Star rose quartz is a gemstone known for its asterism, or star effect. The asterism forms a six-rayed star in transmitted light when inclusions, or impurities, of miscroscopic rutile needles are in the rose quartz. Unlike other star gemstones, such as ruby and sapphire, where the asterism appears when light is shown on the gems, in star rose quartz the asterism is best seen when light travels through the gem. To show off the asterism, star rose quartz is best suited with a cabochon cut. (A cabochon cut has a highly polished, rounded, convex form without facets.)
The chemical composition of rose quartz is silicon dioxide. A fairly hard stone with a rating of 7 on the Mohs scale, rose quartz has a vitreous, or glassy, luster and is one of the more popular kinds of quartz. It is part of the macrocrystalline quartz family and is made up of large crystals which can be seen with the naked eye and is usually transparent to translucent.
Rose quartz is milky in color and found in shades of pale pink to rose red. A unique shade of pink in the mineral world, its color was once thought to come from inclusions in the mineral, such as titanium or manganese. However, recent testing has revealed that the color comes from microscopic mineral fibers within the rose quartz. When X-ray diffraction tests were done on these fibers, a possible new and as yet unknown mineral was seen. More testing of these mineral fibers is sure to follow in the future.
For thousands of years, people have been using rose quartz as an ornamental or religious object. Some believe it has magical properties that calm the emotions of the wearer and bring balance and inner peace. It is also said that rose quartz enhances our abilities to appreciate music and art.