Skip to content
FREE SHIPPING for US orders $55+
FREE SHIPPING for US orders $55+

Smoky Quartz Meaning

man holding smoky quartz sphereSupporting you with its unassuming energy, Smoky Quartz  is all about grounding, protecting, and letting your light shine. 

Get ready to learn all about Smoky Quartz crystals, from geological facts to metaphysical healing properties. Watch the video and read up on this smokey stone. 

Join the Satin Crystals VIP and stay updated on Smoky Quartz and all of your favorite gemstones. 

Smoky Quartz Stone Video

Watch the Smoky Quartz Meaning Video for an overview of this yellow Quartz crystal and go over your answers to your top 5 questions. 

While you are there, watch the entire A-Z Satin Crystals Meanings video series. We answer your questions on all of the most popular crystals. You can also post your questions and stories directly to the Youtube comments.

three hands wearing smoky quartz bracelets

Can you benefit from Smoky Quartz crystals?

You may benefit from Smoky Quartz crystals if you can relate to any of the following:

  • You want to anchor to earth energy

  • You want to counteract excessive yin energy

  • You want to feel expansive but grounded

  • You need a protective field around your aura

  • You are shielding against electromagnetic energy

  • You want to transmute negative thoughts

What is Smoky Quartz?

Smoky Quartz is a semi-precious gemstone. It is a translucent, smoky brown version of Quartz. It can be a clear brown to an opaque black.

The color is due to either manmade irradiation or natural irradiation in the earth. The smoky color disappears when the crystals are heated to a certain degree. 

Smoky Quartz was named for its resemblance to smoke within Quartz.

sheila of satin crystals meditating with smoky quartz eggs

What are the metaphysical properties of Smoky Quartz?

In crystal healing, Smoky Quartz is all about grounding you to the present moment while lifting your spirit to the Higher Realms. Combining the expansive energies of Quartz with the protective energies of darker stones, Smoky Quartz keeps you centered. 

It encourages detoxifying your energy body, getting rid of baggage and emotional stress. It is like a vacuum for your negative thoughts. 

Metaphysically, Smoky Quartz is also popularly used to heal your environment. Absorbing hazardous vibrations and transmuting them into healing ones. 

hand holding smoky quartz tumbled

How do you use Smoky Quartz in healing?

Here are some ideas on how you can use your Smoky Quartz stones for both energy healing and practical matters: 

  • Hold one Smoky Quartz stone in each hand to dispel stress

  • Lie in a crystal grid with Smoky Quartz points pointed away from the body to release unwanted tension

  • Meditate with a Smoky Quartz sphere to eliminate doubt and fear

  • Use Smoky quartz crystals in your manifestations to keep your affirmations open but realistic

  • Wear Smoky Quartz bracelets to balance your yang, or male, energy at your Root chakra

  • Grid your space with large, raw Smoky Quartz crystal points to create a dome of safety

    • Place a Smoky Quartz heart over your Heart chakra to suck up the heartbreak and pain

    • Wave Smoky Quartz wands during rituals to rid of unwanted energies from your space

    • Hold one Smoky Quartz stone in each hand for grounding energies after high-vibrating healing work

    • Use Zebradorite stones when you are going through traumatic times for its balancing and peaceful energies

    • Use Amazonite Smoky Quartz crystals when you are seeking fresh perspectives on your situation

    • Place Smoky Quartz around your electronics to safeguard against electromagnetic energy
    hand holding smoky quartz polygon

    Sheila's personal experience with Smoky Quartz 

    I feel like Smoky Quartz is one of those overlooked gemstones. It is the "boring-brown" version of Quartz. It doesn't have the shine of Clear Quartz, the spirituality of Amethyst, the smile of Citrine, nor the abundance of Aventurine. However, sometimes, you don't need the glitz. 

    Strip away the dazzle, and you have Smoky Quartz, your basic brown beauty ready to balance your being and bring you down to earth. 

    I first noticed Smoky Quartz when a large one-of-a-kind crystal came into my life. This crystal (which you will see in the video) has a combination of Clear Quartz, Smoky Quartz, and Amethyst, growing harmoniously together in a designer piece. It is then that I came to appreciate Smoky Quartz as the balancer of life.  

