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Crystal Craze: Why So Many People Collect These Semi-Precious Stones

Whether they are psychological or metaphysical, the benefits of crystals are real.

Collection of small crystals arranged like a rainbow
CHAKRA COLORED TUMBLED STONES / CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK/VETRE

Do you know someone who is always searching for a new crystal to add to their already colossal collection? Perhaps you are that person yourself. We, as humans, have been entranced by crystals and other gemstones for thousands of years.

If you’ve been on “CrystalTok”, you’ll know this obsession is only growing, but why? Beyond just looking pretty, most crystal collectors value the supposed metaphysical properties of their crystals, such as their ability to attract love or promote positivity. Regardless of whether crystals possess this power, research shows that they can help us remember our own.

Superficial Spirituality?

In ancient times, crystals symbolized purity and transcendence, as people believed they came from the heavens. Today the spiritual allure of these stones positions them at the forefront of fashion and wellness trends. As Jaya Saxena writes, “the casual power of the crystal has been co-opted by capitalism, wellness, and whiteness”.

Each crystal is advertised as having a distinct positive property, which creates pressure to buy one for every occasion. You can even find crystals in water bottles and beauty products, suggesting that these stones should infuse every aspect of our lives. This message is further endorsed by celebrities who share what they use crystals for:

“Adele believes that crystals can help her combat stage fright, and Kim Kardashian has famously used crystals for overcoming the trauma of her armed robbery in Paris.”

While some crystal sellers and buyers may genuinely believe these stones are healing, consumerism is certainly not. You don’t need to buy any spiritual tool to become the best version of yourself. You certainly don’t need a “perfectly Instagrammable altar” showcasing every kind of crystal. Yes, these stones are beautiful and can potentially inspire positivity. However, as with any nonessential item, they should only be acquired if they genuinely bring you joy.

When I spoke with my friend Alicia, she shared how crystals have positively impacted her life:

“I grew up with crystals due to my dad being a reiki practitioner, and so crystals have been a very big part of my life. The very first crystal I felt drawn to was rose quartz, the crystal for the heart. I truly believe it shaped my younger years and helped my confidence flourish as a young adult. As we grow, we tend to rationalize crystals and their properties, but I find that it is when I let myself be open to them that crystals have helped me most. I cannot leave the house without a crystal on me now. Jewelry is the form in which crystals aid me best, and I find that whenever I wear crystal bracelets, I receive their energy best.”

Small crystals of different colours against a pale purple background
ASSORTED CRYSTALS / CREDIT: PEXELS/KAROLINA GRABOWSKA

Tangible Magic

While crystals have no scientifically proven metaphysical powers, that doesn’t stop people from believing in them. In my opinion, this belief stems from a collective need for magic. At some level, we all want to believe there is something beyond this mundane and arduous reality. Even those who don’t believe still typically enjoy engaging with supernatural ideas, whether it’s through astrology, tarot, or fantasy fiction.

“I personally don’t believe in crystals’ metaphysical properties, but just like astrology and tarot, I find them fascinating and definitely appreciate their beauty. Whether or not I believe in them, I still respect that for some people, they are incredibly powerful and healing.”

Amy

What sets crystal healing apart from other spiritual tools is its tangibility. As Molly Chatterton points out, “you can easily see, hold and feel the textures and innate shimmers of the crystal, a type of interaction between learning and feeling”. We want to connect to the cosmos, sure, but we also want to enjoy our material reality. Crystals, with their combined spirituality and sensuality, allow us to do both, which could explain their growing appeal.

@notavvitch I dont even wanna talk about it #crystals#collection#crystalcollection#crystalshop#oceanjasper#8thvein#crystaltower#crystalsphere#agate#citrine#collector#crystaltok🔮#sparkles#labradorite ♬ original sound – Cass

The Power of Placebo

As Hannah Musick suggests, it is often our belief in something, rather than the thing itself, that is magical. In a placebo-effect study by University of London psychologist Chris French, participants were asked to meditate with crystals, not knowing that half were made of glass. As French suspected, it didn’t make any difference whether people were using real or fake crystals regarding how many of them reported spiritual effects.

Whether you believe in the power of crystals or the power of the placebo effect, crystals can be used to strengthen your self-belief. When I spoke with Soul Truth Intuitive, Danielle Vierling, she explained why this works:

“I believe it’s not the object that has the power but your intention fused with the ritual or embodiment of something. So when you’re holding a crystal, for example, and you believe that crystal has an energetic healing effect on you or somebody, then it will because you’re taking your intention into the physical level simply by the act of holding a crystal rock or a glass rock or whatever it is. So it’s the combination of your intention with the action that has power.”

Hands with pastel painted nails holding a clear quartz crystal
WOMAN HOLDING A QUARTZ CRYSTAL / CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK/KARINA BOSTANIKA

In this hectic world, it’s easy to forget our true intention, and what we actually want to focus on. For some, crystals act as gleaming physical reminders. As Saxena muses, after hesitantly buying an orange calcite, “if I needed something to remind myself of my own creativity, might as well be this pretty rock”. If you want to collect crystals, then go ahead. The important thing is that you are reminding yourself of your power rather than giving it away to external objects and trends.

Written By

Just graduated from UCC with a BA in music and English. My other passions include learning languages, astrology, and art.

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