About Smokey Quartz
As the name implies, Smokey Quartz is a member of the Quartz family. This mineral family includes numerous varieties and is found throughout the world. Even if smokey quartz seems new to you, you probably have some of its relatives lurking in your jewelbox - the amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, natural crystal, carnelian, agate, onyx, chrysoprase, prasiolite (green amethyst) and the exotic amatrine (a yellow and purple gemstone found only in Bolivia) are all related to the smokey quartz!
Due to its resemblance to topaz, smokey quartz is sometimes used as an alternate birthstone for those born in November.
The chemical symbol for quartz is SiO2, meaning it is made from Silicon and Oxygen. It has a refractive index (a measure of light passing through the stone) ranging from about 1.544 to 1.553 and a specific gravity (a measure of an object's density - how heavy it is for its size) of 2.65. It tends to form hexogonal (six-sided) crystals, is not sensitive to heat and has a glassy to vitreous luster.
All quartz has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs Scale. This is a rating scale of a stone's hardness used by geologists, with a rating of 1 being given to extremely soft minerals like talc and the top rating of 10 going to the diamond.
Smokey Quartz sometimes has inclusions of Rutile - thin, reddish gold strands of Titanium Dioxide, which resemble tiny needles or hairs. Stones with these inclusions are called Rutilated Smokey Quartz.
Smokey Quartz gets its unique color from exposure to naturally-occurring radiation. It is mined in many locations worldwide, but is most commonly found in Colorado, Scotland, Brazil, Africa and Switzerland.