Smoked quartz is a grey, translucent type of quartz. Its name, given because the colour resembles smoke, was first documented in 1837. by J.S. Dana, the father of modern gemology. The cleanliness of the stone ranges from almost complete transparency, over brownish-grey shades to nearly opaque colours. Some specimens may even be black. This stone is discoloured at temperatures of 300–400 degrees Celsius. Characteristically, he often has rutile inclusions, that is, needle-like crystals, which are commonly found as inclusions in minerals such as quartz and corundum. Synthetic smoked quartz cannot be produced.
Historically, smoked quartz has been known as a stone of power. The ancient druids respected him because he signified the power of earthly gods and goddesses. Elsewhere, this stone has guided souls after death, and played its part in certain tribal and shamanic rituals.
Most smoked quartz sites are located in Brazil with other sites in the Alps and in Scotland. Smoked quartz is the national gem of Scotland. When the Celts settled in the British Isles around 300 BC, they dug the brownish-grey quartz from the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland. The dark brown and black stones were named Morion, while those of yellow-brown and greyish-brown were given the name of the mountain from which they were mined, Cairngorm. The Scottish Highlanders incorporated smokey quartz into their brooches, kilt pins and other accessories. This stone remains very popular today and is readily used in jewellery making.
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