What are crystals & how are they different from stones + rocks?

Hibiscus Moon Crystals, science 6 Comments

Want to get GEEKY for a sec?

Oh goody!! Me too!

OK, I always get asked this geo-question:
What are crystals & how are they different from stones + rocks?
For example, what’s the difference between a quartz crystal versus a lapis lazuli stone or a rock that I pick up outside?

1st let me start off by saying that many authors & teachers use the terms “crystals & stones” interchangeably (myself included) b/c its just easier & its common-place.

OK, but let’s have a little science class here. Eeeeeeeee, I feel my nerdy brain cells tingling.
Lesson #1
All crystals are minerals, but not all minerals are crystals. So, what’s a mineral?
Lesson #2
All minerals follow this mnemonic device: SNIFC

  • Solid -at normal Earth temps it occurs in a solid state
  • Naturally occurring (unlike man made: strawberry quartz; which is not quartz at all, this is simply a man-made glass, synthetic diamonds, aura quartz, etc.)
  • Inorganic (unlike amber, coral, jet or other petrified wood which are organic since they all came from a living thing)
  • Formula – it has a chemical formula that never varies (for example quartz’ formula is SiO2)
  • Crystalline- its molecules are arranged in an orderly repeating geometric pattern…that’s what “crystalline” means (unlike obsidian, which is a volcanic glass…not crystalline at all)

Lesson #3

Crystals are different from stones b/c they have a repeating crystalline molecular pattern which is easily seen in the larger form: fluorite, quartz, garnet…so they look like a crystal!

Dream quartz. Photo by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com Clear quartz smokey pink lemurian

Some exceptions to this are the cryptocrystalline “stones”. This bunch is made up of such teeny-tiny crystals, that its crystalline structure can only be seen under a microscope: aventurine, chalcedony, agate.

Luscious green aventurine tumblies.

Now, a stone is a mix of various minerals in 1 mass: lapis lazuli, larimar, granite. A stone looks like a stone without those geometric angles, usually smooth or roundish.There are exceptions here but we’re speaking in general.

lapis lazuli larimar

Of course, we can get much deeper into this but that’s what my course is for.  And we do get deeper into but still manage to have fun!

Imagine that. :)

Have a Sparkly Day, Sweet One!

 

Uncovering More Crystal Fakes: Part 3

Hibiscus Moon Crystals, energy work 14 Comments

So today I bring to you another post about the crystal fakes + frauds out there in Crystal-land. After the last post on the subject I got lots of questions about others so here are a few more popular ones for you to be aware of, Jelly Bean.
Amber/Copal
Amber (not technically a mineral or crystal since it has organic origins) is supposed to be super-duper expensive, right? So why all this cheap stuffs on the market?

Well, that cheap stuffs is most likely plastic or copal, pronounced “coh-PAHL”. Copal is often sold as “amber”, but it’s not. Amber is the fossilized (40-60 million years old), hardened resin from a now extinct pine tree.

Copal, on the other hand, is hardened immature recent resin (only 1000- 1 million years old). Copal is technically almost the same thing, just not as old & the names are often used interchangeably.

BUT, “almost” is not the same & the slight variation makes a huge difference! A reputable seller will make sure to note that copal is not true amber.

This is actually rough copal often sold as “amber”.

 

Sometimes what you think is amber may not even be copal but may be glass, synthetic resins or plastic!
Why is amber so expensive?
Well that, My Sweets, depends on several things: how rare it is, its age, color & whether is has any included insects (remember that Mosquito in amber from Jurassic park that they got the dino DNA from? ….which is totally impossible BTW!).

The value of amber is related to its scarcity, age, inclusions of extinct species & durability.

