The very term ‘Crystal’, conjures up an exotic image in our minds.
We immediately think of things like Swarovski Artefacts, or even Red Rubies in the Crowns of Emperors!
Did you know that you actually encounter crystals in your life, almost every day? Apart from things like amethysts and diamonds, even Table Salt and Snowflakes are classified as crystals!
While crystals are in general eye-catching, their beauty is not limited to the surface alone. They can be used for a variety of purposes, for things like stimulating the mind and even, Spiritual Healing!
In this blog post, you will learn all things crystal-related. You will see how crystals are classified, before we move on to the popular types of crystals and how they can greatly benefit us!
Let’s start with a look at the types of crystals, by Shape.
7 Types of Crystal Structures
Crystals can be classified into different types, based on their Shape.
All crystals can be typically categorised as any one of the following 7 Types of Crystal Structures.
Cubic or Isometric
Not always cube-shaped, these include octahedrons (8 faces) and dodecahedrons (10 faces).
These are similar to cubic crystals, but longer along one axis than the other.
When glimpsed from one end, the cross-section is a six-sided prism (Hexagon).
These have quite strange shapes, because they are not usually symmetrical from one side to another.
These often form prisms and double pyramids.
Pretty much like tetragonal crystals, but not square in cross-section. These form rhombic prisms or pyramids.
Instead of the 6-fold axis of the hexagonal type, these possess a single, 3-fold axis of rotation.
Types of Crystals: By Properties
Now that we have explored the classification of crystals by Shape, here’s a look at how they can be classified into different categories, based on their Properties.
This classification of crystals is undertaken by analysing the types of particles in different crystals, and the types of chemical bonding that takes place between the particles.
The Ionic Crystal Structure is one that consists of alternating positively-charged cations, and negatively-charged anions.
Properties: Ionic crystals are hard and brittle in nature, aside from having high melting points. While they do not conduct electricity as solids, they do conduct it when in molten form, or aqueous solution.
Covalent Network Crystals
These consist of atoms at the lattice points of the crystal, each atom being covalently bonded to its nearest neighbour atoms.
Properties: These are hard and brittle, with extremely high melting and boiling points. Since they are composed of atoms and not ions, they do not conduct electricity in any state.
These typically consist of molecules at the lattice points of the crystal that are held together by relatively weak intermolecular forces.
Properties: The melting and boiling points of molecular crystals are comparatively much lower. Since they lack ions or free electrons, they are poor conductors of electricity.
The crystal structure of metals consist of metal cations that are surrounded by a ‘sea’ of mobile valence electrons. Also known as delocalized electrons, they do not belong to any one atom. Rather, they are capable of moving through the entire crystal.
It is a result of this crystal structure of metals, that makes them good conductors of electricity.
Popular Types of Crystals and their Uses
By now, you have gained sufficient insight into the classification of crystals by their shape and properties.
Here are some Popular types of crystals commonly found in nature, and their uses.
Did you know that in ancient times, an amethyst was regarded as valuable as a diamond?
Uses: Not only is this crystal visually stunning, it is also believed to soothingly stimulate the mind. Moreover, it is perfect for use in jewellery, and easily used in its natural form.
If you’re the spiritual type, you definitely want this cloudy white crystal in your collection.
Uses: What’s truly great about this crystal, is its ability to even ‘charge’ other crystals! Raising the energy of everything around it, this one has the power to cleanse you of unwanted energy.
Confucius described this precious crystal as being ‘like a virtue, and its brightness represents heaven.’
Uses: This beautiful crystal, often referred to as the ‘Dream Stone’, is often gifted for 12th-wedding anniversaries. Moreover, it is believed to help with Creativity, too.
This semi-precious stone has been cherished for its intense colour, as far back as the 7th millennium B.C.
Uses: It is believed to quickly bring peace to one’s inner self, by releasing stress. Further, it can also boost the immune system, and even lower blood pressure.
This one is believed to be an intensely protective crystal.
Uses: It is used to shield against physical and emotional negativity, and also remove spiritual blockages. It is also said that it can help you find your true sense of Self.
If you are looking for a Holistic type of healing of Body, Mind and Soul, then this crystal is the perfect choice for you.
Uses: Apart from being touted as a good luck charm, this lovely blue crystal is said to help balance emotions and help get spiritually grounded.
Need a boost in motivation? This golden stone might be just what the doctor ordered!
Uses: Tiger’s Eye is believed to help rid your body of fear and self-doubt. It can also be beneficial for matters of the Heart!
If you are looking to usher in new beginnings, it might be a great idea to get a Moonstone.
Uses: The Moonstone is said to encourage inner growth and strength. Also, it can soothe feelings of instability, when one is embarking on new ventures.
At EuroKids, we believe that cultivating knowledge about things around us is of paramount importance. Learning more about Crystals is a really great idea, considering the fact that they represent Symbolic Purity and Perfection. That, besides the fact that they have a whole host of wonderful benefits.