Healing crystals throughout history
For all of recorded history, rare and and semi-precious crystals were treasured for their healing energies and powers of personal protection.
Civilizations from Mesopotamia to ancient China used crystals and semi-precious stones for countless curative and medicinal purposes: From enhanced mental focus, to cleansing and body purification, crystals had endless applications in the fields of health and wellness.
Since ancient times, countless cultures across the globe have revered the powers of crystals for healing
Today, healing crystals and semi-precious stones have never been more popular. Every year millions of new fans discover the incredible healing energy of these natural powerhouses. In homes around the world, crystal collections adorn shelves, bedsides and personal spaces.
For holidays and birthdays, gemstones also make excellent gifts — and considering most gemstones are as old as the Earth, they’re one of the few gifts that can literally last forever.
Scientific evidence for crystals and healing
Before diving in to the meanings of crystals, it’s important to note that there’s no scientific evidence or studies which support the centuries-old beliefs surrounding crystal healing.
The positive effects and healing properties associated with each crystal come from millennia of cultural traditions and spiritual beliefs — not from clinical studies or modern science. Nothing here constitutes medical advice. If you’re suffering from a mental or physical illness, consult only with a licensed professional. However, if you’re a fan of crystal lore, and merely scratching the itch of curiosity regarding alternative medicine and ancient traditions — read on and let’s explore the magical world of healing crystals.
Which crystals do what?
One of the most exciting things about crystals is that each of these tiny primal prisms of energy is recommended for a different purpose and a different health benefit. Keep reading, and we’ll walk through 41 of the most popular and well-known crystals — and describe the healing and health benefits associated with each one.
Amethyst healing crystals
The popular purple crystal is a favorite in nearly everyone’s crystal collection, and for good reason: Amethyst crystals are something of an all-purpose prism for cleansing and collecting psychic energies. In ancient Greece, amethyst‘s ability to focus mental energy was so revered that this beautiful violet variety of quartz crystal was thought to protect against drunkenness.
Today, amethyst is one of the most collected crystals in the world — but please don’t rely on it to stave off the effects of alcohol.
- Amethyst is said to cleanse mental energies and assist with mental focus.
- Amethyst is believed to instill calmness and reduce feelings of guilt and anxiety.
- Keeping amethyst next to your bed is said to impart more pleasant dreams and a better night’s sleep.
Selenite healing stones
Selenite crystals are a beautiful clear or pearly-white type of gypsum. Selenite’s many cousins, which include desert rose, gypsum flower, satin spar and alabaster, are “soft” stones which are very easily cut.
Associated with the moon and moon-vibrations, selenite is drenched with dream-energy and filled with positive healing power.
Some selenite crystals are so soft they can be scratched with a fingernail. Unlike their colorful family-members, selenite is typically colorless. It may resemble cut crystals, but it also comes as rougher, translucent slabs or selenite “wands” (pictured above). Selenite slabs and wands are popular as a “base” or stand upon which to cleanse other divination gear including tarot cards, divination dice and pendulums.
- Selenite is a very common cleansing stone. Selenite slabs can even be used to cleanse other crystals and stones.
- Selenite is a stone of dreams. Fans of selenite often keep the stone near their bed to impart long, lucid dreams.
- Selenite’s clarity and cleansing properties are also sought after by those seeking healing or hoping to avoid illness.
Citrine healing crystals
Also known as: Merchant’s stone, money stone.
This sunny, yellow semi-precious stone shines with a healthy glow and radiant energy. Its name comes from the Latin word citrina, meaning “yellow”. Citrine is known as a “positive stone“, imparting positive thoughts, emotional balance and a healthy, constructive energy on those near it.
Citrine was historically called the “merchant’s stone” or sometimes the “money stone” because it was believed to bring wealth and business success to those who carried it. It’s historic role as the “money stone” dovetails nicely with its believed role in positive thinking. Think positively, and the world is yours.
Like its cousin amethyst, citrine is a variety of quartz crystal.
- Citrine positivity is said to protect mental energies and emotions from negative influences.
- Citrine is said to have a positive effect on interpersonal dynamics and family relationships.
