the quartz family

Catherdral Quartz crystal
Cathedral Quartz with Buddha

This page brings you mineralogical and esoteric information about the main members of the quartz family along with insights we have gained from working with the quartz family of crystals over many years. Our Crystal Healing & Energy Work Diploma Course explores and examines the members of the extended quartz family in great depth, and we never fail to be intrigued with the many forms and formations in which the base material, SiO2, manifests. Below we have included information about the "family tree" and the main forms of quartz we all know and love. Variations of formation and included quartz are not singled out here, but have their own directory (simply follow links). Additionally ALL mineral types we sell have a mineralogical and/or esoterical description, which will be found at the head of each mineral's page within our on-line shop. If you would like to learn more about other crystals and their uses why not check them out!

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It is useful to understand the differences between quartz-based minerals (such as Jaspers, Chalcedonies and Agates), which are defined by their growth and the nature of the formation of their crystalline matrices and structures. Many geological handbooks can be of use if you want to know more, as can reliable internet sources.
What follows lists most of the different TYPES in alphabetical order. CLICK ON ANY TITLE or underlined "link" to go to its dedicated page in our on-line shop!

AGATE
Agates are banded chalcedonies with multi-coloured curved or angular banding (chalcedony being composed of sub-microscopic granular quartz coloured by pigmenting minerals and arranged in fibrous layers - hence its tendency towards translucence). Moss agate and Tree Agates are mentioned here, although they are not true forms of agate, despite their name, as they lacks agate's defining feature of concentric banding. They each contain green filament-like inclusions, giving them the superficial appearance of moss. Tree Agate has a solid white groundmass with green filaments, whereas Moss Agate usually has a transparent background with the green filaments visible through its structure. Onyx also is a variant of agate with black and white and sometimes tan banding. Similarly, agate with brown, orange, red and white banding is known as Sardonyx.
As with all quartz family members, including the jaspers, the colour of the agate indicates its primary area of use (both in relation to its spectrum colour and chakra / auric body associations), and to the inherent properties of colour (such as heating / cooling / balancing etc.) The fact that agates are banded also holds symbolic significance, showing that these stones are useful in working with the theme of "layers", whether releasing and dealing with "buried" or forgotten traumas or hurts, or in "travelling" through layers of time or dimension to visit ones past or future or to communicate with Guides etc. within other planes of reality. Tree and Moss agates are great for connecting to the natural world, especially the trees and plant-life, as might be expected. They are also good connectors with the gnomes and Faery realms, and can help with all aspects of "growth". Blue Lace Agate is probably the best crystal for clearing and balancing the throat chakra. Its layers and gentle blue and white colours help get to the root of whatever requires addressing, whilst stabilising and calming the energies initiated. Fire Agate is warm and vibrant. It is a stone that supports creativity and works well with the lower 3 chakras It also aligns the physical and spiritual bodies, enhancing groundedness and being "in the flow". Grey banded agate is a useful stone for clearing deep-seated issues, where clarity and removal of negativity whilst keeping grounded might be useful.
In our shop you will find Banded Grey agates and Ocho (small geodes); Fire agate; Ellensburg agate; Holly Blue agate; Blue Lace Agate.

AVENTURINE
Aventurine is a cryptocrystalline form of quartz, characterised by its translucency and the presence of platy mineral inclusions that give a shimmering or glistening effect termed aventurescence. Stones without sparkle should in strictness not be called aventurines, but rather jaspers. The most common colour of aventurine is green, but it may also be orange, brown, yellow, blue, or grey. Chrome-bearing fuchsite (a variety of muscovite mica) is the classic inclusion, and gives the most commonly found silvery green or blue sheen. Orange and brown sheens are attributed to hematite or goethite. Blue sheens are attributed to copper silicates. Aventurine is often banded and an overabundance of fuchsite may render it opaque, in which case it may be mistaken for malachite at first glance. Aventurine Feldspar or Sunstone can be confused with orange and red aventurine quartzite, although the former is generally of a higher transparency. (and see GOLDSTONE)
All aventurines have a special energy that resonates with the Earth and the elementals very strongly. I find that all aventurines connect me with Archangel Sandalphon very clearly, but most especially the green variety. Green Aventurine is also one of the best crystals for using at the heart centre, or anywhere that balance and gentle healing is required. It also helps connect with the plant Kingdom and her Devic Beings (and with earth and the gnomes). The other coloured aventurines will have resonances specific to their colour thus Red will also be energising and grounding useful at base and Earth Star centres (and with fire and the salamanders); Blue will also be cooling and calming useful at throat and communication centres (and with water and the sylphs); White will also be clarifying and clearing and useful at any centre, but especially the crown (and with water and the undines).
In our shop you will find Green Aventurine.

BANDED QUARTZ (Tiger Eye / Hawks Eye etc.)
The family that includes Tiger Eye are form of quartz that have a beautiful chatoyancy that arises from fibrous inclusions of amphibole fibres of crocidolite (blue asbestos - a variety of riebeckite), which makes them appear banded. Their basic colour is blue/black, ("Hawks Eye / Falcons Eye"). When this mass oxidises the crocidolite undergoes pseudomorphosis to form limonite and creates yellow/brown fibres ("Tiger Eye). Sometimes Hawks and Tiger Eye stones are found combined in layers - a stunning material! Two other common forms of banded quartz arise from the same base material: "Bulls Eye", which is deep red/brown and contains iron in the asbestos mix, arises through gentle heat treatment (not always natural); and Cats Eye, which is a paler grey/green with a lower concentration of crocidolite. Sometimes these materials may become broken up through earth movement and reform with other minerals, including quartz and jasper to create a brecciated stone or other mixes/masses including Pietersite (formed from brecciated Hawks Eye, Tiger Eye and quartz) and Tiger Iron (formed from bands of Tiger Eye, red jasper, hematite and yellow jasper).
Tiger Eye is a great carrier of the Gold Ray and of the Christ energies. It is a stone of courage and of sacrifice and brings great strength and commitment to ones life and path. Strongly supportive of the Solar Plexus chakra and the mental (thinking) body, this is also a great crystal for the student, thinker and creative writer. It also supports the ego-self (in the best sense of the word!) know and understand their true nature and place in the world. Its deep brown colours also help ground us into the Earth and connect with the myriad forms of support we can gain from being properly and fully grounded. Bulls Eye is an effective energising and grounding stone. It can be of use to help open and stabilise the base chakra especially, but can warm and energise any chakra or centre. A nice gentle, yet useful, stone for the beginner. Cats Eye grounds the Silver Ray, which is highly energetic, and helps make it more accessible to us. For us it carries the energies of the Egyptian God Anubis, Guardian of the Underworld and Guardian against Lower Astral Forces. Anubis knows all of existence and after-existence and can advise and guide us to the truths that we seek. Thus working with Cats Eye permits access to the void, and using it we may seek answers or clarification about life-path, karmic or other difficulties encountered that may be hindering our spiritual progress. If we call upon Anubis as we do so, we gain his protection and support: you may feel as if you are suspended or existing in a void whilst you explore what you have asked to know, but you do feel safe and supported throughout. Hawks Eye resonates strongly with the 3rd eye chakra and with the Soma and Universal (communication) centres of the Unified body. It carries the indigo Ray, which is all about outer Cosmic / Stellar communication, wisdom and understanding. This is a powerful Ray and not to be taken lightly, for in connecting with it you open to catalytic change, which can be swift and radical. However this is an amazing support for those who know they are "more" than simply flesh and bone, and who wish to connect with their greater Self. Pietersite is also sometimes called "Tempest Stone". This sums its energies up very well! Its combination of tiger eye and hawks eye which has been broken up and then re-formed with quartz shows its resilience and the beauty that even chaotic change and upheaval can bring about. This is an excellent choice of stone to support you through times of change, especially if the change is rapid and perhaps bewildering or frightening. It links the blue, indigo and golden-yellow Rays, to bring about balance between the ego-self and the Higher Self, helping us remain grounded and certain of who we truly are, even during times of great change.  Tiger Iron is a very useful general purpose stone, that supports and balances all the lower energy centres (base, sacral and solar plexus) whilst grounding and earthing the energies safely and soundly. If you are in need of energy or out of balance or synch in mind, body and / or emotions, this is the stone for you: try holding one in each hand, or placing one on each of the lower 3 chakras, with one below each foot. For those in Unified Body, this stone can help assimilate changing energies and ground them more fully into the Heart centre.
In our shop you will find Tiger Eye; Bulls Eye; Cats Eye; Hawks Eye; Pietersite; Tiger Iron

BLOODSTONE
Bloodstone, or Heliotrope, is a deep green variety of chalcedony, containing red inclusions of iron oxide. These inclusions resemble drops of blood, giving heliotrope its alternative name of bloodstone. A similar variety, in which the spots are yellow instead of red is known as Plasma. Sometimes the material has traces of other colours, including blue, tan and yellow. Bloodstone is a stone of courage and a stone of sacrifice, often used in decorative pieces or to carve talismans. As its name suggest it can be useful for any physical conditions affecting the heart or circulatory system, and energetically for any situation requiring balance and grounding; and also for working with any issues of the heart and base chakras. Those pieces that include yellow jasper add balance to the thinking / mental processes and clarity to the solar plexus centre.
In our shop you will find Bloodstone.

