What Are Healing Crystals

by Colleen The Crystal Dragon

The word crystals covers a variety of different substances.  When most people think of crystals they imagine things like Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine and Sodalite.  Things  like Diamonds, Rubies, Emerald, Sapphires etc, they tend to think of as  Gems, but they are also crystals, it is the demand that makes them more valuable than other forms of crystals.  Also, things like Gypsum, Pyrite, Gold and Sulphur are classed as crystals in healing.


The exceptions are Coral, Amber and pearls originating from flora and fauna and Tektite Obsidian and Moldavite, which are natural glass.


Crystals are formed in the earth by various methods, some have been subjected to enormous pressure, while others are laid down the layer by layer, others still have formed as stalactites and stalagmites, and again others have formed in deep underground chambers.


Each of the above methods dictate the properties of the crystals, the crystalline structure if you like.  This crystalline structure absorbs, transmits, focuses and conserves energy on an electromagnetic waveband specific to each crystal type.  Most crystal healers call this the vibration or frequency of the crystal.


It is this vibration or frequency that gives each crystal its unique healing properties.  It does not matter whether the crystal is large or small or as some say good quality (the look of the crystal, colour, shape etc) or poor the crystalline structure is exactly the same.  Sometimes you will find that a particular crystal will come in different colours, this does not alter the crystalline structure, but the colour can have a slightly different effect on how it heals.


Crystals can form out of the same material or mixture of materials, but each type will crystallize differently.  A crystal’s regular external lines mimic its internal order it is symmetrical along its axis.


Crystal Terms and Types

Some  basic  information and list some common terms relating to rocks, minerals and crystals .

The aim of this course is to teach you about  the mystical  and healing  energy of crystals and gemstones. But I have found that the following information to be helpful and can provide us with guidance . Crystal and Gemstones can be placed in three groups easier understanding and convenience.


Igneous  rocks :

Igneous rocks are the final product of the consolidation of Magma, that emerges via volcanic activity and emerges or  erupts  through vents or fissures  in the Earth’s Crust  i.e. rocks that have solidified from a molten state. The nature and properties of these crystals  vary greatly  depending in part on the conditions under which the magma solidified . fast cooling creates rocks that tend not to have  crystals  slower cooling can give similar kinds of  atoms trapped in the magma time to find each other and form crystals.

There are essential two types of Igneous Crystals/Rocks

Plutonic or Intrusive: These are formed when rocks on the surface sink into the hot magma  sometimes to great depths and are changed by the heat and pressure and there compositions is granite not basalt.

Volcanic: These crystals are formed from the original lave or hot magma that was forced to the surface and then harden as the lava cools.

Plutonic includes Granite , Calcite, Olivine, Diamonds and hornblende

Volcanic includes Obsidian. Basalt, Andesite, Pumic and Rhyolite


Sedimentary Rocks

These rocks cover two thirds of the Earth’s surface. Are formed by the accumulation of  “sediments” these are fine rock particles or fragments on or near the earth’s surface and compacted most often under extreme pressure. skeletons of microscopic  organisms  or minerals leached from rocks  that have accumulated from weathering.  Rocks such as  limestone , sandstone,  shale’s, halite’s  coals,  Dolomite Quartzite and  gypsum   and stones containing fossils

Metamorphic rocks

These rocks are the result of alteration of igneous and sedimentary rocks  through heat and/or pressure, bring about an entirely new type of rock. These  physical and/or chemical changes  to rocks maybe exemplified  by the  formation of marble from  thermal changes that have occurred to limestone. Other types of metamorphic rocks are Kyanite, Mica, Garnet, Quartz, and Pyrite.

What is the difference between a  rock and a mineral?

A mineral is defined as a naturally occurring substance that is formed by the geological process.   It has a highly organised atomic structure and specific physical properties. It is not be made of anything that has ever been alive (organic).

