Thursday, May 5, 2011

Crystal in Handmade Jewlery - Part Four: The Shape of Things

Structure and composition aren't the only characteristics that help define the word "crystal" in common use.  For some people, the internal order and composition are not important, and what they mean when they say "crystal" is "has a regular geometric shape ending in a point."  In other words, the shape of the stone is the key factor.

This is a meaning often encountered in sites that deal with gemstones and their symbolic properties, such as healing.  This meaning might also be encountered on sites interested in selling materials for use in wicca, like wands for altars or pendulums for divination.  As noted in previous posts, this use of the word "crystal" is not incorrect - it is a reflection of history and culture.  There are many people who would be disappointed to purchase a "crystal" and find it isn't "crystal shaped."

Crystal points do make lovely jewelry, either drilled through as beads or wire wrapped as pendants.  The shape evokes a sense of mystery and magic.  Depending on the nature of the stone, they might range from delicate to sharp, and so might need to be treated with some care.  No two points are ever exactly the same unless they are mechanically cut or lab grown - gemstones all have natural variation.  Because of this pairing them for earrings or to use in sets takes some patience and design skill.

So to wrap up this four part series on crystal, the "point" again is know what you are using in your designs, and purchasing from your favorite sites.  One simple word like "crystal" does not mean the same thing to everyone, and so be sure to get specific details before you buy.  That way you can be certain you will love your jewelry when it arrives, and treasure it for years to come.

Image Credit: Quartz Crystal, Rob Lavinsky, CC 3.0,

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes the shape and the feel of a stone is more important than what it is! It's more of a gut instinct than anything else.


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