CARNELIAN
Carnelian is a clear-to-translucent reddish-brown variety of chalcedony that has a very high iron content, which gives it the lovely orange colour. Its hue may vary from a pale orange, to an intense almost-black coloration. Similar to carnelian is Sard, which is brown rather than red. Carnelian may also be found in combination with onyx and as an inclusion within quartz, often in phantom formation.

Djwhal Kuhl said about Carnelian in the 1980s that in his view it is one of the most rapidly advancing minerals on the planet - a quartz that thinks it is as good as a diamond! The energy is deep and resonant, empowering and energising and has throughout history been regarded as a quintessential stone of courage. It is also very strengthening and detoxifying to all the lower 3 energy centres as well as the physical body - especially useful during periods of illness or convalescence.
In our shop you will find Carnelian and Carnelian in quartz.

CHALCEDONY
Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, formed from sub-microscopic grains of quartz, usually naturally coloured by pigmenting minerals, and composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite. These are both silica minerals, but they differ in that quartz has a trigonal crystal structure, whilst moganite is monoclinic. Chalcedony has a waxy lustre, and may be semitransparent or translucent due to the grains being layered rather than randomly oriented. Often it may form in layers with other chalcedonies and/or jaspers, to create banded agates and onyxes: Jaspers and Agates are all classed as types of chalcedony. Chalcedony can assume a wide range of colours, but those most commonly found within the ground are white to grey, greyish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black.
For metaphysical use the colours most frequently worked with are blue, pink, white and purple/violet. Blue chalcedony has a soft and gentle energy that is very cooling and calming. It is a very good stone to use at the throat chakra, especially when the voice is tired or it needs to rest. There is a sense of serenity and peace with this stone, and so it would be a good choice placed (out of reach) in a child or baby's room. Because of its resonance with childlike energies it will also support play and help the nurture of one's Inner Child. Purple chalcedony resonates with the Violet Ray and with the Third eye and Crown chakras. This makes it a useful and protective stone when opening these Higher centres for journeying, channelling or other forms of spiritual communion. The particular variety that we stock (Royal Aztec) also contains soft dove grey shades, and this muted silver Ray energy adds to the Power that can be sensed when working with this stone, making it an effective companion for Astral travel. Black chalcedony is an excellent choice for grounding or for use to strengthen the Earth Star chakra. This stone is also of use for journeying within, and for exploring the more hidden sides of our nature, thus bringing them into the Light.
In our shop you will find black, blue and purple (Royal Purple Aztec) chalcedony.

CHRYSOPRASE
Chrysoprase is a green variety of chalcedony, which has been coloured by nickel oxide. The darker varieties of chrysoprase are sometimes also referred to as Prase: however, the term Prase is may also be used to describe green chlorite included quartz, and so to a certain extent "Prase" is a colour-descriptor, rather than a rigorously defined mineral variety.
In our shop you will find lime and apple-green Chrysoprase.

CITRINE QUARTZ
Citrine quartz is a form of clear quartz that gains its colour and properties from iron inclusions. According to the proportions of iron it contains and the factors influencing its growth this quartz may vary in shade from the palest lemon-yellow through to a deep golden-amber shade. Much citrine that is for sale is in fact heat-treated amethyst, which has value for its colour, but does not hold the same energies as true "natural" citrine. Natural citrine is one of the most expensive of the quartz family due to its rarity in the natural state hence anything "too cheap" may not be the real thing!
Natural citrine is excellent for creative work and all endeavours requiring mental focus or concentration. It is clarifying and strengthening and very good at clearing blocks within the lower 3 chakras to permit a freer flow of thoughts, ideas and hence manifestation of any plans and creative efforts. Citrine works particularly well with the solar plexus and with all "ego" issues connected with Will and personal Power.
In our shop you will find many forms of Natural Citrine, as well as some heat-treated pieces

