Quartz dates back to as early as 1974 when they were known as Bandy Legs. They signed to Jet Records in 1976 and supported Black Sabbath and AC/DC. The band changed their name to Quartz for their 1977 debut album, Quartz. The album was produced by Tony Iommi and Quartz toured with Black Sabbath to support this release. Queen guitarist Brian May offered to do his "Queen" style editing of the song "Circles," but after several attempts he admitted that he thought the original version was still better which also features Ozzy Osbourne on backing vocals but his backing vocal was cut from the final mix by producer Tony Iommi. This track did not appear on the album but appeared as the B-side to the "Stoking the Fires of Hell" single and as a bonus track when the Stand Up & Fight album was later reissued on cd in 2004 by Majestic Rock.
Quartz toured during this time, playing the Reading Festival three times (1977, 1978 and 1980) and touring in support of some of the larger hard rock bands of the time (Iron Maiden, Saxon, UFO, Gillan and Rush).
Quartz released their second studio album, Stand Up and Fight, in 1980 and their third, Against All Odds, in 1983 before disbanding in 1984. In 1979, Geoff Nicholls left to join Black Sabbath. He contributed keyboards and songwriting from 1980s Heaven and Hell to 2004.
In 2004, doom metal band, Orodruin covered "Stand Up and Fight" on their album Claw Tower.
Prior to the founding of Quartz, Hopkins had played in Wages of Sin, a short-lived Birmingham band which toured as a backing band for Cat Stevens in 1970. After that band's dissolution, two of his bandmates, expatriate Canadians Ed and Brian Pilling, returned to Canada and formed the band Fludd; Hopkins briefly joined that band in 1972 as a replacement for founding guitarist Mick Walsh, but left by the end of the year after they were dropped from their original record label.
Quartz reformed in 2011 playing a reunion gig on 16 December 2011 at The Asylum in Birmingham, England. The line up consisted of Geoff Nicholls, Mike Hopkins, Derek Arnold, Malcolm Cope and former vocalist David Garner.
The band's original lead singer, Mike "Taffy" Taylor, died on 27 September 2016. Geoff Nicholls died at the age of 68, from lung cancer, on 28 January 2017.