    Lisa's personal experience with Smoky Quartz 

    Hmmm... I just read Sheila's experience with Smoky Quartz and her perspective on how it's received by our customers. After decades in the crystal healing world, I have never even thought that people could consider Smoky Quartz to be boring or that it would be overlooked!

    Au contraire. I find Smoky Quartz to be dark, handsome, and alluring. I love many versions of Smoky Quartz, from crystal clear to mineral-packed! It is one of the great protectors. I suppose it is true that this gem is often overshadowed by Black Tourmaline, Onyx, or Obsidian. In my opinion, Smoky Quartz stands out in the protective gemstone category because it has a lightness and spiritual quality that other Root chakra minerals lack.

    I like Smoky Quartz jewelry because it matches almost anything. I have Smoky Quartz Tigers Eye earrings that Sheila made. I used to own an almost black Smoky Quartz bracelet... I wonder what happened to it? I love gazing into semi-clear Smoky Quartz spheres, especially those with rainbows. They give me hope and I'm drawn in by the dark tones. This is just a perfect stone all around.

    smoky quartz raw wand with plants

    How do you clean Smoky Quartz crystals?

    Smoky Quartz is one of the crystals that can be cleaned in water. Run it under water or soak it in a bowl of water overnight. 

    However, you should still be careful using the water method if your 
    Smoky Quartz is in its raw form or has any natural fracture lines within its polished form. In this case, we recommend gently cleaning the crystal with a wet cloth. 

    Smoky Quartz is one of the harder stones at a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, making it relatively durable for use and wear.

    However, do keep it away from softer stones that you don't want to be scratched. You also want to keep them from being scratched by harder stones like Ruby or Diamonds. We recommend keeping them in a jewelry box or protective pouch when not in use. 

    If you are looking to metaphysically cleanse, charge, and program crystals, visit our Crystal Care guide. 

    smoky quartz, clear quartz, lemon quartz, citrine on paper

    What is fake vs real Smoky Quartz?

    When we talk about fake vs real Smoky Quartz, we could be referring to the method in which it is irradiated or other materials that are trying to imitate the stone. 

    All Smoky Quartz is irradiated, meaning it was exposed to radiation. Some Smoky Quartz is naturally irradiated within the earth. Some Smoky Quartz is irradiated in a laboratory with gamma rays by humans. 

    No matter how it was irradiated, the radiation is what gives Smoky Quartz its smoky color. If you heat the stone to a certain temperature, the smoky color can fade. So, you may also get Smoky Quartz that was heated by humans to lighten its color. 

    You may also be referring to fakes that are a completely different material than Quartz. Sometimes glass or plastic may be passed off as Smoky Quartz. 

    How can you tell fake vs real Smoky Quartz?

    Unlike other man-altered crystals, like Citrine, it is extremely hard to tell how Smoky Quartz got its radiation. It is also not one of the more precious gemstones like Rubies or Emeralds where you may want to get it appraised. It is not a highly faked and highly valued gemstone like Moldavite where you would want to send it to a certified laboratory for testing. 

    Smoky Quartz is relatively common and inexpensive compared to your rarer gemstones. It is not as profitable to "fake" with irradiation, but it does happen.  After scouring the internet and watching videos on the subject, there is no definitive answer for us common folks on how to tell if your piece is irradiated in a laboratory.

    bottom of a smoky quartz wand

    Here are some clues that you may have a human-irradiated Smoky Quartz, but they are not definitive answers: 

    • Some people tell you to look for white or clear Quartz on the bottom of your piece to see if it was a sloppy radiation job where the crystal did not completely turn smokey. However, if you go to the mines yourself (or watch youtube videos of those digging up Smoky Quartz), you will see that plenty of real pieces have uneven coloring. Some Smoky Quartz grows on white Albite Feldspar, which does not irradiate and can be confused with the Quartz as well.

    • Some people say to make sure you know the location of your crystal to narrow down the possibility of it being a "fake". For example, Arkansas is known for irradiating its low-grade Quartz specimens to sell as Smoky Quartz. 

