Smoky Quartz

Smoky (Smokey) Quartz is a very common, coarse-grained variety of the silica mineral Quartz that ranges in color from nearly black through smoky brown. No distinct boundary exists between smoky and colorless Quartz. Its abundance causes it to be worth considerably less than either Amethyst or Citrine. Heating bleaches the stone, the color sometimes passing through yellow. These yellow pieces are often sold as Citrine. Crystals of the mineral frequently contain inclusions of gas (carbon dioxide), liquid (often both water and liquid carbon dioxide), or solids (rutile). Smoky Quartz from Mount Cairngorm , Scotland , is known as cairngorm and is a favourite ornamental stone in Scotland , where it is worn in brooches with Highland costume. Its properties are those of other Quartz gemstones. Today, the vast majority of smoky quartz is mined in Brazil , but it is found in most of the major gemstone producing nations.

The color of Smokey Quartz is variable from brown to black and sometimes smoky gray colored specimens are included as Smoky Quartz. The cause of the color of Smoky Quartz is in question but it is almost certainly related to the amount of exposure to radiation that the stone has undergone. Natural Smoky Quartz gemstones often occurre in granitic rocks which have a small but persistant amount of radioactivity. Most Smokey Quartz gemstones that make their way to rock shops and to some gem cutters have been artificially irradiated to produce a dark black color.

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Hardness: 7

Smoky Quartz Shapes: