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Smoky Quartz

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Colour: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.

Dichroism in 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.

Black quartz crystals in anhydrite from Camporanda, Tuscany, Italy. These are not smoky quartz
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 gemdat.org for gemological information about Smoky Quartz. Currently in public beta-test.

Classification of Smoky Quartz

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Physical Properties of Smoky Quartz

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

Chemical Properties of Smoky Quartz

Simplified for copy/paste:SiO2
Essential elements:O, Si
All elements listed in formula:O, Si

Other Names for Smoky Quartz

CairngormCairngorum StoneColorado DiamondOuro Verde QuartzQuarzo affumicato
Radium DiamondSmokey QuartzSmoky CitrineSmoky Topaz
Other Languages:
French:Quartz fumée
Norwegian (Bokmål):Røykkvarts
Portuguese:Quartzo morion
Simplified Chinese:烟水晶
Traditional Chinese:煙水晶

Other Information

Health Warning:Quartz is usually quite harmless unless broken or powdered. Broken crystals and masses may have razor-sharp edges that can easily cut skin and flesh. Handle with care. Do not grind dry since long-term exposure to finely ground powder may lead to silicosis.

References for Smoky Quartz

Reference List:

- +
Marshall, Royal R. (1955): Absorption spectra of smoky quartz from an Arkansas vein deposit and from a Sierran miarolitic granite. Am. Min.: 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, Alvin J. (1989): New data on the cause of smoky and amethystine color in quartz. Mineralogical Record 20, 365-367.

Internet Links for Smoky Quartz

Search Engines:
  • Look for Smoky Quartz on Google
  • Look for Smoky Quartz images on Google
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • Fine Minerals from Weinrich Minerals, Inc.
  • Fabre Minerals - search for Smoky Quartz specimens
  • Smoky Quartz specimens for sale - minfind.com
  • Buy rare minerals from Excalibur Minerals
  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
  • Buy from McDougall Minerals
  • The Arkenstone - Fine Minerals
  • Buy RARE Minerals from Rocks of Africa
  • Buy from Dave Bunk Minerals
  • Wilensky Fine Minerals
  • Buy minerals from YourMineralCollection
  • SpiriferMinerals.com - high quality low prices
  • Specimens:The following Smoky Quartz specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Smoky Quartz

    The 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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