Are all Gemstones healing stones at the same time? What makes a crystal and what minerals? In this article you will learn more about the differences between gemstones, healing stones, crystals and minerals.
In jewelry making play the colorful, shiny stones, which are called minerals that occur naturally play a major role in jewelry making. Cut and set, they become precious gemstones - either because of their carat specification or because of their emotional value. But what actually makes a mineral? And can any mineral be processed into a gemstone?
What are minerals?
To understand the difference between gemstones, minerals and crystals let's first take a closer look at the generic term. Gemstones and crystals, like aggregates (for example, malachite with its unique green coloration), are minerals (the technical term is minerals).
In short: A mineral differs from a "dead" rock by its chemical compound, which is crystalline, i.e. in uniform structure, and has been formed by geological processes. Currently (as of 2022), there are no less than 5,800 recognized mineral species; the majority of them are inorganic, some, contrary to the definition above, are not crystallinebut still belong to the minerals. To understand this, let's take a closer look at the term "crystal".
What is crystal?
In recent years, a well-known jewelry manufacturer has made sure that we can see under "Crystal" beautiful, flawless, shiny and multifaceted Gemstones which sometimes gather dust as elaborately cut sculptures in the glass display case. But a crystal is more than that. The term comes from chemistry and, simply put, describes the regularity of a structure, i.e. how the individual components (atoms, ions or molecules) are arranged. In addition to gemstones such as rock crystal or amethyst, salt, sugar and even snow are also crystalline materials. Under the microscope, all of them have a uniform and imposing molecular structure.
So rock crystal, amethyst or pyrite are crystals and at the same time also Minerals. But that there are also gemstones that are not a crystal, but still a mineral, proves the rose quartz.
The opposite of crystalline is amorphous. This term describes a substance with a disordered structure, i.e. an irregular pattern. A special feature of amorphous structures like rose quartz is its tendency to occur in compounds in so-called aggregates. These are associations of different minerals that are often intergrown. Opal and turquoise are also aggregates. But also an amethyst druse with calcite portion is considered an aggregate. It is valid: Rose quartz shows an amorphous structure.
This is good to remember, because have you ever seen a natural rose quartz specimen with imposing crystals? This is because rose quartz does not form uniformly structured crystals, unlike rock crystal. A special feature is the so-called Pink Quartz a rare form of rosé colored quartz, which occurs as a specimen and has flawless crystals.
So what are gemstones?
Amorphous and crystalline structures are minerals. But are all minerals also gemstones? The answer is easy: No, because here it depends on the hardness of a mineral. In our product info you will always find a part that deals with the Mohs hardness of a gemstone. This is because the Mohs scale of hardness tells you how soft or hard a mineral is, and this is how you can determine whether a mineral is a gemstone.
Mohs hardness scale: Nothing beats diamond
Who hasn't heard it before: diamond is considered the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. No wonder that diamond, with a rating of 10, is enthroned at the top of the Mohs hardness scale. This scale was developed by the geologist Friedrich Mohs around 1800. Mohs came to the conclusion that minerals scratch other minerals and, based on this insight, created a ten-stage scale to determine the hardness, or the resistance of minerals to scratching:
- 1 (Can be scribed with fingernail): Selenite
- 2 (Scribable with fingernail): Gypsum (Halite)
- 3 (Scorable with copper coin): Calcite
- 4 (Can be scribed with pocket knife): Fluorite
- 5 (Scorable with pocket knife): Apatite, also rhinestones
- 6 (Can be scribed with steel file): Orthoclase
- 7 (Can only be scribed through 8, 9 and 10): Quartz
- 8 (Only scribable through 9 and 10): Topaz
- 9 (Only scribable through 10): Corundum (Ruby, Sapphire)
- 10 (Only scribable by itself): Diamond
All minerals with a Mohs hardness >7 count as gemstones and are very popular in jewelry making. All minerals of the quartz family, i.e. rock crystal, rose quartz, amethyst or citrine thus count as gemstones. But also tourmaline, ruby, sapphire, emerald and topaz are gemstones. All minerals with a Mohs hardness of seven or more can also be excellently checked for their authenticity by means of a glass shear test, since glass has a hardness of six according to the Mohs scale: glass does not carve genuine rock crystal, but gemstone fakes made of glass do.
And what are semi-precious stones now?
For a long time circulated in the jewelry industry the term "Semi-precious stone"This term refers to minerals that have a hardness of less than 7 on the Mohs scale, but still have a convincing appearance and purity as a piece of jewelry. Therefore, in recent years, the term "Gemstone"and the term "semi-precious stone" has probably become a victim of clever marketing heads. Because who likes to buy a "half" gemstone? Probably even some of your favorite stones are among the so-called gemstones: moonstone, malachite, opal, turquoise or agate belong to the softer minerals.
What is a healing stone?
Now the term "healing stone" is in the room and we leave the level of well-founded chemistry and physics and enter the mysterious spheres of esotericism and spirituality - both fields that are hardly explored scientifically, but nevertheless have a millennia-old tradition.
