New Hampshire State Gemstone or Gem

Smokey quartz

Smokey quartz: New Hampshire State Gemstone

(SiO2 - Silicon Dioxide)

Adopted in 1985.

New Hampshire designated smoky quartz as the official state gem in 1985 (also known as cairngormas).  Smoky Quartz is a common mineral also found in many types of rocks, including granite (New Hampshire's official state rock). In New Hampshire, the White Mountain National Forest includes a famous smoky quartz site.  Cairngorm is a variety of smoky quartz found in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland and often has a yellow-brown color.

Sometimes incorrectly called smoky topaz, Smoky (Smokey) Quartz is a popular variety of Quartz, which is sometimes used for unusual faceted cuts. It has an unusual color for a gemstone and is easily recognized and is well known by the general public. Only a few other brown or black minerals are ever cut for gemstones such as the Smoky Quartz, the very rare black beryl or the brown corundum. Smoky Quartz is also popular as an ornamental stone and is carved into spheres, pyramids, obilisks, eggs, figurines and ornate statues.

Smokey quartz: New Hampshire State Gem

Smokey quartz: New Hampshire State Gemstone

Smoky 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.

Smoky (Smokey) Quartz is a very common, coarse-grained variety of the silica mineral Quartz that ranges in color from nearly black through smoky brown. The color of smoky quartz is variable from brown to black and sometimes smoky gray colored specimens are included as smoky quartz. The cause of the color of smoky quartz is in question but it is almost certainly related to the amount of exposure to radiation that the stone has undergone. No distinct boundary exists between smoky and colorless Quartz. Its abundance causes it to be worth considerably less than either Amethyst or Citrine. Natural smoky quartz often occurs in granitic rocks which have a small but persistent amount of radioactivity. Most smoky quartz that makes its way to rock shops and to some gem cutters has been artificially irradiated to produce a dark black color.  Heating bleaches the stone, the color sometimes passing through yellow. These yellow pieces are often sold as Citrine. Crystals of the mineral frequently contain inclusions of gas (carbon dioxide), liquid (often both water and liquid carbon dioxide), or solids (rutile). Smoky Quartz from Mount Cairngorm , Scotland , is known as cairngorm and is a favourite ornamental stone in Scotland , where it is worn in brooches with Highland costume. Its properties are those of other Quartz gemstones. Today, the vast majority of smoky quartz is mined in Brazil , but it is found in most of the major gemstone producing nations.

Smoky quartz, a variety itself of quartz, has a few varieties of its own:

  • Cairngorm is a variety that comes from the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.
  • Morion is a very dark black opaque variety of Smoky Quartz.
  • Coon tail Quartz is a Smoky Quartz with an alternating black and gray banding.
Smokey quartz: New Hampshire State Gemstone

Basically, the smoky quartz is a variety of quartz that has a unique combination of various brown colour tones (from light to very deep); due to irradiation as provided by Mother Nature.

You can often find rutiles (also called angel hairs) in the inner world of the smoky quartz. These golden streams of energy offer the lucky smoky crystal owner more power for healing, clarity and awareness.

You can also often find rainbows and numerous mesmerizing formations in the inner life of the smoky quartz. Just as with the clear quartz crystal, one can spend many hours exploring the inner life of the smoky quartz.


The unique combination of strong grounding and protective energy with the light, soothing and uplifting one is the quality that distinguishes smoky quartz from other grounding and protective crystals and stones.

New Hampshire Law

The law designating Smoky quartz as the official New Hampshire state gem is found in the New Hampshire Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 3, Section 3:15.

Section 3:15
3:15 State Gem. - Smoky quartz is hereby designated as the official state gem of New Hampshire.

Source. 1985, 11:1, eff. May 31, 1985.

General Quartz Information

Chemical Formula: SiO2

Composition: Molecular Weight = 60.08 gm

Silicon:     46.74 % Si  100.00 % SiO2
Oxygen:   53.26 % O
Total:     100.00 %   

Empirical Formula: (SiO2)

Environment: Sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks.

IMA Status: Approved IMA 1962

Locality: Found world wide

Name Origin: From the German "quarz", of uncertain origin

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