Seeing Smokey Quartz?
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Smokey Quartz has a misleading name – while on one end, this mineral does possess lustrous black and grey qualities, on the other, it also encompasses rich chocolate shaded minerals. Smokey Quartz embellishments are as timeless and classic as they are soft-spoken. Before buying a ring embellished with this magnificently dark stone, it is important to be well versed in the mineral itself and all the factors of buying a smoky quartz embellished ring, ownership, and upkeep.
Tell Me More about Smokey Quartz!
Smokey Quartz is best known for its lustrous dark hues that range from brown to black. Smokey Quartz gets it unique shade through irradiation and aluminum. Rather than overwhelming you with a list of useless knowledge, we will narrow the important factors down to two simple components of Amethyst that we find most useful to the average consumer.
First, Smokey Quartz is a hard and durable mineral. On the hardness scale, Smokey Quartz sits at a comfortable 7 and is scratch resistant to matter that falls at a lower number. To test the authenticity of Smokey Quartz, scratch the surface with an item that is in the 1-6 range of the hardness scale – a fingernail, for example, sits at a low 2 – if your nail leaves a scratch on the amethyst, the stone you’re dealing with isn’t authentic.
If you’re well versed in testing specific gravity, the specific gravity of Smokey Quartz 2.65. If none of that made sense to you, don’t worry, it doesn’t to the majority of consumers. A quick Google search will turn up easy to follow steps on testing for specific gravity and, if you’re unconvinced as to the authenticity of your stone, they may make for a useful experiment.
What about the Color?
Smokey Quartz gets its color from the mixture of irradiation and aluminum. As such, light quartz can be manipulated through the use of irradiation and aluminum to artificially create Smokey Quartz. It is essentially impossible to tell the difference between natural Smokey Quartz and manipulated light quartz.
The best way to determine whether a Smokey Quartz ring is one obtained through nature vs. one obtained through manipulation is by paying attention to the stone’s hue. A enhanced Smokey Quartz will have uniform color within the gem, while natural Smokey Quartz will have color variation.
Caring for your Smokey Quartz Ring
As we’ve already mentioned, heat can contribute to darkening the color of your Smokey Quartz stone – do not store your Smokey Quartz in direct sunlight or expose it to extreme heat. If you want to be overly cautious, some retailers will recommend turning the stone towards your palm when in the sun for extended periods of time.
Smokey Quartz t can be scratched by matters that hold a hardness level of 7 or higher, it is smart to store your gem bearing ring in a secured box, pouch, or away from any diamonds or products that may flaw the stone.
As with any fine stone, it is recommended to remove your ring prior to exposing your hands to harsh household chemicals or chlorinated pools.
Let’s Talk Money
Though stunning, Smokey Quartz isn’t a rare stone and is therefore extremely affordable.
The most expensive Smokey Quartz’ are those that display a variety of shades in a high brilliance cut, while ones that hinge on the edge of being enhanced cost substantially less..
The value of Smokey Quartz, as in most other stones, will also depend on the clarity – a clear and blemish free stone will cost significantly less than one with numerous impurities.
As with most gems, the carat size of a Smokey Quartz doesn’t matter – you want to be more focused on the quality of the stone itself than you are on its size. On average, Smokey Quartz sells for $18.00/carat, so the value is found in darker, more uniform and properly cut stones as opposed to big ones.
Tell me more about Smokey Quartz!
Smokey Quartz can be found, essentially, everywhere. There are Smokey Quartz deposits in Brazil, Greece, Germany, and even in the United States. Again, this widespread availability of the gem creates an abundance of it and decreases its value – as such, it is more important to find a high quality Smokey Quartz gem than it is to find a big one.
There are two types of noteworthy Smokey Quartz – the Morion and the Cairngorm. The Morion stones are identifiable by their darkness while the Cairngorm stones are named after their origin of the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.
Smokey Quarts are often used by psychics and medicine men for protection, cleansing and grounding. Just like the stone finds light in the midst of its dark hues, it is believed that Smokey Quartz will create light for those struggling with hard times.
Am I ready to buy?
Absolutely! But we’d like to reiterate some key facts before you’re on your way.
1. Because Smokey Quarts are easily accessible and abundant, there aren’t many synthetic variations to the stone. However, a large number of stones on the market today are manipulated through heat and aluminum.
2. Retailers and jewelers alike are legally obligated to disclose whether a Smokey Quartz has been enhanced by heat or if the stone is synthetic. If you are skeptical about the authenticity of your Smokey Quartz, always take it to a jeweler or gemologist for a second opinion.
3. Keep an eye out for color variation– a stone with no color variation is less likely to be one in its natural state.
4. Focus on the quality of the stone, rather than the quantity. It isn’t hard to find large deposits of imperfect stone, but it is difficult to find small deposits of flawless ones. Focus on the cut, smoothness, cut, and transparency of the Smokey Quartz when looking for your best fit!