SMOKY QUARTZ CRYSTAL 1
A lovely Smoky Quartz Crystal 1! This is a beautiful, natural piece. Some of these feature Aegirine or Rutile inclusions inside the quartz. Very interesting under magnification and bringing great properties to the crystal. This smoky is very unusual and different from all sides; feels good to hold in the hand and looks even better with sunlight behind it. Go on, spoil yourself.
11.5cm x 7.7cm x 5.3cm, 414g.
Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi.
Quartz is a fascinating common mineral, found in the Earth’s crust. If pure, quartz forms colourless, transparent hard crystals with a glass like luster. A significant component of many igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Found in an abundant variety of formations and colors.
Polished Quartz was the most advanced technology thousands of years ago, used by the Assyrians. As a lens to focus light, could help start a fire for cooking. The Vikings could have used one of these to find the sun on a cloudy day. As a magnifying glass the ancients could see the stars too. Today it leads technology being the main component of transistors which make our computers work and solar panels.
The presence of trace elements gives an abundance of color range and crystal forms. Quartz is hard 7, light 2.65 and just adorable with an amazing shine when polished. No cleavage, characteristic conchoidal fracture and strongly piezoelectric and pyroelectric. Interestingly except in Twins where the opposites cancel each other out.
Chemistry: SiO2 , Silicon dioxide
Uses: silica for glass, electrical components, optical lenses, abrasives, gemstones, ornamental stone, specimens, building stone, etc.
Variety specimens include.
Amethyst is the purple gemstone variety.
Citrine is the yellow to orange gemstone variety. It is rare in nature and often created by heating Amethyst.
Milky Quartz is the cloudy white variety.
Rock crystal is clear quartz and used as a gemstone.
Rose quartz is a pink to reddish pink variety.
Smoky quartz is the brown to gray variety.
Clear quartz is the most common color then white or cloudy milky quartz. Purple (Amethyst), pink (Rose Quartz), gray or brown to black (Smoky Quartz) are also common.
Luster is glassy to vitreous as crystals, while cryptocrystalline forms are usually waxy to dull but can be vitreous.
Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent, cryptocrystalline forms can be translucent or opaque.
The Crystal System is trigonal; 3 2.
The Crystal Habits are again widely variable. A prominent habit is hexagonal prisms, terminated with a six sided pyramid. This is two rhombohedrons. Three of the six sides of the pyramid may dominate causing the pyramid to be or look three sided. Left and right handed crystals are possible and identifiable only if minor trigonal pyramidal faces are present. Druse forms (crystal lined rock with just the pyramids showing) are also common. Massive forms can be just about any type but common forms include botryoidal, globular, stalactitic, agate.
Cleavage is very weak in three directions (rhombohedral).
Fracture is conchoidal.
Hardness is 7, less in cryptocrystalline forms.
Specific Gravity is 2.65 or less if cryptocrystalline. (average)
Streak is white.
Other Characteristics: Striations on prism faces run perpendicular to C axis, piezoelectric (see tourmaline) and index of refraction is 1.55.
Associated Minerals are numerous and varied but here are some of the more classic associations of quartz. Amazonite a variety of microcline, tourmalines especially elbaite, wolframite. But wait there’s more pyrite, rutile, zeolites, fluorite, calcite, gold, muscovite, topaz, beryl, hematite and spodumene.
Notable Occurrences of amethyst are Brazil, Uraguay, Mexico, Russia, Thunder Bay area of Canada, and some locallities in the USA. For Smoky Quartz; Brazil, Colorado, Scotland, Swiss Alps among many others. Fine examples of Rock crystal come from Brazil, Arkansas, many localities in Africa. Fine Agates come from Brazil, Lake Superior, Montana, Mexico and Germany.
Best Field Indicators are first the fact that it is very common. Then crystal habit, hardness, striations, good conchoidal fracture and lack of good cleavage. Assume transparent clear crystals may be quartz.
NaFeSi2O6 , Sodium Iron Silicate.
Aegirine, which is listed in some guides as Acmite. Forming impressive crystals that have become classics among collectors. These tall opaque monument like crystals that jut majestically out from their host rocks are simply splendid. The steeply inclined pyramid on top of the prismatic crystals is very characteristic and thus diagnostic of Aegirine. An alternate name Acmite comes from the Greek word for point. Name Aegirine is after the Teutonic, god of the sea Aegir, and was given when the first specimens of the mineral were discovered in Norway.
Aegirine is difficult to distinguish from its close cousin Augite. Under normal circumstances, the steep pyramids of Aegirine are the only point of differentiation.
Smoky Quartz is best known for its ability to absorb negative energy and its strongly grounding properties. It assists with relaxation, thus is an excellent stone for mediation. Centers the body’s energy and enhances awareness, dream recollection and channeling. An essential stone for any healing collection.