Sunday’s Gem — Smoky Quartz

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

Ancient Romans carved intaglio seals with it. The Chinese used it for making snuff boxes and an early form of sunglasses. The Swiss, Germans, and Austrians used crucifixes made from it to protect against bad luck and evil.

What is “it”?

Smoky Quartz.

Photo courtesy of Mid-Georgia Gem and Mineral Society

Ranging in color from pale yellow-brown to almost black, Smoky Quartz is a transparent to translucent mineral of the quartz family. It’s found worldwide, though Brazil is its chief source and Madagascar its main producer. Because its brown hue isn’t particularly fashionable right now, it’s also quite affordable.

Smoky Quartz is a 7 on the Mohs (1-10) scale of hardness. Typically, good quality stones are cut into large rings or pendants; lesser quality ones become cabochons or tumbled beads.

Did you know Smoky Quartz is the national gem of Scotland? Highlanders used it in shoulder brooches, kilt pins, and the handles of weapons like daggers. It’s also the official state gem for New Hampshire.

Metaphysical healers praise Smoky Quartz for benefitting all the chakras, particularly the root and the solar plexus.  They appreciate its slow and steady, though powerful, energy.

Tumbled Smoky Quartz, photo courtesy of

A grounding stone, Smoky Quartz clears negative energy and fosters creativity in business. Carry Smoky Quartz to relieve depression and boost endurance. Hold it in your hand to ease tension and anxiety. Keep it in your car to protect against road rage, unexpected breakdowns, or theft.

Feng Shui practitioners advise placing Smoky Quartz near the front door (for protection) or in the Northwest or Northeast areas of your home or office. You can benefit from Smoky Quartz’s ongoing protection by wearing it as jewelry, particularly bracelets and rings, or by tucking a piece in your purse or pocket.

Smoky Quartz is an alternative birthstone to topaz for those born in November.

Care for your Smoky Quartz jewelry by protecting it from scratches. Don’t expose it to harsh chemicals or steam cleaning, and store it separate from other jewelry items. Smoky Quartz becomes pale when exposed to sunlight.

Note: The claims here aren’t meant to take the place of medical advice. They’re based on folklore and other sources, and likely “work” best if one’s belief is strong enough!

22 thoughts on “Sunday’s Gem — Smoky Quartz

  1. “Did you know Smoky Quartz is the national gem of Scotland?”

    No, Debbie, I had no idea about Smoky Quartz being the national gem of Scotland. VERY interesting!

    I love the color of Smoky Quartz. I normally prefer a gemstone smoothed, however, I like the look of a Smoky Quartz when it’s been cut. Somehow I think cutting it brings out it’s beautiful color(s)!

    I love the look of a cut Smoky Quartz ring!

    Again, very interesting gemstone post, my friend! Enjoying these!

    Have a super Sunday!

    • I didn’t know Smoky Quartz was Scotland’s national gem, either. I love how much I’m learning from these gemstone posts!

      Normally, brown isn’t one of my favorite colors. It’s just too neutral, if you know what I mean. However, I do appreciate all the good qualities of Smoky Quartz, especially its knack for easing tension.

      Happy work-week to you, Ron! xx

    • Thank you, John. I’m not a fan of brown, but looking at the tumbled stones in these pictures, I can see where Smoky Quartz would make a lovely piece of jewelry.

  2. I did not know it’s the national gem of Scotland! Though I can see that – it is pretty widely used over here. In fact, smoky quartz was the first gemstone I bought myself, hundreds of years ago when the world was young – a bracelet and pendant set. I wonder if I still have it? Must rummage around the jewellery box…

    • Ha! Me, neither! You actually have some Smoky Quartz, FF? Lucky you — I’ll bet they’re lovely pieces and so good for you, too. Besides that, they’re probably set off your crown simply perfectly 😉

  3. I have always loved smoky quartz. I had a college professor who had a large smoky quartz ring, and all I could ever focus on when she lectured was that gorgeous ring, ha ha. And who couldn’t use a little grounding these days? I also didn’t know there were alternative birthstones. So interesting, Debbie. I hope you had a lovely weekend.

    • New picture, Lana? Looks good! I probably should update mine, too, but ’tis hard getting Dallas to sit still enough to pose! I can imagine how distracting a big Smoky Quartz ring would be. Like you, I’d have had a hard time focusing on what that teacher was saying when something sparkly was flapping around, ha!

  4. I remember a brooch my mother had that I always loved. I wasn’t allowed to play with it, as I could with some of her pieces, and now I’m almost sure it was smoky quartz. It certainly was beautiful, and those tumbled stones you show are glorious. It’s amazing to me how many beautiful stones there are — most of which I wouldn’t know about, had you not enlightened me!

    • Linda, there’s no way I’d know all this stuff either, not without a LOT of research. As the daughter of a geologist, I guess I can claim an inherited affinity toward rocks, ha! That said, I’ll bet your mother’s brooch was lovely. I wonder if Smoky Quartz was more popular back in the day than it is now? For certain, styles have changed, and I can’t remember the last time I saw someone wearing a real gemstone brooch!!

    • Pat, as I told Linda, my late dad was a geologist. I think without trying he passed along a love of rocks to me. I took a geology class in university, but I found it horribly boring. Now I can focus on the sparkly things I truly love, as well as the purported healing properties they possess. And that, for me, is a delight!

    • I don’t wear much brown, but these are beautiful gemstones. I definitely recommend you invest in a matching earrings and necklace set!!

  5. Smoky quartz is beautiful! My sister gave me a small rose quartz and said it was supposed to invite love into my life. I’m still waiting! hee hee! 🙂

    • What is it they say, Patience is a virtue! Good luck with that, Miss Bella. Seriously, your sister is right — rose quartz is supposed to welcome love. Tuck it under your pillow at night or place it in the south area of your house!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.