Families of Crystals and Gemstones

Crystals can be divided into groups that have important material properties in common. There are also many examples of families within families, e.g. red jasper is a form of jasper, which is a form of chalcedony, which is a form of quartz.

Here is a simple introduction to some of the most well-known types of crystals. Most of the crystals mentioned here are also described in more detail elsewhere on this website. See the links below.


Quartz

Quartz is the most common type of crystal and is predominately silicon dioxide. However, quartz exists in very many different forms depending on the other elements present.

Amethyst exists in various shades of purple due to the presence of the element manganese (Mn) in the quartz.

Uses / associations:
Meditation, connection with one's spirituality, cleaning/cleansing other crystals after use.

Chalcedony
There are many forms of Chalcedony.
See seperate section (below the 'Quartz family').

Citrine
Aged (faded) amethyst is sometimes mistaken for citrine.

Uses / associations:
Citrine is associated with the attainment and maintenance of wealth. Sometimes carried in purses or kept in cash tills for good financial luck.

Clear Quartz
A simple description of the chemical composition of clear quartz is that it is silicon dioxide without the presence of inclusions or other elements (that often result in the colours of other forms of quartz).

Rose Quartz
Chemically, rose quartz is silicon dioxide (quartz) in the presence of the element titanium (Ti), which gives rise to the pink colour of rose quartz.

Aventurine

Aventurine is formed when bright particles such as mica and/or hematite or similar are distributed within a mineral such as quartz (silicon dioxide) or feldspar (also known as flourite). It is possible to see many tiny particles within samples e.g. inside tumble stones of aventurine.

Green Aventurine is the most common colour of aventurine. It exists in a wide range of shades of green, from pale green through to dark green.

Uses / associations:
One of several crystals that is sometimes used to re-balance the heart chakra.

Red Aventurine is found in colours that range from dark pink to cherry pink / red.

Chalcedony

Chalcedony is normally classified as a member of the quartz family. It includes many types of crystals of which those listed opposite are only the most common examples.

Blue Lace Agate

Agate
There are many forms of agate, including e.g. blue lace agate (pictured, right)

Bloodstone

Carnelian

Jasper exists in many different compositions and hence colours. See more about the 'jasper family' in the following section (below).

Onyx
Typically black in colour

Jasper

Jasper is an opaque (i.e. solid in the sense that it does not transmit light) form of chalcedony, which exists in many different colours many of which also incorporate attractive patterns.

Green Jasper

Uses / associations: The heart chakra

Red Jasper

Uses / associations: The base / 'root' chakra

Yellow Jasper is sometimes also known as Bruneau Jasper.

Tigers Eye

There are several forms of tigers eye. They are distinguished by the overall colour of the stone, which is most obvious after polishing e.g. when looking at tigers eye tumble stones.

Blue Tigers Eye is a relatively unusual form of the gemstone tigers eye in which the stone reflects a range of shades of blue up to very dark blue.

Gold Tigers Eye (which is also called Gold Tigers Eye) is the most common and well-known form of tigers eye.

Red Tigers Eye is a relatively unusual form of the gemstone tigers eye in which the stone reflects a range of shades of red up to very dark red.


See also the index of unusual gemstones.

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