We cannot completely avoid physical processes, because so-called healing stones are all about vibration and energy. You may have heard that "everything vibrates", i.e. is in motion - this is a recognized physical law. Even the molecules in "dead" rock are in motion and therefore vibrate at a certain frequency. The human body also vibrates, respectively the tiny little atoms in us vibrate. And this concept is also being explored more and more by means of quantum physics: thoughts are also energy and contain information that vibrates at a certain frequency. But what does all this have to do with healing stones?
The frequency of feelings and colors
In esoteric belief, each healing stone vibrates in its own individual way, such as through its color or chemical composition. Through the different characteristics of healing stones and millennia of wisdom of shamans and witches, healing powers have been defined for each individual gemstone or gemstone, which counteract physical or mental "wrong vibrations". The effect of light and color also plays a role; surely you know the classical representation of the seven chakras in the human body, which are all assigned to the colors of the rainbow. Crystals and minerals of the same color promote the chakra flow and release blockages. Each individual chakra stands for a different subject area that we deal with in everyday life.
In general, it can be said that healing stones balance vibrations in the human body. This is not scientifically proven and it seems to be the norm to emphasize this fact again and again, if you look around on the Internet. However, the lack of scientific evidence does not affect the effect of healing stones. Very sensitive people feel the pure energies emanating from a flawless rock crystal even without costly and time-consuming research.
The 10 most important healing stones and their properties
It is sublime and seems cool at first: amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones and healing stones in the world. Its violet color appeals to the crown chakra, which is why it is not surprising that amethyst as a healing stone frees from superfluous thoughts and thought carousels. Amethyst is also said to energetically counteract learning difficulties, exam anxiety, grief and sorrow.
As crystal clear as rock crystal appears, it clears the human mind and ensures a self-determined life. Rock crystal amplifies feelings and their vibrations, no wonder this clear quartz is also used as a charging stone for other crystals and healing stones. Accordingly, rock crystal expands our spiritual horizons, strengthens the aura and responds to all seven chakras.
You dear little bit! A small rose quartz tumbled stone can work wonders and really gets our love energy going. Rose quartz comforts and softens us humans in our hearts as much as it feels in the palm of our hands (even though it is a gemstone). There is hardly a more delicate jewelry and healing stone than the popular rose quartz, which of course works optimally on the heart chakra.
A well-cut tiger's eye is truly mesmerizing. The earthy healing stone acts like melted caramel and gives courage and inner security. Tiger eye is a true problem solver and helps in making difficult and everyday decisions. The mystical stone also counteracts stress and self-doubt. Themes belonging to the associated solar plexus chakra.
Agate has many manifestations and is a real all-rounder healing stone. It is said to keep negative influences away from us and is therefore a popular talisman. Agate also strengthens self-confidence and counteracts bitterness and anger. Just give your lonely grandma or narcissistic neighbor an agate and see what change the stone will bring to her life. Agate affects the associated chakra depending on the color.
Jasper, like agate, also appears in very different forms: with a leopard pattern, in a zebra look, or uniformly in earthy red tones. All of these healing stones vary in their benefits to our health, but jasper is generally considered a calming and healing stone that promotes mindfulness and strengthens willpower. Depending on its color, jasper promotes the energy flow of its associated chakra.
An imposing healing stone with a silvery-black luster is hematite. Used as a healing stone, it promotes courage and gives zest for life. Hematite frees our mind from burdensome thoughts, behavior patterns and painful memories. It is therefore not surprising that hematite is also used as a discharge stone for other healing stones and minerals. Hematite acts on the root chakra.
A beautiful blue to green color distinguishes aquamarine. As a healing stone, the "stone of the ocean" promotes spiritual growth and counteracts depression. At the same time, it gives stamina and resilience. An aquamarine is therefore an excellent gift for examinees. Due to its effect on the throat chakra, aquamarine also cleanses blockages in the speech center or stage fright.
The merchant's stone is said to provide not only prosperity and wealth. Citrine is so much more than a magnet for material things. The gemstone is a true comforter, radiating pure joie de vivre upon first contact with the skin like hardly any other healing stone. Therefore, a citrine cannot be big enough, so much you want to feel its energetic benefits such as mental clarity and comfort. Too bad, only that the citrine is rather rare and therefore in the purest form and beautifully large quite expensive. Citrine acts on the solar plexus chakra.
Of deep blue is the lapis lazuli, which is used not only as a jewelry stone, but also as a healing stone. Lapis has very special properties: it promotes sincerity in us humans and provides a healthy optimism. At the same time, it facilitates the ability to criticize and openly communicate incriminating thoughts. No question: At the next personnel interview with the boss or the boss may not be missing a lapis lazuli in the pocket. Lapis works best on the brow chakra, also called the third eye.
Gemstones, minerals, healing stones and crystals: All terms have one thing in common! They all enchant us with their natural splendor and beauty. Gemstones awaken deep feelings and produce beaming eyes in turn, while children are often equally enthusiastic treasure hunters in phases of collecting and regard every stone or striking mineral, no matter how special, as the greatest treasure on earth. Stones and minerals have fascinated us humans since the beginning of time and stand in the middle of the gap between faith and science. This makes crystals and minerals, despite their natural origin here on earth, mystical and mysterious companions of our lives.