Smoky Quartz

A gorgeous semi precious stone, ranging from a light brown to almost black – it is usually sold polished or cut into cabochons for jewellery.

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Appearance, Uses and History

Smoky Quartz is common and has not been widely used for much – although it became popular in the last few hundred years for jewellery making.

Supposedly during the 12th century, Chinese judges used sunglasses made from Smoky Quartz to hide their emotions and facial expressions in court. Whether or not this is accurate I can’t say – I have found a pair from the early 19th century though.

Nowadays it is largely used as a decorative stone and is usually sold carved, polished, or tumbled.


Locales

Smoky Quartz is found all over the world, with excellent quality specimens being found in Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, China, Czechia, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa and the USA.

A number of excellent specimens from Brazil, Madagascar, or Mexico can be found online for relatively inexpensive prices.

There is a particular form of smoky Quartz from Scotland referred to as ‘Cairngorm Quartz’ which is extremely popular with UK collectors.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
As Quartz – SiO2 – possibly coloured by radioactive minerals.
Colours and Variations
Smoky grey, brown, black. Sometimes a darker yellow-brown.
Streak
White
Luster
Vitreous – sometimes dull when massive.
Fracture
Conchoidal
Transparency
Transparent to near opaque.
Crystal habit
Six sided prisms ending in six sided terminated pyramids (usually, but not always), druzy, microcrystalline, massive.
Mohs hardness
7
Specific Gravity
2.59-2.65 depending on purity
Fluorescence
N/A
Easiest testing method
Common Treatments
Plenty of the smoky Quartz on the market has been artificially irradiated, rather than naturally.

Photos of Smoky Quartz

Quarzo morione
Quartz-230582
Quartz-181402

Quartz-179470

Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

‘Smoky’ Quartz may not translate perfectly into other languages, especially when using automatic translator programs.

Arabic:

  • دھواں دار کوارٹج

Hindi:

  • धुएँ के रंग का क्वार्ट्ज

Portuguese:

  • quartzo esfumaçado
  • quartzo fumê
  • Quartzo fumado

Bengali:

  • ধূমপায়ী কোয়ার্টজ

Indonesian:

  • kuarsa berasap

Punjabi:

  • ਤੰਬਾਕੂਨੋਸ਼ੀ ਕੁਆਰਟਜ਼

English:

  • smoky quartz
  • ‘smokey’ quartz
  • cairngorm quartz
  • morion (for dark to black smoky Quartz)

Italian:

  • quarzo fumé

Russian:

  • дымчатый кварц

French:

  • quartz fumé

Japanese:

  • スモーキークォーツ

Spanish:

  • cuarzo ahumado

German:

  • Rauchquarz

Korean:

  • 스모키 쿼츠

Thai:

  • ควันควอตซ์

Gujurati:

  • સ્મોકી ક્વાર્ટઝ

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 烟熏石英
  • 煙熏石英

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links