Crystals, stones and minerals have been prized for their unique appearance and perceived ability to provide and promote physical and emotional healing for centuries. During the Middle Ages, physicians and healers alike often prescribed using these treasures of the earth as part of their treatment protocol.
For example, if a woman wished to conceive a child, she was told to wear or carry a Carnelian amulet to increase her chances of conception.
During the Victorian Era, the significance of minerals, crystals and stones enjoyed a resurgence of popularity. A good example of this was the “Dearest” bracelet or ring, which was believed to ensure loyalty, love and devotion in a marriage. These adornments got their name from the particular stones that comprised them: Diamond, Emerald, Amethyst, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire and Topaz in that order; the first letter of each stone spelling out the word “Dearest”.
In today’s turbulent times, people are buying crystals to beautify their homes, to carry with them, to place on their desk, and to wear as bracelets, rings, and necklaces. Stones for attracting and expressing love include rose quartz, agate, green aventurine, rhodochrosite, emerald, moonstone, malachite, and lapis lazuli. All minerals have a number of unique physical properties that are very different from that of other solid substances. For example, some may change color depending on the angle of view and others may get electrically charged when put under stress.
The cause of this odd behavior is the crystalline nature of minerals. In a crystal, the atoms are arranged in a regular and periodic manner that is specific for each mineral. The geometry of their atomic structure is not only reflected in the symmetry of a crystal, but also in the isotropy or anisotropy of its physical properties. A substance that reacts differently depending on the direction of an external force is called anisotropic.
Piezoelectricity is the technically most important scientific property of crystals. Piezoelectricity was first discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880 during studies on quartz crystals. When piezoelectric materials are mechanically deformed, their surfaces get electrically charged. Piezoelectricity is an anisotropic property that can be found in certain types of crystals. 20th and 21st century studies in Quantum Science have provided even more evidence that there is indeed ionic energy emitted by many crystals and minerals. Following is a short list of some of the most popular and powerful healing crystals and minerals:
Clear Quartz – A clear quartz crystal is the foundation of any mineral collection. Working with crystals is a method using the energy of light to effect change. The presence of all light produces white light such as the blue, red and yellow lights in the footlights of a theater produce pristine white light when they overlap and combine on the stage. A clear quartz crystal contains every color of the spectrum, making it an “all purpose” healing stone. It can also be used as a substitute for any crystal, as it contains the healing energy of every other crystal in its emission of full spectrum light. Clear quartz will also amplify the inherent energy of any other mineral that is placed near it, thus “charging” the energy of other specimens.
Black Tourmaline – Black Tourmaline is prized for its ability to absorb negative ionic energy and then transmute it into powerful neutral energy, which it then expresses back into the immediate environment. It is often paired with clear quartz, since black tourmaline will absorb negative energy and clear quartz will simultaneously repel it. This dynamic pairing should be a must have for any collector.
Bismuth – Bismuth has recently become a popular mineral because of its ability to considerably relieve the feelings of overwhelming loneliness and isolation. These feelings are largely responsible for the malaise of the mind, soul, and spirit. Hence, using its energy is a sure way of healing your emotional self, particularly in periods of grief or loss. Bismuth stimulates vitality and energy, and will effect revitalization when feelings of emotional weakness or surrender occur. It supports spiritual transformation and will improve creative visualization abilities.
Apatite – Apatite is a dual-action stone, known for its positive use of personal power to achieve goals. It clears away confusion, apathy or negativity and stimulates the intellect to expand knowledge and truth, which may be used for personal growth or for the collective good. It is a Stone of Manifestation, promoting a humanitarian outlook and service to others. A stone of the Throat Chakra, Blue Apatite helps with public speaking and enhances group communication. Attuned to the Third Eye, it also improves concentration and memory skills, and is a good crystal for study purposes. It aids in time management when working on group projects.
Anthony Russell, a crystal expert, is the holistic manager of the AstroWest healing center. AstroWest has thousands of minerals, gems, fossils, meteorites and pieces of rare and unusual jewelry on display, as well as a new private healing center. Marc Tanjeloff is president of AstroWest, a thirdgeneration family business, at 102 West 79 St. in New York City. For more information, visit AstroWest.com.