Smoky Quartz is a unique crystal valued for its physical beauty and metaphysical uses.
It is common for manufacturers to take advantage of it’s popularity and artificially make Smoky Quartz from Clear Quartz or specially dyed glass.
Here we will give a brief overview of the crystal and then how to tell if Smoky Quartz is real.
How To Tell If Smoky Quartz Is Real (EXPLAINED)
History of Smoky Quartz
Smoky Quartz has been used in jewelry since Ancient Egypt and was mentioned in ancient texts as early as the 1st century.
In Sumeria, as well as in Rome, they used these stones to carve elaborate seal designs.
During the Renaissance, Smoky Quartz was a popular gemstone in Europe and sold as faceted cut stones for custom jewelry pieces.
In this time, it was frequently mistakenly called Smoky Topaz or Smoky Citrine. Today, Smoky Quartz is the national gemstone of Scotland.
Where Smoky Quartz is Found
Smoky Quartz is found in fissures of granite rocks and is crystallized under pressure from the radioactive rocks around it.
The most precious, and often most expensive, crystals come from the Alps, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Hot Springs, Ellenville, and Colorado.
Physical Identification of Smoky Quartz
The color of Smoky Quartz comes from the particles of Hematite with clear Quartz that can create a hazy yellowish coloration.
Lower concentrations of Hematite will make the stone appear yellowish, but higher concentrations make the stone look tan, dark brown, or almost black.
If you find a piece of Smoky Quartz that is completely black and not translucent, it might be a Morion crystal.
Those are hard to find and are very valuable.
Metaphysical Meaning of Smoky Quartz
Smoky Quartz is spiritually thought to dispel negative energies and provide psychic protection to its wearer.
Smoky Quartz is a soothing, calming, and grounding stone that can help clear the mind of distractions and let go of unhealthy patterns or behaviors.
It is also said to release tension within the physical body and balance your energy centers to give more emotional balance and self-confidence.
Methods to tell if your Smoky Quartz is real
The process of irradiation is how Smoky Quartz gets its color.
Natural stones are irradiated by the earth and fake stones are artificially irradiated in a lab.
Most companies are required to say whether the Smoky Quartz they are selling is naturally or artificially irridated, but unfortunately, most suppliers don’t do this.
Some companies sell glass made to look like Smoky Quartz with dyes and specialized baking techniques.
They do this without notifying the buyer, of course.
Here we will cover several methods to test whether your Smoky Quartz is natural, lab-created, or even a piece of glass.
After that, we will cover expert visual tips so you can easily spot a fake.
The first way to see if it is a fake is to scratch the Smoky Quartz with a mineral that is lower on the Moh’s scale, such as Hematite, Flourite, or Howlite.
If the Smoky Quartz takes on any damage, it is probably a fake or made in a lab.
If the stone has sharp edges, you can scratch glass or plastic with it because most real crystals will leave a scratch on them.
Another way to test if your Smoky Quartz is natural is to expose it to sunlight for 24-36 hours.
Real crystals will retain their color when exposed to sunlight, whereas the color in artificially irradiated crystals will fade fast when exposed to sunlight.
You can also find out if your Smoky Quartz is real by questioning the origin.
Do your research and find out if the origin the seller is saying has natural Smoky Quartz deposits.
If a supplier or a shop says their Smoky Quartz is from Tajikistan or Arkansas, then it is probably a fake.
Neither of these places has large Smoky Quartz deposits and has a reputation for producing artificially irradiated Smoky Quartz.
To make sure that your Smoky Quartz is not dyed glass, do the magnification test.
Do this by putting your crystal over words in a book or a magazine.
A real Quartz crystal will not magnify the words, but glass will.
Try and see if the crystal in question has interior Quartz matrices.
If these matrices are opaque or white and not smoky, the specimen is probably artificial.
This is because the artificial irradiation process usually does not work on the inner matrices.
Looking at the pleochroic colors will also let you know if it is real Smoky Quartz.
Pleochroic crystals show different colors when viewed from different angles.
Hold the stone in question near a light and observe it from different angles.
Gemstone experts say a natural Smoky Quartz will give you different colors as you look through the light.
Natural Quartz crystals are heavier than artificial ones or glass.
They also will never have air bubbles in them.
Another tip is to verify if the crystal has the trigonal crystal system that defines all Quartz gemstones.
If the stone looks like the crystalline structure is striated in a more circular or rectangular structural direction, then the Smoky Quartz is probably not real.
One of the most popular ways that you can recognize lab-created Quartz is by its colorless base.
In other words, the bottom of the crystal is nearly white (Clear Quartz), while the color at the top is almost black.
This happens during the artificial irridation process, but a natural Smoky Quartz is more likely to be more evenly colored.
Real Smoky Quartz ranges from a light yellowish-brown to a brown that is so dark that it is almost black.
Artificially created Smoky Quartz is usually a grayish-brown color.
The more suspiciously black-looking a crystal is, the higher the chances are that it is unnatural.
Yes, it could be a Morion crystal but they are rare and are not translucent, while Smoky Quartz is 90% of the time.
Also, Smoky Topaz is a name often given to Smoky Quartz.
Some experts say that Smoky Topaz is not a real gemstone.
Other stones sometimes masqueraded under that name are dark-brown tourmaline, scapolite, and agate.
Although there are many people trying to take advantage of the popularity of Smoky Quartz, you now have the tools and techniques for how tell if Smoky Quartz is real so you don’t get fooled.
Knowing these trade secrets will help you grow your crystal collection with more knowledge and confidence.