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Self Healed or Re-healed Quartz

What is "healed" quartz?  Healed quartz occurs when a quartz crystal is first
broken from its attachment point.  Breaking can occur from techtonic activity
or a rapid temperature change that caused the crystal to break.  Later,
conditions allowed the crystal to continue growing and the fractured area
became faceted with crystal faces and terminations.
To find out if your quartz crystal has been healed you turn the crystal in your hand
while keeping an eye on the area in question.  While turning the crystal in your
hand, you are looking for a flash of light caused by reflections of light off the
surface of this area.  Hold the crystal so that this flash is kept directed at
your eyes and observe closely with a loupe if neccesary.  You're looking for
triangular or rectangle shapes -- the basic shapes associated with normal whole
quartz crystals.
The above photo is an example of conchoidal fracture.  Conchoidal fracture
is the way brittle materials break because they do not cleave along natural planes
of separation.  Just like glass, quartz breaks unevenly.  Shock waves emanating
from the point of impact leave ripple marks -- visible on the above photo.
Conchoidal fracture is what you should understand before determining weather
your crystal has been healed or not.
Here is another example of the conchoidal fracture texture.  Notice the lack
of any geometric shapes, lines, or flat surfaces inherent in crystals.
Here is an example of a crystal that had begun to heal.  Observe the triangular and
rectangular shapes in the reflections.  Although it may seem that the center of
this crystal looks as though it has conchoidal fracture it becomes obvious with the
aid of a loupe that the entire area is healed with very tiny crystal faces.
The above photo is another texture very common to quartz crystals.  This
crystal has not been healed but is useful for its clear example of striations or
closely spaced linear marks you see.  In healed quartz you may sometimes
see these striations.
Here is an example of quartz that has been healed and displays striations within the
healed area.
The triangular faces you see in this specimen are a sure sign that healing has taken
place.  This is a base of a crystal that had long ago broken from the matrix.
Conditions were right for it to continue growth and heal the conchoidal
facture texture that it once had.
Close observation of this crystal and you can see the triangular shapes (beginnings
of terminations) of crystal faces on this healed quartz crystal.
Sometimes there is almost a blend of chonchoidal and healed quartz.  This is because some
specimens may have only just begun healing before the conditions that allowed it to grow
stopped.  But, once you are familiar with identifying healed quartz then you will be able to
spot it at all stages of growth.
Notice the beginnings of the triangular shapes (pointing left) and the smooth flat surfaces.
Quartz will not break like this, and so it is obvious that this crystal has been healed.
Another example of chonchoidal fracture.  Notice the ripples and absence of any ordered,
flat, or triangular shapes.  It looks almost like choppy water waves.
This healed specimen clearly demonstrates the striations common with quartz.
If a broken piece of quartz becomes healed enough there may be no signs
of healing except for the fact that no attachment point can be found anywhere
on it and no damage can be found.  These are called "floaters".  This piece
potentially started as a fractured piece of a larger crystal, but with enough time
and growth, healed into this double terminated floater crystal.
This specimen, found  by Lee Fleming in South Carolina, is a cluster of iron stained crystals on top. (left)
On the underside, (right) it is apparent that the entire base was healed.  This lets us know that at some time in
the past this cluster broke free from from the matrix, and the fractured underside was able to re-heal.
Photo by Lee Fleming
This specimen was found by Milton M. Bamfield in South Carolina.   The underside of this
plate of crystals has almost completely healed into a plate of double terminated crystals.
Photo by 
Milton M. Bamfield
Found in Raleigh, NC this crystal was broken off at the base and
was completely healed into an attractive mosaic of triangular faces.
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