Smoky Quartz Quick Notes
Smoky quartz is a grey-brown to blackish variety of quartz with the name, “smoky” coming from the look of smoke found within the quartz. Depending on where this crystal is mined, the appearance can vary, from being opaque to translucent. This is said to be due to the natural irradiation, which is the exposure of radiation caused naturally within the Earth and the aluminum impurities inside the crystals. It’s the radiation that can activate the colors around the impurities, with the greater exposure leading to darker colors. While this crystal is exposed to radiation, it’s not be considered a health concern as the content is no different than radiation found in a city.
There are many types of smoky quartz crystals you can buy, which can include Cairnorm, black, brown, grey, smoky citrine, smoky amethyst, zoned smoky quartz and brandberg smoky quartz, to name a few. Each type will be highly dependent on the colors and were it’s mined. For example, Cairngorm smoky quartz is found in the Cairngorm mountains and will have a yellowish-brown tint to it with some translucency. A zoned smoky quartz, on the other hand, will have colors as layers or phantoms.
Smoky quartz is found all throughout the world, but the most common mines are found in Brazil, Australia, Madagascar, Switzerland and the United States.
At gem shows, online as well as at a local rock shop, you can find a variety of decorative pieces, which include raw clusters, points, spheres, free forms and flames.