Chemically classified as silicate, Smokey Quartz is a color variation of the mineral quartz. It is mainly seen in the veins, pegmatite, and cavities of igneous and metamorphic rocks. It can also be seen in segments of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks that have no igneous association. Smokey quartz found in some parts of the world is normally dark in appearance. It is believed that the dark color is a result of radioactive mineral emissions. This stone is not very expensive as it is widely available in many locations across the globe such as Brazil, Scotland, Colorado in the US, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Russia., with Brazil having the largest deposits of this stone.
The Smokey Quartz has a colorless streak even though some color variations such as light yellow, gray, reddish brown and dark brown exist. Though this stone can break with a conchoidal fracture, it has an indistinct cleavage of 0110. It is a brittle and tough stone with a Mohs hardness of 7 which can be lower in some varieties with more impurities. Impure varieties also have a specific gravity of 2.59 – 2.63, while those with little or no impurities is 2.65. Categorized as an oxide mineral with a chemical formula of SiO2, Smokey Quartz is set in a trigonal and hexagonal crystal system. It can be transparent with some varieties being close to opaque. This hard stone has vitreous luster but when it is in mass, it can be waxy or dull in appearance.
Smokey Quartz belongs to the class of stones with uniaxial optical properties with a + 0.009 birefringence and a refractive index of nω = 1.543 – 1.545 and nε = 1.552 – 554. Given its hardness, it is not soluble at STP. Smoky Quartz occurs naturally in amazing abundance. However, it can be synthesized through the process of irradiation in a laboratory in which the color of the stone is given to certain specimens of rock crystal.
It is a gemstone of great importance, valued and respected by the Scottish and New Hampshirites as their national and official gem. Lapidaries and jewelers use it as a material to create some decorative ornaments, jewelry such as rings, necklaces, earrings, brooches, pendants, and cufflinks. It was used by the Irish jewelers to fabricate mourning jewelry during the Victorian Period. Given its affordability, many people learning to facet prefer it than other materials. With it, sculptors can make beautifully carved images.
Metaphysically, it is believed that people experiencing difficulties in practicing meditation can master the art with the possession of this stone, which also reputes as an effective remover of barrier between the alpha and beta mind’s state. Many possess this stone in order to refine their vibratory energies and engage in deep, quiet and lasting meditation.