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Crystal vs. Quartz — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on November 5, 2023
Crystals are solid materials with a natural geometrically regular form, while quartz is a specific type of crystal made of silicon dioxide.
Crystal vs. Quartz — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Crystal and Quartz

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Key Differences

A crystal is a solid material whose atoms are arranged in a highly ordered, repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. Quartz, however, is a specific type of crystal composed of silicon dioxide (SiO2) and is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust.
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Nov 05, 2023
The term "crystal" can refer to any substance that exhibits a crystalline structure, not limited to quartz. Quartz refers specifically to a single chemical compound with distinctive electrical properties that stem from its crystalline structure. While all quartz is a crystal, not all crystals are quartz.
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Nov 05, 2023
Crystals come in various shapes and sizes, from microscopic to huge formations, based on their molecular arrangement and external conditions during formation. Quartz crystals are usually hexagonal, and they can be clear, cloudy, or colored by impurities.
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Crystals are used in many ways, including in jewelry, healing, and industrial applications. Quartz, being a crystal, shares these applications but is particularly noted for its use in timekeeping devices due to its piezoelectric properties, which other crystals may not possess.
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Nov 05, 2023
Different types of crystals have varying degrees of hardness, optical properties, and temperature resistances. Quartz is known for its hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and can withstand high temperatures without losing its crystalline structure.
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Nov 05, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Solid material with a crystalline structure.
Specific type of crystal made of silicon dioxide.
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Composition Variety

Can be composed of various substances.
Always composed of silicon dioxide.
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Uses

Jewelry, healing, industrial applications.
Timekeeping, electronics, jewelry.
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Electrical Properties

Varies by type.
Characteristically piezoelectric.
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Hardness

Varies widely.
Typically 7 on the Mohs scale.
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Compare with Definitions

Crystal

Crystals are characterized by their geometric shapes.
The crystal’s facets reflected the sunlight beautifully.
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Quartz

Quartz is a crystal made of silicon dioxide.
The quartz specimen was exceptionally clear.
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Crystal

Crystals are noted for their symmetrical forms.
He collected a perfect crystal cube on his expedition.
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Quartz

Quartz is a widely available mineral crystal.
Quartz crystals are found all over the world.
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Crystal

Many minerals form crystals with unique properties.
The miner found a vein rich in colorful crystals.
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Quartz

Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide). The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall chemical formula of SiO2.
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Jan 18, 2020

Crystal

A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents (such as atoms, molecules, or ions) are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macroscopic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consisting of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
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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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Crystal

A piece of a homogeneous solid substance having a natural geometrically regular form with symmetrically arranged plane faces
Ice crystals formed where his breath froze
A quartz crystal
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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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Crystal

Highly transparent glass with a high refractive index
A crystal chandelier
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Quartz

Crystal meth: methamphetamine hydrochloride.
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Crystal

Short for crystal meth (methamphetamine)
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Jan 18, 2020

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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Crystal

Clear and transparent like crystal
The clean crystal waters of the lake
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Quartz

Colorless glass made of almost pure silica
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Crystal

A homogenous solid formed by a repeating, three-dimensional pattern of atoms, ions, or molecules and having fixed distances between constituent parts.
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Jan 18, 2020

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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Crystal

The unit cell of such a pattern.
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Quartz

Quartz is known for its hardness and durability.
Quartz countertops are resistant to scratches.
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Nov 05, 2023

Crystal

A mineral, especially a transparent form of quartz, having a crystalline structure, often characterized by external planar faces.
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Jan 18, 2020

Quartz

Quartz exhibits piezoelectric properties.
Quartz is used in watches because it keeps precise time.
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Crystal

A natural or synthetic crystalline material having piezoelectric or semiconducting properties.
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Quartz

Quartz often forms in hexagonal crystals.
The quartz had a perfectly formed hexagonal shape.
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Crystal

An electrical or electronic device that makes use of such a material, thereby allowing it to receive radio transmissions.
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Jan 18, 2020

Crystal

A high-quality, clear, colorless glass.
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Crystal

An object, especially a vessel or ornament, made of such glass.
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Crystal

