How do I Choose the Best Dendritic Quartz?

Jillian Peterson

If you are looking for unique jewelry featuring all-natural gemstones with beautiful patterns formed by nature, dendritic quartz jewelry is an excellent choice. Dendritic quartz is a quartz gemstone with a fern-like pattern of dark minerals, called inclusions, within the stone. The primary sources of quality dendritic quartz are Brazil and Africa. Choosing the best dendritic quartz depends on your taste and the finished look of your jewelry because there are many colors and patterns in this unique gemstone.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

In quartz, inclusions are formed when inorganic minerals, often manganese oxides, collect in microscopic fissures inside the stone, creating patterns of darker minerals that resemble trees or ferns. The term dendrite comes from the Greek word “dendron,” which means tree. Sometimes these tree-like inclusions can also be found in translucent agates, another form of quartz.

The most prized of all dendritic quartz gemstones are clear quartz with dark brown, black or rust-colored inclusions. The clear quartz highlights the lacy inclusions, and the light shining through the crystal can often create a beautiful gemstone. When buying a clear quartz dendrite of this type, you should look for a cut of gem that flatters the natural pattern of the inclusions.

Often clear quartz dendrites are cut into large sizes so the inclusions that make this stone so unique are clearly visible. You will often find these gemstones in oval or rectangular cuts, and the size of the stone will determine in what kind of jewelry the quartz should be set. A skilled jeweler will be able to cut dendritic quartz so the most unique inclusions are showcased. Large dendritic quartz gemstones are perfect for pendants or brooches because of their size, and you can find many different shapes.

If you are looking for a stone with a little more color, you can find dendritic quartz with bands of translucent white, yellow, green or orange tints as well as lacy inclusions. Colored inclusions often come other minerals within the quartz, such as azurite, chlorite, and malachite. These colored quartz dendrites can be worn alone or matched with another gemstone, such as topaz, to create stunning necklaces, bracelets, rings or earrings.

Dendritic agates may be a cheaper alternative to clear quartz dendrites. Since agate is a form of quartz, they often form dendrites as well, but agates can be cheaper than clear quartz with perfect dendrites. You can find dendritic agates that are solid or translucent and in many different colors. The most common form of dendritic agate is called moss agate because the inclusions form moss-like patterns in the green stone.

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