The history of Smokey Quartz
Smokey Quartz, or Smoky Quartz, has been revered by humans for centuries. This crystal gets its colouring when free silicon within the crystals is naturally irradiated. It can be found in different shades, ranging from a pale brown to almost black. Some of the black Smokey Quartz however has actually been produced by unnatural irradiation in a laboratory.
In Ancient times, Smokey Quartz was a power stone to the pagan Druids. The Druids were high-ranking Ancient Celts who acted as priests, teachers and judges. They spent up to 20 years studying philosophy, astronomy and ancient verse. The Druids considered Smokey Quartz to be sacred and they used it in their ceremonies and rituals. It was also believed that it would guide souls to the afterlife.
Religious objects were often decorated with Smokey Quartz, with some European countries using it to make crucifixes which they hung up in their bedrooms to keep evil away.
It was even used by the Chinese in the 12th century … smooth panes of Smokey Quartz was used to protect the eyes, much like our modern day sunglasses.
Another name for Smokey Quartz is Cairngorm Quartz. This name comes from where it is found in the Scottish highlands, in the Cairngorm Mountain region. The Cairngorm Quartz's colour ranges from yellow-brown to grey-brown. Another variation of Smokey Quartz is called Morion which is very dark, almost black, in colour.
The Scottish Highlanders used Cairngorm Quartz on their shoulder brooches, kilt pins as well as the handle of their sgian-dubh, which is the Gaelic word for the small knife that was traditionally worn with the kilt. This knife was tucked away in their kilt hose (socks).
In 16th century Britain, Smokey Quartz was made into jewellery and worn during periods of mourning. The Victorian era continued this love of Smokey Quartz, with many individuals and families spending their free time hunting the Cairngorm Mountains for the Cairngorm Quartz.
In fact, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were fascinated with the Scottish Cairngorm Quartz and kept a collection at Balmoral Castle (which is now owned by Queen Elizabeth II). One particularly stunning piece from Queen Victoria's collection is a 23.6 kg (52 lb) Cairngorm Quartz crystal that was given to the Queen by James Grant in 1851. This is the largest known Cairngorm Quartz and is kept at Braemar Castle.
Metaphysical properties of Smokey Quartz
In modern times Smokey Quartz is known as a ‘go to’ grounding and anchoring crystal as it has a very strong connection to the earth. Smokey Quartz is a slow and steady crystal however it is still very powerful.
It is believed that Smokey Quartz can help you overcome depression and stress. This crystal can also help with nightmares and letting let go of the past. This is a crystal that needs to be regularly cleansed as it absorbs lots of negative energy.
Other blogs to read
If you'd like to find out more about crystals then have a look at some of our other blogs such as The History of Crystals - Part 5: Malachite or The History of Crystals - Part 2: Australian Rocks.