CLEAR QUARTZ
Clear Quartz (SiO2) is found in many places around the planet and forms a large portion of the Earth's crust. It is the most multi-purpose and adaptable of minerals and I never cease to be amazed at the range of energies and uses that this mineral has, especially when I sense the subtle variations in the feel of their energies: I feel that Brazil gives us crystals that have the most "classic" quartz properties; the USA gives us crystals that are a bit more "in-your-face"; Madagascar gives us crystals that are ancient, soft and deep; Russia gives us crystals that reflect our past with connections that are less "Earthly"; whilst the Himalayas/Nepal and India give us crystals with a high spiritual refinement. The joy of natural unpolished quartz lies literally in its many facets. Each crystal is totally unique: the shape of its sides and faces and the markings upon them providing us with individual insights into the lessons and uses the crystal has for us. Even when polished these attributes still remain: we just cannot see them by eye. Polishing brings out the inner beauty in a crystal, removing surface imperfections and letting the most Light within (and without) - a bit like us really! Life with quartz is never dull: its' many varied forms and formations (every crystal is totally unique) and its varied sources provide us with an endless array of crystal energies to explore.
Clear Quartz is a wonderful channeler, clarifier and enhancer of Light and energy in its infinitely varied forms. It is a natural amplifier and "shifter" of energy and is one of the crystal healer's workhorses because of this ability to move energy and draw in Light. It is also the only crystal (I refer here to CLEAR quartz especially) that can be reliably programmed, and so has been prized by countless civilisations of the past for its many virtues and attributes and especially for its capacity for "memory". This explains why it is the primary crystal that holds and retains ancient records and memories, making this the premier crystal for meditation, journeying and scrying, in order to connect with said stored wisdom and information.
In our shop you will find MANY forms and types of clear quartz!

FELDSPAR
Feldspars are a common group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth's crust. Feldspars crystallize from magma in both intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks as veins and are also present in many types of metamorphic rock. Feldspars are also found in many types of sedimentary rock. Feldspars are typically classified into two main types: alkali feldspars and plagioclase feldspars. Some are formed through an intergrowth of two feldspars: a host grain that includes lamellae or irregular intergrowths of other types of feldspar: typically the host grain is Orthoclase or Microcline, and the lamellae are Albite. Moonstone is a Feldspar based mineral.
Apricot Feldspar is a pretty and delicate material in a lovely soft apricot shade, with a silvery sheen like aventurine. Its energy too is a delicate blend of the orange and pink Rays, linking sacral and heart centres and strengthening feelings of true love and devotion between lovers and life partners. There is too a sense of innocence and purity in the stones energies, thus it is equally suited to gift to a child or baby, as a token of their place within a family unit, as the much loved outcome of a loving union between their parents. Graphic Feldspar (also called Zebradorite by some sellers) is a yellow/beige feldspar that contains random deposits of smoky quartz. We think it looks like the big cat family - leopards, cheetahs and tigers, with their sandy coats and dark spots and stripes, rather than the black and white striping of a zebra! It has a "big cat" sort of feel too - mysterious, camouflaged, moving in stealth towards ones goals. The feldspar element makes this a good general balancing stone, whilst the smoky quartz brings the attributes of clearing, grounding and protecting. Moonstone is one of the archetypal feminine stones, carrying the energies of the Divine Feminine and the Goddess. That does not mean that it is only useful for women to work with! Indeed it can help bring about true balance between ones feminine / masculine aspects, regardless of one's gender. A calming stone, equalising the senses and opening one to intuitive and creative thoughts, feelings and expressions. The white and cream ones are most closely linked with the Goddess (especially Isis); the peach ones are wonderful at balancing and integrating painful energy shifts; whilst the grey and black ones add an aura of grounding and protection to the energy field.
In our shop you will find apricot feldspar; graphic feldspar; moonstone (grey/black, peach, white, pearl and rainbow).

