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Book Review:

“Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of

Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic”

Author: Scott Cunningham

ISBN: 2nd Edition: 0-87542-126-1 ©2005

One does not have to be a follower of Wicca to appreciate Scott Cunningham’s book on Crystal, Gem and Metal magic.  The “magic” lies in the stones themselves, and not necessarily in the magic that is practiced while using them, for crystals and metals carry energy and it is that energy that Mr. Cunningham describes and gives us a closer glimpse into the world of crystals, gems and metals.

This book is a reference guide for those who wish to know more about crystals and gems other than the more scientific qualities they are often given in other reference books. “Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic” offers properties such as Energy (is it projective or receptive?), Planetary/Element correspondences, Powers the crystals hold, and Magical uses. 

The beginning of the book goes into details about the energy in crystals and metals, colors, obtaining stones, and even how to start your own stone tarot collection.  The middle contains descriptions of more than 100 crystals and metals (with a 16-page insert containing photos), and the remainder of the book is full of correspondences, such as birthstones, planetary and elemental rulers, substitutions and more.  The resources pages contain an annotated bibliography for further reading, a glossary and index.

The descriptions of the stones themselves contain a “trivia trove” of historical/magical information on how the crystals were used in the past, which is quite interesting reading all on its own.  Some of the magical uses of the crystals are not always practical, but with a little fiddling, I’m sure someone could come up with an easier interpretation on how to use a certain stone.

While this may not be the most up-to-date book on crystals, it is still a reference guide that I still happen to refer to time and time again.


·         Explains the energy behind crystals and how it is utilized

·         Comprehensive correspondences

·         How to obtain crystals and metals

·         Annotated Bibliography

·         Crystal substitutions


·         Photographs not the best (most are museum quality rough stones, not what one would find when purchasing)

·         Magical uses not always practical

I believe anyone who wants to know a little more about the energy of crystals and how that energy is utilized should have this book as part of their reference library. My only wish would be that someone out there continues Mr. Cunningham’s work and create an updated version of this book that would include many more of the crystals that have been introduced since this book’s publication.

-Sonia Acone

Healing Crystals Expert

Check out more book reviews!

Posted on August 10, 2014
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