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Quartz vs. Calcite: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 9, 2024
Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen, widely used in jewelry and watches; Calcite is a carbonate mineral with variable hardness, used in construction and acid neutralization.
Quartz vs. Calcite

Key Differences

Quartz, a mineral composed primarily of silicon dioxide, is renowned for its hardness and resistance to weathering. Calcite, primarily calcium carbonate, is known for its relatively softer texture and its reaction to acids.
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In terms of usage, quartz is widely utilized in making jewelry, watch faces, and electronic components due to its durability and piezoelectric properties. Calcite finds its use in construction materials, agricultural soil treatments, and as a pH balancer in acidic environments.
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Quartz is characterized by its high Mohs scale hardness rating of 7, making it scratch-resistant. Calcite, with a Mohs hardness of 3, can be easily scratched by most substances including a copper coin.
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Optically, quartz is known for its clarity and can be transparent to translucent. Calcite often exhibits a wide range of colors, and its transparent form, Iceland Spar, demonstrates the property of double refraction.
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Quartz forms in a variety of environments and can appear in different colors based on impurities. Calcite, often found in sedimentary environments, reacts vigorously with acids, even weak ones like vinegar, helping in its identification.
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Composition

Silicon dioxide (SiO2)
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3)
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Hardness (Mohs Scale)

7
3
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Uses

Jewelry, electronics, watch faces
Construction, soil treatment, acid neutralization
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Reaction to Acid

No reaction
Reacts vigorously
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Optical Properties

Clear, can be transparent to translucent
Exhibits double refraction, variable colors
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Quartz and Calcite Definitions

Quartz

Known for its durability and piezoelectric properties.
Quartz is often used in watchmaking for its precision.
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Calcite

Used in construction materials and soil treatment.
Calcite is often added to cement for building construction.
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Quartz

A hard crystalline mineral used in jewelry.
The quartz crystal in her necklace sparkled in the sunlight.
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Calcite

A common mineral form of calcium carbonate.
The calcite sample fizzed when acid was applied to it.
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Quartz

Used in electronic components for its stable properties.
Quartz is essential in making accurate and reliable electronic circuits.
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Calcite

Reacts with acids, even weak ones like vinegar.
To test for calcite, geologists often use a drop of vinegar.
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Quartz

Resistant to weathering and erosion.
Quartz rocks maintain their shape over years, even under harsh weather conditions.
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Calcite

Exhibits double refraction and comes in many colors.
Under a microscope, the double refraction of calcite is clearly visible.
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Quartz

Can come in various colors due to impurities.
The quartz stone was a deep shade of amethyst.
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Calcite

Found in sedimentary rocks and marine organisms.
Shells of marine organisms are often composed of calcite.
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Quartz

A very hard mineral composed of silica, SiO2, found worldwide in many different types of rocks, including sandstone and granite. Varieties of quartz include agate, chalcedony, chert, flint, opal, and rock crystal.
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Calcite

A common crystalline form of natural calcium carbonate, CaCO3, that is the basic constituent of limestone, marble, and chalk. Also called calcspar.
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Quartz

(mineral) The most abundant mineral on the earth's surface, of chemical composition silicon dioxide, SiO2. It occurs in a variety of forms, both crystalline and amorphous. Found in every environment.
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Calcite

(mineral) a very widely distributed crystalline form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3, found as limestone, chalk and marble
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Quartz

Crystal meth: methamphetamine hydrochloride.
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Calcite

Calcium carbonate, or carbonate of lime. It is rhombohedral in its crystallization, and thus distinguished from aragonite. It includes common limestone, chalk, and marble. Called also calc-spar and calcareous spar.
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Quartz

A form of silica, or silicon dioxide (SiO2), occurring in hexagonal crystals, which are commonly colorless and transparent, but sometimes also yellow, brown, purple, green, and of other colors; also in cryptocrystalline massive forms varying in color and degree of transparency, being sometimes opaque.
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Calcite

A common mineral consisting of crystallized calcium carbonate; a major constituent of limestone
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Quartz

Colorless glass made of almost pure silica
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Quartz

A hard glossy mineral consisting of silicon dioxide in crystal form; present in most rocks (especially sandstone and granite); yellow sand is quartz with iron oxide impurities
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Quartz?

A hard, crystalline mineral made of silicon dioxide.
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Where is Quartz commonly found?

In igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.
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What are the main uses of Calcite?

In construction, agricultural soil treatments, and acid neutralization.
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What is Calcite?

A softer mineral consisting of calcium carbonate.
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How can you identify Quartz?

By its hardness, clarity, and resistance to weathering.
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Can Calcite be used in jewelry?

Yes, but it's less common due to its softer nature.
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What are the piezoelectric properties of Quartz?

When pressure is applied, it generates an electrical charge.
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Can Quartz be transparent?

Yes, it can range from transparent to translucent.
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What is double refraction in Calcite?

It splits light rays into two, creating a double image.
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Is Quartz resistant to chemicals?

Yes, it's highly resistant to most chemicals.
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Why is Calcite important in construction?

It's used as a material in cement and concrete.
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Does Calcite react to acids?

Yes, it reacts vigorously, even with weak acids.
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Are there different colors of Quartz?

Yes, impurities can give it various colors.
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How is Quartz used in electronics?

In devices like watches and radios for its stable frequency.
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What is the Mohs hardness of Calcite?

It has a hardness rating of 3.
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Does Quartz have any healing properties?

Some cultures attribute healing properties to it, but these are not scientifically proven.
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Is Calcite found in ocean shells?

Yes, many marine organisms' shells contain calcite.
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Is Quartz found in sand?

Yes, it's a major component of many sands.
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How is Calcite used in the acid neutralization process?

It's used to neutralize acidic substances in industrial and environmental applications.
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Can Calcite be a soil amendment?

Yes, it's used to neutralize acidity in soil.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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