Mineralogical and Spiritual Qualities of Smoky Quartz
Mineralogists say there may be more than one cause for the gray to brown to black color range of this very popular form of quartz crystal, ranging from sodium to other minerals in the crystal.
Some mineralogists suggest other theories concerning the dark pigment in smoky quartz, including the presence of trivalent titanium or the presence of carbon compounds.
Some mineralogists suggest that the characteristic dark brown to black color of smoky quartz is produced when clear quartz is exposed to natural radiation emanating from radioactive rocks in the same geological formation where the quartz crystals form and grow. The current scientific hypothesis is that when clear quartz is exposed to radiation, the radiation alters the oxidation states of mineral impurities found within the quartz structure, resulting in smoky quartz.
“The frequent occurrence of smoky quartz in association with rare earth and radioactive minerals is very significant, for later it will be indicated that smoky quartz may have been colored through the action of radioactive elements,” says the University of Michigan’s Edward F. Holden, in a 1925 article in The American Mineralogist. “In Ontario smoky quartz is a constant associate of radioactive minerals,6 and the same association is frequent in Madagascar. Enormous smoky quartz crystals occur in the well known radioactive pegmatite of Baringer Hill, Texas.”
“The evidence given thus far is in agreement with the theory that smoky quartz owes its color to atoms of silicon, formed by the disintegration of silica, through the action of radium radiations,” Holden continues. “The mechanism of the formation of the free silicon may perhaps be pictured in this way: The radiations may remove the four outer electrons from a silicon atom, which would then be equally shared by the two associated oxygen atoms. As a result, two free oxygen atoms and a free silicon atom would be formed. They could take no part in the crystal structure since their attractive force for other atoms would have been destroyed. Hence, they should act as small inclusions, the silicon atoms producing the light-scattering and the color so characteristic of smoky quartz. We would expect the silicon atoms to be most effective in scattering light because of their greater atomic weight, and the possibility of the escape of the oxygen atoms.”
From this scientific analysis it is clear that smoky quartz, although quite likely formed through the action of radioactive elements, is not radioactive itself, and this perfectly natural process is not detrimental to the crystals or to human beings utilizing these crystals for ornamentation, in meditation, for crystal healing, or for any other purpose.
Brazil is the world’s largest supplier of these semi-precious stones.
Crystals from Brazil are said to have the special quality of enhancing your ability to project energy over a distance.
Smoky quartz has been a favorite healing stone of shamanistic practitioners around the world for thousands of years.
Smoky quartz works slowly and thoroughly to relieve imbalances in the physical and etheric bodies, with special emphasis on the solar plexus and its associated chakra, the third or Manipura chakra associated with personal power and vital energy. And it works on the hands and feet. Smoky quartz can, over time, help to balance the flow of vital energy throughout the physical and etheric bodies, and aids in the development of a healthy, fully functioning chakra system.
It is an aid in gently releasing blockages caused by negative energy patterns in the emotional body. Smoky quartz has been used as an aid in meditation, for energy healing, and to create a protective barrier of energy around the holder, being grounding and clearing the mind.
My own personal experience in working with smoky quartz over the years has led me to compare it to the herbal plant burdock. Burdock has a reputation for being a slow and steady and reliable deep healer. It works to clear and cleanse the blood which is why it has a reputation for healing cancers, tumors & other dense formations in the body. It has a reputation for very gently clearing the skin, the digestive tract and for bringing up dis-harmony in the body in a slow, careful & thorough manner. It is also a very nourishing plant, which does not heal through heroic action, but rather through the grace of the Nourishing Mother. Smoky Quartz reminds me of the Black Madonna, in this same regard.
Smoky Quartz is one of the best facilitators of bringing balance to the physical body, whether the cause of the imbalance is from the physical, emotional or mental bodies in origin. It very gently works to nourish, to deliver light, healing & support into the dense areas of our bodies or soul. Like the Black Madonna, our need for healing can be brought to the Mother who guards the night, the inner self, the transmutive Self.
Smoky Quartz slips under the radar in New Age & Metaphysical communities. It is often a very inexpensive stone, undervalued alike by both dealers & collectors. The flashier versions of Smoky Quartz in the Elestials, the Jacare & Smoky Citrines are of course valued at a higher price than the more humble polished or unpolished points. Some of my most favorite pieces of Smoky have been unpolished Lemurians and plain Smoky wands.
Smoky Quartz reminds me that to find the real treasure in this gift of Life on Earth, one must do the inner work required to go deep, to find our own inner Center, which is the true connection to the Divine. Our own Higher Self is the path to nourishment & Smoky Quartz can assist us on this journey.
Visit the Smoky Quartz section of our Crystal Store for Smoky Quartz specimens and jewelry.