The pink colour of Rose Quartz ranges from a very pale, almost imperceptible, blush to a rich translucent pink. It is an abundant mineral found in large quantities all over the world, although not often in the perfectly formed large crystals or geodes favoured by collectors. There are always exceptions, however, some of which have sold for very high prices.
La Madona Rosa - the Pink Madonna – an exceptionally large and beautiful piece of Rose Quartz, is by far the biggest specimen ever found. Comprising a cluster of crystals 39cm by 20cm, smoky quartz in the centre surrounded by an oval halo of vivid pink Rose Quartz, it sold for more than half a million Dollars in 2013. Whilst its origin is cloaked in mystery, the Pink Madonna is widely believed to have come from an exceptional Rose Quartz deposit found in the Sapucala mine in Brazil in the late 1950s. 15cm deep and 30cm high, the seam was almost 5m in length and filled with deep pink Rose Quartz crystals draped over and around smoky quartz and has never been equalled before or since.
Much of the Rose Quartz we see today comes from Brazil, but also from South Africa, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Mozambique, and Sri Lanka. It is a much-loved gemstone, not just because of its delicate pink beauty but also for its reputation as the stone of unconditional love and infinite peace and the most important crystal for the heart and heart chakra.
To show its pink colour to best advantage, Rose Quartz is usually cut into cabochons or beads of at least 8mm, with the largest and thickest pieces displaying the deepest shades of pink. Some cabochons are cut specifically to align with the gem’s crystalline structure and show a 6-pointed star within the stone. The best star stones are deep pink in colour, with a distinct, symmetrical, and well-centred star.
Faceted Rose Quartz stones are relatively uncommon as faceting is most effective on clear gems and transparent pink quartz is rare - and some people believe this should in any event be called Pink Quartz rather than Rose Quartz, as the cause of the pink hue is different.
Rose Quartz beads dating back thousands of years have been found in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and the stone was also used by the Assyrians and Ancient Greeks. The Ancient Romans used Rose Quartz for seals, and it has been found in Ancient Egyptian tombs, where it was used as an amulet to guard against evil spirits in life and to protect the soul in the afterlife.
In a more modern recognition, the colour specialist company, Pantone, chose Rose Quartz as its colour of the year in 2016!