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What Is Druzy Quartz and How Does It Form?

Druzy quartz is one of the rarest forms of quartz, and it’s also considered to be one of the most beautiful—the stone features a coating of tiny crystals that gives it its unique appearance. But how does druzy quartz form? If you’re curious about this stunning stone, read on to learn more about how it occurs and how you can incorporate it into your jewelry designs.


You’ve probably seen druzy quartz in a variety of settings, but have you ever wondered how it forms or what exactly it is? The word druzy comes from a French term meaning hailstone. In general, druzy quartz refers to quartz crystals that are found on rocks or other minerals. These crystals form over time when mineral-rich waters run over rocks that they adhere to. When water dries out and leaves behind these crystals, they are referred to as druzy quartz or druse. The most common type of druzy quartz is amethystine quartz, which is purple with white crystal formations. Amethystine quartz can be found in Brazil, Uruguay, Madagascar and Namibia. Other types include rose quartz (rose pink), chalcedony (white) and agate (various colors). This type of crystal formation can also be called drusy or drusy quartz.

Crystal Chemistry

To find out how druzy quartz forms, it’s important to understand a bit about crystal chemistry. When dissolved in fluid, quartz crystals arrange themselves in six-sided, or hexagonal, shapes. These same crystals will re-form when placed back into a highly saturated solution of silica. But if quartz is exposed to certain conditions before being immersed in water (more on that later), tiny imperfections may form during crystal growth. These irregularities are called intergrowths, or druzy; they appear as small clusters with other differently sized crystals inside of them. The result is an entirely different type of gem—one that’s fascinatingly complex and mesmerizingly beautiful. Learn more about how to identify real natural gemstones here!


Most gemstones form when physical or chemical forces—such as heat, pressure, light exposure, oxygen, wind—alter existing rocks. Unlike most gems, druzy quartz forms on its own in sandstone beds beneath lakes and oceans. The following four factors control druzy quartz’s formation: 1) PH Level; 2) Oxygen Availability; 3) Presence of Other Minerals; 4) Crystal Growth Conditions. For example, if sufficient oxygen is available to decompose an iron-rich layer of sediment (1), then a growing crystal can float freely inside it (2).

By contrast, if there isn’t enough oxygen (1), then a growing crystal will adhere to minerals within other layers of sediment (3). So why do some crystals grow long ribbons rather than smooth spheres? In part because they are typically very small and rarely grow larger than one millimeter. But also because mineral components in nearby sediments interact with them (4). In fact, two different types of druzy quartz exist: clear/white and milky/brown. This is because their respective environments contain differing amounts of manganese oxide, which gives them their color. Although rare, rough druzy quartz crystals have been found in geodes near Searles Lake in California.

While colorful stones like amethyst tend to draw attention from jewelers and collectors alike, Druzy quartz has yet to achieve similar fame among those groups. This may be due to the fact that its colors aren’t particularly intense and don’t match many popular jewelry themes such as reds, blues, yellows or greens. However, many people still enjoy collecting these black onyx for aesthetic reasons. They say that each specimen reflects something unique about nature since no two are exactly alike! Regardless of your preferences for using these unique stones for decoration or scientific study, you should always exercise caution when handling them since sharp edges often result from breakage during mining operations.


To understand how druzy quartz forms, you need to know what minerals make up quartz. Quartz is made up of silicon dioxide, better known as silica. The name silica derives from the Greek word for flint (σιλικη), though quartz is neither glassy nor brittle. Silica has a simple formula SiO2 and is one of Earth’s most abundant minerals at 20% by volume. Pure silica forms transparent crystals that are used in computers and windows. When impurities like aluminum or titanium are added, however, it turns into a milky white mineral called opal. Add iron oxide and you get hematite or rust.

Add magnesium oxide and it becomes magnesite. When silica is combined with water under high pressure over time, it transforms into quartz crystal clusters called druzy quartz. This process requires extreme temperatures and pressures; conditions found only deep within Earth’s crust where tectonic plates collide on fault lines or volcanoes erupt through fissures in rock layers. These geological events occur over millions of years—it takes about 500 million years for molten rock to cool down enough to form solid granite!

Photography Tips

When you’re photographing a piece of druzy quartz, it’s important to take care not to damage it. A camera flash can cause black spots if it’s too close, so either use natural light or a neutral-colored background when taking your photos. Your lens will pick up on any colored streaks from your background, but some quartz varieties are naturally streaky or cloudy. If you have purple druzy quartz for sale (it does happen!), photograph it against a blue background for best results.

Keep in mind that most buyers prefer high-quality photographs of their purchases; creating multiple angles of view can give them an idea of how their new jewelry will look on them and allow them to see things they wouldn’t notice with one shot alone. For example, you might want to capture both sides of a pendant necklace. You could also consider using a macro lens to get really detailed shots.

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