Lithium Quartz: a rare type of quartz from ONE location in the world
What exactly makes quartz “lithium quartz”? And does it matter? Aside from wanting to know what I’m really working with in my subtle energetic practice, there is also the price factor. “Lithium quartz” can have a higher price tag because it is more difficult to come by: it is mined out of only one region in Brazil. Add to that – only a specific amount of this material is allowed to be mined each year. (I’ve searched the mineralogical corner of the Internet for information about this to verify and weirdly, only reputable metaphysical sites offer the same information. If you have verifiable information that offers different facts about “lithium quartz” – please let me know in the comments).
You might be wondering why I type quotation marks around the words “lithium quartz.” It is because there isn’t a lot of readily-available, concrete information about quartz with lithium inclusions. And what we think of when we hear “lithium quartz” – quartz with lithium – can be misleading. Whether the element lithium is actually present and to what degree is debatable. The only way to identify an inclusion for sure, is through lab testing. Of course it would be very expensive to test every piece of quartz that might have Li in it, so we don’t. Which means we don’t know for sure which elements are present and in what quantities to create that lavender-mauve phantom.
What we in the metaphysical corner of the world call “lithium quartz” is quartz that comes from a specific region in Brazil. It doesn’t come from Madagascar or South America. “Lithium quartz” may have inclusions of lithium, manganese, iron, kaolinite, and/or iron. That’s what we can know for sure.
I see a lot of “lithium quartz” on social media that is not “lithium quartz” IF we are talking specifically about Brazilian quartz with inclusions creating that mauve phantom or coating. One of the most common types of quartz misidentified as being “lithium quartz” is candle quartz with hematite. Candle quartz refers to formation. It is a quartz point that has a specific look to its side terminations. Below are 2 photos of a candle quartz I sold a couple years ago. You can also do a Google Image search to check out more.
Neither are “lithium quartz.” Both are hematite coated quartz from Madagascar.
Sometimes, when hematite is present, candle quartz can look like “lithium quartz.” The coloration can be similar – check it out here. I’m not saying that the crystals featured on that page are not “lithium quartz.” What I do know is that I often see photographs of crystals on Google Image search and in social media that are claiming to show or offer “lithium quartz” that, because of its location, is unlikely to actually be “lithium quartz.”
The important thing – the idea I most want to convey – is that because other quartz (primarily hematite-bearing quartz) can also look like Lithium Quartz, it’s important to buy Lithium Quartz from a reputable, knowledgeable dealer. This is also true of Ajoite and Sugilite, and other minerals which are rare, very expensive, and have look-a-likes.
One mineralogical website writes that “lithium quartz” is a common trade name (like a nickname – see my post on Trademarking for more information about nomenclature), for quartz that contains a “pink/purple translucent to opaque variety of quartz, possibly containing inclusions of a lithium-rich mineral such as lepidolite – however it could equally be a misleading/incorrect name, and should be regarded a simply a coloured quartz until further investigation on this material is done.” I don’t often refer or link to this website because of the members’ attitude toward the healing arts is mocking and close-minded. But being that it is an actual mineralogical website, providing actual mineralogical information, it bears noting.
So what does “Lithium Quartz” from Brazil look like? Lithium Quartz is quartz that has phantoms of a mauve-hued mineral. Sometimes it has a whitish coating on the outside of the point. I was very fortunate to be able to acquire this very large, double terminated “lithium quartz” a few summers ago that exhibits both:
While the assumption is that “lithium quartz” contains lithium and is therefore a great stone to work with when transforming stress and anxiety, we don’t know for sure that these quartz points actually contain lithium. They probably have at least trace amounts if they were formed in a lithium-rich environment. But other crystals and minerals contain lithium for sure – and are much easier on the pocketbook and easier to obtain. When you understand the role of the chemical composition in your crystal healing practice, there’s a lot less guesswork involved. Check out what Web Elements has to say on Lithium’s page:
Lithium does not occur as the free metal in nature because of its high reactivity. Deposits are known all around the world. It is a minor component of nearly all igneous rocks and is a component of many natural brines (see below). Large deposits are located in California and Nevada (both in the USA) in several rock forms, particularly spodumene. The four main lithium minerals are spodumene, lepidolite, petalite, and amblygonite.
If you want to check out what other minerals contain lithium and in what quantities, you can check out this page and scroll through the list. You’ll see Sugilite, Montebrasite, and Elbaite.
When metaphysicians and healers encourage meditating or working with “lithium quartz” they are doing so because lithium is a known element applied in pharmacology to alleviate manic depressive disorder. If this is our primary impetus for working with lithium-bearing minerals, I’m going to recommend lepidolite everytime in place of “lithium quartz.” I have experienced anxiety since I was born and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in my early 20’s. Anxiety – regardless of diagnosis – has been a center-stage Teacher in my life. And I have turned to the mineral kingdom to help me as I learn how to work with that energy and allow it to show me what I want to know. While I have some lovely “lithium quartz” pieces available to me, each time anxiety has arisen, I have grabbed lepidolite. Botryoidal, sheet mica, or tumbled, lepidolite has been a great crystalline ally for me.
The role of a mineral’s CLASS:
Unlike quartz, which can MAGNIFY energy, lepidolite – being a sheet silicate (aka phyllosilicate) – has a unique role in its shielding and mirroring properties, metaphysically speaking. Depending on how you wish to work with the energy arising, you can incorporate lepidolite in your healing to shield you from outside influences, or you can use the mirroring aspect to help you see how these seemingly external energies are internally co-created. For this reason alone, lepidolite seems a better crystalline ally. But then, it also has the lithium, so while regrouping or assessing, the energy of lithium is also present.
Regardless the crystalline ally you choose, I hope this post helps you as you determine which minerals to incorporate into your healing work and helps you in your identification quests.
Grace and peace,
I will be accepting new students to the Crystal Therapy Program next month (February 2018). If you have been feeling drawn to learn about crystal healing and its effects on the subtle body, I welcome you to check out the course description page HERE
The course offers an Independent Study track, as well as a certification track.