Berns Quartz

James Di Loreto and Brittany M. Hance, Smithsonian Institution
October 27, 2021
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Quartz
James Di Loreto and Brittany M. Hance, Smithsonian Institution
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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