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Smoky Quartz

This page kindly sponsored by Henry Minot
gray, brown, black
A variety of Quartz

Smoky-gray, brown to black quartz colored by Aluminum-based and irradiation-induced color centers.
The name Morion is used for black smoky quartz.

Smoky quartz is dichroic (from darker yellow-brown to lighter red-brown) when viewed in polarized light. The photo to the left shows the change of color in a smoky quartz crystal that is rotated in front of a LCD display that serves as a source of polarized light.

Note: Very often black or brown crystals that are colored by inclusions of minerals or organic matter are erroneously called "smoky quartz" or "morion". Typical examples of such misnomers are black quartz crystals embedded in sedimentary rocks, as those found in gypsum, anhydrite and limestone in Italy and Spain.

Visit for gemological information about Smoky Quartz.

Classification of Smoky Quartz URL:
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Physical Properties of Smoky Quartz

Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
gray, brown, black
dichroic: darker yellow-brown to lighter red-brown

Chemical Properties of Smoky Quartz

All elements listed in formula:

Other Names for Smoky Quartz

Name in Other Languages:
Norwegian (Bokmål):Røykkvarts
Portuguese:Quartzo morion

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Smoky Quartz

Reference List:
O'Brien, M.C.M. (1955) The structure of the colour centres in smoky quartz. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences: 231: 404-414.

Marshall, Royal R. (1955) Absorption spectra of smoky quartz from an Arkansas vein deposit and from a Sierran miarolitic granite. American Mineralogist: 40: 535-537.

Chudoba, K.F. (1962) Some relations between the causes of amethyst, smoky quartz, and citrine colors as given by modern science. Mineralogicheskii Sbornik (Lvov): 16: 91-105.

Cohen, A.J., Makar, L.N. (1982) Models for color centers in smoky quartz. Physica Status Solidi (A): 73: 593-596.

Partlow, D.P., Cohen, A.J. (1986) Optical studies of biaxial Al-related color centers in smoky quartz. American Mineralogist: 71: 589-598.

Cohen, A.J. (1989) New data on the cause of smoky and amethystine color in quartz. Mineralogical Record: 20: 365-367.

Internet Links for Smoky Quartz

The following Smoky Quartz specimens are currently listed for sale on

Localities for Smoky Quartz

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
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