Journey to the Center of the Earth: So you want to be a rock hound?

rock hound blog

My crystal journey began almost 6 years ago in college after some strange paranormal encounters. I have always been rather sensitive and somewhat spiritual, but also skeptic. As children, we believe in magic and things thought to be simple to adults, are amazing miracles to a child. Somewhere along the road we stop believing in magic and are then taught to feel embarrassed.  As we grow, we are taught to ask more questions, doubt everything; ask for proof and leave little to blind faith. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it can cause problems. Spirituality and believing in the unknown goes against this and asks us for blind faith in something you cannot see or touch. After experiencing things you cannot explain, your sense of truth tends to be shaken.

My love of stones has since grown into a lifestyle and way of life. I run into skeptics all the time and that’s okay. We all have our own beliefs – its not my place to tell someone what they should believe in. Just to put it out there, stones are by no means a way of replacing medicine – but a tool that can  be used as an addition.

For me, stones are alive. They provide a number of great benefits and have been used for hundreds –  even thousands of years, all around the world. It wasn’t until I started on this journey that I realized how prevalent crystals were. Did you know amber – a stone that most parents give to their teething children to wear- is made from fossilized tree sap? Due to its connection with the throat chakra, Lapis Lazuli was used by ancient Egyptians for religious ceremonies to communicate with the afterlife. Jade has been used by many Asian countries as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. If you’ve ever had heartburn, you’ve likely had Pepto Bismol – a mineral known as Bismuth is in this to give it its healing properties.

Since starting on this journey, my tastes have evolved and I crave more rare stones. For anyone starting out, there are some things to keep in mind when collecting gems.

  1. It can get very expensive. This is one of the biggest things I want to point out because people are often surprised when I tell them how much I have paid for some of my stones. To put it in perspective, gemstones are made in particular conditions. Some of these stones have been developing over hundreds/thousands of years – that sort of time can’t be synthesized. Like our fossil fuels, these stones are in limited supply and sometimes only found in few locations. So of course, they are rare and therefore expensive!  As another example, Moldavite is a very rare stone that was created when a meteorite crashed into earth a long time ago; the bed of sand created from this event was heated to create glass and mixed with the meteorite resulting in Moldavite. This stone is said to cleanse the Pineal Gland and is most commonly found in the Czech Republic. Stones are commonly priced based on weight so for even small amounts of this stone it can be fairly expensive. It is important to do your research and make sure you are aware of where you are getting your stones from and shop the market to get the best deals. There have been a few vendors that Thierry and I have run into that didn’t know the value of what they were selling and as a result we scored on some great finds. This ties into my next point…
  2. Know your sources, be weary of scamming vendors selling fake products. This point again emphasizes the point of knowing where stones are coming from. There are some out there that are selling great quality products but not knowing it, and then there are others that know the value of gems but are selling fake products. I have first hand experience with this which has made me increasingly weary. A lot of reliable sources will have some sort of relationship with a third party or some sources will get their stones from a mine directly. A great example of this is that there are some sellers out there that advertise quartz pieces that are actually glass – knowing the difference through observation is key. As another example, I have found sources advertising aura quartz- aura quartz is a stone that is heat treated with gold causing its unique shimmer and can get very expensive. Some sellers will claim they are selling these unique stones but they are actually synthesized quartz or dyed quartz.
  3. Treat your stones with respect and know how to store/use without ruining them. It is common knowledge in the stone community that if you don’t take care of your stones, you won’t get much use of them. If you take care of them then they will last you a long time. Knowing how to store them based on their unique qualities can help protect them against damage. For example, stones like citrine and amethyst, when stored in the sun can fade in colour – the colour fade doesn’t effect their properties but if you have a AAA quality stone, it could make a huge difference in appearance. In the crystal world, there are those that believe that putting stones in water and drinking the water will allow you to benefit from the metaphysical properties of the stone. This brings up a couple questions in terms of the stone maintenance : 1. Will the stone be ruined in water? and 2. is the stone toxic if I ingest the water its been soaking in? Both are important to know! For example, Selenite (a form of gypsum) when submerged in water will dissolve. Malachite, when ingested is toxic. It is important to do your research and be aware when ingesting stone water.
  4. Cleansing is important. There are many ways to cleanse stones- many of which go based on the four elements of Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. Some stones absorb negative energy where others do not. Air- through intent or aura ; water- setting your stones out in the light of a full moon or soaking in salt water (be careful with this one!) ;Earth – burying your stone int he ground by a tree ; fire- most commonly used, smudging – using white sage and burning the sage allowing the smoke to cleanse the stone. Smudging can be generally used to cleanse a space but that’s for another post.

In the last while, I have learned so much about stones and collecting them yet there is still so much I feel I do not know. I’ve been pretty fortunate to have a husband that shares in my interest of gems. Its been pretty awesome to be able to teach my mom everything I know and even the rest of my family!

Now that you have been prepared for what you are getting into, its time to get into actually learning about gems. There are so many types of stones out there but for first time collectors, I have prepared a list that every rock hound should have when starting.

Clear quartz – One of the most common stones, this is an amplifier and will amplify the effects of any other stone it accompanies.

Rose Quartz – Another member of the Quartz family, associated with the heart chakra this attracts love to the owner

Tigers eye – Associated most commonly with the root and Sacral chakras and is a good grounding stone

Amethyst- Another very common stone in the Quartz family- associated with the brow chakra and is great for meditation.

Selenite – Great energy stone that attracts positive energy to the owner.

Citrine – Known as the stone of success, also part of the quartz family and is essentially heat treated amethyst. Great for if you are working towards a goal or for students.

A Grounding stone – Whether its Tourmaline, obsidian, onyx or smokey quartz, these stones are great for grounding/protection against psychic attack. Great for people who are sensitive or prone to more intense emotion.

Through my travels, I have always made it a top priority to find crystal stores nearby. I have been able to pick out great ones and some that are not so great. Overall, this is just the beginning of what I have learned in my 6+ years as a rock hound. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

-Ashley ❤

 

 

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