Rocks are by comparison defined as an aggregate or combination of one or more minerals and the definition is extended to cover clay ,loose sand and certain limestones. And do not have a specific chemical compositions.


a crystal is a uniform body with a geometric lattice, the  varying structures of the lattice are the causes of the varying  physical properties of the crystals and therefore also  of the minerals and gems. A crystal is bounded by plan faces which meet at angles specific to each kind of crystal.(a crystal can be identified by its angles. Crystal structures affect mineral properties far more than thier chemical nature does.

Piezoelectricity is that quality by which electricity and sometimes light is produced by compression . Many cultures and spiritual traditions have used crystals in ritual, often striking them to produce flashes of visible light.

Pyroelectricity is that quality of an electrified state or polarity which is produced by variation in temperature. Quartz has both piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties which means that  the  polarity of quartz crystal  will change when  subject to pressure or heat as  well as when held.


Crystal Terminology


Shining lines that cross one another like rays from a star, caused by

light reflected by a series of microscopic canals.


Bands of light and dark that vary in width and hue as the stone is turned in the light.


A mineral’s tendency to split in a particular direction relating to the crystals structure when force is applied, leaving a flat surface. This happens when there are layers of weakness within the crystal.


Composed not of a single crystal but of many extremely small

crystals, fused together.


The way different colors or shades can be seen according to the angle

at which you look at the crystal.

Double Refraction

Light is split into two rays, producing a double image.


Any embedded foreign body, such as rutile crystals in Quartz, or an ant in Amber.


The colorful play of refracted light reflected from cleavage planes.

Optical Lens

Refracted light is bent so as to enlarge, reduce, invert, or otherwise distort an image.

Mohs Scale of Hardness

One way gemstones are classified is by hardness, both scratch hardness and cutting resistance  while the Mohs scale  of hardness developed by Frederich Mohs (1773-1839) is made somewhat  obsolete by modern technology  an idea of the general hardness of a stone and whether it is brittle helps you to protect your stones from damage  and can help with identification from softest to  hardest the Mohs scale The Mohs Scale of Hardness has 10 classifications, 1 is the softest, and 10 is the hardest. The only mineral that is an exception to this is mercury, which is liquid. The diamond is the hardest, rated 10. Your fingernail is a 2, a pocket knife is about a 5-6, and a piece of glass is a 6-7.Each classification will scratch the one preceding it.


1 Talc

2 Gypsum

3 Calcite

4 Fluorite

5 Apatite

6 Orthoclase

7 Quartz

8 Topaz

9 Corundum

10 Diamond

Some minerals have varying hardness according to the direction you may scratch them in, but typically this is either hardly detectable or an exception to the rule. The following is a partial listing of
stones and their hardness classification:

1. Talc, Graphite: Can be scratched with a fingernail and by any stone rated 2 and above

2. Gypsum, Bismuth, Lepidolite, Chlorite: Can be scratched with a fingernail and any stone rated 3 and above

3. Calcite, Celestite, Barite: Can be scratched with a knife and any stone rated 4 and above

4. Fluorite, Malachite, Platinum: Can be scratched with a knife and any stone rated 5 and above. Will scratch any stone rated 3 or less.

5 Apatite, Dioptase: Can be scratched with a knife and any stone rated 6 and above.  Will scratch any stone rated 4 or less

6. Feldspar, Pyrite, Amazonite, Hematite: Can be scratched with a knife and any stone rated 7 and above.  Will scratch any stone rated 5 or less.

7. Quartz, Tourmaline: Will scratch glass and any stone rated 6 or less and can be scratched by stones 8 and above.

8. Topaz, Spinel: Will scratch glass and any stone rated 7 or less and can be scratched by stones 9-10.

9. Corundum (ruby, sapphire): Will scratch glass and any stone rated 8 or less.  Can be scratched by diamond.

10.Diamond: Will scratch glass and all stones 1-9


These numbers are just to give you an idea, you will find that most crystal books list the hardness of each crystal. It is not a good idea to scratch your crystals as this could damage them and also lessen their monetary value.