    The best advice is to familiarize yourself with real Smoky Quartz. Whether in person or watching reputable videos and reading reputable articles by trusted vendors, study images of real Smoky Quartz. 

    real and fake smoky quartz rings

    How can you tell the difference between Smoky Quartz and glass?

    As for as distinguishing Smoky Quartz from glass, it is an easy test: 

    • Smoky Quartz will not have air bubbles like glass may show

    • Smoky Quartz is a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness and can scratch plastic, glass, and any other materials that are less than 7 on the scale. 

    • Using a Gem Tester machine, Smoky Quartz will read under the "Quartz" section and glass will come up under "Glass"

    Smoky Quartz is dichroic, meaning it shows different shades of color when viewed from different angles. Glass can also be made dichroic. 

    real citrine and smoky quartz points

    How can you tell real Citrine from Smoky Quartz?

    Real, untreated Citrine often has a smoky brown tone like Smoky Quartz. To tell them apart, you have to look for the yellow tone in Citrine.

    Place the stone against a white background or next to a dark brown Smoky Quartz and see if you can pick up the yellow tinge. 

    Real Citrine can be distinguished from Smoky Quartz by its locality. Untreated and unheated Citrine is only found in certain areas of the world. 

    Learn more about Real vs Fake Citrine


    How can you tell the difference between Smoky Quartz and Smoky Topaz?

    There is no such thing as Smoky Topaz, so if you see this term, the stone is actually a Smoky Quartz. Topaz does not come in a smoky brown color.

    Because Topaz is more expensive than Quartz, this has been a marketing ploy for some vendors to make more money. The confusion originated before scientific gemology when all brown stones were lumped in the Topaz category. 

    Quartz and Topaz can look identical to the naked eye. Chemically, they have different crystal compositions: Topaz is Aluminum Silicate (Al2SiO4 (F, OH)2) and Quartz is Silicon Dioxide, SiO2.

    Here are some ways to tell Quartz and Topaz apart: 

    • Quartz grows in a trigonal and hexagonal shape whereas Topas grows in an orthorhombic shape (like slender prisms).

    • Quartz has a hardness of 7 and Topaz a hardness of 8 on the Mohs Scale of hardness. Topaz will scratch Quartz but Quartz will not scratch Topaz. 

    • Quartz is abundant and affordable while Topaz is rarer and more expensive.

    Is Black Quartz the same as Smoky Quartz?

    Black Quartz is often confused with Smoky Quartz. Black Quartz gets its colors from mineral inclusions within the stone rather than irradiation. Black Quartz crystals are usually found embedded in sedimentary rocks like gypsum, anhydrite, and limestone. You can find real Black Quartz in matrix from Spain and Italy. 

    To distinguish Black Quartz from Smoky Quartz, look for dichroism. If the color does not look different viewed at different angles, you most likely have Black Quartz. 

    men fist pounding with smoky quartz bracelets on

    Does irradiated Smoky Quartz work for healing?

    As we discussed, all Smoky Quartz is irradiated, whether it was formed naturally in the earth or smoked in a laboratory. The stone's structure itself remains the same. In this logic, the energy of the stone should be the same. 

    Just like any other crystal that has been altered, it is up to you as the healer to determine your preferences. If you are already working with polished stones, carved stones, or tumbled stones, you realize that they have been manipulated from their raw state. 

    If you are working specifically with the energy of raw, unaltered stones, you are a crystal purist and you will want to hunt down and pay the price for naturally irradiated Smoky Quartz! 

    Experiment and come to your own conclusions on Smoky Quartz. If it works for you, that's the most important part of healing!

    sheila of satin crystals holding raw smoky quartz stone

    Is Smoky Quartz safe?

    Upon hearing that Smoky Quartz gets its color from radiation, you may think that it is unsafe to touch. However, irradiated Quartz is perfectly safe. The radiation acts to change the color of the Quartz but it does not make the stone itself radioactive.

    Marble Crow's article has a good analogy: Irradiating Smoky Quartz is like giving the Quartz a tan. When you get a tan, you are absorbing solar radiation and changing your skin color, but you are not emitting radiation in the end. 

    There are strict guidelines set in place by government agencies before irradiated gems can be released to the public.