GOLDSTONE (man-made)
Aventurine Glass or Goldstone was discovered at some point in the 18th century by Italian glassmakers. Although it was known first, goldstone is now a common imitation of aventurine, starstone and sunstone. Goldstone is distinguished visually from the latter three minerals by its coarse flecks of copper, dispersed within the glass in an unnaturally uniform manner. The most common form of goldstone (known as orange goldstone) is reddish-brown, containing tiny crystals of metallic copper that require special conditions to form properly: the initial batch is melted together from silica, copper oxide, and other metal oxides to chemically reduce the copper ions to elemental copper. The vat is then sealed off from the air and maintained within a narrow temperature range, keeping the glass hot enough to remain liquid while allowing metallic crystals to precipitate from solution without melting or oxidizing. After a suitable crystallisation period, the entire batch is cooled to a single solid mass, which is then broken out of the vat for selection and shaping. Goldstone also exists in other colour variants based on other elements: Cobalt or manganese can be substituted for copper: the resulting crystals have a more silvery appearance and are suspended in a strongly-coloured matrix of the corresponding ionic colour, resulting in blue goldstone or purple goldstone respectively; Green goldstone, or chrome aventurine, forms its reflective particles from chromium oxides rather than the elemental metal, but is otherwise fairly similar.
Even though these are manmade "crystals", Goldstones are one of the few creations that are useful for the crystal lover. The orange variety has similar (albeit less intense) properties to true Sunstone; the blue variety likewise with true Starstone; the green variety likewise with Green Aventurine. Their colour does make them of use with certain chakras: Blue Goldstone at the 3rd eye and Orange Goldstone at the Solar Plexus. Blue Goldstone is very meditative and centering, whilst also allowing for outward journeying through visualisation or guided meditation. It can be a catalyst for transformation, change and growth and is a useful tool for making contact with (and communicating with) other Civilisations within our Cosmos, and with Earth's Ancient past and thus her links with the Wise Ones of the Stars. Its deep blue and silver colours also strongly connect with the energies of the Divine Mother / Feminine. Orange Goldstone is more "down to Earth", carrying a warmth and energy that can promote creativity and forward progress on many levels. Its copper element also promotes the transfer and movement of energy, and the grounding of many frequencies or resonances, through the energetic and physical bodies and into the Earth via the Earth Star or Omega centres. Its deep orange and gold colours also strongly connect with the energies of the Sun and the Divine Father / Masculine.
In our shop you will find Blue Goldstone and Orange Goldstone.

HERKIMER DIAMOND
These are a special formation of quartz, found in Herkimer County, New York State. Generally they are clear, but they sometimes are smoky. They grow in unique conditions and because of this they are exceptionally clear double terminated crystals. Usually they appear quite short and stout, and have a light and sparkling quality about them. Some are absolutely perfect, and others grow in joined up clusters or groups. They range in size from mm to hand sized, and where they have grown in groups but become separated may exhibit seed crystals or key formations. It is also common to find inclusions of carbon (black particles) or of iron / limonite (golden yellow sheens) or air and sometimes water. These may give rise to wonderful rainbows. Other characteristics of quartz may be found, such as windows, time links and on rare occasions record keeper markings.
Herkimer diamonds are energising to all chakras and energetic bodies, and will open up and increase the speed of rotation of the chakras where they are placed or focused upon. They are also very cleansing to the chakras and auric field, and are the best remover of toxins from the fields. They are very synergistic stones, and work well with most other stones, enhancing and increasing those stones' powers and energies. Despite what you may think, for such a clear stone, they work hard to pull energy and Light into both physical and non- physical bodies, and to fully ground it there - grounding in this case meaning bringing it firmly into the body and anchoring it there. Herkimers are very clarifying to the thoughts and emotions, and will help bring "enlightenment". They will also act to clear out all the "stuff" that we don't need and which no longer serves us, which we tend to hang onto either consciously or subconsciously. They will also aid the integration and grounding of new thoughts, ideas and energies to aid our assimilation of Light and raise our vibrational energies. The black particles of carbon, although to some spoiling the clarity and perfection, are a reminder to us of the interaction and support given to us as carbon-based life forms by the quartz family. The golden (some call these citrine) herkimers add the energies of Christ-consciousness and the Divine Masculine.
In our shop you will find Herkimer diamonds of many sizes and qualities