- Citrine is also believed to ground negative emotions like jealousy and anger, protecting those around it.
NOTE: Crystal collectors should be careful buying citrine, as true citrines can be hard to find. It can be difficult to discern a true citrine stone from a yellow topaz or a yellow amethyst. A true citrine is not perfectly clear and should have a cloudy appearance. When citrines are cut with smooth edges however, they look extremely similar to yellow topaz and even experts can be fooled.
Rose quartz healing crystals
Rose quartz is a beautiful pink crystal with a creamy translucent interior. This lovely, and extremely common variety of quartz crystal can be found all over the world.
Rose quartz gets its rich pink color from the natural inclusion of the mineral dumortierite. Depending on the amount of dumortierite trapped within the crystal, rose quartz can range from a rich pink color to a nearly-white or slightly pinkish hue. While a true transparent rose quartz is possible, it is extremely rare. In most cases, rose quartz has a pale or waxy translucent quality.
Rose quartz has a very emotional energy, lending itself to emotional healing and grounding emotional settings. Despite its frequent “pink” association with love, especially in jewelry — rose quartz is more commonly associated with friendship and positive camaraderie.
Rose quartz benefits
- Rose quartz is commonly worn or kept nearby for spiritual healing and to treat emotional wounds.
- Rose quartz is excellent for cultivating friendly energy and positive, friendly vibrations.
- Rose quartz is sometimes used to represent divine love or the caring energy of the divine.
Agate healing stones
Is agate a stone or a crystal? This beautiful complex composite is part quartz crystal and part chalcedony. So while it’s composed of millions of crystal particles, it’s not a smooth, consistent crystalline structure as many true crystals are. What makes agate so special is that it appears in an amazing variety of forms. There’s Greek agate, moss agate, lace agate, Brazilian agate, holley blue agate and dozens of others.
Because agate is a composite semi-precious stone, its exact make-up varies widely depending on where it’s found. Some agates include organic materials like seashells. Other agates contain layers of greenish iron oxide. Some agates contain beautiful crystallized geodes, while others even contain ancient petrified wood. Agate is a stone for those who enjoy the ancient complexity, infinite combination and variety.
As a healing stone, agate is well known for its ability to balance different energies. Its beautiful balance of opposing forces can have a settling and harmonizing effect on surrounding energies. Agate is a stone for complex people. While many crystals offer simplicity and purity, agate revels in complexity. It is recommended for people who enjoy both nuance and interesting combinations.
- Balances random and conflicting energies into a peaceful harmony.
- Agate amulets, bracelets and other jewelry are said to de-stress and promote mental balance for those in stressful positions.
- Agate is said to promote healing, particularly after times of chaos or conflict.
- Agate jewelry was believed by the ancient Greeks to offer protection on the road, or while traveling.
Tourmaline healing stones
Tourmaline is a semi-precious stone known for its general protective qualities. Its energy is said to protect against mistakes, and harm coming from carelessness or distraction. In some cultures this powerful stone is also revered for its health benefits, affecting digestion, bones and teeth.
Tourmaline comes in a variety of beautiful tones, ranging from deep pinks to blacks to earthy greens. It’s common for blends of multiple colors to exist within a single tourmaline stone.
The most common form of tourmaline is the mysterious black crystal known as schorl (pictured above). Another beautiful variety are the dark brown dravite crystals with their rich earthy tones.
- Tourmaline is said to protect wearers against harm — particularly harm due to carelessness.
- In some cultures tourmaline is believed to confer health benefits, including digestive and bone-health benefits.
- Tourmaline is also associated with wealth and success. Particularly tourmaline with different colors contained within.
Clear quartz healing crystals
Clear quartz is one of the most popular cleansing crystals in existence. Its clean, pure positive energy makes it an obvious choice for purifying any room, or cleansing tarot cards. While clear quartz is in the same family as its colorful cousins, amethyst and citrine, it has none of the colorful mineral additions which impart the well-known violet and yellow colors respectively.
Some clear quartz is truly transparent, while other “clear” quartzes have a slightly translucent or milky quality, depending on which part of the world they are from.