Various shades of polished Baltic Amber
Here are some tests you can do to see if you have copal or the real deal:

  • Smell test – real amber has a distinct pine scent after heating. Copal will have a “sweet” resin smell but its not pine.
  • Solvent test – Copal & plastic fakes won’t pass this test but it will damage your piece.  Drip a few drops of fingernail polish remover or alcohol on your piece…if it gets tacky or sticky & the solvent takes on the color of the piece, Congrats!…you’ve got yourself a fake! Real amber won’t bat an eyelash over this.
  • Melt test – Real amber doesn’t melt, it burns. Copal & plastics will melt at a relatively low temperature (lower than 150 C/300F ). Yes, this is the same copal many use as incense due to the sweet scent it emits when burned.  If it plastic, acccck!! The smell will be horrible!
  • Hot needle test– the tip of a hot needle will burn real amber, but copal or the fakes will melt, so best to try this on an area that no one will see as this will damage your piece too.
  • Float test – Amber will float in salt water.  That’s why it’s so easy to harvest amber along the beach of the Baltic Sea. for locals on the Baltic Coast to find it washed up on beaches, especially after storm events. The amber gets stirred up from a layer known as blue earth, which is beneath layers of silt and clay on the ocean floor. To do this test, mix about 1 part salt to 2 parts water and dissolve the salt completely.  Drop your piece into the mixture.  Plastic and copal will drop out, while amber floats.
  • Amber also has some cool electrical properties that I wrote about a while back too. Amber & copal will get a negative electric charge while glass will be positively charged.
    Plastics will also be charged negatively like amber. Soooo…I don’t recommend using this property to test.
    Irradiated Crystals
    Irradiation of mineral specimens is a pretty common thing. You may not realize it but many gemstones on the market are irradiated to get a more vibrant or deeper color. Is it dangerous? Yeah, I’d try to steer clear of them. (You can listen to me get on my soapbox about this topic here on this interview I did a while back):

    • deeply pigmented topaz
    • artificially dark (almost black) smokey quartz
    • very deep pink or red tourmaline
    • colored diamonds
    • deeply colored kunzite
    • some cultured pearls
    • vibrant yellow heliodor (irradiated pal aquamarine)

      Irradiated blue topaz, peeps! Photo credit: Mauro Cateb

    Some sellers choose to take milky quartz & subject it to gamma ray radiation normally used to clean germs from medical equipment & food (oh yeah…that’s gamma ray RADIATION on your food….sheesh!).

    Anyway, back on topic.

    So, when they radiate the milky quartz with the gamma rays you get a deeply pigmented, almost smoky quartz that’s almost entirely opaque like the 1 I show here while I was shopping in Tucson last year (2012). BTW, Ron Coleman’s Mine openly tells you (if you ask) that their smokey’s are irradiated. I really love the Coleman’s & recommend them as a reputable place to buy from:
    Size Does Matter in Crystal Healing – Tucson 2012!

    BTW, quartz colored by natural radiation from Mama Earth is not radioactive & is safe to carry. Yes, Mother Earth NATURALLY irradiates quartz that’s included with some aluminum to create smokey quartz but this is  a slower, more gentler process. I explain more about that here:
    Crystal Healing with Smokey Quartz

    1 telltale sign of an artificially irradiated smokey is that the color fades FAST when exposed to sunlight whereas a natural smokey will retain its color longer.

    If the seller tells you its from Arkansas, raise your eyebrows way up high b/c smokeys usually don’t occur there & they certainly won’t be very dark like I explain in the vid above. 

    This smokey quartz is all natural – the real deal from Namibia

    Now don’t confuse irradiated quartz with Morion quartz.

    This dreamy stuff just recently came on the scene. Its deeply colored, black quartz only occurs in & around volcanic rocks. These babies are RARE & formed by natural radiation caused by nearby uranium deposits from South Africa or in Poland. Natural Morion quartz retains some translucence when held up to the light as you can see in my pic below.

    Morion quartz – OMGEEEZ…look at that phantom on the tip! Its hard to see but its there.

     

    Rainbow Cal-Silica
    Rainbow Cal-Silica is bogus.

    Turns out its calcite ground up & mixed in with car paint, plastic  & resin!! YEAH! YUCKO!!