JASPER
Jasper is an opaque, impure variety of silica (chalcedony), usually red, yellow, brown or green in colour and, rarely, blue. Patterns may arise during the consolidation process forming flow and depositional patterns in the original silica rich sediment or volcanic ash. Colour stems from the mineral content of the sediments or ash. When the colours form in stripes or bands, these are called striped or banded jaspers. Jasper can also be modified by the diffusion of minerals along discontinuities providing the appearance of vegetative growth, creating dendritic patterns. The original materials are often fractured and/or distorted after deposition, creating myriad beautiful patterns which are later filled with other colourful minerals, as in Polychrome (Gaia) Jasper. The classification and naming of jasper presents a challenge: terms attributed to various well-defined materials includes the geographic locality where it is found, sometimes quite restricted such as "Bruneau" (a canyon); a few are designated by the country of origin such as a Brown Egyptian or Red African; most are simply described by their colouring or patterning. Picture Jaspers (such as Kalahari Picture stone) exhibit combinations of patterns resulting in what appear to be scenes or images when cut or polished. Diffusion from a centre produces distinctive Orbicular Jaspers (such as Ocean Jasper and Leopard Skin Jasper). Healed, fragmented rock produces Brecciated Jasper. Jaspilite (also Tiger Iron) is a banded iron formation rock that often has distinctive bands of jasper interspersed with hematite and Tigers Eye.
Jasper is a hugely useful stone, with wide-ranging uses. In general Jaspers are all solid and earthy, helping us deal with the day-to-day realities of living an earthly existence. Their colour range and patterning bears relation to the areas they might best be used, according to chakra centre spectrum colours and their symbolic patterning. Biggs Picture Jasper is only found in one region of the world - namely Oregon USA. It has been called "THE stone for Global awareness". Like all Picture Jaspers this stone can help us connect with the resonance and consciousness of our Earth and is an excellent stone for use in shamanic journeying or in connecting with and understanding the energies of the many ancient and spiritual sites of our planet. Gaia (Polychrome) Jasper - see "Crystal of the Month" page (Dec 2010). Kalahari Picture Stone is a form of picture Jasper. Its cream, tan and brown layering reflects the energies and landscapes of the Kalahari desert, and it is useful for grounding and connecting with the energies of the Earth and the elements of earth and air. This is a good choice for the Shaman, geomantic practitioner or natural healing practitioner, and for anyone who wishes to connect with the Earth's spirit, Devas or elementals. By assisting us in connecting with the planet we may learn with more clarity how to work and live in harmony with her, rather than "suffer" the energetic upheavals that are currently affecting so many that live upon her surface. Mookaite is a form of Jasper found exclusively in Australia. It carries the same range of colours as found in Aboriginal art, which derive from natural pigments. It has the same "other-worldly" energies about it, which we may also associate with the ancient spiritual site of Uluru and its timeless wisdom and connections to ancestral spirits, and the ancient ancestors of the current dwellers on Earth. Mookaite can help connect us with our own innate wisdom and strengthens our source of "inner knowing". Holding a piece of Mookaite whilst listening to traditional Native Australian music (such as chanting or didgeridoo) can result in a very interesting meditative journey! Ocean Jasper - see "Crystal of the Month" page (April 2011). Red Jasper is very grounding and energising and a great awakener of all creative energies that are grounded within the lower 2 chakras. It can be useful to awaken and regulate a sluggish base or sacral chakra, and may also be used with any energy centres that require warming, integrating or strengthening. Its high iron content also supports the blood and circulatory system and the repair and regeneration of muscle tissue. Sometimes the Jasper is found with a higher than usual amount of quartz, sometimes layered with banded chalcedonies or brecciated in some fashion. In these cases the quartz amplifies and increases the effects of the jasper and adds an extra dimension to their use.
In our shop you will find Biggs Picture and Kalahari Picture stone; Ocean; Red; Gaia; Wave; Mookaite; Bruneau; Yellow; Kambala and Unakite.

