Smoky quartz is a captivatingly mysterious crystal. Ranging from nearly jet-black morion to lighter champagne shades, it requires very special circumstances to form.
While smoky quartz is common, and has not been considered historically important, crystal healers, magic practitioners, and certain ancient cultures have always valued it highly.
About Smoky Quartz
Smoky quartz is a variety of quartz that comes in colors from black, to brown, to grey. Some specimens are even light enough to be easily confused with natural citrine, while the darkest may be mistaken for volcanic glass.
Like clear quartz, smoky quartz is made up of silicon dioxide. Where it varies is in how it forms — smoky quartz grows near natural sources of radiation, courtesy of granite. This radiation triggers the formation of free silicon, giving the crystal its color.
There are multiple different varieties of this stone:
- Brandenberg smoky quartz or Brandenberg amethyst is a blend of clear quartz, smoky quartz, and amethyst. This is found exclusively in Namibia.
- Cairngorm is a type of smoky quartz found in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland.
- Morion is a type of crystal that’s very dark brown to black.
- Smoky amethyst is similar to ametrine, but, in lieu of citrine, amethyst is combined with smoky quartz.
- Smoky citrine is a combination of citrine and smoky quartz.
- Super Seven, or Melody stone, is a blend of seven different minerals: Amethyst, smoky quartz, clear quartz, rutile, lepidocrocite, cacoxenite, and goethite.
Many smoky quartzes on the market are artificially color enhanced. The most common way to do this is to bombard the crystal with radiation after harvesting. Multiple different radiation sources can cause this color change, and some crystals may turn a nearly opaque black color.
Despite the use of radiation, smoky quartz crystals are not radioactive themselves — the color change is analogous to a person getting a suntan. Laws regulating the sale of gemstones prevent any radioactive quartz from entering the market, so even color-enhanced smoky quartz are safe to wear and use.
See also: Check out Smoky Quartz crystals here.
Smoky Quartz Healing Properties & Benefits
Smoky quartz, like many dark-colored stones, are chiefly used for cleansing and grounding. This makes it useful for dealing with problems like anxiety, anger, a tendency to hold grudges, and other negative emotions. It helps connect people to supportive Earth energy, while releasing unwanted feelings and thought patterns.
Physically, smoky quartz is sometimes used to combat the side-effects of radiation therapy, as well as relieve chronic pain and muscular tension. Since it’s used as a cleansing stone, it’s also often used to support the body’s excretory functions.
See also: Check out Smoky Quartz jewelry here.
Smoky Quartz Magical Properties
Smoky quartz is a very underrated magical tool. Most guides point to its use as a grounding stone, which can lead people to assume that all it’s good for is re-calibrating your personal energy. In reality, grounding is a vital step in any magical practice — it’s what sends energy back into the physical plane, where results can manifest.
This stone is also very useful for protection. It’s wonderful at taking negativity that’s been sent toward you, and transmuting it to positive energy. By that same token, it’s helpful for cleansing people and spaces. It’s so efficient at this, in fact, that it needs to be cleansed very often itself in order to keep it in good working order.
Some smoky quartz specimens contain phantoms. These stones are wonderful for past life work, as they literally show the “past lives” of the crystal as it was forming!
Other specimens may contain metallic-looking needles of rutile. These combine the powers of smoky quartz with the properties of rutile. They’re wonderful for dissolving energetic blocks of all kinds.
Your specific smoky quartz may have additional magical strengths tied to its color. In color magic, brown is associated with nature, animals, stability, and security. Gray is divination and secrets. Black is helpful for binding, banishing, divination, and rebirth.
For those who work with chakras, smoky quartz is associated with the root chakra, Muladhara. This energy center governs the physical body and survival. When it’s out of balance, you may feel fearful, distressed, or threatened. Wear or meditate with smoky quartz near this area to help unblock it.
Smoky Quartz History & Folklore
Cairngorm quartz crystals, specimens of smoky quartz harvested from the Cairngorm Mountains, are the national gems of Scotland. Kilt pins and traditional Highland dress often features specimens of this stone. Braemar Castle, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is home to a 52 lb (23.6 kg) smoky quartz.
In 12th century China, thin lenses cut from smoky quartz were used as sunglasses.
This stone is said to have been sacred to the ancient Druids and Celts.
How to Cleanse Smoky Quartz
As a variety of quartz, smoky quartz can tolerate a wide variety of cleansing methods. Pretty much any technique that’s suitable for amethyst or citrine will also work for these crystals.
Some methods for cleansing Smoky Quartz include:
- Energy cleansing. Hold your smoky quartz in your non-dominant hand, and use your dominant hand and visualization to recalibrate the stone’s energy.
- Burying it in soil. For best results, do this in a small basket to make your stone easier to find when you’re through. If you don’t have outdoor space, you can use a plant pot instead.
- Holding it in clean running water, preferably from a natural source.
- Bathing it in an infusion of cleansing herbs and fresh water.
- Burying it in dried cleansing herbs.
- Burying it in sea salt.
- Fumigating it with cleansing herbs or incense. Avoid incenses made with synthetic fragrance oils, which may leave an unpleasant residue on your stones.
- Using chimes, bells, music, or singing bowls. If you use a singing bowl, do not place your crystal directly in the bowl itself.
- Setting it in the light of the full moon.
These crystals can also be cleansed by placing them in sunlight, but this should be done with caution. Like other colorful quartzes, smoky quartz may fade with long exposure to intense sunlight. If you choose this method, limit the crystal’s exposure to no more than a few minutes.
Getting Started With Smoky Quartz
Smoky quartz is a very useful tool for those who are new to energetic grounding and protection techniques, though it needs to be cleansed frequently to keep it working effectively.
If you decide to keep smoky quartz on you as a pocket stone or jewelry, it’s very important to take your time and choose a stone that really resonates with you. If you’re shopping online, you may have to go purely by the stone’s physical appearance. If you’re shopping in person, pick up the stone and see how its energy feels to you.
No matter where you choose to buy from, always inquire about where and how the stone was sourced — some crystals may be harvested using child labor and environmentally destructive mining methods.
When you have your crystal in your possession, be sure to cleanse it thoroughly. Like all quartz, you can program it. Once you’ve cleansed your stone and returned it to its energetic baseline, hold it in your dominant hand. Visualize your intention as you send energy into the stone. Picture your desires as if they are already achieved.
When you feel like the stone has absorbed as much as it can hold, set it down and shake out your hand to break the connection. Your crystal is now ready for whatever purpose you have in mind.
Smoky quartzes are abundant crystals that are popularly used in jewelry, home décor, specimen cabinets, and collections of magical or healing tools. If you source your stone ethically, cleanse it often, and program it with your intention, you’ll always have a powerful protective friend at your side.
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