Well, you may have guessed but this post isn’t directly aquarium related! But I think it’s a fun area to discuss, as like aquariums, crystals are a fun way to incorporate natural elements into your home decor. Crystals are also great for healing and grounding restless energies. And I can assure, this is the truth! Crystals are very relaxing and their cold surfaces are great for absorbing hot energy. I use crystals for headaches and back pain and they bring instant relief!
But besides this, they are amazing safe and long lasting option for aquarium decor which is why they are a featured item in my shop.
I feel many people may be resistant to buying crystals, especially online because they are new to the hobby and just aren’t sure what they are paying for. I’m going to break down 3 basic elements that affect price, type, location, size and Properties , to help you navigate this very confusing market.
Type: There’s literally hundreds of minerals out there, and some are just more desirable than others. While all the stones mentioned in this post are considered semi-precious. Some are more precious than others. I’m going to run down a quick list of stones from most precious (and therefore expensive) to least. This is just a rough estimate meant to reflect availability and desirability as well as price.
Himalayan salt/ selenite
Location: Most crystals come in batches from specific mines. Some of the more common places you will see crystals come from are Pakistan, Australia, South america, and Russia . But, some of the best crystals come out of more exclusive places like Mongolia, Egypt and Myanmar, I personally use dealers out of China, as a lot of high quality mines exist throughout asia.
Size: the bigger the more expensive with crystals! When looking for something bigger I find it’s better to not shop online but shop at a local gem show. The problem is disproportionate pricing. There you can accurately see a small piece at say $20, then a piece 1cm bigger is suddenly $30? If you didn’t have the comparison you may not have been tipped off that the deal wasn’t good. I think a reasonable price to pay for a larger piece (6’, 6’ 3’) like a quartz cluster is $30. If the piece is of something more unique like , ocean jasper, kunzite, rhodochrosite, malachite then you might be looking at $60 as a reasonable price
there’s certain factors that will make a crystal cluster more expensive
spirit / fairy: fine points make up a larger over-all cluster shape. They are often soft pink or purple in colour and may also have
Double terminated pieces: This is a natural formation where both are formed pointed, this is more of a rare occurrence in nature and much better for jewelry
Occlusion: Patch within a crystal where a second mineral has been deposited.
Hydro: Where a bubble of water is trapped within
Tourmalated: Tourmaline occlusions that look like long black strands within the crystal.
Geode: A hallow stone with crystal formation inisde. Consists of an outer from breaking away to crystal formations.
Mineral on Matrix: These are unique specimens where one mineral as grown as its own specimen of a larger grained piece of a different mineral.
Smoky: these are grey transparent oculsions within a crystal that have a phantom like appearance
Banded: Layered minerals that have built up over time
Catherdral: A large formation of crystal with a single Apex on one side and multiple terminations on the other
Generator Cluster: A cyrstal cluster with points going off in all directions or a piece with a more unique shape that draws from many angles.
Angel aura: Minerals such as gold are bonded to a quartz crystal. These are often man made, but are inspired by a real process found in nature that is commonly deposited on quartz crystals during formation. The process creates beautiful colour and rainbow shine.
Shaped: A lot of minerals are cut and polished into many desirable shapes.Carvings on the other hand are nothing special. They are actually quite common and are usually not made with very precious materials and should therefore you should be able to find small carvings for under $10 easily. The same goes for candle holders, you shouldn’t pay more just because it has one hole drilled in it. Cabochon, pieces cut for jewelry can also be very overpriced and have a wide range of prices. If you shop around enough you should be able to find a unique cab for $20-$30.
Quality: all crystals have a designation of clarity. To get a decent crystal anything A designation will be fine, but you will see crystals advertised as being AAA++++ etc. Personally I feel I don’t need to pay for a crystal that’s perfectly clear, especially if it’s not for jewellery.