As you can see, I use gemstones in my work. These types of stones are common when it comes to jewellery making and in some cases, there are gemstones that can also be classed as a crystal, but there are some crystals that won’t be classed as a gemstone.
Gemstones can be a mineral or organic base, whilst the make up of crystals have molecules that are arranged in a regular geometric pattern.
Crystals in particular are formed by a natural alignment of minerals over a period of time and are arranged in an organised fashion whilst being built up slowly. A crystal formation is structured in such a way that an energy field is created in and around it. This is known as the piezoelectric effect.
Coming into contact with a crystal builds up a charge and can sometimes cause a tingle effect to more sensitive people, especially when meditating. Gemstones and crystals can be used in a variety of ways and have been over history. They can be placed in a room, worn as jewellery or to carry a piece in your pocket to help you in everyday life.
Crystals and gemstones have been used for their properties for thousands of years. Below are three examples of civilisations that used crystals and gemstones.
The term crystal is derived from the Greek word ‘krustallo’, which means ice. The Ancient Greeks believed that Clear Quartz was eternally frozen ice and wore items that were designed to incorporate their Gods with Zeus and Athena being the most popular. By wearing crystal/gemstone jewellery the Greeks also believed that crystals were gifts from the Gods and felt that they, as mere mortals, were closer to the heavens when they wore such adornments.
The Ancient Egyptians left a vast record of their history with many examples of crystals and gemstones left. There are pieces of carnelian, malachite, turquoise, obsidian, quartz and lapis lazuli within King Tutankhamen’s death-mask. It is also thought that Cleopatra had her servants ground the blue gemstone lapis lazuli with wax in order to create the distinctive eye shadow make up. Due to its ‘royal blue colouring’, Cleopatra was thought to have said that lapis lazuli was to be only used by the Kings and Queens of Egypt.
The Native Americans used gemstones and crystals as talismans and carved images of their myths into them. They also shaped gemstones/crystal beads and weaved them into dreamcatchers in order to ward off bad dreams. They believed that the crystals and gemstones will help heal the sick and protect their community.
Regarding the terminology of crystals and gemstones, there is a lot of jargon. Below is a table of just a few for when you are looking to purchase a crystal and/or gemstone.
The flat side/face of a gem/crystal. Facets are often parallel on both sides of the gem and it’s what we see and that look is typical of a crystal.
A naturally formed cavity within a rock and typically once volcanic rock bubbles over time. It’s often lined with crystals that have grown towards the centre.
Measured on the Mohs hardness scale and named after the German mineralogist Frederick Mohs. There are degrees of hardness from 1to10, from soft talc to hard diamond.
A microscopic piece of dust/air that’s trapped inside the crystal when it was forming.
A play of colour with its effects coming from the interference of light on the crystal’s thin layers. It can make a crystal look attractive.
It describes the way that light is reflected off the gemstone/crystal surface.
The Wonder of Clear Quartz
Clear quartz is also known as ‘the master healer’ as it amplifies both energy and thought. This crystal has also been used in time pieces and other technical equipment, such as computers and MRI scanners due to its ability to regulate an electronic isolator that’s used to keep perfect time.
It’s discovery and harnessing of using clear quartz in time keeping has changed the way we tell the time forever.
Gemstones I use in jewellery making
Mother of Pearl
Abalone / Paua Shell
This is a list of the gemstones that are usually used in jewellery making and are most commonly known to be associated with.
January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine
April – Diamond/Clear Quartz
May – Emerald
June – Moonstone
July – Carnelian/Ruby
August – Peridot
September – Sapphire/Lapis Lazuli
October – Opal
November – Citrine
December – Turquoise
Capricorn – Garnet
Aquarius – Amethyst
Pisces – Aquamarine
Aries – Red Jasper
Taurus – Rose Quartz
Gemini – Citrine
Cancer – Moonstone
Leo – Carnelian
Virgo – Peridot
Libra – Kyanite
Scorpio – Malachite
Sagittarius – Sodalite
Moon – Selenite
Mercury – Agate
Venus – Emerald
Mars – Ruby
Jupiter – Zircon
Saturn – Sapphire
Sun – Diamond
(Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had yet to be discovered.)
Gemstones and Chakras
Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit or ‘Wheel of Light’, as the colours represent the seven colours in the spectrum and rainbow. Bet you won’t look at a rainbow in the same way?
When our Chakras are clean and free, they help to promote spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional well-being.
When any of the Chakras are ‘blocked’, it can affect our ability to function properly in certain areas of our lives.
Number & Colour
Name & Place
Just above the top of the head
Spirituality, connection to the Universe, imagination and awareness
Brow / Third Eye
Centre of the forehead
Mind, ideas, thoughts, dreams, psychic abilities
The base of the throat
Blue Lace Agate
Centre of the chest
Safety, trust, adventure, love
Between the bottom of the ribcage and the navel
Personal power, emotions, physical centre
The lower abdomen between the navel and pubic bone
Connection to other people, creativity, energy
Base / Root
The base of the spine
Survival, health, abundance, connection to the Earth, moving forward in life
Himalayan Salt Lamps
Salt lamps are believed to create negatively charged ions in the air, as modern day pollution and other electrical equipment creates positive ions in the air. These ions can be potentially harmful and cause the air quality in these areas to deteriorate.
