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Crystals and minerals offer so many different uses in our world and are a part of our everyday needs in a variety of ways. Our food, medicine, structures, objects and healing tools are often made from various minerals. When it comes to crystals and minerals, many of us may not know exactly how they are created. We may know them as the beautiful and healing stones that they are; however, they are so much more!

Crystals and Minerals - Natural Amethyst Specimen from Brazil from Healing Crystals

WHAT ARE CRYSTALS AND MINERALS?

Crystals are rock formations that follow a pattern of molecules or atoms that are comprised of a crystalline structure arranged in a way that allows energy to move throughout the stone. They can be found in many shapes and sizes, and are identified by their repeating geometric molecular pattern. They are a solid material that follows a specific chemical formulation for each different type, whether they are naturally occurring (organic) or inorganic. For example, a Clear Quartz crystal found in nature would be organic, whereas a crystal created in a lab, such as Bismuth, is considered inorganic. 

Crystals have a certain symmetry based on the way that the crystal’s atoms are organized, known as the “crystal structure.” The progression in which the formation of crystals begins is known as “crystallization.” This process of transforming a gas, liquid or solution into molecular bonds is what gives us the many types of crystals we see in nature and in our everyday lives.

Crystals and Minerals - Himalayan Salt Lamps - Image by anella64 from Pixabay

Minerals are solid substances found in nature, consisting of one element or multiple elements formed together. They have a distinct combination and arrangement of atoms, which makes them “crystalline.” The properties of minerals are determined by their chemical compositions and their crystal structure. There are over 4,000 minerals found on Earth. Differences in mineral characteristics are what differentiate them from each other into various types. For example, rock salt is a mineral formed from Sodium Chloride, while minerals such as Gold and Silver are each their own singular elements. The most bountiful minerals found in the Earth’s crust are Quartz (made from Silicon Dioxide) and Feldspar (made from Potassium Aluminum Silicate).

The ordered atomic structure of crystals and minerals allows them to be identified by their physical properties such as their hardness, streak, color, form and luster. Density, or the amount of matter in the crystals and minerals, is another method of identification.

Crystals and minerals remain integral tools in society, used in many areas from healing to technology. These fascinating pieces have multiple uses that have been applied for centuries and are still popular and effective resources today.

HOW ARE CRYSTALS AND MINERALS FORMED?

When it comes to Crystals and Minerals, all minerals form crystals when they start to grow. In nature, crystals and minerals form from elements such as melted rock, vapor and water that has been saturated with dissolved minerals. All minerals are formed from a mixture of the naturally occurring 90 elements, with the most common elements in the Earth’s crust being: Oxygen, Silicon, Aluminum, Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Titanium, Hydrogen, Phosphorus and Manganese. Often, crystals and minerals form when hot liquid begins to cool and then harden. For example, when liquid rock in the form of magma starts to cool down, minerals in the magma begin to form crystals such as Clear Quartz, Amethyst, Agate, Jade, and many others. Temperature fluctuations and changing pressures under the Earth’s surface contribute to the various crystal and mineral formations. The amount of space surrounding the minerals determines the size of the crystals that are formed, with varying shapes and colors produced.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CRYSTALS & MINERALS

Interestingly, as all minerals form crystals, not all crystals are minerals. Minerals are inorganic with crystalline structures, so when a crystal is formed unnaturally or inorganically that crystal is not a mineral. For example, man-made crystals are not considered minerals, just as sugar is an organic substance that forms crystals but is not a mineral.

Another way in which crystals and minerals differ is in their structure. Different natural materials form the structure of crystals, yet minerals are actually materials in themselves. Additionally, the crystal structure of several minerals can differ greatly from each other despite possessing the same chemical composition.

Many times people refer to crystals and minerals as one and the same. Often, the term “crystals” is used to refer to healing stones, gems, minerals and crystals. With crystals and minerals, crystals have at least six different classifications, whereas minerals are either silicates or non-silicates. Minerals are naturally occurring and inorganic, while crystals can be both inorganic or organic and can be either natural or synthetic. With crystals and minerals, examples such as Quartz, Hematite and Magnetite are considered minerals, while crystals can be all minerals or man-made glass and more.

HOW ARE CRYSTALS AND MINERALS MINED?

Crystals and Minerals - Natural Crystal - Image by 11066063 from Pixabay

Crystals and minerals are brought to the Earth’s surface by way of earthquake faulting, folding, uplifts, volcanoes and mining. Mining for crystals and minerals often involves excavating equipment such as backhoes and bulldozers to remove the debris (soil, clay, etc.) and expose what is hidden beneath. Once the debris is moved, the rocks are power-washed with high pressured streams of water to reveal the crystals and minerals, known as Open Cast Mining.

