11 Things You Need To Know About Smoky Quartz!
Smoky Quartz is a colored gemstone from the quartz family, one with a range of smoky colors and metaphysical properties. It ranges in its transparency from dark to opaque varieties and because of this it can be cut into many styles including emerald shapes, rows cut shapes, round shapes, and more. The translucent varieties can produce a stunning appearance in the faceted exterior depending on the cut. Wearing it in its many forms can bring calm to negativity and an improvement to your ensemble.
1. Where is Smoky Mostly found?
Smoky quartz is actually the national gem in Scotland. It was originally found in the Cairngorm mountains which earned it the Scottish name of “cairngorm”. That which was found in Scotland taking on a very dark color was referred to as “morion” and used for prominent jewelry.
However, Scotland is not the only location around the world.
Near another set of mountains in Colorado called Pikes Peak, small deposits of smoky quartz have been extracted. Madagascar produces small commercial quantities, and since 1985 smoky quartz has been found in places like Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine. The current source for the majority of smoky quartz around the world is Brazil.
2. What does Smoky Quartz do?
It is believed that smoky quartz brings with it many metaphysical benefits.
Smoky quartz is known for dispersing fear or negativity and removing depression. It can be used to provide emotional balance, remove anxiety or stress, and at the same time promote positive thoughts. For those who suffer from nightmares, it can remove them and replace them with manifestations in your dreams. Most popularly it is used as a multivitamin for the soul, neutralizing negativity and promoting positivity in all things whether it is stress, excitement, or anxiety.
Because of its darker, more masculine color, it is often associated with the Earth and nature. So, smoky quartz gemstones have been traditionally associated with alleviating pain and stress through a reconnection to the Earth and nature, something that today remains accurate. These stones are used to alleviate physical pain especially in parts of the body where you carry a lot of tension.
3. What metaphysical benefits does Smoky Quartz offer?
In modern situations, contemporary Wiccans will typically wear smoky quartz and silver for any of their full moon rituals. Quartz serves as the symbol of the Goddess so these crystal spheres are often placed along with an altar for Full Moon rituals. They still represent ice, water, the sea, and cold temperatures so, two separate smoky quartz crystals are typically placed on a Wiccan altar to represent the goddess and the god.
It is quite common in modern Shaman rituals to include a smoky quartz crystal in a medicine bundle or power bag. These crystals are rubbed onto the area of the body that is afflicted in order to remove any disease or placed on the area of the body that is in pain to help rebalance the conditions of the body and remove any blockages causing the injury.
4. What are the properties that make up Smoky Quartz?
Smoky quartz is found in mountains, deep inside quartz veins inside metamorphic rocks. These crystals are typically found along the margins of pegmatite at lower temperatures in the fractures of the rock. There are many radioactive mineral deposits around the world that contain the darkest stones, the dark smoky quartz. It is estimated that the dark quartz in these areas were colored because of radioactive minerals around them.
Smoky quartz is a color variety of quartz mineral. This means it is a silicates chemical classification with a vitreous luster. The diaphaneity ranges from transparent to translucent depending on the stone you have. The hardness is around a 7 and the crystal system is hexagonal. It can be found in spheres, carvings, or faceted gemstones.
5. Does Smoky Quartz have cultural or ancient meaning? And, if so how was/is that represented?
Smoky quartz was not only used in Scottish jewelry but throughout the world in places like China where it was the material of choice for snuff boxes, and in ancient Rome where it was used in special intaglio seals. The Sumerians would cut and engrave quartz to make ringed seals meaning that smoky quartz was very likely one of the first gemstone materials used in writing. The Egyptians used it to make stones for jewelry, beads, and their famous Scarab figures.
You can actually see representations of smoky quartz in museums today, particularly carved quartz stones from Ancient Rome or ancient Greece that show the upper half of a body. In some cases, these engravings show a man holding a bow and arrow or raising his hand pronouncing judgment for civil lawsuits.
Tangentially, in ancient Rome during the Eleusian Mysteries, quartz crystals were used to produce the sacred fire by using the crystal to, much like a magnifying glass, concentrate the sun and direct it in order to set the wood chips on fire.
Religious and shamanistic uses have existed for thousands of years. Many ancient religions believe that smoky quartz was solidified water or ice and with this connection to the water, it was used in ceremonies to create rain particularly in a dryer environment like Australia. In North America, ceremonial wands were tipped with smoky quartz and have been used in ancient Cherokee shamanistic rituals.
6. Can Smoky Quartz be expensive?
Yes, in fact, smoky quartz can be expensive. In the last few years, colored gemstones have risen in popularity so consumers are looking for unique ways to wear gemstones that add color and health benefits to their lives. Smoky quartz is one of the many gemstones that has come back into fashion because of the Earthly look that makes it an ideal component for beautiful jewelry and its rough or cut form.