By using a salt lamp, you are replacing the negatively charged ions to help avoid the alleged physical and mental harm that an ‘electric smog’ creates.
Most Himalayan salt lamps are for indoor use only and are a decorative piece that isn’t to be left switched on if it’s unattended for long periods of time.
It’s important to try and keep the lamp away from excessive moisture or humidity, as it might show signs of ‘sweating’ on the surface. This is the moisture that’s absorbed by the salt and then driven off again by the warmth of the bulb. It’s a normal process that helps to drive the air purification effect.
The best way to clean a salt lamp is to use a damp cloth, do not apply cleaning products or immerse it in water. It is salt and it dissolves in water.
There are occasions when the moisture from the lamp may mark the surface that it is resting on, leave it in strong sunlight for around 4-5 hours and then brush off any excess crystals.
Benefits of using a Himalayan Salt Lamp
Removes moisture from the air and therefore pollutants
Neutralizes the ‘electronic pollution’ in the air
Reduces allergens and irritants
Creates and soothing effect
Gemstones associated with…
Many gemstones and crystals have properties associated with calming, grounding, protecting and repelling negative energies. Below is a list of the more common emotions and situations many people would like their crystals and gemstones to work for.
Job interview – Citrine, Aventurine and Ruby
Anxiety – Labradorite, Green Aventurine or Lepidolite
Calming – Blue Lace Agate, Amethyst, Rose Quartz or Lepidolite
Stress – Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Labradorite, Lepidolite
Depression – Smoky Quartz, Jet, Lapis Lazuli
Memory – Pyrite, Clear Quartz, Rhodonite or Fluorite
Love – Rose Quartz, Rhodochrosite, Rhodonite
Protection – Black Tourmaline, Onyx, Amethyst, Prehnite
Luck – Citrine, Aventurine, Jade, Sunstone, Gypsum, Chrysoprase
Self-esteem – Lapis Lazuli, Pyrite, Gypsum, Citrine, Larimar
Sleep – Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, Moonstone, Obsidian, Rose Quartz
Happiness – Amber, Smoky Quartz, Lepidolite, Rose Quartz
Bereavement – Jet, Angelite, Smoky Quartz, Celesite
Gemstones for beginners
Taking care of crystals and gemstones
On a shelf or windowsill
There may come a point where your collection is wide and varied, so you’ll have to remember to label certain stones due to many being the same colour!!!
There are many ways you can clean crystals/gemstones, some are easier than others due to practicability:
Hold under running water – not to be done with softer crystals like Selenite, as they can flake
Singing bowls, bells or cymbals
Crystal cluster – place a crystal on top of the cluster and leave for as long as you feel necessary
Bury in the Earth at a Full Moon and unearth them at the New Moon
Incense – waft the crystal through the smoke, it can be Frankincense, Sandalwood or an incense of your choice
Smudging – light a smudge stick and waft the smoke over the crystal
Breath – breathe in deeply, then as you exhale, focus your mind on cleansing the crystal of any negativity
There is no right or wrong when cleansing your crystals, do what you feel is right.
I have cleaned crystals in running water (holding them gently in my hands for a few minutes whilst in the shower), placing them on a small amethyst cluster or by placing them in front of my portable speaker whilst playing my favourite songs.
My gemstone collection
For practicality, I would like to keep my own collection of gemstones and crystals small. Maybe the size of one baby bookcase shelf, which is what it currently is.
In reality I know that this won’t happen AT ALL!
I will keep going to Health and Well-being events, Rock and Gem Shows and anywhere else where they sell gemstones and crystals and I will buy more.
So far in my collection I have:
Clear Quartz x2 tumbled & x2 points – the points are great for meditation.
Red Jasper *
Rose Quartz x2
Lapis Lazuli – as a pendulum
Black Tourmaline – raw
Tigers Eye *
*these gemstones are my Chakra stones and are in a separate box.
Gemstone and Crystal Meanings
I did think of writing all the gemstone and crystal meanings and definitions, but then I realised that it would be a lot for people to read.
With that in mind, please feel free to click on the link below for a full list* (in alphabetical order) of all the gemstones and crystals I have mentioned.
You can even print it off if you so wish!
And yes, it took a very long time to complete it.
*The PDF will be updated whenever I have purchased or have been gifted a new gemstone or crystal for my own collection or when I have bought a new gemstone to use in my jewellery making.
More information on gemstones
Below is a list of resources that I use in order to find information on gemstones, crystals and crystal healing:
Google (obviously) and Pinterest are my two favourite starting points.
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
A staple for anyone interested in gemstones and crystals. There are multiple volumes, as new crystals and gemstones are being discovered.
Crystal Tips and Cures by Philip Permutt
A guidebook to the meanings of around 100 gemstones and crystals. He has also written the best selling book ‘The Crystal Healer’.
The Centre of Excellence
An online learning centre. I started off with a Crystal Healing Audio Course to help get me started and to get a better understanding to how crystals and gemstone help in our everyday lives.
Sunstone Crystal Healing workshops via The Crystal Bear in Garstang
I have attended: An Introduction to Crystals, Dowsing with Pendulums, Crystals and the Chakras and Gem Essences workshops. They were all really interesting and in some cases made a lot of sense to me.
Sunstone Crystal Healing is a crystal healer and Reiki Master and someone who knows her stuff on how crystals and gemstones works.