OBSIDIAN
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth. Obsidian is mineral-like, but not a true mineral because as a glass it is not crystalline: in addition, its composition is too complex to comprise a single mineral. Obsidian consists mainly of SiO2 (silicon dioxide), usually 70% or more. Crystalline rocks with obsidian's composition include granite and rhyolite. Pure obsidian is usually dark in appearance, though the colour varies depending on the presence of impurities. Iron and magnesium typically give the obsidian a dark green to brown to black colour. In some stones, the inclusion of small, white, radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or snowflake pattern. Obsidian may also contain patterns of gas bubbles remaining from the lava flow, aligned along layers created as the molten rock was flowing before being cooled. These bubbles can produce interesting effects such as iridescence, coloured or rainbow swirling patterns. Sheen obsidians have a play of coloured chatoyancy across their surface when in the presence of strong light. This is usually of golden colour, but also may be silver, green or purple. The colours arise because of minor impurities, liquids and gasses that have been trapped within the obsidian during its period of rapid cooling.
Obsidian is a "free-style" crystal and can be very flexible in how it works with an individual, or through a range of situations. Being so "fresh" from the inner earth all obsidians have a grounding property and most are also protective. It seems that more and more people are choosing to work with obsidian now, as we are being asked to look deeply within ourselves to work out our own balance between who we think we are and who we truly are. It is a great stone for those who have the courage to go within and confront and resolve their relationship with their shadow side. Black obsidian is reflective and absorbing, making it a good choice for protection. It can however be harder to work with than some of the other black stones, because of its mirroring attributes. This means that it is very effective at reflecting back energies, both to the sender - if undesirable - and to the self, although this can be useful if introspection and examination of ones own motives is required! It is also a very good choice as a grounding stone, as it will help keep the Earth-connections clear during the process. Smoky obsidian, also called Apache Tears, is one of the best stones for grounding and clearing negativity. In this respect I regard them as second best only to smoky quartz. At first glance it can be hard to tell smoky and black obsidian apart, but if you hold one up to the light you will be able to see through smoky obsidian, but not through black. You may also discover that some are banded or layered, which can make these particularly useful for getting to the root of problematic or difficult situations. Smoky obsidian can also be useful in energy field protection, creating a "smoke screen", rather than the mirror of the other obsidians. Even so, they can help one hide or shield one's energy field if there is a need. Peacock obsidian is a very rare form of obsidian. It contains spectrum colours, but they "swirl" around within the obsidian, rather than being in layers, as with the rainbow obsidians. They have a sound and a flow to their energy, which can help one flow more clearly with the "dance" of Life, whilst also teaching the value of living outside the conforms of conventional structure / society. They are also said to be great visionary stones and of great value when dreaming or journeying through astral travel. Rainbow obsidian shows rainbow layers within its blackness when placed under a light source. These rainbows may show the full spectrum or show just part of the colour range. The rainbow colours occur due to inclusions, often minute gas or water bubbles, that were trapped during the obsidian's solidification process. This stone is of great use to anyone working deeply on self-healing, or who is willing to undertake the work necessary to reconcile their shadow aspects in order to grow spiritually. The polished surface acts like a "mirror for the soul", not only revealing us in stark honesty, but also showing the beauty that is deep within all of us. Not a stone for the fainthearted perhaps, but HUGELY beneficial for those who have the courage and honesty to work with it.  sheen obsidian has a connection to the colour Ray it displays: gold sheen connects with the Gold Ray and to the energies of Christ-consciousness, Divine Will and the Divine Masculine; silver sheen connects with the Silver Ray and the energies of the Divine Feminine and the Great Mysteries; green sheen with the Emerald Ray of Truth and Balance; and purple to the Violet Ray of Transformative Light. Spider-web obsidian is a graphite-grey material with fine random web-like threads of silvery-grey material running through it and across its surface. Spider-silk is one of the strongest materials known, and this tells us that this stone is likely to be of great help in providing an inner support when journeying, healing or doing self-exploration work. The silvery-grey colours remind me of the energies of the Platinum Ray, a Cosmic energy that is both connective and protective. Here, with this obsidian, we are given the time and ability to unravel the threads of our lives and travel inwards and outwards to experience the rich tapestry of the Universe.
In our shop you will find Black and Smoky; Gold, Silver, Purple and Green Sheen; Rainbow; Peacock and Spider-web

ROSE QUARTZ
Rose quartz takes its lovely colour from trace inclusions of manganese. Its pink colour can range from the palest translucency through to a deep and dense rose pink - the amount of colour depends on the amount of trace minerals. When the material has traces of specifically aligned rutile within it exhibits a special formation known as asterism. When this material is polished, especially into spheres or cabochons, and a strong light reflects from the surface it is possible to see a six-rayed star reflected back from the surface. The Madagascan material is often especially blessed with this quality. Sometimes additional trace material results in a rare and unusual lavender / lilac shade. Rose quartz is generally found in massive form - crystals are very rare and, when they do occur, tend to be in very small clusters.
Rose quartz is one of the crystals that everyone would benefit from. It exudes a soft and loving energy - yet when required it can also supply a strong and empowering presence that will help clear, balance and heal the heart centre and reinforce our sense of connection to All That Is. This state of "living from the heart" with a sense of true unity awareness and community spirit is what the "new age" is all about - and we cannot be full participants in this endeavour WITHOUT a whole and open heart.
In our shop you will find many forms of Rose quartz

