FAQ for Crystals

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Frequently Ask Questions for Crystals.

All crystals are minerals, but not all minerals are crystals. So, what’s a mineral?

A mineral is defined as a naturally occurring substance that is formed through geological processes and has a characteristic chemical and physical composition, particularly a highly ordered atomic structure that is normally crystalline. All minerals follow this mnemonic device: SNIFC Solid -at normal Earth temps it occurs in a solid state Naturally occurring (unlike man made: strawberry quartz; which is not quartz at all, this is simply a man-made glass, synthetic diamonds, aura quartz, etc.) Inorganic (unlike amber, coral, jet or other petrified wood which are organic since they all came from a living thing) Formula – it has a chemical formula that never varies (for example quartz’ formula is SiO2) Crystalline- its molecules are arranged in an orderly repeating geometric pattern…that’s what “crystalline” means (unlike obsidian, which is a volcanic glass…not crystalline at all) Crystals are different from stones because they are solids that are formed by a regular repeated pattern of crystalline molecules connecting together which is easily seen in the larger forms: fluorite, quartz, garnet... so they lok like a crystal. In some solids, the arrangements of the building blocks (atoms and molecules) can be random or very different throughout the material. In crystals, however, a collections of atoms called the Unit Cell is repeated in exactly the same arrangement over and over throughout the entire material. Something is crystalline if the atoms or ions that compose it are arranged in a regular way (i.e, a crystal has internal order due to the periodic arrangement of atoms in three dimensions). Gems are described as amorphous if they are non-crystalline. Crystals characterized by well developed crystal faces (external surfaces) are described as euhedral . Crystals do not always show well developed crystal faces seen on euhedral examples. A crystal is built up by arranging atoms and groups of atoms in regular patterns, for example at the corners of a cube or rectangular prism. A rock, by comparison, is an aggregate of minerals and need not have a specific chemical composition. Minerals range in composition from pure elements and simple salts to very complex silicates with thousands of known forms. In general, rocks are of three types; igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Even though rocks do not have a specific physical composition like minerals, there is a science of rocks as well, called petrology. The study of rocks is essential for understanding the formation of the earth. Gemstones have their own science as well, called gemology, which is a branch of mineralogy. But the concept of a gemstone is based on human value judgments. A gemstone is usually defined as a highly attractive and valuable piece of cut and polished mineral that is used in jewelry or other decorations. The science of gemology studies the special physical and optical properties of this subset of the mineral world. However, this definition of a gemstone is not particularly scientific since it does not make much reference to the physical properties of gemstones. Attempts to remedy this shortcoming by referring to the unusual hardness and rarity of gemstones have not been very successful. Some gemstones, such as fluorite, are not especially hard. Also, rarity depends on what is being mined at any given time. Amethyst, the violet variety of quartz, was once quite rare; but today it is fairly abundant. To further complicate matters, certain rocks, such as lapis lazuli, are classified as gemstones, since lapis has a long history of use in decoration. Lapis lazuli is composed of several minerals, including sodalite, calcite and pyrite. Certain organic materials, such as amber and coral, are also classified as gemstones, although they have no crystal structure at all, and would not even be described as organic minerals. Actually amber is classified as a mineraloid ('somewhat mineral-like') along with amorphous materials like opal and mercury.

In summary;

Gem is a rare mineral that is highly priced. Gems are beautiful stones that are used in making jewelry. Crystals are pure substances that have molecules arranged in a regular geometric pattern.
A gem can be a crystal whereas a crystal will not always be a gem. Gems can have mineral bases such as ruby or diamond and an organic base such as amber.
Crystals are solids that have atoms, ions and molecules fixed in a regular order, which extend in three dimensions. Crystals can also be defined as objects that have well-defined geometric shapes. Gem is also known as gemstone that can be precious or semi precious that is cut and polished to be used in jewelry. The precious gems include diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald and all other gems are considered to be semi-precious. Gems can be classified according to the chemical composition gemstone and the crystal structure. Crystals are mainly classified as cubic, hexagonal, tetragonal, orthorhombic, monoclinic and rhombohedral.
When comparing the value of crystals and gems, the latter ones are priced more. Almost everything related to minerals can be termed as crystals as they have specific properties. When comparing the hardness, specific gravity, refractive index, durability and fluorescence, the crystals are different from the gems. One thing that has to be noted is that different gems have different properties as different crystals having different properties.
When comparing the colour between gems and crystals, the gems come in various colours like red, green and blue. The crystals also come in colours according to the transmission of light through them.

Where do they come from and how do they work?

Crystals are beautiful rock formations that have amazed humans for thousands of years. They are used for many different things, not just for decoration. Many of the first radios ever invented used crystals to transmit the radio waves. Some watches, like quartz watches, still use crystals to this day. Some stones such as moldavite and tektite are from meteorites that fell to earth, Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth, and even lightening makes a powerful specimen when connected with sand and is called Fulgurite. Crystals work because they are alive, a living intities. They are active participants in nature. Protons, neutrons and electrons are flying around in an absolute bliss of balance and participation, upholding patterns of sacred geometry. Crystals/Gemstones radiate pure patterns and resonate with unmatched consistency. Each stone resonates with a slightly different pattern geometrically. Crystals sing their incredible songs of structure, balance, wavelength and frequency and can bring us back into harmony. Raw energy establishes patterns on an initial primal scale when it takes the form of subatomic particles. These particles combine and cooperate to produce atoms, molecules and minerals. Mother Nature ushers forth all that is possible in the natural world, building up its complexity from the mineral kingdom to the plant kingdom and on to the animal kingdom. As human beings, our bodies are an incredible and complex masterpiece of nature’s organization and balance. The key to them working is the human mind being open and receptive. Healing is often a matter of recovering our bodies inherent harmony by letting go of what we are holding onto— our own ideas about how, where, when, what and why—mental frameworks that have us behaving in inorganic ways. One the human mind lets go of control/fears/programs and open up to one's true nature, which can only be founded within, thus, harmony, prosperity and success, becomes your natural way of life. You will be able to honor your vibrational field and travel in harmony instead of dis-harmony or dis-ease.

How to use crystals?

There are several ways to use crystals. Most buy them as jewelry today, but they can also be purchased as cups, bath tubs,lighting fixtures, and other home and personal products. Since crystals have their own electromagnetic field, thus generate a energy field, wearing, sleeping with, placing them on your body can assist in raising personal own electromagentic field and the environment it is in. I always suggest, follow your own internal guidance, as you will always attract and guided to what you need. This question is will you allow it?

Are crystals/gemstone toxic?

In rough/raw forms, yes they can be. Go to CRYSTAL SAFETY PAGE for more information. Before using any stone or crystal for elixirs or waters, you should personally make sure that it's safe by consulting a mineralogist, healthcare specialist, or other professional. FYI: Polished stones are less likely to allow elixirs, etc. to leach any potentially hazardous materials.

What are exilirs - gemstone water? What are exilirs - gemstone water? How can you tell which crystals can go in water or not? How do you clean crystals that can't go in water?What are indirect and direct methods?Are there any crystals that are affected by direct sunlight?