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Smoky Quartz Gemstone

Updated on July 13, 2010

What is Smoky Quartz

Smoky quartz (SiO2) is a variety of the mineral quartz, the part of the quartz family that includes citrine, amethyst and rose quartz. It is made up of large crystals and can be distinguished by your naked eye. Smoky quartz has a vitreous luster and the color ranges from tan-brown to light gray. The stone is very popular and often used in jewelry and ornamental figurines. Smoky quartz is opaque to translucent and ranks a 7 according to the Mohs scale of hardness, therefore it is very wearable for jewelry. It has a refractive index of 1.544 – 1.553 with a trigonal crystal system. The cause of the crystal color is in question but it is certainly related to the amount of exposure to radiation that smoky quartz has undergone.

The smoky quarts may resemble obsidian, black tourmaline and or the black onyx. Some quartz in jewelry are artificially irradiated to make them dark black in color. Smoke Quartz has also been misleadingly sold as Smoky Topaz. There is no such gemstone known as smoky topaz, it's illegal to refer to quartz as "topaz". Smoke quartz that contains rutilations is sometimes called as smoky sagenite rather than rutilated quartz. The crystal is often cooked at high temperatures to produce the orange yellow citrine. Smoky quartz can form together with crystals of citrine to form bi-colored quartz.

Smoky Quartz

Where is Smoky Quartz Found and What It is Used For

Smoky quartz often occurs naturally in granitic rocks which have a small and persistent amount of radioactivity. It can be found in several countries in the world and these include Colorado, Italy, Brazil (the largest supplier), The Swiss Alps and the United States. The popularity of smoky quartz rises and falls with fashion but it has been very popular recently as a gemstone due to its tribal look and earthy tone. Since the stone is quite an affordable gem and can be found easily in large sizes, it is popular for pendants. Sometimes it can be found cut in innovative faceted cuts too, as well as in cabochons and carvings.

Smoky quartz is the national gem of Scotland, and the country has a long historical association with the stone (as well as its very close relative of quartz, citrine). The stone was often used in shamanistic rituals and it was valued by the Cherokee Indians. The Druids considered the stone sacred. Smoky quartz is very popular as an ornamental stone used for jewelry and is carved into pyramids, spheres, obelisks, figurines, eggs and ornate statues. It can be fashioned easily into all the traditional gemstone cuts such as the princess or cushion cuts, the popular emerald, or cut into multi-faceted briolettes for pendants, beads and earrings.

Smoky Quartz Healing and Metaphysical properties

Smoky quartz is a grounding stone. It is believed by metaphysicists the stone can calm and help relieve depression. It is also used to protect against negative energies. Crystal healers use smoky quartz to detoxify the body. Ayurvedic medicine uses these crystals to aid the adrenal glands, colon as well as other body areas that associated with the root chakra.

Smoky quartz is also used for meditation, chanelling, induce peaceful dreams and opening psychic abilities such as telepathy, addiction and obsession. Historically, it was also the material used for the crystal ball by fortune tellers, and some of the mystique of these distinctive quartz seems to persist to this day. The stones are sought to be used as an aid for children that suffer from nightmares and fear of the dark. Smokey quartz is nature's stone of endurance. It promotes creativity in business, personal pride and joy in living. It enhances organizational skills and is considered good and lucky to have around in the workplace or home office.


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    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 6 years ago from South of France

      I love smoky quartz and wear a bracelet made up of smoky quartz beads almost every day. Great hub, thanks!