Historical information

Quartz is an extremely common mineral to find across the world. Quartz can have two forms; Microcrystalline quartz or Crystalline quartz. Microcrystalline quartz is a fine grain quartz where crystalline quartz is often a large crystal. This specimen is a crystalline quartz.

Made of silicon oxide, this specimen is called smokey quartz crystals because of its brownish colour. However, the colour of quartz can vary. In addition, quartz are formed in deep-seated igneous rocks and crystallized through hot aqueous solutions.

This type of crystal can be found all over Australia, including Beechworth in Victoria. Other places quartz can be found is the Ashburton River area in Western Australia, Marlborough in Queensland, the Lune River area in Tasmania and Kingsgate in New South Wales.


This specimen is significant because it is common to find this kind of mineral. While the location of where this specimen was originally from is unknown, it highlights the many places in Australia where quartz is found. It demonstrates that quartz makes up a large portion of Australia's geology. In addition, quartz itself can vary in its colour and shape. This specimen represents one of these variations. That being smoky quartz crystals.

This specimen is part of a larger collection of geological and mineral specimens collected from around Australia (and some parts of the world) and donated to the Burke Museum between 1868-1880. A large percentage of these specimens were collected in Victoria as part of the Geological Survey of Victoria that begun in 1852 (in response to the Gold Rush) to study and map the geology of Victoria. Collecting geological specimens was an important part of mapping and understanding the scientific makeup of the earth. Many of these specimens were sent to research and collecting organisations across Australia, including the Burke Museum, to educate and encourage further study.

Physical description

A large hand-sized quartz mineral with shades of brown and gray throughout.

Inscriptions & markings

Smoky quartz / crystals /locality/ unknown / (needs a wash) /BB