SMOKY QUARTZ
Smoky quartz can be found in the palest of colours - usually grey/brown - through to the darkest black. Its colour comes through natural irradiation within the ground, although some clear quartz specimens are "cooked" to turn them artificially into smoky quartz as this attracts a higher price. It would be true to say that MOST natural smoky quartz are not a deep black colour - the main natural smoky quartz that is pure black being Morian quartz. For healing and metaphysical use the natural forms of smoky quartz are best. Smoky quartz can also grow in combination with other quartz, especially amethyst, citrine and clear quartz, and can be found with inclusions and phantoms, all of which add their own dimension to the uses of the crystal.
Smoky quartz is very cleansing, easily removing negativity from the body or aura - we teach how to do this through the use of crystal grids, wands and pendulums. It is also one of the best grounding stones: if you feel spacey either hold one in each hand or place one below /under each foot. It is also quite protective, and can be carried or worn. It is also a lovely crystal to have in any room or healing space, helping to absorb and transmute negativity whilst imbuing the atmosphere with a clear and expansive energy. I like to keep a cluster on my desk, and we have a large polished specimen in the bedroom, ensuring restful sleep!
In our shop you will find many forms of Smoky quartz

TREATED QUARTZ
It is possible to treat natural clear quartz (and occasionally other suitable minerals, such as danburite) in a process that bonds atoms of precious metals to the exterior / matrix of the crystal. These enhanced crystals have a coloured appearance, depending on the metals used in the process, and carry an added energy that, unlike "dyed" crystals, add to and extend the usual attributes of the base material. These crystals, as well as a few man-made minerals such as Gaia stone and Pink Lazurine, are very usable in crystal healing and meditation etc - their uses vary widely according to their nature - more in their own sections below:
Flame aura is treated with titanium and other trace minerals, resulting in the crystals having a rainbow coloured appearance, with shades of gold, magenta, green and aqua-blue being prominent. This is quite a forceful stone with a vibrancy and power that is very "awakening" and energising. Titanium is a great connector, and as such this crystal has great uses in journeying and connecting with Higher Guidance through meditation. It also carries the Rainbow Rays, which can help balance and charge each energy centre and indeed the auric field - try laying in a "Star of David" grid of 6 of these crystals, preferably double-terminated, otherwise points-in. Aqua aura is treated with gold, resulting in the crystals having a rich aquamarine colour with subtle rainbow flashes. This was one of the first treated minerals to be created, and is probably the most useful for healing purposes. This is a gentle but profound crystal, very useful when used to strengthen, clear and balance the communication centres (throat and brow) and to enhance and support communication of all sorts, whether this be verbal, written or telepathic. This is also a great stone for encouraging Angelic connections. The gold aspect also makes this an excellent crystal for working with any problems where the nervous system, cellular structure or DNA is in need of repair or adjustment. Opal aura (also known as Angel Aura or Rainbow Aura) is treated with platinum, silver and other trace minerals, resulting in the crystals having a pearlescent white colour with an iridescent finish. This crystal has a sweet, fine and high resonance, which seems to sing in the hand. It carries the Rays of the Divine Feminine and of Cosmic Enlightenment, and is a very "connecting" stone. If you wish to extend or activate your upper chakras, whilst retaining a sense of peace and serenity, then this is an excellent crystal to work with. It also brings in the full spectrum of Light, which can help purify and cleanse any of the energy bodies or centres whilst strengthening purpose and resolve. Cobalt aura is treated with cobalt, resulting in the crystals having a deep indigo, cobalt blue, magenta and gold colouring. Sometimes this crystal is mistakenly confused with Flame Aura. This crystal shouts "Archaeon Michael" to me, with its deep blues and golds! Strong, protective, reflective and supportive, this is an ideal crystal to carry or wear for protection against unwanted negative influences or psychic attack. It will also support the upper chakras and provide protection and energy whilst channelling, journeying or communicating with Guides. Tanzine aura is treated with gold and iridium, resulting in the crystals having a light indigo-blue /violet colour with an iridescent finish. Similar uses as for aqua aura apply, but with enhanced clarification and expansion of the crown chakra, supporting greater contact with the energies of the upper chakras (8-14) and the Higher Self.
Celestial aura is a mix of aqua aura and opal aura, and combines their attributes in a wonderful stone that resounds with a high and fine energy. These rare stones were created in error (!) when a set of tumbled stones were inadvertently treated twice. The Divine Feminine and the Silver Ray are strongly grounded through this stone, together with the Pure Ray of Truth.
In our shop you will find Aqua; Cobalt; Tanzine; Opal (Angel); Flame auras

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