Another method of mining for crystals and minerals consists of digging a vertical shaft and forming tunnels from it underground, or Tunneling. Miners go down the shaft and dig for crystals and minerals in the tunnels, coming back to the surface with their finds. From there the mined crystals are cleaned, screened, examined, sorted and organized. Afterwards, the mine shafts and tunnels are often taken down and filled back with soil to preserve the land.

Still another method is Terrace Mining, in which terraces are dug in a circular formation to expose the crystals and minerals. The area is blasted and the debris then washed in order to access the various crystals and minerals. Emeralds are often extracted via this method.

Crystals and Minerals - Natural Emerald Specimen from Healing Crystals

Marine Mining is used under the sea as a means to collect crystals and minerals. This is often done by way of Deep Sea Dredging, in which the minerals at the bottom of the ocean are pumped up to the surface. Often, the minerals found include Cobalt, Copper, Gold, Silver, Hematite and more.

Parts of a river are sometimes blocked, allowing the river’s rock bed to dry and expose crystals and minerals for collection. This is known as Dry Digging and the crystals and minerals found in the created canal are then examined and sorted.

Additionally, there are instances when one selects a desired spot and starts digging in the hopes of finding some crystals and minerals to add to their collections. In the United States, popular states to search for crystals and minerals are Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas; however, different crystals and minerals can be found throughout the United States. The type found depends on the location.

When it comes to the mining of crystals and minerals, there are ethical concerns regarding the potential destruction to the environment and unsafe labor conditions for workers. It is recommended that one knows the source of the crystals and minerals to be purchased in order to minimize support of unethical practices.

NOTABLE TYPES OF HEALING CRYSTALS & MINERALS

It sometimes happens that a crystal is indeed a crystal, but not a mineral. Some healing crystals that fit this description include Obsidian and Amber. Obsidian occurs from rapidly cooling lava, forming into glass as it cools without forming a crystalline structure. The absence of an atomic lattice keeps Obsidian, a healing stone known for protection against negativity, from being classified as a mineral. Amber is organic in origin and is amorphous in structure, which means it lacks an orderly internal arrangement of atoms. As a result, Amber is not considered a mineral. A hardened or fossilized resin derived from the plant sap of ancient trees, Amber is known as a powerful and protective healing stone. Coral, Jet and Pearl are further examples of crystals that are not minerals.

Crystals and Minerals - Natural Jet from Healing Crystals

Speaking of pearls, when it comes to crystals and minerals, an often overlooked yet coveted healing aid is that of the Abalone Shell. Abalone are a kind of mollusk, a sea snail with tentacles and feet whose hard shell is made from a very durable Calcium Carbonate. These beautiful and iridescent Abalone Shells have been used ceremoniously for centuries by many ancient cultures. Most notably, the Abalone Shell is used as a smudge bowl in which to burn sage. While smudging with this shell, Native Americans believe that their messages are carried up into the Heavens. In kind, the healing properties of Abalone Shells are that of protection, balance and tranquility. A soothing shell, Abalone is associated with the Crown Chakra, Third Eye Chakra and Heart Chakra. Great for calming, the Abalone Shell is sought after as a very healing companion.

Crystals and Minerals - Abalone Shell from Healing Crystals

Well-known and often used crystals and minerals for healing include: Clear Quartz (amplifies healing), Amethyst (manifestation), Rose Quartz (love & forgiveness), Tourmaline (grounding) and Turquoise (protection), to name a few. Many more crystals and minerals are used regularly for healing purposes, offering an abundance to choose from and work with in healing.

WAYS WE USE CRYSTALS AND MINERALS 

Crystals and minerals are used regularly in a variety of ways, from spiritual and healing to structural, industrial and even in personal care products. The manner in which crystals and minerals are used in our everyday life is enormous. Their impact is significant on many levels.

Architecture and Construction:

The use of crystals and minerals in architecture and construction remains prevalent and significant. Minerals aid in the creation of weapons, the tools to make fire and in forming industrial components of building materials. Minerals such as sand, clay, feldspar and kaolin are necessary to create construction materials like bricks, cement, tiles and even plastics. The foundation, windows, interior and more of buildings are created from minerals. Even nails, screws, nuts and bolts are created from iron minerals! Powdered gypsum creates plasterboard for walls, and copper is used for electrical wiring and plumbing. Minerals such as Stainless Steel, Silver and Beryllium are used in construction and also for creating weapons, fighter jets, missile components, detonators and more. Uranium and Titanium are used in medical technology, such as in X-rays. Minerals are used in laser technology, radar and sonar. Flint is a mineral used in tool-making and for the creation of fire.

