What Is Petroleum Quartz

Petroleum quartz, also known as golden enhydro, is a unique and relatively rare variety of quartz crystal. It's known for containing trapped pockets of fluid, often identified as ancient petroleum, within its crystal structure. These inclusions can be millions of years old and sometimes fluoresce under ultraviolet light.

Petroleum quartz typically has a transparent or translucent body with a golden or yellow hue.

The most distinctive feature of Petroleum Quartz is the presence of tiny moving bubbles of petroleum oil trapped within the crystal. These inclusions can range in size from microscopic to barely visible to the naked eye. They can sometimes be mobile and move around freely when the stone is tilted, adding a dynamic element to the crystal's appearance.

Is Petroleum Quartz rare?

Yes, Petroleum Quartz is a relatively rare variety of quartz due to the specific geological conditions required for its formation.

Petroleum Quartz
Petroleum Quartz

How is petroleum quartz formed?

Petroleum quartz forms when water gets trapped inside quartz crystals during geological events involving high pressure and temperature. Over time, this trapped water can be replaced by natural petroleum.

It all starts with hot, circulating water rich in dissolved silica (the building block of quartz). This water encounters existing cavities or fractures in rocks. As the temperature and pressure increase, the water gets trapped within these cavities. This trapped water can sometimes contain methane gas bubbles.

Mineral Replacement: Over vast stretches of time (millions of years), the trapped water interacts with surrounding organic matter like buried plant or animal remains. This process can lead to the replacement of the water with petroleum, a type of crude oil. The methane gas bubbles might also remain trapped within the petroleum.

Petroleum Quartz Properties

Composition: Silicon Dioxide (SiO₂) with inclusions of petroleum oil. This combination makes Petroleum Quartz a fascinating example of a solid mineral (quartz) trapping a liquid inclusion (petroleum oil) for millions of years.

Color: Golden yellow, sometimes with a reddish-brown tinge. The golden color is attributed to the trapped petroleum oil, while the reddish tinge can be caused by trace amounts of iron impurities.

Transparency: Transparent to translucent. The clarity can be affected by the amount and distribution of liquid inclusions within the quartz.

Luster: Vitreous (glassy). This glassy sheen is a characteristic feature of quartz crystals and contributes to Petroleum Quartz's beauty.

Crystal System: Trigonal. This crystal system refers to the internal atomic arrangement of silicon and oxygen atoms that form the quartz structure.

Streak: White. When scratched across a streak plate, Petroleum Quartz leaves a white powder residue, which is a common property of most quartz varieties.

Hardness: 7 on Mohs scale. This indicates that Petroleum Quartz is a relatively hard mineral, resistant to scratches from most everyday materials.

Cleavage: Absent. Quartz crystals lack cleavage planes, meaning they tend to break in unpredictable conchoidal fractures rather than splitting along specific directions.

Fracture: Conchoidal. This type of fracture results in uneven, curved breakage surfaces, resembling the inside of a seashell.

Habits and Forms: Usually double-terminated crystals. Petroleum Quartz crystals are typically double-terminated, meaning they have pointed terminations at both ends.

Density: 2.6 - 2.7 g/cm³. The density of Petroleum Quartz is slightly higher than pure quartz due to the presence of denser petroleum inclusions.

Solubility: Insoluble in water, slightly soluble in hydrofluoric acid. Petroleum Quartz is resistant to weathering by water but can be dissolved by strong acids like hydrofluoric acid.

Magnetism: Non-magnetic. Quartz crystals do not exhibit any magnetic properties.

Fluorescence: May fluoresce yellow or green under UV light. This fluorescence is a unique property of the trapped petroleum oil and can be a helpful indicator for identification. However, not all Petroleum Quartz fluoresces, so it's not the sole identification method.


fluorescent petroleum quartz
fluorescent petroleum quartz

What is Petroleum Quartz used for?

Jewelry and Decoration: Due to its beautiful golden color and unique liquid inclusions, petroleum quartz is a popular choice for gemstone cutters and jewelry makers. It can also be used in decorative objects and carvings.

It is also used for metaphysical and spiritual purposes rather than industrial applications. Some common uses of petroleum quartz include:

Healing and Energy Work: Many people believe that petroleum quartz possesses strong healing energies that can be used to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It is often used in crystal healing practices to clear energy blockages, balance chakras, and promote overall vitality.

Meditation and Spiritual Growth: Petroleum quartz is valued for its ability to enhance meditation practices and facilitate spiritual growth. It is believed to help individuals connect with their higher selves, deepen their intuition, and access spiritual wisdom.

Amplifying Intentions: Like other quartz crystals, petroleum quartz is thought to amplify the energy of intentions and manifestations. It is often used in rituals and ceremonies to amplify positive affirmations, prayers, and intentions.

Chakra Balancing: The golden color of petroleum quartz is associated with the solar plexus chakra, which is located in the abdomen and is associated with personal power, confidence, and self-esteem. As such, petroleum quartz is often used in chakra balancing practices to promote empowerment and self-confidence.

Aura Cleansing: Some practitioners believe that petroleum quartz has the ability to cleanse and purify the aura, helping to remove negative energies and promote a sense of inner harmony and balance.

Cut Petroleum Quartz gemstones
Cut or faceted Petroleum Quartz gemstones

Where is Petroleum Quartz found?

While some sources claim Petroleum Quartz is exclusive to a few regions, it's actually found in various locations around the world. Here's a breakdown of some known sources:

Pakistan and Afghanistan: Historically, these areas were known sources, particularly Baluchistan, Pakistan.

Madagascar: A recent discovery in the Andranotokana Massif of eastern Madagascar yielded Petroleum Quartz with unique fluid inclusions.

United States: Notably Herkimer, New York, has produced some Petroleum Quartz specimens.

Brazil: Deposits of Petroleum Quartz have also been documented in Brazil.


Petroleum quartz, with its distinctive golden hue and intriguing metaphysical properties, represents a fascinating subject of inquiry bridging the realms of science and spirituality. While its aesthetic allure and purported healing energies captivate enthusiasts of crystal healing, its mineralogical composition and optical characteristics also hold scientific merit, warranting further exploration in diverse fields of research and application. As scientific inquiry continues to unravel the mysteries of this remarkable mineral specimen, its potential contributions to various disciplines remain ripe for exploration and discovery.

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