|Quartz crystal point in back, propping|
up a rhyolite gemstone flecked with
'Crystal' is a common constituent of handmade jewelry, but the word is very often used in ways that are confusing. Is the designer talking about the composition of the material, its shape, its clarity, or saying it is a single piece of rock, uncut? When designers describe their jewelry, sometimes they do not provide enough information to let the buyer know exactly what they are getting. Unscrupulous sellers may even allow misinterpretations to remain unaddressed, hoping the buyer will think they are getting something of higher quality than what is actually included in the piece.
So to start, I simply want to point out how problematic the word 'crystal' can be. In the first image above, we see a nicely formed quartz crystal. Some people would call it a crystal because of the regular geometric shape. Others might think 'crystal' because it is made of solid quartz. A geologist might call it a crystal because it is a uncut chunk of a mineral in its natural form, or because its atoms are in a nicely regular matrix, instead of scattered about amorphously. A geologist would also use the word 'crystals' to describe the granules of different minerals found in the rhyolite.
|Crystal martini glass displays a pair|
of earrings, each with a crystal
bicone bead on top.
So with all the different ideas for what a 'crystal' is, or what 'crystal' can mean, there is no surprise that confusion exists. Stay tuned here for more information about how you can be more informed about what is in your jewelry, and how to make sure you are getting exactly what you want!