Autunite:

When it comes to minerals and their various uses, a unique mineral known as Autunite is the result of uranium minerals being hydrothermally altered, thus creating this radioactive mineral. Autunite is used as a uranium ore, generating electricity from nuclear fission. Yellow-green in color, this waxy and resinous mineral is fluorescent and was first discovered in the 1800’s in France. Considered radioactive, this is not a mineral for healing but rather serves a purpose as a uranium ore in different industries.

Art:

Illuminated Manuscripts and panelled paintings show how minerals can be found in art, as the paint used to create these beautiful works often came from various mineral compositions. For example, Azurite has been used to depict the color blue in paintings, while Orpiment created yellow tones and Terre Verte created green-gray pigments. Iron earth minerals create various shades of reds, oranges and browns while Ultramarine creates another hue of blue. These mineral pigments are exceptionally noted during Renaissance art periods, and continue to be used today in pigment production.

Jewelry:

Another way we use crystals and minerals is to make beautiful and often healing pieces of jewelry. Precious gems make for lovely pieces of jewelry to wear, such as Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies and Emeralds. Healing stones are made into pendants, necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. Pins, buttons and hair decorations can also be used from crystals and minerals. The gold and silver chains and bands for our jewelry are made from minerals.

Crystals and Minerals - Single Strand Mexican Fire Opal Bracelet from Healing Crystals

Personal Care Products:

The various face creams, lotions, makeup and other personal care products that we regularly use contain different minerals. Skin care products often contain magnesium, zinc, potassium and sulphides. Eyeshadows have mica and mineral pigments to give them radiant colors and lotions may contain copper and iron. Body scrubs are usually made with sea salt, and Silica can be found in an array of beauty products, including hair care products.

Spiritual, Religious and Metaphysical:

Crystals and minerals have a prominent place in spiritual, religious and metaphysical realms. In the Bible, the foundation of the wall to Heaven is lined with 12 different crystals along the way. Crystals and Gems were worn across the chest for protection, healing and strength. Ancient cultures used crystal Talismans and Amulets to wear as a form of protection. Crystals and minerals have been used throughout the span of time for healing and spiritual connection, and are still very popular for this purpose in modern times. While different cultural beliefs may vary, the metaphysical healing properties of crystals have been used consistently with similar intentions. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing are often sought after, along with protection, prosperity, abundance. Healing stones help connect one to a Higher Source, throughout all different cultures and beliefs.

Orgonite:

An energetic mineral known as Orgone or Orgonite is made from fiberglass resins mixed with metal particles that are poured into molds. This substance serves as a self-driven and highly effective method of transmuting energy. EMFs produce positive ions which can be harmful; the positive ions are drawn into the orgone material and transmuted into negative ions, which neutralizes the harmful EMFs. Sometimes, crystals like Quartz are added into the mixture for a heightened effect. Orgonite can be molded into various shapes, such as pyramids, cones, pendants and more. Orgonite is a great tool for healing, as its attributes can provide balance and deeper meditation, to name just a few.

As you can see, there are many, many ways in which we use crystals and minerals. Healing techniques aside, they are around us all the time and in so many of the products we use. Crystals and minerals are essential and necessary to our lives!

HEALING WITH CRYSTALS AND MINERALS

Healing with crystals and minerals dates back to Ancient Cultures and still translates into present day. There are many different healing techniques that draw on the metaphysical properties of crystals and minerals. Depending on the stones and the type of healing being used, the vibrational energy shifts and moves accordingly.

Crystals and Minerals Assortment - Image by marilynroxie from Pixabay

Healing crystals and minerals may be used for clearing purposes (to cleanse and clear energies), to balance energies as well as to energize and amplify energies. How is this done? Methods of healing with crystals and minerals include:

  • Meditation: Crystals and minerals offer their healing properties through meditation by sitting quietly with your stones, usually in your hands or placed around you, during silent reflection. While quieting the mind, the vibrations from the stones also assist with the intended healing.

  • Crystal Grids: Specific patterns may be chosen in the form of a grid to amplify intended healing with crystals and minerals. This ancient technique involves placing certain crystals throughout the grid, which is then activated with healing intentions.

  • Wearing Crystals: Energy from healing crystals and minerals can be transmitted, repelled and absorbed, depending upon the chosen stone and one's intention for wearing it. A great way to benefit from such healing vibrations is through wearing different stones of your choosing. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings all serve as effective crystal adornments. One may even place crystals in the bra, hair band or pocket to keep the healing vibrations close by.

  • Placing Crystals Around our Space: Infuse crystals and minerals with healing intentions, such as protection or prosperity, and place them around the home. They may also be placed around the office, the car, the yard, even in house plants! Trust in the vibrations from the stones as they work throughout your living space.

