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Lightning Strike Quartz--Is It For Real?

Lisa Davis

Lightning Strike Quartz Keywords-manifestation, forward motion, action, courage
lightning strike smoky quartz
Lightning Strike Quartz is a name given to quartz that displays a signature "melty" zig zag formation on the surface, reminiscent of a lightning bolt. It is a relatively rare formation, and is highly sought after by collectors for its unique beauty and metaphysical practitioners for its powerful energetic properties. It is typically found in Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil, but it is not limited to that location. 
lightning strike lemurian
Metaphysical Properties
While many people associate lightning strike quartz with the tower card in tarot, it is not about destruction!  It is extremely effective at breaking up old, stagnant patterns that no longer serve our highest good, however it's action is always  focused on forward motion. It can facilitate very efficient manifestation, literally "in a flash".  Once those old patterns have dissipated and resistance is gone, you are allowing the the flow that is your natural birthright.  That clearing and releasing of resistance (in my experience) seems to happen very easily -- no drama, no trauma.  So sit back and enjoy the ride! Be prepared to be surprised and delighted, and get ready to act on all those positive manifestations. There are no limits to your full potential, and lightning strike quartz is a wonderful ally to keep you energized and on a joyful path. 
lightning strike citrine
The Science
This post from Russ Rizo on dated 3/8/20 and the article it references is the best information I have found on the geology of lightning strike quartz (I have edited a bit for space). The link in sources a the end of this article will take you to his original post.

The Lightning quartz that you see for sale is a quartz crystal that, inside the rock where it was formed, was submitted to a high electrical voltage created by lightning hitting the rock (not the quartz crystal).  Due to its piezoelectrical properties, the quartz crystal submitted to this high voltage will expand or contract (depending on the signal of the electrical field, positive or negative).  The result is a weird crack pattern that develops on the crystals faces of the quartz. 

There is a paper about these type of crystals that was published by Prof. Joachim Karfunkel et. al., from University of Minas Gerais, who found the explanation for these weird crack patterns. 

You can read about it (in German) here:
👇🏻This is the article that the above Mindat  post is referencing.  I have translated it below in full. I love that he also mentions Beta Quartz and the associated minerals! The link at the bottom of the page will take you to the original German version.
Note-Bold face emphasis is mine.

For many years, local miners (garimpeiros) have been reporting "Pedras de Raio" (English: flashstone, German Blitzquarz) from the Serra do Espinhaco, a mountain range in Minas Gerais in Brazil. These lightning quartzes are characterized by zigzag-running, furrow-like patterns on the surfaces of the crystals, which were formed by natural lightning while the quartz crystals were still in the ground.

The Espinhaco Mountains are constantly affected by orographic (1) thunderstorms, which produce a high number of lightning. These orographic flashes have some special properties: they reach speeds of up to 160,000 m/s and generate plasma temperatures of 30,000°C in nanoseconds. (In comparison: the surface of the sun has a temperature of approx. 6,000°C; lava temperatures of volcanoes are approx. 1,100 - 1,200°C). Another peculiarity of these special lightnings on the quartz hit by the lightning is the presence of beta quartz (which only forms at temperatures above 573°C (quartz jump) together with the presence of Cristoballite, a high-temperature modification of quartz (which forms at temperatures above 1,470°C). Proof of enormous pressures up to 35.00 bar (508 psi) is the presence of coesite, the high-pressure polymorphic of quartz. The stress caused by extremely fast heating and cooling, together with an intense electrical charge and the high pressure, is the cause of the characteristic zigzag patterns on the surfaces of the affected quartz crystals.

Scientists at the High Voltage Institute of the Technical University of Vienna and at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ilmenau in Thuringia succeeded in replicating the unique flat zigzag markings on quartz under laboratory conditions. In order to produce these patterns on quartz crystals, a unique combination of geological, morphological, climatological and meteorological conditions is required.

(1) Orography (ancient Greek ὄρος oros 'mountain' and -graphie = 'draw' or 'write') is a specialty within various earth sciences and deals with height structures on the natural earth's surface, course and arrangement of mountains as well as the flow conditions of the waters.

 A little side note-If you enjoy geeking out on this topic,  I found an article in Smithsonian Magazine from 2015 that I thought was interesting, discussing  quartz inversion and the changes to the molecular structure that occur. It also brings up the point that if quartz is heated to melting, it loses its crystalline structure. (This is why "quartz" singing bowls are not actually quartz, they are glass). They are talking about fulgarites, but the whole issue of quartz inversion and the changes to the molecular structure that occur due to lightning are very interesting. I have listed references for this and other articles on this topic at the end of this page.


In Summary

Soo-- the answer to the question "Is lightning strike quartz real?" is an emphatic YES.  Thank you for reading, I hope this article was informative and ellightening!


Sources Rizo 3/8/20 Quartz article,Prof. Joachim Karfunkel et. al. 

Lightning-induced-shock-lamellae-in-quartz-American Minerologist Magazine Atlas-Shocked Quartz


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  • Cortney Hardy on

    Extremely informative write-up and in response to your statement on “geeking out” I LOVE this stuff! It’s so neat to not only see the Crystal but to have background information on the amazing feats that nature went to in order to produce such unique pieces. 💜

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