From sandstone to gemstones, quartz is everywhere. In its natural form, it is the second most common mineral in Earth’s crust and is the mineral behind the well-known gems amethyst and citrine. In its synthetic form, it is a key ingredient in watches, radios and other electronics. Quartz crystals look like hexagonal prisms that culminate in a point. Their shape comes from how their atomic building blocks, silicon and oxygen, lock into precise, repeating arrangements.
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