  • Sleeping with Crystals: Crystals and minerals can be placed under the pillow at night, allowing for the gentle vibrations to aid in the specific healing intention one may have for the stones. Our subconscious mind may aid with healing as we sleep.

  • Chakra Healing: Cleansing and balancing the Chakras remains an integral practice to overall spiritual, emotional and physical health. There are various stones related to each Chakra, including by color, that one may work with while placing the stones over the intended Chakra, meditating with them, wearing them and also through Reiki with the corresponding crystals and minerals.

When working with healing crystals, it is important to cleanse the crystals and minerals before using them. Be sure to set your healing intentions with the desired stones for effective and powerful results.

Crystal Elixirs

Another way to evoke healing with crystals and minerals is through elixirs. Crystals and minerals have specific energies, or properties, that can relate to different needed areas of healing. The chosen minerals are transferred to, or placed near, water and the energy is charged accordingly. This is ideal for physical, mental, emotional or spiritual healing. When creating elixirs, the water with the minerals is often charged in the sun or moon, to further amplify the intention of the elixir. During the process the stone’s energy is then transferred into the surrounding water.

These healing tonics (also known as “essences”) carry unique healing energy vibrations in relation to the crystals and minerals used in each one. These water essences have been used even in Ancient Times for healing and longevity. Natural spring water or distilled water may be used in these elixirs. While stones are often put directly in the water, more often they are placed near the water or in a barrier inside the water (indirect immersion) as many minerals are toxic. Caution is always advised for this reason when making your own healing elixirs. The elixirs may be ingested through the mouth, sprayed onto the skin or used in a bath. Clearing room sprays may be made with these elixirs, which can also be used to compliment smudging and even on altars.

Crystals and Minerals - Crystal Elixirs

Himalayan Salt Lamps 

A popular healing element can be found in Himalayan Salt lamps. Himalayan Salt crystals are formed from minerals such as Sodium Chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and can be made into electric lamps. While these lamps can be used as decor or light sources, many people enjoy Himalayan Salt lamps for their healing properties. The salt produces negative ions, which in turn helps to purify and improve the surrounding indoor air. The emission of negative ions from the lamps cancels out positive ions. This helps to neutralize electromagnetic radiation from the many electronics in our homes and workplaces. Himalayan Salt is also said to purify the air, allowing for easier breathing and reduced allergens. These lamps formed from Crystals and Minerals are known as calming stress reducers that can aid in better sleep and cognitive function. Himalayan Salt lamps can make a beautiful and functional addition to any living space.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND CRYSTALS AND MINERALS:

Those who are new to crystal healing may often wonder where to get started in finding the crystals and minerals for their healing needs. Even healers search for additional options when adding to their collections. The internet offers a plethora of online shops from which to choose, so one should do research ahead of time to make sure that the shop meets their ethical expectations and resonates well with oneself. There are also local holistic shops that offer many different healing stones and accommodations. Some people even head to nature to dig and search for their own crystals! Here at Healing Crystals, we offer a wide variety of healing crystals and minerals, as well as accompanying tools for healing work.

Shops We Love:

  • Sol Path Crystals Magick owned by Nicole Marie who stocks and sells beautiful talismans, crystal intention aromatherapy candles, crystal grid kits, crystal kits and more!

  • Feather Spirit Shop owned by Jenn Amptman who sells crystals and sacred gifts like her beautiful wreaths.

  • Inner Crystal Shop owned by Amy Basingstoke who sells amazing vibrational sprays amongst her crystal kits and crystals.

  • DH Crystal Company owned by Elizabeth Dalvi who sells some beautiful crystals and is working on offering more items in the future.

  • Mimosa Books & Gifts is the official crystal shop of the Love and Light School owned by Ashley Leavy and they offer “mystical wares to nourish your soul”.

  • Sea Dreams Orgone owned by Shelly Rose and this is our go-to source for orgone jewelry pendants, items and altar pieces.

  • Enchanted Thyme Gift Shop is owned by Terreasa Burgess and her beautiful crystal shop can be found in New York. She sells crystals and all kinds of gifts.

  • Inspirify is owned by Kathy Counsineau and she offers some of the most beautiful crystal energy, healing bracelets.

Conclusion

Crystals and minerals offer us an abundance of healing properties to work with, as well as beautiful specimens to captivate us. Minerals are essential to life and can be found all around us, every day, in many different uses. The amazing qualities and capabilities of minerals born of Mother Earth give us a multitude of options to create tools, structures, medicine, healing components and more. A wondrous and powerful part of our existence, we are blessed with the complexity and multi-faceted world of crystals and minerals.

 

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Posted on September 17, 2019
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