Smoky quartz rings hold an alluring gemstone, a sacred stone according to a belief dating back to the Druids.
In this present age, smoky quartz is a gemstone that is increasing in popularity as a stone for jewelry. When crafted into fine pieces, smoky quartz is as beautiful as a brown diamond and almost as eye-catching but nowhere near as pricey. Smoky quartz is also durable and easy to maintain and can be made into any type of jewelry.
If this sounds like a gemstone you would like to add to your jewelry collection, keep reading! We cover everything you need to know about smoky quartz rings.
What is Smoky Quartz?
Smoky quartz is the brown colored variety of macrocrystalline quartz. It is a very common mineral and is found in various locations around the world. Smoky quartz comes from the same mineral family as citrine, amethyst and rose quartz, all famous gemstones used in jewelry.
PHOTO 1: Smoky quartz rings as seen above are prized for their earthy color. This example is a grey brown color pear shape smoky quartz solitaire, three prong set in 925 silver. [SOURCE: Luxuria Diamonds]
Where is Smoky Quartz sourced from?
The majority of smoky quartz comes from Minas Gerais, a large inland state in south-eastern Brazil. Deposits are also found in Madagascar; Switzerland and in two US locations; California and the Pikes Peak area of North Carolina.
The Cairngorm variety of smoky quartz is found in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland. Smoky quartz here usually has a smoky yellow-brown colour, though some specimens are greyish-brown.
Smoky Quartz Color
In the gemstone world, brown to black gemstones are not very common. This is partly what makes smoky quartz unique.
Smoky quartz ranges in color from pale brown to black to opaque. The best color is a beautiful medium-toned vivid brown hue. The way that this gemstone obtains color is from exposure to natural irradiation over prolonged periods of time.
Smoky quartz is similar in color to brown topaz and brown diamonds, although both these gemstones are harder. Brown diamonds have a much stronger sparkle, fire and a much steeper price tag.
Today, some of the smoky quartz on the market has been color enhanced (color changed) via heat treatment. One indication of heat treatment is an excessive uniformity of color, particularly in dark specimens.
Smoky quartz is known for its large sizes. Smoky quartz rings are popular for people who like really large gemstones without a really big budget. Just be aware though that larger smoky quartz rings tend to have stones that are very dark and opaque.
Smoky Quartz Varieties
There are three smoky quartz varieties.
First is Cairngorm, a variety that comes from the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.
Second is Morion, which is a very dark black opaque variety of smoky quartz.
And Coon tail quartz is a smoky quartz with an alternating black and gray banding.
Smoky Quartz is often misidentified and sometimes for example mistaken for Topaz. Topaz comes in every shade of brown, from a light tan to nearly black. Be aware to that a chocolate colour of Citrine gem also exists and this is a pleasant brownish/yellow in color.
PHOTO 2: Citrine is also a member of the crystalline quartz family. While commonly seen in yellow and golden orange colors it can also be found in pleasant “earthy” tones. Examples include brownish/yellow and brownish/orange colors. [SOURCE: Luxuria Diamonds]
Smoky Quartz is only one of several quartz varieties. Other varieties that form macroscopic (large enough to see) crystals include Amethyst, Citrine, Milky Quartz, Prasiolite, Rock Crystal and Rose quartz.
Are Smoky Quartz rings in sterling silver popular?
With the rise in popularity of colored gemstones, many consumers have begun to look for unique and different gemstones to wear. Smoky quartz is back in fashion, and is valued for its earthy look which makes for beautiful costume and demi-fine jewelry. It is also very popular in craft jewelry and is often used in rough or cut form.
If you think that smoky quartz is only used in low-cost jewelry, think again. While smoky quartz itself is an inexpensive gemstone, it can command high prices depending on the quality of the setting, the materials used and the designer. In the demi-fine jewelry (a category of jewellery that sits between ‘fine’ and ‘costume’ jewelry) smoky quartz rings set in 925 sterling silver are particularly popular.
PHOTO 3: If you think that smoky quartz is only used in low-cost jewelry, think again. Smoky quartz rings can be accented with diamond and set in precious metals such as gold and platinum. [SOURCE: Luxuria Diamonds]
Smoky quartz is a durable gemstone, with very good toughness and no cleavage. As a result, it can be used in any type of jewelry. It is commonly shaped into pendants, rings, earrings and bracelets. It can also be worn in rings. Some care however is required with the setting so as to protect the stone from scratches. Because of this protective ring settings such as bezel or halo are recommended.
PHOTO 4: Halo and Bezel settings for smoky quartz rings are recommended because these encircle and thus protect the sides / edges of the smoky quartz gemstone. [SOURCE: Luxuria® Diamonds]
How much are Smoky Quartz gemstone rings?
As smoky quartz is a relatively common gemstone the price for the gemstone itself is modest. According to IGS (USA), Smoky quartz gemstones range in price from $1 to $5 per carat (USD). The labour and materials of the setting thus largely influence typical smoky quartz ring prices.
Set in 925 sterling silver nicely faceted, good quality eye clean smoky quartz rings retail for around US$100.
Smoky quartz rings are also crafted in other metals to including white gold, yellow gold, and especially rose gold. Set in 18K rose gold which nicely complements the brown gemstone, smoky quartz rings can retail for over US$ 1000.
Do check out our Smoky Quartz and other gemstone rings in our store below.
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