Rose quartz is a pink or pale pink mineral. Its molecules are comprised of one atom of silicon and two atoms of oxygen. The mineral may be opaque or translucent, and it has a hardness of seven, with 10 being the hardest mineral known to humankind. Rose quartz forms when magma deep in the Earth's crust cools, and the mineral rises closer to the surface.
Other physical properties of rose quartz include a specific gravity of 2.65, an index of refraction of 1.54 and a vitreous luster. Individual grains of crystals are distinguishable, which means rose quartz is a macrocrystalline variety of quartz. Some gemstones have rutile crystals aligned 120 degrees apart to form a star-like shape within the mineral. This effect is called asterism.
Rose quartz is the state mineral of South Dakota. The rock is mined in the Black Hills region near the town of Custer. Maine also has rose quartz mines. The pink silicate is primarily found in Brazil, but veins also exist in South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, India and the United States.
Rose quartz is used in jewelry, landscaping pieces, tile and lapidary work. The mineral is usually colored naturally and not treated. It's traditionally a symbol of love and beauty.