Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock that was originally pure quartz sandstone. Sandstone is transformed into quartzite through heating and pressure, usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3), as you will likely see with these specimens. Because of its hardness and angular shape, crushed quartzite is often used as railway ballast. Quartzite is a decorative stone and may be used to cover walls, as roofing tiles, as flooring, and stairsteps. Its use for countertops in kitchens is expanding rapidly. It is harder and more resistant to stains than granite. Crushed quartzite is sometimes used in road construction. High purity quartzite is used to produce ferrosilicon, industrial silica sand, silicon and silicon carbide. During the Paleolithic quartzite was used, in addition to flint, quartz, and other lithic raw materials, for making stone tools.
One 1" specimen
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