Clear quartz benefits
- Clear quartz is said to boost the immune system, and help to clear one’s thoughts and improve focus.
- Clear quarts is excellent for cleansing negative energies or random, residual emotions and thoughts from objects and spaces.
- Many wearers of clear quartz believe it helps to enhance creativity and mental clarity.
Obsidian healing stones
Obsidian is technically not a true crystal. This mysterious black substance is a form of volcanic glass forged from molten lava. Still, black obsidian often looks very “crystalline” because it shines when polished, fractures with sharp edges, and is often somewhat translucent like a crystal. The reality is, this nearly-black, hard and brittle substance is a solidified liquid — which may or may not have a very small amount of natural crystals suspended within it.
Found the world-over, in areas with past volcanic activity, obsidian was commonly collected and carved by ancient peoples. It was commonly used to cut stone knives and tools — and to create ritual religious objects.
- Obsidian is said to have protective qualities against negative energy and ill will.
- Obsidian is believed to be an energy-absorber. The dark stone not only absorbs light, but can absorb negative psychic energies and residual energies from a space.
- Obsidian’s ancient use in stone knives and weapons also associates obsidian with personal defense and physical protection.
Carnelian healing stones
Another semi-precious stone that often resembles a crystal is the beautiful red carnelian. This ancient red gemstone was used for jewelry and ritual purposes as early as the 5th century BC.
In ancient Egypt, the dead were entombed with carnelian stones to assist in their travels in the higher dimensions of the afterlife. In other cultures, carnelian was a symbol of potent sexual energy and inner fortitude. In the Middle Ages, a common use of carnelian was to make signet rings and personal-seals. Because wax doesn’t stick to carnelian, it’s a perfect semi-precious stone to leave imprints in sealing wax.
Carnelian burns with romantic desire and personal magnetism. A symbol of the self, personal power and smoldering lust, carnelian burns with a deep romantic fire. Whether it appears on a signet ring or hanging on a pendant, carnelian symbolizes a cocky self-assuredness and inner drive. It is also a gateway to higher dimensions and helps to focus the higher mind.
- Believed by the ancient Egyptians to protect the soul in the afterlife, and to focus the higher mind.
- Believed to improve circulation and the metabolism, carnelian is often worn as both a sign of, and a protector of physical health.
- Carnelian is believed to stimulate the second sacral chakra, enhancing emotion, romance and sexuality.
- Carnelian is said to elevate the ego and the libido. It’s rich red hues symbolize lust and physical love.
NOTE: Carnelian is often confused with sard, another similar stone with similar properties. Sard is typically harder and darker than carnelian, but both semi-precious stones are members of the same family.
Lapis Lazuli healing stones
For lovers of semi-precious stones, lapis lazuli needs little introduction. This brilliant blue stone was important to countless ancient civilizations and used to create beautiful protective jewelry and sacred objects.
Lapis, and the color blue in general have always been associated with magic and with spiritual enlightenment. The ancient Egyptians would frequently carve scarabs — one of their most revered natural spirits — out of the rich blue stone. The precious blue stone is also mentioned several times in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, one of humanity’s oldest works of literature.
NOTE: Many Biblical scholars believe that references to blue “sapphires” in the Bible are in fact references to lapis lazuli. Why? Because blue sapphires weren’t known in the ancient world until the days of the Roman Empire. It is likely that the term “sapphire” is a modern translation for lapis, another brilliant blue stone which was extremely precious and deeply revered in antiquity.
Lapis lazuli benefits
- Since ancient times, lapis lazuli was believed to protect and enhance the immune system — protecting its wearer from sickness and disease.
- Lapis lazuli is believed to focus creative energies and boost creative thinking and problem solving.
- The ancient Egyptians used lapis lazuli to carve scarabs, which are associated with immortality and the protection of the soul in the afterlife.
Flourite healing crystals
Not to be confused with flouride, the stuff that protects your teeth, flourite is a beautiful crystal which appears in a variety of brilliant colors. While true flourite is perfectly clear, differing natural mineral compositions result in fascinating color variations and combinations.
