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.
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.
Morion from Poland
- Holden, Edward (1925). "The Cause of Color in Smoky Quartz and Amethyst" in American Mineralologist, vol. 9, pp. 203-252
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