If you could only afford to buy one crystal I would always recommend clear quartz, simply because it is the most multi-purpose and adaptable of all the minerals. I never cease to be amazed however at the range of energies and uses that this mineral has when I sense how these differ depending on the source of the quartz. Many regions of our Earth produce quartz crystals that have metaphysical uses, and each has 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 are part of 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.
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.