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Health & Wellness

Understanding Crystal Properties and How They Are Formed

Crystals have been around for a very long time and humans have been interested in them throughout all known history. They have been used for everything from making statues, jewelry, and decorative ornaments, and even in modern-day products such as quartz watches. Crystals were even used in the first radios to transmit radio waves. Below is a look at crystal properties, how they form, and what drives their popularity.

crystal shape

Understanding Crystal Properties

Crystals are simply a collection of atoms or molecules. They range in their size and shape and have a variety of characteristics. Their properties are determined by what they are made of. Crystals are so good at projecting energy that they're used to supply the electricity that is used in homes and by businesses.

The process of creating a crystal can take place in a matter of a few days or it can happen over thousands of years. However, crystals found in the Earth are all formed in a similar way. First, the liquid in the Earth evaporates, and the temperature cools. Minerals then react and crystallize. 1

The amount of time that it takes for a crystal to form depends on the amount of oversaturation and the types of elements available. In some mines, if the water has a way to escape, then crystals can grow in a matter of a few years. On the other hand, it is estimated that garnets can take 10 million years or more to form.

The process essentially occurs when liquids condense and other elements present harden. When the molecules that are present in the liquid attempt to become stable, it creates a process that forms a crystal. These crystals can form interesting shapes such as squares, triangles, and rectangles. The shapes that form do so because of the types of atoms and molecules that make up the crystal. 2

woman holding quartz crystal

Interesting Facts About Crystals

The science of studying crystal formation is known as crystallography. Modern computers sometimes use liquid crystals as part of the display. There are even some living organisms that have the ability to produce crystals. One of the reasons that crystals are so popular in jewelry is because of their wide range of colors and shapes that are often mesmerizing to look at.

Almost every civilization that existed in ancient times has used crystals. A prehistoric monument in Ireland made of crystals predates Stonehenge and the pyramids in Egypt. Jewelry made from amber that is believed to be over 10,000 years old was found in Britain. Those who believe in Atlantis think that the Atlanteans created energy fields from crystals and the misuse of this power led to their demise. 3

Roman soldiers used hematite because it contains iron, and they believed it would protect them in battle. The practice of using crystals for the purpose of healing has been used for thousands of years in Hinduism, and even the Aborigines in Australia used them to connect with the spirits.

The Rise in Popularity of Crystals

The use of crystals has been documented throughout all of written history. There is even some physical evidence of humans using crystals before written history. Throughout those thousands of years, the use of crystals and its popularity has risen and fallen and risen again. In modern times, especially during the 1970s when new age practices took root, it gave rise to the modern era of popularity for the use of crystals in the western world. 4

These stones are thought to have certain powers. In their formation, it is believed that a flow of energy is created that makes each crystal capable of having different powers that are useful for people. Some crystals may help a person relax, while another may help them feel more love. Some crystals are thought to have an impact on the subconscious mind which can help a person be more intuitive and create more vivid dreams.



Beginning to use crystals is simply a matter of going to a shop where they are sold and taking the time to pick one up, hold it, and see if your intuition inspires you to want that particular crystal. They can be used to provide beauty in the home, balance a person's energy, and heal.

Photo credits: Dafinchi/, CharlieBlacker/, StephenJingel/

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