The World of Crystals Through the Ages

When speaking about crystals through the ages, one must remember that crystals are from the earth. So, to say they’ve been around for a long time is an understatement. Therefore, anything I write about crystal or mineral history is only as it pertains to the human race.

The simple fact is, sparking crystals make me happy. I fell in love with them as a child and was fortunate that my Grandma Juanita was an avid rock hound. I still have a thunder egg she let me pick out at the Thunder Egg Days festival in Nyssa, Oregon several decades ago.

The World of Crystals Through the Ages

What’s more, I love crystals and history, so this series is a lot of fun for me. So, before digging into the qualities of individual types of crystals, let’s learn some interesting facts about crystals through the ages.

Early Egyptians were the first civilization to develop the use of cosmetics. They indulged their love of greens and blues by high-lighting their eyes with powered Malachite and Lapis Lazuli.

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Crystal Power & Light

Interestingly, minerals are one of the reasons we, as humans, are civilized. For instance, how do you think early humans started a fire? With flint, of course. That’s due to flint’s inherent “piezoelectric” quality which is the property in some minerals that when struck together produce a spark that starts fires. Together with it’s ability to fracture and form a shell-like edge when two pieces strike together, making fire with flint an important example of how crystals through the ages shape our lives today.

Fast forward hundreds of thousands of years, and you find this same piezoelectricity in use by humans in weapons of mass destruction. Do you know that inside the bombs dropped during WWII, there were piezoelectric crystals located inside the bombs’ nose? When the nose hit, the pressure on the crystals lead to the electrical charge that detonated the blast. Wow, that’s rather dark. Let’s move on.

Crystal Jewelry

Crafting gem stones and precious metals as objects of jewelry is an age-old practice. Interestingly, it seems to be one that thrives through the most difficult of times. Everyone loves something that sparkles! Throughout history, jewelry stands as a sign of social status and therefore, power. India and the surrounding geographical area was a major source of precious stones in the ancient world.

Geologists and historians use jewelry as a historical marker. For instance, citrine was rarely in use before the Hellenistic age. Interestingly, the bible references stones and rocks as a symbol of the human spirit. Moreover, Christ is referred to as a “living stone”.

Today, the crystal and precious stone market is controlled by commercial companies. A good example is when, in the 1930s, Cartier manufactured citrine into the spot light by producing its own line of citrine jewelry.

The origin of the word “quartz” is uncertain, but it is thought to be a contraction of the German word “querklufterz”, used to describe the transparent veins found in metal-mining areas.

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Crystal Amulets & Talismans

Amulets are stones that the wearer believes to have special powers. Talismans are amulets that have engraving on them which is usually of astrological or occult origin.

Many believe that engraving symbolism strengthens the power of the amulet. There’s also some speculation about the color of the stone affecting its power. Red, for instance, might be indicative of “blood” so “rubies” might protect against wounding in battle. Another example is the “Sapphire” that some see as a sign of heavenly bliss.

In my opinion, it’s unfortunate that towards the last part of the 1800s materialism took hold. At that time, amulets were replaced by sparkling jewelry for decor only. Since then, most of the old beliefs are nothing more than a distant forgotten memory. But, not by everyone.

Other Posts in the Crystal Healing Stones Series:

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