The famous golden funerary mask of King Tutankhamen which is around 3,500 years old, contains many crystals and gemstones, including Obsidian, Calcite, Carnelian, Green feldspar (Amazonite), Malachite and Lapis Lazuli
This scarab bracelet was also found in King Tutankhamens tomb. Look at the huge piece of Lapis Lazuli! What other stones can you see?
Almost 3,000 years old this Obsidian amulet, a charm worn by the living or placed on a mummy to ward off evil spirits or bring good luck, depicts a pair of fingers, which would endow the wearer with their functions in the netherworld. The Ancient Egyptians believed a part of a body was enough to represent the whole body.
Thus, because of this belief, through the magic of the amulet, a pair of fingers could substitute for damaged body parts or organs. The amulet of two fingers was also used for protection against magic.
Throughout history crystals and gemstones have been used for all kinds of purposes. Flint was used to make fire and tools, and Obsidian was carved to make arrow heads. Mystical powers were bestowed upon the wearers of certain gems, and talismans, (which were meant to bring good luck) and amulets (which were meant to protect the wearer) were used on a daily basis.
The terms rock, stone, crystal, gemstone and pebble all have slightly different meanings. Perhaps now might be a good time to look at the difference which would take us to how rocks are formed and made?
First lets find out a little bit about how crystals are made.
The forces of nature are very powerful and the heat and pressure inside the Earth can be extreme. Rocks can be formed by several methods; Igneous, by fire and heat; sedimentary, by deposition and erosion; and metamorphic, by pressure and folding. Each method determines the kind of mineral or crystal that is formed. Then the different chemical substances determine the colour and shape, and lastly time governs the size and quality. For instance Obsidian is an igneous rock that formed when molten rock cooled quickly before any crystals could grow. The longer the process usually the larger the crystal.
Q. What shapes do crystals come in?
A. All crystals fall into seven different categories of shapes as follows,
Cubic, Diamond, Pyrite, Lapis Lazuli, Flourite
Hexagonal, Aquamarine, Emerald
Trigonal, Tourmaline, Quartz
Monclinic, Selenite, Azurite, Malachite
Triclinic, Turquoise, Kyanite, Labradorite
The shapes are repeated over and over and form the crystal lattice. This decides the strength of the crystal. The rock that a crystal is found in is sometimes called the matrix or base rock.
There is one other category that covers non-shapes.
Amorphous, Obsidian, Opal, Amber
Q. When is a crystal not a crystal?
A. When it has an amorphous structure like Obsidian and Opal or Jet, Amber, Copal (young Amber) Pearl or Coral. These are commonly called crystals and used in the same way as crystals but they can be natural occurring, Jet from fossilised trees, Copal and Amber from tree resin, Pearls from molluscs, and Coral from a tiny sea creatures.
Q. What does 'amorphous' mean?
A. Amorphous is a structure that is non-crystalline, it has no has no long-range order in its lattice. Basically a crystal is made up of lots of little identical crystals all the same shape, and we can tell the type of crystal by these repeating shapes that form a lattice. Some crystals are weak because the crystal lattice is made up of a shape that does not fit together well like, Halite or Selenite, others are very strong like Diamonds. When a crystal is strong enough to hold a crisp cut and hard enough to stay highly polished during wear, then it is called a gemstone, and the value soars accordingly. Because diamonds are so hard they can be cut into many facets which reflect the light and make them shine brilliantly.
Q. How can you tell how hard a crystal is?
A. The Mohs hardness scale for minerals has been used since 1822. It simply consists of 10 minerals arranged in order from 1 to 10. Diamond is rated as the hardest and is indexed as 10; talc as the softest with index number 1. Each mineral in the scale will scratch all those below it as follows:
6 Orthoclase, Feldspar
9 Corundum, Ruby
On the Mohs scale, fingernail has hardness 2; copper penny, about 3; a knife blade, 5; window glass, 5.5; steel file 6.5. Using these ordinary materials of known hardness can be a simple way to approximate the position of a mineral on the scale, and find out what the crystal is.
So now we have found out a little bit about crystals, hopefully it wasn too boring and you are ready to continue and get to the hands on parts?
We shall be covering all these aspects in the free crystal courses that will be published very soon, so keep looking.*Crystal Healing
Crystal healing is a very gentle and non-invasive therapy. There are many ways of using crystals and we will cover them all over the next courses.
Q. What do you think of when someone says 'Crystal Healing'
~*~Healing with Crystals
Slightly different from crystal healing, but thats my opinion. Hopefully once you have explored these pages you will have plenty of information to think about and perhaps change your own opinions ?
~*~Crystals in everyday life
The simple and easy way of bringing the benefits of crystals into your world, perhaps by just sitting watching the television with a tumblestone in your pocket, or holding a crystal in your hand or perhaps just having a few beautiful crystals around the house?
~*~*Coming Soon ~*~Gems Crystal Courses~*~
If you are interested in participating in one of our free online courses please follow the link here Gems Crystal Courses