NOTE: One amazing property of flourite crystals is that many of them glow in a different color under a UV light — often looking like completely different stones. While not all flourite crystals have this amazing UV property, many do. Part of the fun of collecting flourite crystals is seeing how they look in UV.
Flourite crystal benefits
- Flourite is said to focus mental energies, enhancing concentration and reducing confusion.
- Flourite is also believed to improve demeanor and general outlook. Its clarity and its brilliance shine through conflicting energies and help to clarify thoughts.
- In times of chaos or conflicting emotion, flourite helps reveal the “true path”. For this reason, flourite is sometimes chosen as a pendant stone for pendulum readings.
Hematite healing crystals
The sometimes reddish stone hematite is named after the greek word “haima” meaning blood. The colors of hematite vary from steel greys to rust browns. When polished, hematite often looks more like a silvery metal than a semi-precious stone.
Reddish hematite was credited by ancients for its positive effects on circulation and general health. The more silvery varieties are credited with improved mental sharpness and acuity.
In some cases, hematite can be slightly magnetic, but it is generally a very weak or mild magnetic field.
Hematite crystal benefits
- Hematite’s association with blood and circulation was shared by many ancient cultures — particularly among the more reddish varieties.
- Hematite is said to focus mental sharpness and quickness. It is associated with intelligence and a “bright” personality.
- Hematite’s mild magnetic field is credited by some fans of the material for helping nerve and tendon pain.
Kyanite healing crystals
Kyanite is a beautiful crystalline gemstone which is most often blue in color. A recently discovered in Kenya variety exhibits a fascinating deep orange hue, but the Kenyan orange variety of kyanite is a rare exception to the rule. In most cases, kyanite appears as long thin columns of blue crystal.
Kyanite is prized among crystal collectors for its ability to absorb negative energies and protect wearers from the impact of negative feelings nearby.
- Kyanite’s conductive capacity makes it an excellent absorber of negative energies.
- Kyanite is an excellent choice for cleansing tarot decks sacred spaces prior to performing readings.
- Because kyanite is a good conductor of energy, it makes a good choice for the bedside for dream enhancement.
Pyrite healing crystals
Don’t let the name “Fool’s gold” fool you. It may not have the monetary value of gold, but for those who understand the benefits of this amazing substance it’s priceless.
Pyrite got its name from its ability to create sparks when struck with metal. In ancient times, it was often used as a way to create the sparks necessary for starting fires.
Thousands of years later, Pyrite crystals are often valued for their electrical properties which proved essential in technological inventions from early radio receivers and today’s lithium batteries. These remarkable conductive characteristics make pyrite not just a beautiful stone to look at, but a very special stone in the world today.
This beautiful gold-colored crystal, which in the opinion of many collectors is actually much more beautiful than gold, is a popular choice for women’s jewelry and fortune-telling pendulums.
- Pyrite’s unique physical properties make it an excellent choice for warding off unwanted psychic energies.
- Pyrite is said to help cleanse objects that are exposed to multiple conflicting energies.
- Pyrite helps to clear negativity and pessimism.
Labradorite healing crystals
This stunning gemstone has remarkable visual reflective effects. Labradorite both reflects and refracts light, creating beautiful, iridescent and scintillating effects. For those unfamiliar with labradorite, photos don’t do it justice. The way the light plays inside it and across its surface can be nothing short of spectacular.
Found primarily in Labrador, Canada and on the coasts of Norway, smaller quantities of labradorite can also be found in Australia, Madagascar and China.
- Labradorite is a stone of inner drive and motivation. It’s inner light shines through in nearly every adverse condition.
- Labradorite is a cleansing stone for negative energies and residual emotion.
- Labradorite is said to enhance consciousness — helping wearers and holders reach higher states of awareness and enlightenment.
Moonstone healing crystals
Moonstone is also known as: hecatolite,
The mysterious, pearly moonstone has been used in jewelry since the days of antiquity. While often fictionalized, moonstone is very much a real gemstone. Moonstone is a member of the feldspar group of semi-precious stones which exhibits a beautiful pearlescence and opalescence.
