found together because they are chemically complimentary at a molecular level and because of the accommodating structure and formation of quartz.
Since gold is a softer metal, it can flow through and form inside the mineral of quartz and become trapped inside as the stone develops.
Within this article, we will quickly overview the properties of quartz and gold, and why they are found together naturally.
We will also cover some good tips for prospecting quartz veins for gold deposits and some ways to extract the gold.
Quartz and Gold Relationship (EXPLAINED)
Humans have been mining and adorning themselves in gold since before 4000 B.C.
Throughout history, gold has been revered as a sign of wealth, opulence, and divine power.
It is also an element on the periodic table and one of the only elements found in its natural form in nature.
To ancient civilizations, this metal represented a complete understanding of spirituality and physical development, as well as the ability to complete communication with “all that is.”
You can distinguish gold by a slightly reddish yellow color.
Before it is treated and in its pure form, it is a dense, soft, and ductile metal.
Most gold is stored as bullion and used in jewelry, coinage, and electronics, either in pure form or as an alloy.
The word ‘carat’ indicates the amount of gold present in an alloy.
The most common carats are 18- and 9-carat, because they are more durable, while 24-carat gold is pure but is very soft.
Quartz is one of the most common and varied minerals on earth.
It has a large assortment of colors that produce many gemstone types and subsets that are very valuable.
Some of the most common forms of quartz are Amethyst, Tiger’s Eye, and Citrine.
Ancient Civilizations such as Japan, Rome, and Greece have records speaking about mining quartz of all colors for use in rituals, crystal balls, and talismans.
Ancient civilizations saw quartz as a looking glass for the soul and a symbol of universal blessings for mankind.
Although it is one of the most popular stones on this planet, many people take it for granted because it’s also one of the most affordable gemstones.
Clear quartz can be icy clear or come with various colors in it.
There are hundreds of color quartz because of impurities and chemical reactions that produce them.
Because of this, you will probably need to identify this stone by the color, pattern, and how hard it is.
Most people use a simple glass scratch test to do this, but there are more precise methods also.
Also, remember that natural quartz crystals will almost always have inclusions, veils, and bubbles from the earth.
All forms of quartz are composed of silicon and oxygen atoms with an overall chemical formula of SiO2.
Why Are Quartz and Gold Found Together?
When the fluids deep in the crust are heated, they move through the rocks over a large area and carry the ‘dissolved’ gold.
The term ‘dissolved’ means the gold chemical composition is present but in a liquid form.
Gold is often found with quartz because quartz is also a “mineral fluid” of the earth that solidifies, just like gold does.
Due to this fact, their chemical compositions are complementary and almost always found together.
In addition to that, the structure and formation of quartz is very accommodating for the soft nature of gold.
In the case of gold, after the fluid runs through the rocks, it usually reacts with other surrounding rocks and causes the gold to materialize in cracks and fractures in existing minerals.
Other sulfides that can also form inside the quartz, other than gold, are pyrite, arsenopyrite, or chalcopyrite.
This can happen relatively close to the surface, or it can happen deep in the earth.
When this fluid first begins to solidify, pyrite or other sulfide minerals are naturally the ones that form first inside the quartz stones.
Usually, from weather or a natural event, the pyrite or sulfide minerals will suddenly rush out and leave voids and a porous structure where it was.
Then small particles of gold begin to form and grow in their place in the fluid that continues to run through them.
The gold over time transforms into a more metallic state, which is easy to recover from the quartz.
How are they found together?
Oftentimes, gold fills cracks, veins, spaces in the quartz, to make a complete stone.
You can also find small particles and scales scattered through the quartz too.
Once again, beware of other sulfides that can form inside quartz stone.
Prospector Chris Ralph says that looking at different types of free gold ore is the one way to see the difference between gold and other sulfite minerals.
He also said that if you are all prospecting in large quartz veins, remember that most of the gold pockets, or “bonanzas,” are usually found in the hanging wall, footwall, or right down the centerline.
Extracting gold from quartz is done in two ways.
The first option is a professional ore extraction machine, which is very expensive and time-consuming.
Plus, most of the ores the average prospector finds unfortunately will not yield more than a quarter ounce of gold, making it not always worth the investment.
The second more affordable option is to crush the rock and pan the powder for the gold pieces.
If the gold is distributed through the quartz in a balanced and beautiful way, it can be worth a lot of money.
High-end jewelers can turn the gold and quartz integration into a gemstone for an exquisite, natural, and expensive piece of jewelry.
They extract the gem by cutting the quartz into slabs to expose the gold.
Then the slabs are evaluated by an artisan who selects the best areas for a one-of-a-kind gemstone to cut and polish.
Quartz and gold are often found together, but very few people know why they appear together and if and how they should extract the gold.
The knowledge above is to help you know why these two are found together and your prospecting journey for quartz and gold deposits.
This will help you be more confident about your knowledge of metals and gemstones and also be able to take your geological expeditions to an all-new level.