June 1, 2016
Gemstones - not only are they beautiful, these crystals also have special healing energy to share with us. Like so many other people, I have been drawn to these shiny little miracles of nature from a young age. I hope you enjoy learning more about gemstones and how they can help you in creating the best version of you and your life!
For in-depth information on the following topics, please see Crystal Therapy 101 Workshop:
- Gemstone Basics - What are Gemstones, Pronunciation, Benefits, Meanings, Choosing a Gemstone
- Choosing Gemstones - Selecting, Storing
- Working With Gemstones - Clearing/Cleansing, Communicating With Your Crystal, Programming, Charging
- Gemstone Troubleshooting - Nothing Seems to Be Happening, Losing / Breaking / Passing On a Crystal
For more the following more advanced crystal topics, please see Crystal Therapy 102 Workshop:
- Advanced Crystal Info - Stone Cuts, Base Minerals, Lusters, Hardness
- Identifying Crystal Types - Alternative Names, Similar Crystals
- Crystal Healing Grids
- Other Crystal Healing Uses
- Crystal Elixers
And to learn about the fascinating subject of quartz crystals, please see Crystal Therapy 103 Workshop:
- The Quartz Families
- Natural vs Man-Made Quartz Types
- Quartz Shapes - Generator, Laser, Lemurian Seed, Empath, etc.
- Quartz Faces - Empowering Quartz, Isis Quartz, Record Keeper, etc.
- Quartz Insides - Occlusions, Inclusions, Phantoms, Fairy Frost, etc.
- Companion Quartz - Dolphin, Inner Child, Bridge, Soulmate, etc.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Gemstone Meanings
2) Gemstone Guardians
3) Special Care Instructions for Gemstones - Temperature, Sunlight, Cleaning Protocol, Moh's Hardness Scale
4) Potentially Hazardous Gemstones
5) Spiritual Side Effects
6) Further Gemstone Information - Website Links & Book Recommendations
1) Gemstone Meanings
There are many excellent books and websites that list the various meanings and uses of gemstones and crystals. However, upon cross-examining them, it becomes clear that different authors have different opinions. Fear not! This is because:
Even gemstones of the same variety have slightly different properties - due to purity, color, shape, inclusions, etc.
Gemstones react to each of us slightly differently, since we are all unique beings.
People may have different interpretations of the effects a gemstone has for us - for example, someone who loves the color blue will likely form a different connection with Blue Topaz than someone who hates that color. Likewise, someone feeling very good and optimistic who uses Blue Topaz will likely have a different experience than someone going through a very rough time in their life.
I suggest using gemstone meaning resources as broad guidelines when choosing a crystal, and then using your own intuition and experience to help determine what that particular gemstone brings to you. For my favorite gemstone meaning resources, please see the bottom of this page.
2) Gemstone Guardians
A gemstone guardian is the person who is currently taking care of the gemstone – so in this case, you! Gemstones are not “owned” – they have likely been around long before us and will continue to be around long after our relatively short physical life. (Although you may encounter a beloved gemstone friend over and over again – in past or future lives!) When gemstones allow us to be their caretakers, giving thanks for the opportunity to interact with them will further enhance their healing properties.
Gemstones have a long life – and they often like to help many different people throughout their lifetime. This means that when you are lucky enough to encounter a crystal that would like to impart its gifts to you, it will find its way to you, and you will become its (temporary) guardian. This means that if something happens to your gemstone, or you feel the urge to give it to someone else, remember that there are no accidents! Follow your intuition and know that everything happens for a reason.
3) Special Gemstone Care Instructions
Some crystals require special care. Below I have included some of the most common crystal care tidbits, mostly in regards to the 80 crystals I have listed as especially linked with my favorite 16 archangels ( See Archangels Blog Post ).
I also encourage you to research any crystal you buy to get extra information.
i) Do Not Freeze or Heat
Many gemstones have inclusions of air or gases you cannot see, so they should never be put in a freezer or soaked in ice or scalding water. Why? The water and gases in the stone could heat/freeze and the gemstone may crack or break apart.
ii) Do Not Leave in Direct Sunlight
Not only is this a potential fire hazard (especially for large, transparent pieces like crystal balls), many transparent colored gemstones will fade if left in direct sunlight for long periods of time. This refers to, for example, weeks of sitting on a living room shelf that is illuminated by sunlight for most of the day. A little bit of direct sunlight will not cause your gemstones to fade (such as wearing a necklace outside or cleansing a gemstone in direct sunlight for a day or two.)
The following crystals are clear quartz plus extra mineral inclusions that provide their color. If left in direct sunlight, over time they will eventually fade to clear quartz, so it is best to store them out of direct sunlight:
Amethyst, Ametrine, Amegreen, Prasiolite (Green Quartz), Citrine, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz
These stones' color will become paler if left in direct sunlight over time:
Aventurine, Aquamarine, Beryl, Celestite, Danburite, Fluorite, Hiddenite, Kunzite, Sapphires, Turquoise
And although these stones' color does not fade, they can become brittle (and possibly crack) from direct sun exposure:
iii) Cleaning Gemstones
Use a soft microfiber/cotton/non-abrasive cloth or duster to clean your gemstones of dust.
For most gemstones, you can use gentle soap and water to clean off dirt or other buildup
But do not use soap or water in dealing with crystals that can dissolve, such as selenite and halite!
