Gold quartz is one of the rarest forms of gold found on earth. Despite this fact, it’s likely that many of the gold nuggets found in rivers and streams during the American Gold Rush actually formed directly from deposits of gold quartz. Used primarily to create unique and stunning jewelry, gold quartz originates deep below the surface of the earth[i].
What is Gold Quartz?
Gold quartz is simply deposits of gold embedded within deposits of quartz. Often, this formation also contains other minerals, which gives gold quartz a wide variety of colors. The gold usually lies within veins inside the quartz, which become visible when the quartz is cut into slabs, exposing the inner gold veins embedded in the quartz. The most rare and valuable formation of gold quartz is gold veins in white quartz, which is the most common color used in the jewelry industry[ii].
How is Gold Quartz Formed?
Just like on the surface of the earth, the interior of the earth is teeming with activity. Intense heat melts minerals, and lava flows freely. Combined with the seismic activity there, minerals that formed naturally many years ago -- including gold, quartz, and a variety of others -- flow together and are crushed together by earthquakes[iii].
During this process, natural gold formations have been, over time, blended with quartz and other minerals. This sometimes results in gold deposited deeply within the quartz. Gold quartz is found in only a few geographic areas of the world, usually located between 1,500 and 2,000 feet beneath earth's surface. Gold quartz is most commonly discovered by miners who are extracting other hard minerals far underground.
Deposits of gold quartz probably contribute to the formation of gold nuggets, which have often been discovered in rivers and creek beds around the world, and have sometimes led to gold rushes in those areas. Gold embedded in soft quartz sometimes leaks out due to erosion. The gold then makes its way downstream and into rivers, where the rushing water bounces them against rocks and sediment, forming nuggets. Today, most significant gold deposits have been located and now established mining facilities handle the gold extraction[iv].
What are the Uses of Gold Quartz?
Gold quartz is cut into slabs, exposing the veins of gold embedded within the quartz. The slabs are then hand cut into smaller stones and polished into smooth and beautiful gemstones. Since the gold was naturally deposited into the quartz in a random manner, each gold quartz stone is totally unique. Though gold is commonly used in electronics, medical equipment and treatments, and many industrial applications, most quartz gold ends up in a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry[v].
Gold quartz is most commonly used in jewelry because the extraction process is tedious and yields little gold for the effort. It is usually set in gold, to showcase the beauty of the gold within the quartz. Gold quartz is used for women's and men's rings, pendants, earrings, and other jewelry types. Sometimes, the gold quartz is set alongside natural gold nuggets for a unique and stunningly beautiful display[vi].
Alaska Jewelry offers the widest selection of gold quartz jewelry available online. Unlike many of the man-made gold quartz replicas available on the Internet, all of the jewelry found at Alaska Jewelry is naturally made. In addition to a variety of rings and bracelets, you can find gorgeous gold quartz set alongside gold nuggets within a solid gold setting for a vivid display of some of nature's most gorgeous creations.