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Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?
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stoned




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 16:20    Post subject: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

Well, I mentioned in my other post I had a few items that I wanted to know if I got "took" or not. This next one I got on the famous Etsy site.

Was advertised exactly as:

"341g NATURAL Smokey QUARTZ Flame CRYSTAL - HEALING"

What do ya think? Would be nice to know I didn't get taken again. One photo is of the base that looks like its cracked, goes deep into the stone, but not that noticeable.



smokeyquartz (1).JPG
 Mineral: Quartz?
 Locality:
China
 Dimensions: 8.89 by 6.35
 Description:
 Viewed:  4118 Time(s)

smokeyquartz (1).JPG



smokeyquartz (2).JPG
 Mineral: Quartz?
 Locality:
China
 Dimensions: 8.89 by 6.35
 Description:
 Viewed:  4113 Time(s)

smokeyquartz (2).JPG



smokeyquartz (3).JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  4104 Time(s)

smokeyquartz (3).JPG



smokeyquartz (6).JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  4109 Time(s)

smokeyquartz (6).JPG


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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 16:27    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

Thanks for the good photos, which blow up well. I think I'm seeing "swirly" lines of inclusions, which suggest glass.
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Roy Starkey




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 16:27    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

Most likely glass I think but you can do a simple optical test. Get two pieces of polaroid sheet (two pairs of polarising sun glasses will do fine) and position them so that they block the light (rotate them next to each other). This is called crossed polars. Separate the sheets, maintaining their relative position and place your specimen between them.

You may need an assistant to do this :) !

Carefully rotate the specimen between the sheets and if it is quartz it will go into and out of extinction - clear to grey to opaque and repeat.

If it is glass (which is isotropic) the view through the polaroid will remain black / dark.

Hope that helps.

Roy
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 16:34    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

First of all, in American English, the correct spelling is "smoky".....with no "e".

As an associated bit of trivia having to do with the spelling, the US Forest Service, in it's advertising campaign against forest fires, purposely spelled Smokey Bear with an "e" to differentiate the bear's name from the word "smoky".

Now onto your example. I think you have glass, but it could be quartz. It has been shaped and polished on multiple faces. It is no longer a natural crystal, but has become a knick-knack rather than a mineral specimen. As to its original natural color, I think, like your other example, if quartz, it probably, but not definitely, has been irradiated to make it smoky quartz colored. My opinion. BOB
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Kevin Schofield




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 16:40    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

stoned wrote:
Well, I mentioned in my other post I had a few items that I wanted to know if I got "took" or not. This next one I got on the famous Etsy site.

Was advertised exactly as:

"341g NATURAL Smokey QUARTZ Flame CRYSTAL - HEALING"

What do ya think? Would be nice to know I didn't get taken again. One photo is of the base that looks like its cracked, goes deep into the stone, but not that noticeable.


The inclusion trails (lines of bubbles and streaks) suggest that this is almost certainly glass.

My advice if you wish to avoid being "taken" is to avoid all of the sellers who are in the business of selling "magic healing crystals" and using non-contextual words such as "fire" "elestial" or "andara" that accompanied your fake tanzanite. There are a lot of charlatans (and maybe some well-meaning but mineralogically uninformed) folks out there peddling metaphysical powers that most (if not all) folk on this website regard as superstitious nonsense.
If you have an interest in, and want to purchase, "real" minerals, please seek out genuine mineral dealers who provide scientific names, actual localities and decent descriptions. They do exist on Etsy, so don't necessarily walk away from the site...

Happy Hunting!

Kevin

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stoned




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 16:45    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

LOL! ...look how "Smokey" Bear left an impression on me! Thanks..I'll change it.
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kushmeja




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 16:46    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

I would agree with the previous posters that your pics indicate that what you have is almost certainly glass due to the bubble inclusions.

My word of advice to you would be to stick to sellers located in the USA until you are more knowledgeable - you are much less likely to end up with misrepresented item. Even so, you will still have to deal with the "healing crystal" people who in general don't have the true geological/mineralogical knowledge that a true mineral dealer would have and often times don't really know what they are selling.
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 21:06    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

Bubbles would indeed indicate glass, but I do not see bubbles in the pictures, just what appears to be veils of fluid inclusions, which would be consistent with quartz.
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stoned




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2020 23:16    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

Yes, I really don't see bubbles when looking at it. If no bubbles, would that rule out glass?
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2020 02:54    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

Glass doesn't necessarily show any bubbles (or any inclusions at all), sometimes bubbles in glass may be organized in a veil-like pattern, but veils of fluid inclusions exclude glass.