    Some sellers will insist that its a naturally occurring stone but there’s very little evidence to back it up. With some digging I turned up this juicy document by the Swiss Gemological Institute that states its a fake.

    So that’s THAT!
    Too bad b/c that would sure make a purty agate, huh?

    A close-up of the gorgeous colors in Rainbow Cal-Silica

    OK, so I hope that’s helpful to some of you out there. Remember, Buyer Beware.

    Who are you buying from? Are they reputable & do they know what they’re talking about? Be informed & cautious.

    Do you have any fake-out stories to tell? Please post below to help us all out!
    Happy Crystal Buying.

    BTW…like this sort of stuff? Then grab your FREE handy downloadable Crystal Fakes 40 page Reference eBook!

    This is the EXACT eBook you need in order to navigate the gem shows, crystal shops & eBay, get the REAL thing & get what you pay for. Don’t get scammed or duped into buying FAKES!

    Click here now to download your free copy!

    Jumbo-tron Crystal

    Hibiscus Moon Crystal Healer, Crystals, energy work, grounding 4 Comments

    Hey!

    Back around Christmas time I filmed this video but wanted to post it here now (n case anyone missed it) b/c this vid is a hidden little gem.

    I explains a few common concepts & questions I get asked about quartz points & black tourmaline (2 of my fav. crystals) so you may find it interesting too:

  • Clear quartz is a must-have for your collection. It’s so versatile & can be used for ANY purpose so you’ve got to have 1 of these babies. It’s also a very powerful amplifier! Quartz amplifies any vibrational frequencies, including our own.
  • Black Tourmaline is ULTRA-important to have around, I call it the Big Daddy of grounding. This stone has the unique ability to transmute & neutralize energy & help any being to ground & connect back to Mother Earth.
  • BTW…I call this guy…
    Jumbo-tron!
    [youtube twKuUGtqwiM nolink]

    Many Crystal Blessings to you all!

    P.S. Do you have 2 crystal fav’s? If so, what are they? Please post in the comments below. :)

    a little something to encourage you

    Hibiscus Moon Crystal Healing, Crystals, energy work 21 Comments

    From time to time we all struggle.

    Me too.

    You get that feeling in your gut…sometimes you know what caused it…sometimes you have no idea. But that feeling is there none the less.

    Don’t let that feeling ruin your day or week or month.

    Grab it by the short & curlies & kick it out!! Yeah…I said it!

    Crystals help me to do that every single time. They are my spiritual supports with this sort of thing. Nothing does a better job for me.

    Crystals are here to uplift us when we need it, & give us that feeling of encouragement from within. A total new attitude latitude.
    Here are some crystals we can use for that:

    • What’s 1 thing you’re terrified to do but you know you need to bust through that fear?? Grab a red garnet! Announce that fear. Grab your garnet, call that fear by NAME & then tell us your plan below for  conquering it!
    • The more positive you are about yourself the more positive you’ll be towards others. Blue calcite can help with that. ♥
    • Change your life & get rid of that victim mentality & victim vocabulary. Grab some black tourmaline & smokey quartz & LET IT GO!
    • Release & FORGIVE. Life’s too short, Jelly Bean. Celestite will help with that.
    • Shift your focus! Where thoughts go, energy flows. Focus on the kind of day want & use fluorite to help you keep that focus.

    How’s that for an attitude adjustment, Crystal Hottie? I was just getting warmed up.

    I KNOW what you may be going through. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.

    But we don’t have to STAY there!

    We all have the power to change our attitude & perspective. For me, using a beloved crystal as a tool & support just makes it a whole lot easier when I’m already feeling drained.

    A special crystal that you’ve created a bond with can gift you with joy & grace…this very moment. It can gift you with whatever you need!

    What will it be Sweet Pea?

    Crystal Blessings to you,

     

     

    P.S. Please comment below & share with us all what crystal are you feeling drawn to?…what crystal will inspire or encourage you today? Hmmmm?