    Can you charge Smoky Quartz in the sun?

    Yes, you can charge your Smoky Quartz crystals in the sun. Smoky Quartz is a yang energy crystal. This means it gets its powers from yang energy sources like the sun. 

    Is Smoky Quartz sun-safe?

    Smoky Quartz is sun-safe as far as its structure. It will not crack or melt in the sun. However, the color may fade in prolonged and strong UV lights. If you are worried about your Smoky Quartz losing color, keep it in indirect sunlight.

    Then again, if you want to lighten the shade of your dark Smoky Quartz, you could try leaving it in the sunlight for prolonged periods of time.  

    Note that not all Smoky Quartz crystals will lose their color in the sun. 

    woman with back turned holding smoky quartz spheres

    What chakra is Smoky Quartz good for?

    Smoky Quartz is good for balancing the Root chakra. Its earthy nature lends itself to strengthening your connection to earth energy. 

    To learn more about crystals and your 7 chakras, visit the Chakra Guide

    Magical Smoky Quartz Incantation

    This is a message from Smoky Quartz from Doreen Virtue and Judith Lukomski's book "Crystal Therapy":

    "Stabilization during meditation is key, and I assist you in maintaining that grounded perspective while raising your energetic field. Acting as an anchor, I provide a fresh method of releasing fear by accepting and reprogramming your beliefs into champion-level goals. I'm an excellent stone for balancing male energy and optimizing your potential on this earthly plane."

    woman gazing in smoky quartz sphere

    What does Smoky Quartz mean in divination?

    Drawing Smoky Quartz during a gemstone divination session means: You are feeling disconnected. 

    Use Smoky Quartz crystals to connect to the earth, to your body, to the life around you. Sometimes your mind strays a million miles away. With Smoky Quartz, you can bring it back to the present moment and focus on appreciating what you have right in front of you. 

    Where is Smoky Quartz found?

    Smoky Quartz is found worldwide with notable deposits in Brazil, Madagascar, the USA, Russia, Ukraine, and Switzerland.

    How does Smoky Quartz form?

    Smoky Quartz is found in druzies in pegmatites and in ore veins. Rarely double terminated Quartz enclosed in sedimentary rocks can be smoky.

    It gets its color from natural radiation from the surrounding environment. This radiation activates the aluminum inclusions in the Clear Quartz and gives it a Smoky color. 

    Is Smoky Quartz hard to find?

    Smoky Quartz is a little harder to find than Quartz, but it is still an abundant stone. It can be found easily around the world. 

    smoky quartz picture window

    What are the mineral facts of Smoky Quartz?

    Smoky Quartz is a relatively hard stone registering at 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The chemical formula for Smoky Quartz is SiO₂. 

    Surface Color: Brown to Gray

    Streak Color (can vary from surface color, this is the color of the crystals’ powdered minerals): White

    Group: Silicates

    Cleavage (where the crystal breaks off naturally to form a new face, parallel to its structure. This is a clean break and can cleave over and over again along the same face, retaining the crystals structure): None, Indistinct

    Fracture: Conchoidal (clam-like, the way glass breaks)

    Luster: Vitreous (glass-like) to Dull

    Tenacity: Brittle (little resistance to breakage)

    Transparency: Transparent (light goes through without obstacles) to Opaque (does not allow light through)

    Crystal System: Trigonal (prism with 6 sides and 6 edges meeting at a sharp point).

    Crystal Habit: 6-sided Crystals, Druzy, or Massive (lump)

    Will Smoky Quartz magnify?

    Smoky Quartz can magnify depending on the angle, clarity, and shape of the stone. In order to magnify words or pictures under your Smoky Quartz, it must be translucent and curved. Light bends through the curvature of the stone and magnifies the text underneath. 

    hand holding morion quartz wand

    What is Morion?

    Morion is the name for deep black Smoky Quartz. 

    What is Cairngorm Smoky Quartz?

    Cairngorm Quartz, also known as Cairngorm Stone or just Cairngorm, is a Smoky Quartz originating from the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland. It is desirable for its distinctive dark color and rarity. It can range from translucent brown to an orangish-brown. Very dark Cairngorm is known as Morion. 

