Locality – Madagascar Size – 77 x 46 x 32mm Weight – 187g
This smoky quartz crystal displays light, smoky cola brown colouration throughout with wispy white clouds within. It has been carved to an attractive, plump and rounded sculptural form and superbly polished to a high, glossy lustre.
About Smoky Quartz
Smoky quartz is grey, brown or black variety of quartz, coloured by gamma irradiation from natural processes and the presence of traces of aluminium built into its crystal lattice. This smoky colouration can also be found in some amethyst or citrine crystals. Specimens of smoky quartz with intense dark brown to black colouration are known as morion quartz and are highly reflective, appearing to be almost opaque. Brazil and Malawi are the worlds leading suppliers of smoky quartz and produce some of the finest specimens available today. Smoky quartz is also the national gem of Scotland where it is called “cairngorm” after the Cairngorm Mountains where unique yellow-brown specimens are found.
Quartz is the most common mineral found on the surface of the Earth, occurring in virtually every locality. Pure crystals are colourless, transparent and hard, though many are coloured by natural processes such as irradiation or by inclusions of certain elements. These coloured varieties include the popular gemstones amethyst, purple quartz, and citrine, yellow quartz. Some quartz crystals have unique inclusions of minerals that have grown within them, such as golden rutile, tourmaline or chlorite, and others may show silvery reflective internal veils and bright rainbows. Whilst the majority of quartz is created from molten magma that has cooled and crystallized, much quartz also chemically precipitates from hot hydrothermal veins. Well-formed crystals deep within the Earth can reach colossal sizes, with some measuring several meters in length and weighing hundreds of kilograms.
A note on Fakes, Treatments & Misrepresentations
Smoky quartz can be artificially created by irradiating clear quartz, often turning them into an opaque black morion colour. These treated specimens can be identified by their milky white crystal base - whereas natural ones have smoky colouration throughout - and they fade more quickly when exposed to sunlight. This practise is most common in Arkansas where few natural smoky quartz specimens are found. Many smoky quartz specimens from China are simply glass, easily recognized by their unnatural consistent dark colour and lack of inclusions. Some sellers have also been known to sell cut specimens of smoky quartz as 'smoky topaz' in an attempt to fetch a higher price, however, this gemstone does not exist.