Uses

Prelude

As a child and as a young adult, Doug was always fascinated with science, and imagined a career as a research chemist.  As a seeker of truth, he had an appreciation of the importance of using the scientific method.  He knew it was imperative to suspend his beliefs – and his disbeliefs – long enough do some actual critical investigation.

The claim that crystals possess an innate energy & have special powers may seem ridiculous to some people, but even a cursory investigation will reveal that crystals have been used throughout all of history as a source of healing power.  Further research will lead to the fact that these same properties have accounted for their use in a myriad of technologies.

Historical Uses

The history of crystals and healing stones is like a long, winding road. In the earliest days of humanity, there are signs of the use of these gems as amulets and talismans. Some were found in Great Britain made of Baltic amber dated to about 30,000 years ago. Written reference to crystals began with ancient Sumeria, a city in modern-day Israel that existed in the eighth and ninth centuries BCE.

In ancient Egypt, stones such as clear quartz, lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise, and emeralds were used in amulets and jewelry to help ensure health and safety. They can also be found in burial artifacts, and it is known that they were ground and used as cosmetics.

The word “crystal” is derived from “ice” in ancient Greek. The Greeks believed that clear quartz was water frozen so deeply it would be solid forever. “Amethyst” is also from the ancient Greek language, meaning “not drunken.” This stone was used then as it is today to help support avoidance of alcohol and its side effects.

In Hinduism, the Kalpa Tree, a wish-granting tree, was made out of crystals and stones. The Hindu Vedas, ancient holy texts, refer to many stones and describe their powers.

Modern Uses

Solar Cells

One of the largest uses for crystals is in solar cells. Solar cells power various instruments from calculators to space vehicles. The solar cell produces energy, called photovoltaic energy, by using silicon (which is based on a tetragonal crystal).

Transistors

Made out of semi-conductors, which are based on the same types of materials and crystals as solar cells, transistors can regulate electron flow, detecting and amplifying radio signals and hence acting like digital “switches.” Transistor radios, for example, make this use out of crystals.

Liquid Crystals

This precise substance made out of crystals can be used for a variety of different means, from heat and electricity to magnetism and mechanics. For example, wristwatches and some types of clocks use liquid crystals, as do some pocket calculators.

Spiritual Crystals

Different kinds of crystals have long been thought to bestow certain traits or qualities on those using them, helping them access certain emotions. Thus, amethyst crystals are thought to reduce feelings of anger and impatience. Other crystals’ uses include: aquamarine to release fear; carnelian to produce confidence; coral to intensify emotions: diamonds to increase prosperity; emeralds to relieve depression and insomnia; and sapphire to restore calm and a sense of balance.

Medicinal Crystals

In addition to having supposed spiritual benefits, some new age medical practitioners claim that the presence and other uses of certain crystals promote different kinds of medical benefits. These benefits include: amethyst to treat headaches or unbalanced blood sugar; aquamarine to regulate the immune system, heart and lymph nodes; carnelian to help with energy, the reproductive system and menstrual cramps; citrine to cleanse the spleen, kidneys and liver; coral to help the metabolism, spine and tissue regeneration; emeralds to help with the thymus and childbirth; jade to help cleanse the blood and the nervous system; rubies to help with cholesterol and blood clots; and sapphire to help with inflammation, fever and nosebleeds as well as tuberculosis.

The first lasers were developed in part by taking advantage of a unique property of crystals.  Lasers are now used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.

Healing rocks and crystals have been referred to as the flowers of the geology kingdom. This is certainly true in the physical beauty of some of these crystals and stones.

These solid stones are formed as molecules bond together strongly, forming a rigid structure. The stones are either crystalline or amorphous in nature. In amorphous stones, the surfaces are irregular and often curved. These materials can occur in large veins, but even when broken up, they do not produce the smooth flat surfaces of crystals.1

With crystalline materials, the molecules are arranged in regular repeating patterns which can result in smooth, flat faces on the crystal’s surface. Crystals, when struck, can break along the flat plane surfaces because of this molecular arrangement. This is how gems are cut for use in jewelry.

Crystals and healing stones are found all over the world. They can form from the cooling of molten material or when elements precipitate out of liquid due to changes in concentration, temperatures, and pressure. Many crystals and stones are formed only in certain areas of the world, with fascinating differences in color variations and structure found in the same stone depending on the location in which it was formed.