Quartz has great economic importance. Many varieties are gemstones, including amethystcitrinesmoky quartz, and rose quartzSandstone, composed mainly of quartz, is an important building stone. Large amounts of quartz sand (also known as silica sand) are used in the manufacture of glass and ceramics and for foundry molds in metal casting. Crushed quartz is used as an abrasive in sandpaper, silica sand is employed in sandblasting, and sandstone is still used whole to make whetstones, millstones, and grindstones. Silica glass (also called fused quartz) is used in optics to transmit ultraviolet light. Tubing and various vessels of fused quartz have important laboratory applications, and quartz fibres are employed in extremely sensitive weighing devices.

Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silica. 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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