I have studied crystal healing for many years and have studied and been attuned to reiki levels one, two, and masters.
Like many people, I generally buy crystals as I need them or because I feel attracted to that variety. However, sometimes I like to buy mixed lots of crystals and then spend time with them sorting and identifying the varieties inside.
Working with crystals in this way can allow you to experience the vibrations of many varieties of crystals and is also a great way to build on your crystal identification skills. An added plus of buying stones in this way is that they are often cheaper and you never know what treasures you will find inside or if you will discover new stones that resonate with you. Buying mixed lots can also be a good way to start a crystal collection.
Mixed lots of crystals can be found in many places including wholesalers and sites such as eBay but also in unexpected places. I once found a large organza bag of crystals in a charity shop while on holiday. I have also found stones in secondhand shops or at car boot sales.
When buying online, mixed lots of crystals tend to come in bags sorted by size ranging from small to large and even extra-large. Definitely check this to make sure the crystals will be as you expect and will be useful for your intended purpose.
Mixed bags are generally sold by weight and although it is hard to know how many crystals will be inside, many sellers do list estimated quantities. The quantity will also vary depending on the size of the stone contained. As an approximate idea, five or six 20 to 30 mm crystals weigh around 100 g. It is possible to buy mixed lots that will include details of which stone have been included. This can be useful especially if you are new to crystals as it means you can cross off crystals as you figure out which is which. Lots like this are also less likely to contain duplicate crystals but are often more expensive.
Identifying Your Crystals
Once you have received your crystals, you will be able to begin sorting and figuring out which varieties you have. If you have some experience with crystals there may be some that you pick out straight away and add to your collection. Others may be more difficult either because they are unfamiliar or because they do have any clearly distinguishing features or are very similar to other varieties.
Even if you do not manage to identify some of the crystals, they can still be used for decorative purposes or in whatever way you feel drawn. We do not need to know their name for a crystal vibration to connect with and benefit us.
Once you have separated out the familiar types, it can be helpful to sort the crystals into colours, or if you prefer, group them based on those that are the same. This will make researching their variety easier as you will have several specimens to work with. Now you can begin to look up crystals that match their features online or in a crystal guidebook. Features that can be useful in classifying your stones include:
- Markings and patterns
- Whether the crystal is transparent, translucent or opaque
- Structure—this is more useful when identifying unpolished stones
Other factors such as hardness and texture can be useful in some situations but are harder to work with.
Another method of identifying which stones you have received would be visiting a shop that sells crystals and see which ones you can match up. If doing this, it is worth speaking to the owner first so that they know that you came in with crystals and aren’t suspicious or angry when you try to leave with some!
Lapidary or geology groups and clubs are other options you may like to try. The people there will have experience with a range of stones and so may be able to help. If you have one nearby or can travel, gem shows are another similar option.
My Latest Crystal Additions
I like to buy mixed bags of crystals as I enjoy the process of identifying the stones as a way of increasing my experience and knowledge, plus I just like being around crystals. It is also a good way to obtain a variety of crystals for my own collection and healing applications but also for creative projects.
I recently bought two 1 kg bags of mixed crystals. One was listed as containing over 150 14 to 30 mm A-Grade gemstones and the other as large 20 to 30 mm mixed tumble stones. Of the two, I found that the first lot (containing) the smaller crystals had quite a few duplicates but overall the stones are nicer and included some beautiful chevron amethyst, Botswana agate and some unalike.
I have worked on identifying some of the stones and so far have moss, Botswana and tree agate, snowflake obsidian, sodalite, lilac amethyst, rose quartz, clear quartz, banded carnelian, mookaite, brecciated jasper, red jasper and dark green aventurine among others. There were also many pieces of tiger’s eye but my son has claimed and disappeared with most of those it seems! He is becoming quite a rock lover too.
Chevron amethyst is a combination of amethyst and quartz and is also known as banded amethyst or dogtooth amethyst. It is a spiritual stone that can enhance meditation and psychic gifts and can help in understanding the meaning of life. This crystal is connected to the third eye (brow) chakra and is said to strengthen psychic awareness, visualisation skills and dream recall. Chevron amethyst can help to calm an overactive mind and prevent overstimulation. As with amethyst, this crystal is believed to help in removing bad or unwanted habits and in overcoming addictions.
This stone is a combination of three minerals: green epidote, pink feldspar and quartz. Unakite possesses both colours associated with the heart chakra and is a good choice of stone when working on self-love. It helps in rebirthing and the shedding of old emotional baggage, setting the heart free to attract new love. This crystal aids in balancing the emotions and spirituality and grounds when needed. On a physical level unakite is believed to support recovery from illness and stimulate the growth of skin and hair tissues.
This crystal can aid in calming the mind, removing distractions and facilitating concentration. Tiger’s eye can help unlock hidden talents and attracts good luck and abundance to those around it. This stone has long been used as a protective amulet against ill-wishes and curses. Tiger’s eye is associated with good luck, wealth and courage. This is a beneficial crystal for anyone who is struggling with tiredness or exhaustion and can stimulate motivation. It is also a useful stone for regaining balance and for releasing fear and anxiety.
In ancient times this crystal was used to protect the dead on their journey to the afterlife and is associated with the sacral chakra. It helps to boost compassion and creativity and aids meditation by deepening concentration. Carnelian can be used to calm anger and ground you firmly in reality while encouraging determination. This is a stabilising stone that is ideal for anyone that leads a busy or chaotic life as it will keep you motivated and working to your highest abilities. Carnelian is thought to help regulate menstrual cycles, increase fertility and stimulate the appetite.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 Claire
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on November 10, 2018:
Hi Nancy. Mostly I use them in healing and meditation. I use some in crafting and sell crystal items in my Etsy shop such as pendulums and jewellery.
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on November 09, 2018:
Just curious.... what do you do with your crystals? Do you sell them?