Such objects considered as a group.
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Crystal

A clear glass or plastic protective cover for the face of a watch or clock.
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Crystal

(Slang) A stimulant drug, usually methamphetamine, in its powdered form.
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Crystal

Clear or transparent
A crystal lake.
The crystal clarity of their reasoning.
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Jan 18, 2020

Crystal

(countable) A solid composed of an array of atoms or molecules possessing long-range order and arranged in a pattern which is periodic in three dimensions.
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Crystal

(countable) A piece of glimmering, shining mineral resembling ice or glass.
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Crystal

(uncountable) A fine type of glassware, or the material used to make it.
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Crystal

Crystal meth: methamphetamine hydrochloride.
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Crystal

A person's eye.
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Crystal

The glass over the dial of a watch case.
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Crystal

Very clear.
"Do I make myself clear?" / "Crystal."
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Crystal

The regular form which a substance tends to assume in solidifying, through the inherent power of cohesive attraction. It is bounded by plane surfaces, symmetrically arranged, and each species of crystal has fixed axial ratios. See Crystallization.
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Crystal

The material of quartz, in crystallization transparent or nearly so, and either colorless or slightly tinged with gray, or the like; - called also rock crystal. Ornamental vessels are made of it. Cf. Smoky quartz, Pebble; also Brazilian pebble, under Brazilian.
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Jan 18, 2020

Crystal

A species of glass, more perfect in its composition and manufacture than common glass, and often cut into ornamental forms. See Flint glass.
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Crystal

The glass over the dial of a watch case.
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Crystal

Anything resembling crystal, as clear water, etc.
The blue crystal of the seas.
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Crystal

Consisting of, or like, crystal; clear; transparent; lucid; pellucid; crystalline.
Through crystal walls each little mote will peep.
By crystal streams that murmur through the meads.
The crystal pellets at the touch congeal,And from the ground rebounds the ratting hail.
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Crystal

A solid formed by the solidification of a chemical and having a highly regular atomic structure
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Crystal

A crystalline element used as a component in various electronic devices
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Crystal

A rock formed by the solidification of a substance; has regularly repeating internal structure; external plane faces
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Crystal

Colorless glass made of almost pure silica
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Crystal

Glassware made of quartz
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Crystal

A protective cover that protects the face of a watch
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Crystal

A crystal is a naturally occurring solid with a uniform structure.
The crystal sparkled under the museum's lights.
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Nov 05, 2023

Crystal

A crystal has atoms in a highly ordered lattice structure.
Scientists examined the crystal's lattice under a microscope.
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Common Curiosities

What defines a crystal?

A crystal is defined by its atomic structure, which is highly ordered and repetitive.
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Can crystals be synthetic?

Yes, crystals can be both naturally occurring or synthetically made.
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Is quartz used in electronics?

Yes, quartz is often used in electronics for its piezoelectric properties.
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Nov 05, 2023

How is quartz identified?

Quartz can be identified by its hexagonal crystals, hardness, and conchoidal fracture.
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Does quartz have any industrial uses?

Yes, quartz is used in glassmaking, abrasives, and as a foundry sand.
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Nov 05, 2023

What's the difference between crystal and glass?

Glass lacks the ordered molecular structure that defines a crystal.
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What is quartz made of?

Quartz is made of silicon dioxide (SiO2).
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Nov 05, 2023

What are the properties of a crystal?

Properties include a fixed geometric shape, transparency, and specific melting points.
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Are all crystals expensive?

The value of crystals varies greatly depending on type, size, and quality.
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What colors can quartz be?

Quartz can range from clear to various colors depending on impurities.
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Are crystals renewable?

Crystals can form naturally over time but are not considered renewable in human lifespans.
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Do crystals have healing properties?

Some people believe in the healing properties of crystals, but these claims are not scientifically proven.
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How is quartz formed?

Quartz forms when silicon and oxygen combine under heat and pressure.
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Are there different types of quartz?

Yes, there are various types, such as amethyst, citrine, and rose quartz.
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Can quartz withstand heat?

Quartz has a high melting point and can withstand significant heat.
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Nov 05, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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