Topaz vs Quartz: Difference and Comparison

Some of the minerals are used in jewelry, watches, and other decorative items. Topaz and Quartz are some of the widely used minerals.

However, a variety of quartz and topaz is sold, such as smoky topaz, golden topaz, rose quartz,  rock quartz, tiger’s eye quartz, and smoky quartz. Two of them are widely sold and found in different shapes and sizes. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Topaz is a silicate mineral with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, while quartz has a hardness of 7.
  2. Quartz occurs in various colors and forms, while topaz is found in yellow, blue, or colorless varieties.
  3. Topaz exhibits strong pleochroism, which is absent in quartz.

Topaz vs Quartz 

The difference between topaz and quartz is that topaz is very hard with hardness 8, while quartz is less hard with hardness 7. Secondly, topaz has good basal cleavage, while quartz has weaker cleavage. Thirdly, topaz has straight and has cleavage in one direction. Meanwhile, quartz has not straight and in one direction cleavage. Fourthly, topaz has approx 3.4 to 3.5 specific gravity, while quartz has 2.65 or less specific gravity. Lastly, topaz has an orthorhombic crystal system, while quartz has a hexagonal crystal system. 

Topaz vs Quartz

Topaz is a mineral made from silicate considered to be very hard with hardness 8. Although, it has good basal cleavage in straight and one direction.

As for the specific gravity, it has approx 3.4 to 3.5 specific gravity. Moreover, the crystal system of topaz is orthorhombic. Whereas, the chemical composition for topaz is Al2SiO2

Quartz is also a mineral considered to be less hard with hardness 7. Although, it has poor basal cleavage, not in straight and one direction.

As for the specific gravity, it has approx 2.65 or less specific gravity. Moreover, the crystal system of quartz is hexagonal. Whereas, the chemical composition for quartz is SiO2

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonTopazQuartz
HardnessTopaz is very hard with hardness 8.Quartz is less hard with hardness 7. 
Good/weak cleavage Topaz has good basal cleavage.Quartz has weaker cleavage. 
Cleavage Topaz has straight and has cleavage in one direction. Quartz has not straight and in one direction cleavage. 
Specific gravity Topaz has approx 3.4 to 3.5 specific gravity.quartz has 2.65 or less specific gravity. 
Crystal SystemTopaz has an orthorhombic crystal system.Quartz has a hexagonal crystal system
Chemical compositionThe chemical composition for topaz is Al2SiO2.The chemical composition for quartz is SiO2

What is Topaz? 

Some of the beautiful minerals are used in jewelry, artifacts, and other decorative items, due to their shine. One of the minerals used is topaz that comes in various forms.

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Topaz’s variety is smoky topaz and golden topaz. They are most popular among all the variety of topaz. Smoky topaz is called smoky due to its color dark brown. 

Topaz is a mineral made from silicate considered to be very hard with hardness 8. Although, it has good basal cleavage in straight and one direction.

As for the specific gravity, it has approx 3.4 to 3.5 specific gravity. Moreover, the crystal system of topaz is orthorhombic. Whereas, the chemical composition for topaz is Al2SiO2. Although, white streaks can be seen in this mineral.

Even a refractometer can distinguish a topaz and quartz. Although, a variety of topaz is available that comes in different colors and sizes. It is found in translucent to transparent colors including, white, yellow, pink, or red. 

Topaz is more precious than quartz. As for the characteristics, topaz has weathering and stream abrasion resistance. As already mentioned, the gemstone is translucent. However, the rare color in which topaz is found is blue and pink. 

topaz scaled

What is Quartz?

Due to their lustrous appearance, several of the precious minerals are utilized in jewelry, antiques, and other ornamental things. Quartz, which occurs in a variety of shapes, is one of the minerals utilized.

Quartz’s variety is rose quartz,  rock quartz, tiger’s eye quartz, and smoky quartz. They are the most popular among all the varieties of quartz. 

Quartz is also a mineral considered to be less hard with hardness 7. Although, it has poor basal cleavage, not in straight and one direction. As for the specific gravity, it has approx 2.65 or less specific gravity.

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Moreover, the crystal system of quartz is hexagonal. Whereas, the chemical composition for quartz is SiO2.Although, white streaks also can be seen in this mineral.

Even a refractometer can distinguish a topaz and quartz. Although, a variety of quartz is available that comes in different colors and sizes. But, it is mostly used in optics, watches, and lenses. 

Quartz is less pricey than topaz. As for existence, it exists in two forms, ɑ -quartz and ?-quartz. Some of the varieties of quartz are considered to be gemstones. 

One of the ways of using quartz, Crushed quartz is used in sandpaper. Additionally, fused quartz is used in optics to transmit ultraviolet rays.

quartz

Main Differences Between Topaz and Quartz

Topaz and Quartz are some minerals used in jewelry, watches, and other decorative items. Both are minerals, however, they are very different from each other.

They have different hardness, composition, specific gravity, and crystal system. Although, a different variety of topaz and quartz are sold and are used in different industries as well. They come in a variety of forms and sizes. 

  1. Topaz is very hard with hardness 8, while quartz is less hard with hardness 7. 
  2. Topaz has good basal cleavage, while quartz has weaker cleavage. 
  3. Topaz has straight and has cleavage in one direction. Meanwhile, quartz has not straight and in one direction cleavage. 
  4. Topaz has approx 3.4 to 3.5 specific gravity, while quartz has 2.65 or less specific gravity. 
  5. Topaz has an orthorhombic crystal system, while quartz has a hexagonal crystal system
  6. The chemical composition for topaz is Al2SiO2, while the chemical composition for quartz is SiO2
Difference Between Topaz and Quartz

References 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1085647/
  2. https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.57.105

Last Updated : 30 June, 2023

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