Also in my final paper, I included a segment about the most popular and abundant mineral on the Earths crust. It is literally almost everywhere you look, touch, or maybe even smell. An exerpt from my paper includes details of why we need quartz to live the current lifestyle we have today. “Though it is debatable about which mineral is the most vital to our society, most believe that quartz is the single most important to our everyday lives, and we wouldn’t be able to live a normal life without it (Quartz). Quartz (SiO₂) is the most common mineral on the continental crust, which is where we spend most of our time (The Most Common Mineral). Due to the fact that heavy machinery and TNT isn’t used since it can ruin the Quartz, the environment is generally safe from the mining of it. In fact, once reaching the mineral after simply using a backhoe and shovel, most mines will use dentist tools to get the mineral out so that they do not ruin the value of it (Quartz). The mineral is found in the form of many different varieties such as: agate, chalcedony, chert, flint, opal, and rock crystal (About Quartz). Based on facts from geology.about.com, “Nearly all the sand in sandstone, in the deserts of the world and on its riverbeds and beaches is Quartz. In granite and gneiss, which make up the majority of the deep continental crust, Quartz is the most common mineral.” Also, About.com says that Quartz is so common in crustal rocks that it’s more notable when quartz is missing than when it’s present.”
Later in the paper I described why it is so important to us and what we would have to give up without it. “The economic value of this abundant mineral is great. It comes in different varieties of precious gemstones used in some jewelry. These varieties include amethyst, citrine, smoky quartz, and rose quartz (About Quartz). Another economic value is its unique industrial potential. It is found in almost all sand, as mentioned above, which leads to foundation sandstone used in building stone. This sand is used in the manufacture of many different kinds of glass and ceramics. It is also sometimes used in metal casting. There is also a process used to crush the quartz to be made into abrasives in sandpaper. A scholastic article called “Rock Crushing Methods” describes the different methods over the course of time used to crush quartz to find rare minerals inside it such as Gold. One of the older methods mentioned was the mortar and pestle, which was later differentiated into the hand stamp method, and then revolutionized into the modern day small jaw crusher (Rock Crushing Methods). Quartz is also found in the sandstones used in the making of other industrial building blocks called whetstones, millstones, and grindstones. Two of the most precise uses are when the mineral is fused to make optics to transmit ultraviolet light, and when the fibers are implemented in laboratory weighing devices that have high sensitivity (QUARTZ). Another everyday use of this mineral is the use of the road systems. Quartz is a major component in gravel and aggregate in cement. This gives us driveways, garages, parking lots, and solid foundations for houses and buildings. Also, for those who wear watches on a daily basis or even have non-digital clocks in their houses, quartz makes for a perfect crystal for oscillators in watches (Smith).