rock crystal
transparent quartz, esp. when colorless.
[1660-70]

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Transparent variety of the silica mineral quartz that is valued for its clarity and total lack of colour or flaws.

Rock crystal formerly was used extensively as a gemstone, but it has been replaced by glass and plastic; rhinestones originally were quartz pebbles found in the Rhine River. The optical properties of rock crystal led to its use in lenses and prisms; its piezoelectric properties (see piezoelectricity) are used to control the oscillation of electrical circuits.

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 transparent variety of the silica mineral quartz that is valued for its clarity and total lack of colour or flaws. Vessels and spheres have been carved from large crystals since ancient times, and the application of the word crystal to fine glassware derives from this practice. Rock crystal formerly was used extensively as a gemstone (usually brilliant-cut) but has been replaced by glass and plastic; rhinestones originally were quartz pebbles found in the Rhine River. Although the resemblance to diamond is remote, the widespread use of colourless quartz in jewelry gave rise to the use of the word diamond in the description of quartz crystals from many areas, as the “Herkimer diamond” from Herkimer County, New York. The optical properties of rock crystal led to its use in lenses and prisms; its piezoelectric properties are used to control the oscillation of electrical circuits. Its physical properties are those of quartz (see silica mineral).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rock crystal — Rock Rock, n. [OF. roke, F. roche; cf. Armor. roc h, and AS. rocc.] 1. A large concreted mass of stony material; a large fixed stone or crag. See {Stone}. [1913 Webster] Come one, come all! this rock shall fly From its firm base as soon as I. Sir …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rock crystal — Crystal Crys tal (kr[i^]s tal), n. [OE. cristal, F. cristal, L. crystallum crystal, ice, fr. Gr. kry stallos, fr. kry os icy cold, frost; cf. AS. crystalla, fr. L. crystallum; prob. akin to E. crust. See {Crust}, {Raw}.] 1. (Chem. & Min.) The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rock crystal — Crystal Crys tal (kr[i^]s tal), n. [OE. cristal, F. cristal, L. crystallum crystal, ice, fr. Gr. kry stallos, fr. kry os icy cold, frost; cf. AS. crystalla, fr. L. crystallum; prob. akin to E. crust. See {Crust}, {Raw}.] 1. (Chem. & Min.) The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rock crystal — ► NOUN ▪ transparent quartz, typically in the form of colourless hexagonal crystals …   English terms dictionary

  • rock crystal — n. a transparent, esp. colorless, quartz …   English World dictionary

  • rock crystal — kalnų krištolas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Bespalvis, skaidrus kvarcas. formulė SiO₂ atitikmenys: angl. rock crystal rus. горный хрусталь …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • rock crystal — rock′ crys tal n. mir transparent quartz, esp. when colorless • Etymology: 1660 …   From formal English to slang

  • rock crystal — noun Date: 1666 crystal 1 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • rock-crystal — n. Limpid quartz, mountain crystal …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • rock crystal — noun clear, colourless form of the silica based mineral quartz, often called pure quartz or clear quartz …   Wiktionary

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