Smoky or smokey quartz is a brown to black variety of quartz. Like other quartz gems, it is a silicon dioxide crystal. The smoky colour results from free silicon, formed from the silicon dioxide by natural irradiation.
A very dark brown to black opaque variety is known as morion. Morion is the German, Danish, Spanish and Polish synonym for smoky quartz. The name is from a misreading of mormorion in Pliny the Elder.
Cairngorm is a variety of smoky quartz crystal found in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland. It usually has a smokey yellow-brown colour, though some specimens are a grey-brown.
It is used in Scottish jewellery and as a decoration on kilt pins and the handles of sgian dubhs (anglicised: skean dhu). The largest known cairngorm crystal is a 23.6 kg (52 pound) specimen kept at Braemar Castle.
Another example of smoky quartz
Smoky quartz found in a stream
Sunglasses, in the form of flat panes of smoky quartz, were used in China in the 12th century.
See also 
- ^ Smoky Quartz on Mindat
- ^ http://www.mindat.org/min-6270.html Morion on Mindat
- ^ New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed., 2005), p. 1102.
- ^ Joseph Needham, Science & Civilisation in China (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1962), volume IV, part 1, page 121. Needham states that dark glasses were worn by Chinese judges to hide their facial expressions during court proceedings.
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