Crystals have been revered for their healing and calming properties throughout history. Some of the earliest records of their use date back to the Ancient Sumerians, more than 6,000 years ago. The Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks made great use of crystals in everything from their jewelry and amulets to their burial sites and graves. Amulets worn for protection, healing, and safety were reportedly used everywhere from Britain to Belgium and Switzerland in the Paleolithic era, in Ancient China (where stones like jade are still highly valued for their healing properties), and across Europe from the Renaissance period through to the 1980s when the New Age movement saw the popularity of crystals resurface and be adapted for modern use.
Nowadays, healing crystals are no longer used in medicinal practices but rather in alternative therapies. Skeptics and proponents of crystals remain locked in a heated debate about whether or not they actually work, but the truth is that very little clinical research has been conducted on the subject. What has been proven, however, is that the placebo effect that results from believing in the power of crystals can have a considerably powerful impact on our bodies and minds. What’s more, the power of crystals in conducting energy is evident in their use in various aspects of technology, from quartz in LCD displays to silica dioxide and its ability to store large amounts of data.
The late Dr. Masaru Emoto, a scientist and author of The Hidden Messages In Water and Water Crystal Healing, was so passionate about the subject that he conducted a number of experiments to illustrate the direct effects that words, sounds, thoughts, and intentions could have on the geometric structure of water crystals, highlighting their response to energy and human consciousness.
So whether you’re a firm believer in the power of crystals or just looking to dip your toes into this world, here’s a beginner’s guide to get you started, from the most popular crystals out there to how to care for them and where to buy them.
There are many different types of quartz available, but it remains one of the most popular crystals out there. It symbolizes purity, perseverance, and patience, with clear quartz and rose quartz being two of the most sought-after. The former is typically utilized for amplifying energy and as a “master healer”, while rose quartz, commonly referred to as the “love stone”, is said to open up the heart chakra for unconditional love and positive energy.
This beautiful purple stone is typically used for meditation and promoting calmness and balance, in conjunction with balancing emotional issues and those of the nervous system.
Also known as the “desert rose”, selenite is associated with the moon and is typically used for enhancing spirituality, meditation, good luck, protection, and warding off negative external influences.
Often found in jewelry, turquoise is known as a “master healing stone” and is believed to benefit everything from the immune system to respiratory systems.
Like quartz, topaz comes in a wide variety of colors, with blue and white being among the most popular. It is said to help stimulate and recharge the body’s meridians, promoting truth and forgiveness, abundance, good fortune, and generosity.
Known to many as the “money stone”, citrine is said to help manifest big dreams and prosperity, as well as help displace negative energy in favor of the positive. It is also said to help positively influence issues of the bladder and thyroid.
This beautiful black stone is often used for grounding purposes, to enhance the truth, and to shield against and block negative energy.
Long used as a talisman for travelers, moonstone is said to help stimulate inner growth, usher in feelings of hope, calm, and relief, and protect during childbirth, pregnancy, and travel.
Thanks to its stunning celestial blue hue, this stone has been extremely sought-after throughout the centuries particularly for use in jewels and amulets. It is said to symbolize wisdom, honor, objectivity, and clarity, and to boost creativity, confidence, inner truth, and self-awareness.
Most often associated with the aura, agate is believed to boost mental function, concentration, perception, and analytical abilities, as well as combat tension, anger, and stress.
Typically associated with the immune system and detoxification, tourmaline is said to promote a soothing and calming demeanor and boost meditation and spiritual connections.
A great one for workaholics, fluorite is believed to help balance our energy, aid in decision making, self-confidence, and coordination, and absorb negative energy and stress.
A stone as gentle as rose quartz, jade is also said to promote feelings of love and nurturing, to bring good luck, friendship, and stability, and to provide the wearer with protection.
This beautifully sparkly stone that is flecked with iridescent color is another one for boosting relationships while ushering in love, beauty, romance, prosperity, and joy in marital life.
How to Care for Your Crystals
Like any energy source, crystals must be cared for, charged, and even cleansed. Which method is best depends on the crystal itself and its properties – ones that are softer in makeup require more delicate handling, for instance. Experts recommend a variety of techniques, including holding them under running water (as pure as you are able to source), brushing them with sea salt, visualization techniques for energy-cleansing, “bathing” them in moonlight or sunlight, burying them in the earth or ground for several days, or “smoking” them with herbs such as white sage, cedar, or lavender.