    How Do You Know When to Cleanse Your Crystals?

    Hibiscus Moon cleansing, Crystal Healing, Crystals 2 Comments

    Hey! Happy Valentine’s Day (Love Yourself Day), Chick Pea!!

    A couple week’s ago I did a crystal survey on my FB page asking:

    “If we had some one on one time, what 1 question would you ask of me?”

    I promised that I would take the 2 most popular questions & turn 1 into a blog post & the other into a video.

    The 2 most popular questions were:

    1. How do you know when to cleanse your crystals?

    2. What 5 crystals should you have in your beginner’s kit?

    So just in case you missed it on my YouTube Channel, here was my response to the THE #1 most popular crystal-related question:

    How Do You Know When to Cleanse Your Crystals?

    OH! If you’d like to know my absolutely most fav method in the whole wide world to re-tune my crystals, it’s using sound acoustics. I explain how to do that here:

    Crystal Energy Cleansing using Sound: How To Cleanse Your Crystals

    Since I always get asked, these are the crystal singing bowls I use & recommend…Silver Sky Imports (yes, they’re expensive & very fragile) & these are the tuning fork set that I use. Nope, it doesn’t matter what frequency you use when it comes to re-tuning a crystal. :)

    And my answer to question #2 was posted here a couple weeks back.

    Super Sparkles to you today!

    Sparkly Crystal Interview with Leonie Dawson

    Hibiscus Moon blogging, Crystals, interview Leave a Comment

    I’m so excited to bring this interview to you with 1 of my beloved mentors/coaches, Leonie Dawson! *jumping up + down* Yay! Yay!Yay!

    Who is she? What does she do? Well! She magically mentors women & creates programs to help you create your incredible business + incredible life! Sounds pretty sweet & pretty amazing, right? Too good to be true? I’m hear to tell you, no…its not.

    Its TRUE LIFE b/c she did just that for me.

    Disclosure: I already mention it on my site but want to mention it again here in this post; I do have some affiliate links within this & other posts. I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase...at no additional cost to you The only reason I recommend these people or products is b/c I believe in them with all my heart & soul. I KNOW from experience that they are helpful & useful. If I recommend something it’s b/c I use it & BELIEVE in it. Please know that I NEVER recommend anything that I do not believe in wholeheartedly.

    If you don’t know already, I RAVE about her  Business Goddess E-Course, which I used every inch of to propel my sacred crystal biz into the stratosphere…it’s just simply total-hippy-genius stuffs!

    Leonie also worked with me 1 on 1 in a few Business Illumination Sessions (SPARKLY TIP: keep a close eye to see if she offers those again or get on her waiting list for that). Deep caverns of info in those sessions!! I connected to her vibe immediately & had a deep KNOWING that Leonie was someone I REALLY needed to work with. How right I was!

    So we did a quickie interview here ESPECIALLY just for you, Crystal Hottie!!!

    Leonie talks to us about how she uses crystals in her work & ever day life!! OK, grab your fav. crystal buddy, throw some glitter & let’s get on with this!!
    Sparkly Crystal Interview with Leonie Dawson

    Cool stuffs, right? If you’re as turned on by Leonie & her vibe, I suggest you click here to grab Leonie’s FREE Biz + Blogstar! Workshop or visit her site & check her out a bit more. She’s my kind of peeps indeed!

    Have a Glitter-Infused Day Gorgeous One!!

    Visiting with a Crystal Skull

    Hibiscus Moon energy work, give away, meditation 3 Comments

    You may have missed it on my FB page…but last week I was invited to go visit Max the Crystal Skull in West Palm Beach by Certified Crystal Healer, Jill.

    I was super-excito-mundo to visit with this particular skull, especially since I had been researching the Legend of the Crystal Skulls for our Advanced Crystal Masters class…& quite honestly, disappointed by what I had uncovered.
    But Max wasn’t disappointing at all!

