Updated: May 1, 2020
I would like to address something that has been on my mind for a while. I am in a lot of facebook crystal groups I think they can be a lot of fun and useful. However they have their down side. I usually find myself dip in and out of these groups and I don’t generally spend a lot of time in them and here is why. I have my own facebook group Crystal Confident Community where I prefer to get the group to interact about their crystal experiences than getting into heated debates about crystal Id pictures.
Crystal Identification is a popular theme in the groups, people posting pictures and wanting to know if something is real or fake or to name that crystal. I have participated in these at some point. There has been some huge debates turning into name calling and heated arguments as with a lot of facebook groups.
For me no one and I mean no one knows everything about crystals there are over 4,000 crystals in addition to different combinations like azurite and malachite that often grow together. Crystals have colours and variations depending on location, I believe an authentic crystal “expert” would always be open to change their opinion on something and also research what other crystal specialists say to be able to give their honest opinion. Anyone that says that their way is always the right way is delusional. I have noticed a lot of egos claiming they are right and everyone else is wrong and being quite rude about it.
I would like to set something straight it is not possible to always be able to 100% identify a crystal image or video. A crystal is a combination of minerals which have a geometric structural pattern. When mineralogists and geologists look at crystals and minerals there are many factors to consider that are not always seen by the naked eye or obvious by an image. Crystals can also look very different polished to their raw form.
Things to consider:
Luster – how the surface reflects the light, Metallic,sub metallic (opaque and dull) non-metallic, waxy, vitreous (looks like broken glass), pearly or iridescent, silky, greasy or resinous.
Cleavage – The way a mineral can break is determined by the arrangement of atoms it can be very important in determining a mineral. Minerals break along lines of the structure so it shows what kind of molecular structure the mineral has. Different minerals break in different ways therefore different cleavages occur.
Mohs Hardness – you can do simple tests to determine what mohs scale the crystal has,(scratch hardness) e.g quartz is a 7 , calcite is a 3. Softer minerals can be scratched by harder minerals because the bonds that hold it together are weaker
Streak – The streak shows the true colour of the mineral although trace minerals can be seen in an appearance it rarely shows on a streak with powdered form
Taste – Soluble minerals have a taste. You should not place the mineral inside the mouth. E.g Halite
Odour – Most do not smell unless they are heated, moistened breathed on or rubbed.
Magnetism- The ability to attract and repel other magnetic materials. There are various types of magnetism
Colour – Although colour alone is useful for identifying a crystal you cannot rely on colour alone
Specific gravity- Is the comparison to the weight of the mineral to the equal amount of water. It is measured by weight of mineral in air compared to it in water.
Tenacity – Tenacity is the characteristic that describes how the particles of a mineral hold together or resist separation.
Crystalline structure - Mineral crystals have a crystalline structure it means they have a particular geometric pattern which is called a crystal lattice. Sometimes the fibers of the crystal are impossible to see with the naked eye e.g Green aventurine has tiny bits of mica it is therefore cryptocrystalline. It can only be identified by large magnification.
So as you can see it is only the chemical composition that will determine definitively the identification of a crystal by its minerology. I believe it is more important when working crystals for healing that you concentrate on how the crystal makes you feel and what health benefits come from that. Keep a record of each day you work with crystal. Even if you have the right crystal identified and look up its crystal healing properties in books you may discover that what energy you receive from the crystal is not what is mentioned in the books. When you do the work yourself then you know it is right for you as it is you that is receiving knowledge and healing from using the crystal and not second hand information from social media groups or other sources.
Please do not be caught up on the images of crystals online. Whilst it is good to use your intuition and can be fun guessing what crystals are. Remember there is more to crystals than meets the eye!