Smoky topaz is another name given to smoky quartz, a gemstone similar to the familiar clear quartz. Before its chemical composition was examined, this stone was thought to belong to the topaz family of gems. But smoky topaz, like quartz, is made of silicon dioxide. Although smoky topaz is now known to be a type of quartz, many still call it by its original name.
Like other types of quartz crystals, smoky topaz is a macrocrystalline stone. This refers to the fact the individual crystal molecules in a gemstone can be seen without any magnification. Crystals are arranged in a hexagonal and rhombohedral manner, forming a six-sided pyramid. Because the stone naturally has a pyramid shape, many people wear the stones in their natural states as pendants.
Smoky topaz resembles clear quartz in every manner except color. As the name suggests, smoky topaz has a smokiness to it. Shades can range from light tan to dark chocolate, although the stone is somewhat transparent. It’s not clear why the stone is smoky colored, although one line of thought is that aluminum particles in the stone give it its color. Radiation and irradiation may also be responsible for the color.
People throughout time have attached certain healing qualities to gemstones, particularly to members of the quartz family. Smoky topaz is thought to draw negativity out of the wearer, so it’s often used to alleviate depression and other mood disorders. It’s also thought by some to be helpful in overcoming harmful addictions and behaviors. In addition, the stone is thought to improve health of all the organs below the waistline, particularly in the body’s digestive and reproductive organs.
Many magical properties have also been associated with this stone, as with other varieties of quartz. For instance, some believe that wearing smoky topaz results in increased awareness and mental clarity. In addition, smoky topaz is sometimes used as a scrying stone. Scrying is a means of divination that uses a crystal ball. In fact, some believe that England’s Queen Elizabeth I used smoky quartz to tell the future.