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Quartz has been known and appreciated since pre-historic times. The most ancient name known is recorded by Theophrastus in about 300-325 BCE, κρύσταλλος or kristallos. The varietal names, rock crystal and bergcrystal, preserve the ancient usage. The root words κρύοσ signifying ice cold and στέλλειυ to contract (or solidify) suggest the ancient belief that kristallos was permanently solidified ice.
The earliest printed use of "querz" was anonymously published in 1505, but attributed to a physician in Freiberg, Germany, Ulrich Rülein von Kalbe (a.k.a. Rülein von Calw, 1527). Agricola used the spelling "quarzum" (Agricola 1530) as well as "querze", but Agricola also referred to "crystallum", "silicum", "silex", and silice". Tomkeieff (1941) suggested an etymology for quartz: "The Saxon miners called large veins - Gänge, and the small cross veins or stringers - Querklüfte. The name ore (Erz, Ertz) was applied to the metallic minerals, the gangue or to the vein material as a whole. In the Erzgebirge, silver ore is frequently found in small cross veins composed of silica. It may be that this ore was called by the Saxon miners 'Querkluftertz' or the cross-vein-ore. Such a clumsy word as 'Querkluftertz' could easily be condensed to 'Querertz' and then to 'Quertz', and eventually become 'Quarz' in German, 'quarzum' in Latin and 'quartz' in English." Tomkeieff (1941, q.v.) noted that "quarz", in its various spellings, was not used by other noted contemporary authors. "Quarz" was used in later literature referring to the Saxony mining district, but seldom elsewhere.