    We were able to bring water & crystals to get a good Max Energy Boost on them & then we meditated with him for 30 minutes.

    This was a fun & powerful experience & if Max comes to your area be sure to try to pay him a visit & see what you think.

    C’mon along w/ us & watch the videos below.
    Visiting with a Crystal Skull: Max, Part 1

    What did we get from our meditations? Check it out here:
    A Vlog & Part 2 of My Visit to Max, the Crystal Skull & a Giveaway!

    BTW, did you notice there’s a Giveaway snuck in there at the end of that Part 2 video? How do you enter? You must be subbed to my newsletter, Chick Pea. So if you’re not already, just click here. You’ll also be gifted with a lovely free eKit!

    Have a Sparkly Day & Namaste,

    Getting to Know Your Crystals

    Hibiscus Moon anxiety, Crystals, energy work, meditation 2 Comments

    Oh yes, we read the books & they’re great for telling us what this or that crystal is good for. But as I always teach my students, I find the BEST way to make that connection & know what crystal works BEST for YOU is to do your own researching & work with it.
    Really get to know it.
    How?

    • Carrying it with you
    • Sleeping with it on your bedside or under your pillow
    • Spending some time for a few days in a row meditating with it…seeing what messages you get from it.

    These messages will be personal to you. Very specific.
    What About Books?
    I feel the books tell us what properties & vibrational frequencies that crystal or stone carries for 85% of the population but since each of us is slightly different there will be slight variations in this & that’s why some of use react very differently with a stone than another person. Remember, we (as well as the crystals) are all amazing conductors, receivers & transmitters of energy, each with its own unique energetic blueprint & personal life force.

    Some may shy away from this b/c it takes some time & energy. They’d prefer to just look it up in a book. That’s fine but I also feel that without putting in some time & effort with that stone you won’t be building an energetic bond with it. And let me tell you…the crystals work SO MUCH BETTER when you’ve strengthened that energetic bond.

    Yep, yep, yep. Have you tried it? Well, try it. You’ll see.
    Benefits of Doing the Work
    After working with a stone, you’ll get to know not only its unique physical characteristics (I know my 1 little favorite carnelian tumblie so well that I can pick it out of a bowl of dozens easily) but you’ll also have a better understanding of the specific vibrational frequencies it resonates best with in you.

    No, my baby carnelian isn’t in this bowl. ;)

    I have about a 1/2 dozen stones that I work with most often & that I’ve enjoyed getting to “know” their energy & they’ve gotten to “know” mine in a resonant electromagnetic field kind of way. Its really cool stuffs!
    More Perks!
    By doing this work, you also get some great side benefits. If you haven’t been doing so already, you’ll get to hone your meditation skills  & creating a regular meditation practice. You know…that thing your Dr.’s been telling you to do.

    Yeah, yeah…you’ve heard it before, but let me tell you again b/c enough people aren’t doing it:

    Practicing regular mediation greatly impacts your health.

    They say “they can’t”. Peeee-shaaaaa! You just need practice, the right guidance & a crystal, My Sweets!

    I’m sure you already know that the health benefits of meditation are endless.  But 1 of the most important benefits  is how it releases stress. It will free you up from anxiety, worry + stress. Who doesn’t want to be more happy, calm & relaxed? Adding the crystals into this practice totally amplifies this effect, especially if you use crystals more aligned with calming: rose quartz, blue lace agate, lepidolite, etc. Additionally, crystals make focused meditation easier by giving you a tangible focus object to center you & keep you in the moment.

    So, how you do you get to know your crystals? Have you done a similar practice? Have you not done this at all? Want to declare that you will? Please share it all below in the comments, Sweet Pea! Other Crystal Hotties want to know.

    Run with Glitter in Your Hands (not scissors!),

     

     

    P.S. Would you like a tool to help make this process so much easier & guide you step by step…& 1 that pretty much costs just chump change? Have you checked out my “Get to Know Your Crystals” eKit yet? It may be just what you need! Click here.