When polished, moonstone exhibits a prized translucent quality, making moonstone jewelry a popular choice for necklaces and earrings — as well as divination pendulums.
- Moonstone is traditionally a very feminine stone and is said to enhance female energies.
- Moonstone is believed to focus psychic energies and promote psychic receptivity, clairvoyance and empathy.
- Raw moonstone is a relatively good cleansing stone, and can be used to clear negative energies from objects and spaces.
Jade healing stones
Long known as a “good luck stone” in East Asia, Jade was a stone of both opulence and reverence. Crafted into beautiful shapes for temples, emperors and wealthy elites, Jade is a stone with centuries of history behind it.
While the beautiful green stone is mostly associated with Asian dynasties, it also has a long history of use among Central America and Pacific Islanders. Among all cultures, Jade was considered a special stone — associated with both luck and religious ritual.
The English term “Jade” actually comes from the Latin term for “loins” and “kidneys”. During the time of the Roman Empire, the Romans considered jade to be an important stone for treating diseases of the kidneys and “loins”.
- The ancients believed jade offered protection against disease — particularly protection against kidney diseases and diseases of the urinary tract.
- In ancient Chinese culture, jade was associated with both wealth and good luck.
- Jade is believed to absorb negative energies, leaving positivity and good fortune behind.
Celestine healing crystals
Celestine is also known as: Celestite
This beautiful pale blue gemstone looks like the sky on a clear day, hence its name Celestine, which comes from the Latin word “caelestis” meaning heavens. Celestine crystals can be found all over the world, although the crystals are typically found only in very small quantities. Some celestine crystals are found inside geodes, others are found trapped deep within layers of sedimentary rock.
Ancient Mediterranean peoples believed that celestine was directly associated with the heavens. This “angel stone” has long been cherished as a link with higher realms and angelic dimensions.
- Celestine is associated with angelic guidance, oversight and support.
- A “piece of heaven”, Celestine has always been regarded as a stone which is is in touch with both our material world and the worlds beyond.
- Celestine is frequently worn as a defense against physical harm and negative energies.
Bloodstone healing stones
Bloodstone is also known as: Heliotrope
Bloodstone is a mysterious mix of deep reds and blacks. This ancient semi-precious stone was once thought to represent the blood of Christ’s tears. It was the stone of magicians and wizards in antiquity — once credited with powers of invisibility. Ancient gnostics would wear bloodstone pendants to increase their lifespan. Centuries ago in India, gurus and spiritualists would place the bloodstone on top of wounds to help slow bleeding. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore jewelry of bloodstone to improve their endurance while hunting and while playing sports.
Although the beliefs surrounding bloodstone were different from culture to culture, it is notable that dozens of cultures revered this single enigmatic stone and had deep respect for its power.
Bloodstone is usually opaque, but some varieties may be slightly translucent.
- Bloodstone is believed to improve circulation and improve the healing of wounds.
- Bloodstone was believed to improve physical endurance and performance.
- In India, bloodstone is believed to have aphrodisiac qualities and is considered a stone of physical love and romance.
Aquamarine healing crystals
Aquamarine is also known as: Beryl, Blue Beryl
Aquamarine is a beautiful blue or cyan colored gemstone. Closely related to emerald, aquamarine is a member of the beryl family of crystals. Long associated with the sea and with the primary element of water, aquamarine has been a revered gemstone since ancient times.
This natural, watery gemstone is rich with the energy of the world’s oceans. The ancient Romans believed aquamarine would grant them safety at sea, and military superiority on the high seas. In other cultures, aquamarine was believed to promote calm and inner strength.
NOTE: A darker blue variety of aquamarine appears on the island nation of Madagascar, and is called Maxixe. Maxixe and aquamarine are nearly identical, and when Maxixe exposed to sunlight, its deep blue tint fades to a color closer to aquamarine.
- Promotes peace, inner fortitude and resolve.
- Believed to offer protection at sea, and superiority in water sports.