Here's a picture of a veil of bubbles in glass:
http://www.geminterest.com/inclistpop.php?gem=inc_verre_voilbull&nom=Verre%20synth%E9tique
As you can see, a veil of bubble still looks quite different from a veil of fluid inclusions

Inclusions are best observed with a 10x loupe or a microscope, of course.
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stoned




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2020 07:57    Post subject: Re: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

Thanks for the example photo cascaillou, certainly easy to see the bubbles in that. I also read about the glass scratch test? Quartz having a hardness of 7, which would make it able to scratch glass. Is that a reliable test to confirm?

I just did a scratch test and it does put a very noticeable scratch in the glass, without any damage to the crystal. I did a few scratches, and it definitely put scratches in the glass. Is that confirmation? (without taking it to a gemologist of course). I haven't even bothered looking for bubbles with the loupe now, since it passed the scratch test.
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2020 09:01    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

This thread unnecessarily continues on.

Whether the example is quartz or glass is largely irrelevant. The example has been made into a knick-knack and, if quartz, probably has been further tampered with by probable irradiation. Mineral collectors are not interested in knick-knacks.

Time to move on, again suggesting to you to educate yourself before spending any more money on mineral specimens. BTW look to see what is offered for sale on this dealer's website; he is a verrrry ethical dealer! Bob
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2020 13:45    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

It's indeed a polished piece of quartz. Possibly irradiated, or maybe not, that's impossible to tell.

Ps: concerning hardness, just keep in mind that two materials with the same hardness can scratch each other (although this usually requires applying a little more pressure than for scratching a material of lower hardness)
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2020 14:45    Post subject: Re: Smokey Quartz or Smokey Glass?  

"Whether the example is quartz or glass is largely irrelevant. The example has been made into a knick-knack and, if quartz, probably has been further tampered with by probable irradiation. Mineral collectors are not interested in knick-knacks."

Here I must disagree with Bob. A lot of mineral collectors collect lapidary arts too, especially when unusual. The late Rock Currier was famous for both his mineral and lapidary collections and there was much value in both of them. And let‘s not forget that a lot of mineral collectors in previous generations in the 1950s to 70s got their start in lapidary clubs. There is a reason that a lot of the best known mineral clubs in America have "Gem and Mineral Society" in their names, with the "Gem" part coming first.
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stoned




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2020 20:18    Post subject: Re: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

Thank you Alfredo...
I was just about to look for another mineral and gem forum for newbies, I see there's a lot of them. but maybe I'll stick around now. Even had 2 more pieces that I bought that I'm hoping for good news about.

@cascaillou

"concerning hardness, just keep in mind that two materials with the same hardness can scratch each other".

I was going to ask that. I noticed the blue obelisk (glass) I mentioned in the other post, did scratch the glass but barely visible. Whereas, the real quartz really dug into the glass. So, I see what you mean on glass being able to scratch glass, (barely visible though).
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Amir Akhavan




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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2020 10:00    Post subject: Re: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

The easiest non-destructive way to test *colored* quartz varieties is dichroism.
Just rotate the specimen in front of a computer monitor or a polarizer filter and check for changes in color or hue.
Smoky quartz changes from a light reddish tone to darker yellow tones.
Check mindat's smoky quartz page to see an example.
One has to figure out the correct axis/angle to rotate the specimen.
On a crystal one would have to face the "long side" / c-axis, for cut stones and irregular pieces one has to play a bit.
Watch out: Lack of dichroism does not always mean glass, it just means "not smoky quartz" or "not citrine" or "not amethyst" etc.
But with something as big as the specimen in question it is usually quartz versus glass.
And of course, dichroism is the same for naturally and artificially irradiated specimens.

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stoned




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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2020 17:35    Post subject: Re: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

VERY interesting Amir, thank you! I shall try what you suggested soon. Of course being a newbie, I've never heard of dichroism. Should the monitor screen be white as in a blank page in a browser when I try this? I would think so.
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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2020 20:42    Post subject: Re: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

> Should the monitor screen be white as in a blank page in a browser when I try this?

yes
It won't work with one of these cathode ray tube monitors, of course, but everything else should work, including your smartphone.

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Duncan Miller




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PostPosted: Jan 12, 2020 05:32    Post subject: Re: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

Amir Akhavan wrote:
> Should the monitor screen be white as in a blank page in a browser when I try this?

yes
It won't work with one of these cathode ray tube monitors, of course, but everything else should work, including your smartphone.


For more detailed instructions, download 'Playing with polarized light' from Olaf Medenbach's website:
https://homepage.rub.de/olaf.medenbach/eng.html
(link normalized by FMF)
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stoned




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PostPosted: Jan 12, 2020 08:39    Post subject: Re: Smoky Quartz or Smoky Glass?  

I'm going to download that now Duncan, thanks.

I rotated it in front of my cell phone with bright white light. I didn't notice any red hues, but yellows yes. Interestingly, I have a clear quartz obelisk and did the same and it had very pale yellowish hues too, only when put up against the light. Is that normal?
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