    Cairngorm Quartz was most popular during the Victorian age when diggers would go out in search of the rare stone. Most of the gemstone has been depleted and gem-quality material can no longer be found.

    Since 2003, the area is protected as a National Park and the major Cairngorm mines have been shut. You can still find low-grade Smoky Quartz in the area. You may find authentic gem-quality Cairngorm in historic estate sales or private collections. 

    Check out what other minerals are found in the Cairngorm Mountains at British Mineralogy

    Note, your Smoky Quartz should only be labeled Cairngorm if it is from these Scottish mountains. Beware of vendors selling Cairngorm from Brazil or other localities. Because Cairngorm is identical to Smoky Quartz, you can not distinguish the stones and must purchase from a trusted vendor. 

    hand holding zebradorite heart and sphere

    What is Zebradorite?

    Zebradorite is a naturally occurring stone showing a combination of Moonstone and Smoky Quartz. It is a creamy, peachy variety of Feldspar known as Moonstone with translucent veins of Smoky Quartz. Sometimes the patterns are reminiscent of the zebra's stripes.

    It is a stone with many names: Zebradorite, Graphic Feldspar, Zebra Feldspar, Graphic Granite, and Graphic Moonstone. 

    In crystal healing, Zebradorite is used to overcome tragedies. Working with the balancing energies of Zebradorite helps to bring you peace during traumatic times. 

    Where should I put Smoky Quartz in my home?

    In the home, Smoky Quartz can be kept in the living area to connect with earth vibrations and bring nature into the house. It is also great to place near electronics like televisions and computers to ground the energies of what can be a spacey activity. 

    For Feng Shui energy, place Smoky Quartz in your "Knowledge and Growth" area. This is the lower-left corner of your space. Smoky Quartz keeps away the worries and fears while you focus on personal growth. 

    For more on placing crystals, visit How to Clear & Fill the Home with Crystals

    Is Smoky Quartz yin or yang?

    Smoky Quartz is associated with yang energy. Yang energy refers to vibrations of strength, power, stability, and functionality. Transparent crystals are usually vibrating with yang energy. 

    Yin and Yang energies are not associated with gender, but with the balance of life each one of us possesses. 

    Smoky Quartz is an excellent crystal to use to balance feminine yin energies. It can also be combined with yin energy stones like Moonstone in healing. 

    hand holding smoky quartz amazonite cluster

    Smoky Quartz History & Fun Facts

    Smoky Quartz was formally introduced into the gemological world in 1837 by mineralogist James Dwight Dana. He was also known as the father of mineral classification. 

    Here are other interesting facts about Smoky Quartz:

    • According to Joseph Needham's Science & Civilisation in China, volume IV, part 1, page 121, dark glasses were worn by Chinese judges to hide their facial expressions during court proceedings.

    • The Scottish Highlanders wore Smoky Quartz brooches and kilt pins. They placed them in the handles of their sgian dubh, or daggers.

    • Pagans used Smoky Quartz in their Samhain festival ending the summer harvest.

    • In Victorian times, Smoky Quartz from the Mourne Mountains of Ireland was used as mourning jewels.

    • There is a large Smoky Quartz in the Scottish Crown Jewels. 

    • Smoky Quartz is New Hampshire's official state gemstone and Scotland's national gemstone.

    • World-famous deposits of Smoky Quartz with Amazonite are collected in Colorado.

    sheila of satin crystals holding raw smoky quartz point

    Ready to buy Smoky Quartz?

    Smoky Quartz is a positive addition to your crystal healing collection. Shop the Smoky Quartz Collection at Satin Crystals or find your favorite pieces for sale right here:

    Continue the Crystal Journey

    Continue on your Smoky Quartz crystal journeys with the following guides:

    Smoky Quartz Shopping Guides

    Smoky Quartz Reference Guides

    Grow with Satin Crystals

    What is your experience with Smoky Quartz?

    Do you have some stories to tell about your own Smoky Quartz experiences? We would love to hear about it. 

    We would love to hear your positive comments and questions. Feel free to write to us below and we will get back to you. 

    Disclaimer: The information provided is for entertainment only. See full disclosure.