Aventurine healing crystals
Aventurine is a translucent member of the quartz crystal family. What sets aventurine apart from other quartz crystals are the scattered inclusion of tiny reflective particles, which impart a glittery quality to the stone. In most cases aventurine is a greenish color, but it can also be blue, yellow, brown or grey. Orange aventurine is often confused with sunstone, which has a similar orange glittery quality.
The crystal‘s name aventurine comes from the Italian phrase “a ventura”, which translates to, “by chance” or “by luck“. For centuries, the stone has been associated with luck, chance and the hand of fate.
- Aventurine is considered by gem fans the world over to be a “lucky stone“. It is positively associated with serendipity and good fortune.
- Aventurine is thought to be associated with the heart chakra, which in turn is associated with compassion, love and empathy.
- Aventurine’s ability to both amplify luck and increase love and empathy makes it a perfect stone to increasing one’s chances in the romance department. It is positively associated with being lucky in love. (Going on a first date? Try wearing aventurine)
NOTE: Aventurine’s characteristics are so well-known, that it’s one of the few stones in gemology which gave birth to its own adjective: Aventurescence. Aventurescence refers to the glittery subsurface quality of translucent aventurine.
Jasper healing gemstones
Known throughout the ages as a stone of kings and mystics, Jasper is a beautiful richly colored gemstone which is often patterned with exotic color combinations and fascinating mottled textures. Jasper is always an opaque stone, but can be polished to a beautiful shine.
Jasper crystals and stones are formed from granular quartz crystals and other minerals. They are most often a rich red color, but can occasionally appear in yellows and browns. More rarely, Jasper can appear in greens and blues.
- Jasper is a “grounding stone” which directs stray negative emotional energies towards the earth.
- Jasper promotes emotional well-being and tranquility by absorbing and grounding stress or emotional pain.
- Jasper is an excellent stone for promoting mental focus and clarity. By diminishing negative energies, the presence of Jasper aids mental clarity and unfettered thoughts.
- Jasper is a perfect stone for the bedside. By grounding negative energies it helps promote peaceful sleep.
Tiger’s Eye healing crystals
The lustrous deep brown colors of tiger’s eye gemstones range from brilliant ambers to dark mahogany colors. The colored bands are partially translucent giving tiger’s eye a beautiful inner light.
This ancient gemstone, consisting of jasper and black hematite has been popular for amulets and jewelry for centuries. In ancient time, tiger’s eye was also used to make stone knives and ornate tools.
Tiger’s Eye benefits
- In ancient near Eastern cultures, tiger’s eye is believed to ward off the “evil eye”.
- Tiger’s eye is believed to enhance courage and personal resolve in the face of opposition.
- Tiger’s eye is believed to improve mental clarity and sharpness by absorbing distracting energies.
- Ancient peoples believed tiger’s eye would grant them protection in combat and sports.
Malachite healing crystals
Malachite is a deep green gemstone, often appearing with beautiful dark bands running through it. Sometimes confused with jade, malachite is generally a darker, richer green color and is characterized by banding and stunning, undulating swirls of green color.
Ancient Europeans believed malachite pendants and stones would protect children from evil spirits and grant them good luck. Throughout the middle ages, malachite jewelry was worn to protect against evil and disease.
- Malachite is believed to offer protection while traveling.
- Many ancient people’s believed that malachite warded off evil spirits and disease.
- Malachite absorbs negative energy and may improve focus.
Angelite healing crystals
Angelite is also known as: Anhydrite
This pure and beautiful gemstone is deeply connected to the higher realms. Its color ranges from heavenly blue to a delicate cyan color, and polishes to a high level of shine. Often confused with celestine, which is also connected to the angelic world, angelite tends to have a slightly richer color.
Angelite jewelry is often worn for both protection against harm, and to improve psychic communication with the higher planes. A favorite of psychic readers, angelite stones may also be used for pendulum readings and divination — or to cleanse tarot cards.
Benefits of angelite
- Protection from harm and from ill wishes.
- Improves communication with higher levels of consciousness.
- May help focus psychic abilities and improve receptivity of spiritual energy and psychic signals.
- Has a generally soothing quality and may help heal emotional scars.