I hope this article was of any help to you, thank you for reading it and make sure to watch the video I made fpr some great examples of natural Smokey Quartz versus artificially irradiated quartz. Unlike heat-treated amethyst, there’s really no good way to tell. Some natural varieties of smoky quartz are very dark, like morion, so you can’t always go by color. Another way to know if your Smokey Quartz is really made by nature or artificially irradiated by man, is to know the location of the specimen. So to be clear here, Smokey Quartz can be naturally irradiated by nature or artificially irradiated by man in a lab. NATURAL SMOKY QUARTZ AND UNNATURAL SMOKY QUARTZ. Despite its abundance in nature, some stones are irradiated to improve their color, which has made some people question their safety as jewelry or healing stones. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). The US, and other gem irradiating nations, have strict regulations for the holding and testing of irradiated gems to assure that they are not released to the public until they are safe to handle and wear. The color of smoky quartz is produced when natural radiation, emitted from the surrounding rock, activates color centers around aluminum impurities within the crystalline quartz. When You’re in Pain LOVE Yourself The Secret Key To Healing, The Strengh Of A Woman Growing & Healing When You Are In Pain, Elite Noble Shungite Jumbo Size From Russia Has Arrived, These Are The Best Crystals For Protection, Radioactive and Radiation Treated Gemstones by the Gemological Institute Of America, Effects of Radiation on Quartz by the Mineralogical Society Of America, Smoky Quartz Natural or Irradiated Here is Everything You Need To Know, Neutron Bombardment – Use of a nuclear reactor, Electron (Beta) Bombardment – Use of an accelerator, Gamma radiation – Use of a cobalt-60 facility (these facilities are commonly used to sterilize medical equipment). When clear quartz is irradiated, some neutral silicon atoms are formed. Unlike heat-treated amethyst, there’s really no good way to tell. Think of the color like a suntan. It ranges from a light yellowish brown to a brown that is so dark that it appears to be black. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. If you ask me personally, I always try to stay away from irradiated crystals, most common are Smokey Quartz, Red/Pink Tourmaline, Emeralds and Blue Topaz. This does not meet the energy threshold needed to make smoky quartz radioactive. The HPS and the UNS (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) states clearly on their websites that there is no danger to receiving any radiation from using radiated crystals.For most people the concern is to know for certainty if irradiated Crystals and Gemstones can be radioactive. In smoky quartz’s case, this is trace amounts of aluminum, which form AlO4– molecules that take the place of some of the SiO4 within the crystal. Now, sellers are supposed to disclose if their Smokey Quartz is natural or irradiated, but many don't do this and sell artificially irradiated Quartz as Natural Smokey Quartz. Stones treated with either electron or neutron irradiation will remain radioactive for a period of time. The bottom of the crystal is completely white (clear quartz) while the color at the top is brown dark almost black. With irradiated gemstones, there is a possibility that some of the nonradioactive atoms in the crystal could be made radioactive. On the other hand, radioactive material is less common in sedimentary rock like shale (with the exception of uranium, which can appear in limestone, dolomite, or sandstone, among others). The reason why gemstones become radioactive is if impurities within the gemstone become active. Some natural varieties of smoky quartz are very dark, like morion, so you can’t always go by color. You can also see how the prices are not cheap just because the Quartz has been irradiated. How do you know if the Smoky Quartz that you purchased or want to buy is natural or not? So now that you know the difference between natural Smokey Quartz and artificially irradiated Smokey Quartz, let's talk about safety concerns when it comes to the irradiation process. Lastly, gamma irradiators use 60Co (cobalt 60) to produce energy. ( Log Out / Stones produced by this process tend to be very dark, and are almost always radioactive. The longer a gemstone is exposed to irradiation the more chance of the stone becoming radioactive. Same things goes for Smokey Quartz coming from China. Here are a couple of excellent documents that explains a lot more in detail the process of irradiation: 1- Radioactive and Radiation Treated Gemstones by the Gemological Institute Of America, 2- Effects of Radiation on Quartz by the Mineralogical Society Of America. This means that, unless the stone is labeled or the dealer tells you, the only way to tell if a stone has been artificially irradiated is by examining the matrix. For example it is well known that mostly all Arkansas Smoky Quartz is artificially irradiated, so if your Smokey Quartz comes from Arkansas, chances are is not naturally formed. When this quartz is exposed to radiation, some of this silicon dioxide becomes free silicon and some of the electrons from the AlO4– molecules get knocked out of place. on Here is an example of a legit seller that does clearly specify on his store that the Smokey Quartz they sell is artificially irradiated, they are honest and for this, they get my respect. In other words, the energy of radiation striking the stone needs to be greater than the energy needed to bump a neutron out of place. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Another way to know if your Smokey Quartz is really made by nature or artificially irradiated by man, is to know the location of the specimen. The amount of energy it takes to do this varies by element. On the contrary, if your specimen comes from Namibia it's provably natural. Clear Quartz is irradiated in order to change the color and be sold as Smoky Quartz. For enhanced smoky quartz, this happens after it has been mined. They hook up with the positive ions, and create the characteristic “smoky” gray or brown color of smoky quartz. This is another little tip that will help you to determine is your Smokey Quartz is 100% natural or not. A lot — if not most — of the colorful quartz varieties on the market are enhanced in some way, and buyers are often none the wiser. Change ). Wearing or using natural or artificially irradiated smoky quartz is not going to hurt you. A person tans because they’ve been exposed to solar radiation, but that change in color means that radiation has acted on them, not that they are emitting radiation themselves. Is your Smoky Quartz 100% Natural? Neutron bombardment using a nuclear reactor can irradiate stones, though this is a relatively uncommon method. Less-desirable specimens have a grayish brown color. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Whether this happens depends on the composition of the crystal and the type of radiation used.