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Many people wonder what the difference is between quartz, jasper, agate and chalcedony. Comprised of silica (SiO2), there are two major types of quartz:

  1. macrocrystalline, meaning the “large crystal”, and
  2. cryptocrystalline, meaning the crystals are too small to be seen, even through a microscope.

Varieties of quartz include Chalcedony, Agate, Jasper, Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, plus many others.

Quartz is one of the most common minerals in the earth’s crust. It absorbs, stores, releases, and regulates energy. Quartz also cleanses, raises energies, aids in concentration, and unlocks memory.



One major variety of cryptocrystalline quartz is Chalcedony, a generic term for cryptocrystalline quartz. Chalcedony includes any cryptocrystalline quartz, although it is only generally used for white or lightly colored material.

Chalcedony promotes brotherhood and good will by bringing the mind, body, emotions, and spirit into harmony. Chalcedony also absorbs and dissipates negative energy. Having a glossy to waxy luster, chalcedony is a transparent to translucent or opaque mineral. The various colors of chalcedony contain additional healing benefits. Chalcedony includes Carnelian (sard), Chrysoprase, Agate, Bloodstone, Jasper, Petrified Wood, and many others. When chalcedony is concentrically banded, it is called by the sub-variety name agate.



Agate is a translucent banded chalcedony. Agates are excellent grounding stones, promoting emotional, physical, and intellectual balance. Agates often have a banded or irregular, variegated appearance. The bands may be wavy or parallel, depending on the differences in mineral formation. Sometimes the banding is larger than the crystal and the banding lines are not visible as with carnelian where although it is an Agate, the banding is not visible.


Jasper Family

Another sub-variety of chalcedony is opaque Quartz termed Jasper. Jaspers can also be banded or striated, depending on the formation, and are usually red, yellow, green, brown, or a mixture of these colors. Jasper sustains and supports during stressful times, all the while bringing a sense of tranquility and wholeness. Various colors of jasper contain additional metaphysical properties.


Quartz - Image by Marc Pascual from Pixabay

Some examples of macrocrystalline quartz are Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine. These crystals sometimes form in cryptocrystalline or “massive” formations where the crystals are too small to be seen, however when they occur as singular crysal points or are found in clusters, these are examples of macrocrystalline quartz.

Clear Quartz is the stone of power and can help to amplify any energy or intention. The Sacred Geometry of a naturally formed 6-sided clear quartz point contributes the the ability of clear quartz to amplify any vibration or intention.


Article contributed by Kelly Harrigan

Posted on November 03, 2013

  Thanks very informative. I am trying to learn more.  (Submitted by: Azetta Rheyah on July 11, 2020)
  Thank you so much for your very clear description of these differences. It us very appreciated ❤️  (Submitted by: Nancy on September 08, 2017)
  Best explanation I've read on this topic. Thank you!  (Submitted by: mark on April 04, 2017)
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