Quartzite rock

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Quartzite is a dense and durable rock largely consisting of the mineral quartz. It has many aesthetic and practical uses, e.g. in jewellery and 'shingle' paving.

Metamorphic: Made from sandstone, where the original quartz grains recrystallise and fuse together

Source location: Westland.

Sizes: Choose from dropdown menu either Shelf specimen (300–800g), or Hand specimen (150-300g), or Small specimen (less than 150g).

Note: Images are examples of specimens only. Sizes and shapes will vary.

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Quartzite has a dense and durable structure formed through the metamorphism of sandstone, where the original quartz grains recrystallise and fuse together.


Metamorphic (consisting of more than 90% quartz).

Physical properties of quartzite

  • Colour: Can have various colours, including white, grey, yellow, pink, or brown, depending on impurities and mineral content.
  • Lustre: Vitreous or glassy.
  • Hardness: 7 on the Mohs scale, making it highly resistant to scratching and abrasion.
  • Density: Ranges from 2.65 to 2.75 grams per cubic centimetre.
  • Fracture: Displays a conchoidal fracture, with smooth, curved surfaces resembling the interior of a seashell.

General properties of quartzite

  • Durability: Highly durable and resistant to weathering, pressure, and chemical attack.
  • Heat Resistance: Exhibits excellent heat resistance, making it suitable for applications exposed to high temperatures.
  • Acid Resistance: Generally resistant to acids, alkalis, and chemical weathering.
  • Low Water Absorption: Low water absorption, making it resistant to staining and moisture damage.
  • Non-Slip Surface: The textured surface of quartzite provides good slip resistance, making it ideal for flooring applications.
  • Aesthetics: Often showcases attractive patterns, veining, and colour variations, enhancing its desirability for decorative purposes.

Uses of quartzite in New Zealand and worldwide

  • Construction: Widely used in construction, including for walls, flooring, countertops, and roofing, owing to its durability and aesthetic appeal.
  • Landscaping: Employed in landscaping projects for pathways, garden features, walls, and decorative purposes, adding natural beauty to outdoor spaces.
  • Dimension Stone: Cut and polished into slabs or blocks, quartzite finds application in cladding, countertops, and other architectural elements.
  • Railway Ballast: Serves as a crushed stone for railway ballast, providing stability and efficient drainage to railway tracks.
  • Metallurgical Industry: Acts as a fluxing agent in the smelting process, aiding the removal of impurities during metal production.
  • Geological Studies: Studied by geologists to understand metamorphic processes, ancient environments, and the geological history of Earth's crust.