This website also notes that soft stones (those with a Moh's hardness of 4 or less - see the "Easily Scratched / Chipped" section below) may be porous and absorb a lot of soap/chemicals, so they should not be cleaned with anything harsher than just plain water for very brief periods.
iv) Do Not Get Wet
These gemstones are very soft and/or porous and will dissolve if they get wet.
Selenite, Halite, Salt Rock Lamps
v) Do Not Use Salt Water
These crystals may have cracks in their structure, and if salt crystals get into these cracks, they could expand and enlarge the cracks, possibly breaking the crystal:
Amber, Calcite, Carnelian, Halite, Hematite, Labradorite, Lepidolite, Magnetite, Mica, Moldavite, Opal, Turquoise, Ulexite
vi) Easily Scratched/Chipped
The Moh's mineral hardness scale rates how hard gemstones are. The scale goes from the hardest to softest minerals (from Diamond = 10 to Talc = 1). The lower the number, the softer the stone. Stones that are tumbled or coated have more protection than raw/rough stones. However, gemstones with a Moh’s hardness scale rating of 4 or less have the potential to be easily scratched, chipped, or broken, so I recommend to not treat them roughly, drop them, or store them with other crystals that have rough edges.
Here are some examples of a few relatively soft gemstones:
Moh's Hardness of 4 = A Little Delicate
Aragonite, Dolomite, Fluorite, Rhodochrosite, Serpentine, Larimar, Smithsonite
Moh's Hardness of 3 = Fairly Delicate
Calcite, Copper, Howlite, Lepidolite, Chrysocolla, Azurite, Celestite, Angelite
Moh's Hardness of 2 = Very Delicate
Selenite, Amber, Seraphinite, Fuchsite, Halite
4) Potentially Hazardous Gemstones
The vast majority of gemstones are completely safe to touch, handle and hold! This especially true if the gemstone has been tumbled/polished, as this outer polish makes it difficult for extra minerals to leach out (as opposed to their natural rough/raw form).
However, some gemstones contain trace minerals (such as copper, iron, lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum, barium, zinc, mercury, arsenic, etc.) that, if ingested in large enough quantities, have the potential to harm humans or animals. These minerals are often what give a stone its characteristic coloring or shape - they're great to look at, great to hold, but not great to put into the body! Care should be taken when attempting to consume or otherwise have internal contact with gemstones, such as in making direct gem elixers, gem massage oils, etc.
The potential hazards comes from consuming gemstone particles - such as direct gem elixers, gem massage oils, etc.
Do not attempt to place gemstones in your mouth or otherwise consume them without consulting a professional first.
Keep gemstones away from small children - they are both choking hazards as well as potentially harmful if ingested.
Many gemstones should not be put in fountains, fish tanks, etc. as minerals can leach into water and harm animals.
Do not attempt to grind, polish, or cut gemstones yourself, as the resulting dust can be potentially toxic.
If you have any concerns, please consult a gemologist before using a stone.
Wash Your Hands After Handling
The following stones have very high levels of potentially toxic minerals. It is highly recommended that you wear gloves and/or wash your hands immediately after handling these gemstones, especially if they are in their natural raw/rough form:
Cinnabar = Contains high amounts of mercury.
Realgar, Orpiment = Contain high amounts of arsenic.
Chrocoite = Contains high amounts of chromium.
5) Spiritual "Side Effects"
Some gemstones can trigger intense bursts of spiritual and psychic growth in people who are ready for such an experience. For example, your gemstone may help you reopen intuitive abilities that have been lying dormant, or bring to the surface deeply supressed emotions that are finally ready for healing. This influx of energy can be thought of as running a lot of energy through a wire, which causes the wire to get warm, or as getting sore muscles after exercising without prior training. Usually, spiritual side effects happen when people use a gemstone in a very focused, intentional way, such as meditating or sleeping with a gemstone. I have also witnessed this same effect in people smudging their house with sage or sweetgrass - who also ended up clearing themselves as well! Usually, with gentle practice, your body and mind build up your energetic “muscles” so that you no longer experience such side effects.
Common spiritual "side effects" (often immediately after or within an hour of meditating with a gemstone) include:
Sudden Sweats and/or Chills
Flu-Like Symptoms (but without a true fever)
Once you have determined that your symptoms are not due to a medical illness (try asking your angels to help you determine the cause), simply allow yourself the time your body and mind needs to gently recover from this growth by laying down, taking a nap, taking a relaxing bath, etc. These spiritual side effects usually dissipate on their own fairly quickly after being acknowledged. Thank your gemstone for its work and ask your angelic team to help you through the healing process. It is up to you whether you continue to use your gemstone after experiencing such a reaction. Trust your intuition about whether you are ready for such a "growth spurt" at this time in your life, if you are better off to put away the gemstone for now, or perhaps give it to someone else who is ready to use it.
The Moldavite "Flu"
The most common example of a gemstone that induces such spiritual side effects is Moldavite. It is an extremely strong energy amplifier that has the tendency to promote fast and intense growth. Many people who wear Moldavite jewelry or meditate with this stone have reported that they occasionally get flu-like symptoms after using this stone, and so plan their use of Moldavite accordingly.
6) Further Gemstone Information
There is a TON of information available about different gemstones! Here are some of Andrea’s favorite resources.
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian
= Lots of very in-depth scientific crystal info, alternative crystal names, Moh's hardness ratings, etc.
Info on Potentially Hazardous Stones