Smoky quartz is not just for cheap costume jewelry. While it is technically an inexpensive gemstone, depending on the quality of the stone and the color, it can be quite expensive. Stunning engagement rings using a high-quality and uniquely colored piece of smoky quartz can cost thousands of dollars.
The reason it is so popular and can be expensive is that it is a very durable gemstone. It has no cleavage and good toughness so you can use it in any jewelry. Retailers can shape it into bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, and pendants.
What's more, it looks beautiful with any type of metal but the dark Earthly tones are typically brought to light with yellow gold or rose gold setting which can add significantly to the cost of the jewelry. That said, smoky quartz is also growing in popularity and cost because it is a very masculine color so it makes an excellent addition to men's jewelry like men's bracelets, ear studs, cufflinks, and men's rings.
7. Is there such thing as Dark Smoky Quartz and Light Smoky Quartz?
Yes, there is such a thing as dark smoky quartz versus light smoky quartz. The name is derived from the smoky, dark color. Most smoky quartz ranges from brown to grey, but as mentioned there are very dark iterations called morion.
This range in color from dark to light has to do with the aluminum that is built into the gem as well as irradiation. Inside the quartz stone, you will see under a microscope latticework and inside that latticework a chemical change takes place where the silicone that is already in the gemstone is replaced by aluminum. When this happens, the lattice builds cations into itself and using high-energy radiation transfers that extra electron from the aluminum. During this interesting scientific process, the color is formed.
In different geological environments, this process takes place even at very cold temperatures so the rate of color can appear long after the quartz crystals have already formed. Some estimates stipulate that it takes several million years for a quartz crystal to take on the deeper, dark smoky quartz color compared to the lighter smoky quartz color.
8. How to spot a fake Smoky Quartz?
There are some dealers who will make fake smoky quartz by taking regular quartz and artificially irradiating the colorless gemstone until it has color on it. Legally speaking any dealers who do this are obliged to label the gemstone as fake but if you are just looking at it in your hand it will be impossible to determine whether it was irradiated naturally or artificially.
The only real way that you can spot a smoky quartz fake is if you look at it under a microscope and verify the latticework, and inquire as to its origin and geological environment.
9. Does Smoky Quartz reduce electromagnetic stress? How?
Smoky quartz has been said to reduce electromagnetic stress. This type of stress builds up in the body from too much time spent without contact with nature, without contact specifically to a natural source that allows you to purge your body of the built-up electromagnetic stress. People typically stand on grass in their bare feet or play in the water, or climb on rocks to achieve a similar effect. But using and wearing a smoky quartz piece of jewelry can help you be more grounded and achieve a neutral electromagnetic state. This blocks geopathic stress because it is a stone that you can hold in your hand and absorb the electromagnetic stress.
10. What are the best ways to wear Smoky Quartz jewelry?
The best way to wear smoky quartz jewelry in order to capitalize on the many advantageous properties the gemstone offers is in the form of beaded bracelets and necklaces. The key to utilizing smoky quartz jewelry in order to capitalize on its metaphysical benefits, especially reducing electromagnetic stress, is to have it come into direct contact with your skin. In this way, wearing it as a bracelet will allow you the chance to release unwanted electromagnetic charges and remain positive throughout the day as you are wearing it much the same as you can do when wearing it in the form of a necklace with direct contact to your skin.
11. How to care for your Smoky Quartz jewelry
Whichever of these you choose to wear your smoky quartz, it's important that you take good care of it. These gemstones are in high demand and as such their value could rise so long as you do your part. Whether you have a necklace or a bracelet, know that smoky quartz is a fairly durable stone but if it's exposed to hard surfaces the gemstone can still chip or fracture.
That said if you are wearing men's bracelets or your smoky quartz in the form of a ring or a pendant, and you are planning to go for a swim, garden, or place sports, you should remove your jewelry to keep it safe. You should always keep your smoky quartz jewelry away from any detergent or chemicals.
If you recall, this gemstone gets its unique range of colors because of a chemical reaction. Now, when the stone is buried deeply in a mountainous cave, that reaction comes from regular chemicals but once it has been extracted and it is outside, that same reaction can happen with regular exposure to the sun. Smoky quartz is photosensitive and if you allow it to remain directly exposed to sunlight it will change its color. This isn't necessarily for the worst as it can darken the color of your jewelry, but it is something to be aware of. If you don't want the shade of your smoky quartz jewelry to change, keep your smoky quartz bracelet or necklaces away from direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
If you need to clean your smoky quartz jewelry you can use a mild liquid soap and warm water to wash it clean. During this process, you should use a soft cloth. You don't want to use anything harder than this as it can chip or fracture the gemstone. You should also avoid an ultrasonic cleaner because it can be particularly damaging to smoky quartz.