A variety of quartz, smoky quartz is one of the few black or brown minerals from which gemstones are cut. Others include smoky topaz, black beryl (extremely rare) and brown corundum. It is frequently referred to as Smoky Topaz which is incorrect as topaz is a completely different mineral.
Queen Elizabeth I's court spiritualist's crystal ball was made from smoky quartz which is the national gemstone of Scotland and whose national sceptre includes a large gem.
Some varieties are known as Cairngorm after the Cairn Gorm mountain in Scotland where it's mined. The world's largest Cairngorm crystal, which weighs in at 52lbs, is at Braemar Castle.
Many years ago Poland was a significant supplier but today it mainly comes from Australia, Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Russia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Scotland, Ukraine, Switzerland and California.
In crystal healing it is said to set aside willfulness and headstrong behaviour, it has the ability to transform negative energy and is particularly effective in dealing with anger and resentments. It is believed to help clear up communication difficulties and to dissolve mental and emotional blockages that can get in the way of perception or learning. It is excellent for alleviating panic attacks, anxiety and nightmares and can form a shield against negative energy around the user.
Smoky quartz is graded 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.The mineral cairngorm is found in the Cairngorms which is a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland. A variety of smoky quartz which exhibits a smokey yellowish brown colour although some stones can have more of a grey to brown colouration.