CRYSTAL BASICS: WHAT IS A CRYSTAL?
This might seem like a simple question to begin with, but what is a crystal? What is a rock? What is the difference? It begins with how crystals form. Read on to find out more!
THE FORMATION OF CRYSTALS, GEMSTONES & MINERALS
Crystals are amazing. For thousands of years, through hundreds of civilizations, they have been used to protect, adorn, decorate and heal. But what exactly is a crystal / gemstone? How is it different to an ordinary rock?
Let’s start at the very beginning: Crystals formed millions and millions of years ago as the Earth went through dramatic and volatile changes. Shifting tectonic plates, swirling gasses and volcanic explosions. And they continue to form today through the same processes.
Crystals form in many different ways, such as:
– intense pressure,
– intense heat,
– gasses bubbling up and getting trapped, or
– minerals slowly dripping.
The process the crystal formed in is specific to the type of crystal, but it all involved a rich supply of minerals mixing together.
The way they are formed affects the way they look, how they are classified and how they function.
By definition, a crystal is:
“A solid formed by a repeating, three-dimensional pattern of atoms, ions, or molecules and having fixed distances between the different parts.”
It has a mathematically precise internal structure. These structures fit into only 6 different lattice formations for all of earth’s 1000’s of crystals and minerals.
HOW IS A CRYSTAL DIFFERENT FROM A ROCK?
A rock, on the other hand, is a solid made up of mineral grains and usually contain fragments of crystals. A rock may have only one type of mineral, but usually it consists of several different minerals. Minerals and crystals are the building blocks of rocks.
WHAT IS A CRYSTAL : SUMMARY
This process of how crystals formed, with their mathematically precise crystalline structure is what defines a crystal. Crystals contain the information of mother earth’s development over thousands of millions of years – like a blueprint. Like Judy Hall said, a crystal is mother earth’s DNA.