An Illustrated Guide to Crystals

A list of semiprecious stones and their (completely unscientific) associated vibes.

All illustrations by Allegra.

All illustrations by Allegra.

Let’s talk about crystals! No, not the sparkly little gems you put on your nails—I’m talking about stones that are formed in the earth! Powerful stones, that many people (Buddhists, certain Catholic nuns, Hindu healers, witches, me, etc.) believe have healing properties and positive energies.

Crystals and gemstones have been used for centuries for meditation and in medicine and rituals. Each type has its own characteristics and, some say, its own unique vibes. Some are said to be good for grounding yourself when you feel out of sorts, some for easing sickness, others are supposed to bring you luck in areas like love and money. There’s no scientific proof that they have these powers, but in my experience, carrying a crystal is like going to a psychic or keeping a vision book. Sometimes they’ve helped me get the results I’m looking for.

Briana Luna, aka the Hood Witch, is a Seattle–based crystal enthusiast. She says that “each crystal has a purpose. The ones we are most drawn to are the crystals our bodies need the most. They are gifts from the universe, asking us to never forget her and to use her wisdom to create happier and more balanced lives while we’re here.” They’re nothing but good vibes, so why not? Here’s a guide to some of my favorites crystals and gemstones, which are also among the easiest to find (you can buy them inexpensively in places like yoga studios and stores that sell dream catchers, tarot cards, etc.).

final_small_tigerstoneTiger’s eye. This gemstone got its name from its resemblance to the actual eyes of actual tigers. It’s said to grant power and protection to those who carry it. According to Luna, it can also assist you in resolving problems objectively, unclouded by emotions. If someone is giving you the stink eye or putting you down at school, try carrying this stone around to help summon your courage. I like imagining that RuPaul lives in a castle made out of tiger’s eye, and I carry one of these gems when I’m feeling nervous about something and want to be FEARLESS like Ru.

final_small_amethystAmethyst. The word amethyst is derived from the ancient Greek word amethustos, which means “sober” or “without drunkenness.” That makes a lot of sense, because this stone is supposed to protect people from overindulgence. I have an amethyst necklace that I wear every day—except for this time I went to a party (last night) and basically ate a block of Manchego cheese by myself. I mean, we ALL LOVE CHEESE, but I was like a starving madwoman who never had cheese in her life! I could have used some help there. Then again, NO REGRETS. I just know how to party, oh-kaaaay! Amethyst is also rumored to enhance psychic powers! That’s actually why I wear it—gotta strengthen the old third eye.

final_small_rosequartzRose quartz. Chances are, you’ve heard of or maybe even already own a piece of rose quartz, which is known as the ultimate “love stone.” Have you ever heard of chakras? In Hindu, tantric, and a few other spiritual practices, they are thought to be hot spots in the body where paths of energy meet up. Each chakra (most traditions identify seven) connects the body to a different part of the conscious mind, like willpower, creativity, compassion, and love. Some people believe that rose quartz’s vibes can help stir up energy in the heart chakra, which would help a person open themselves up to giving and receiving love. Maybe that means connecting more deeply with friends and family. Maybe it’s attracting this week’s crush? I’ve definitely experienced more love and healthier relationships since I’ve used rose quartz in my meditation practice. Now let’s see if I can get Donald Glover to appear on my doorstep holding a bouquet of roses and a Taco Bell party pack.

final_small_sunstoneSunstone. This crystal is purported to bring good fortune and abundance, and for any of you who happen to be living through what feels like month 100 of winter, Luna says “it’s also believed to help lift dark moods and be beneficial for seasonal affective disorder.” Why not just carry this one around all the time? I always feel a bit happier when I have some sunstone on me.

final_small_clearquartzClear quartz. “These crystals are excellent at tuning in to our own energy, as well as filtering out unnecessary distractions,” says Luna, “which is why they make for wonderful meditation tools.” Or, I’d extrapolate, studying tools? Hold one in your hand while you meditate on all the information you want to remember. You never know—the quartz could help you soak it all up! I mean, I’m fairly certain that my having committed the lyrics to every single Prince song to memory is attributable to my clear quartz stone!

One last note about crystals, which I’ve found to be croosh: People who believe in their powers insist that each new crystal needs to be “cleansed” before you try to use it, because they’ve soaked up the energies of other people who handled them before you. I bought a piece of flourite (sometimes referred to as the “genius” stone) a while ago to help with writer’s block, but it just made me feel weird, and like I couldn’t concentrate. That was before I learned the importance of cleaning your crystals. There are lots of cleansing methods that are said to be effective—leaving them under sun- or moonlight, burying them underground, etc.—but plain old water seems to do the trick, in my experience. You can use water from a natural source like a river, stream, waterfall, or rainfall, “but tap water works just as well,” says Luna. Again: this isn’t science. But really, if a lot of people have handled something before you acquired it, it’s just generally a good idea to wash it before you carry it on your person.

I’ve been meditating with and carrying crystals for about three years, and honestly, they’ve helped me grow spiritually. They are a physical tool that helps me connect to a positive mental shift. I’ve gotten the side-eye from plenty of skeptics, but who cares what anyone else thinks? I’m gonna keep ignoring the naysayers and trusting myself. ♦


  • mangointhesky January 17th, 2014 3:03 PM

    THE DIAMOND>-<. It's technically not a crystal, but still! Love the rose quartz drawing.

  • alissa cha January 17th, 2014 3:21 PM

    totally love this article !! i feel like crystals are something so divine without being overly spiritual … like a connection to the earth, grounding. i’ve surrounded myself with crystals since years and it’s really inspirational for my art and poetry …

    love, cha

  • katalac January 17th, 2014 4:05 PM

    super cool article! I want to get a crystal for myself now haha.

  • loopdeshor January 17th, 2014 4:05 PM

    Some of my family is in to this kind of stuff

  • enface January 17th, 2014 4:14 PM

    “They’re minerals, Marie!”
    (I couldn’t help it, and I don’t know if I’m sorry.)

    • Zoe with two dots January 17th, 2014 7:49 PM

      I see your Breaking Bad reference, and I salute you.

    • soretudaaa January 21st, 2014 6:58 AM

      this is literally all I could think about when I saw this article

  • Isil January 17th, 2014 4:36 PM

    Oh my god, I’m really surprised to see an article like this in here! I’m so happy about this! I’m studying in geological engineering, I know a lot about crystals and I love them. I’m happy especially because 2014 is the year of crystallography! (you can learn about it in )

    It’s not that scientific, but I also believe those powers and effects of crystals. Thank you for the post!

  • AnoHana January 17th, 2014 4:37 PM

    I love minerals and crystals so much~ I have a blog dedicated to them:

  • Mimi7 January 17th, 2014 4:53 PM

    I love the idea of carrying something around with you for good vibes. Just having something to rub or hold and thinking about how it can help you can really make a difference. Crystals might not be science, by the power of your brain to follow though with what you believe is!

  • Sophii January 17th, 2014 5:11 PM

    This is really interesting. I think that crystals would actually help me significantly at the moment. I would like some rose quartz to keep in the general shrine of precious things I have in my room, a sunstone necklace to wear all the time for happiness and clear quartz to help meditation and also to help revision. I love this and feel quite positive and empowered having just read about such wonders. Thank you

  • Faith January 17th, 2014 5:13 PM

    asdfghjkl This is all so new to me and wonderful!!! Thank you Marie!! <3

  • die_mad January 17th, 2014 5:21 PM

    one of my best friends is a reiki master and she constantly carries around crystals, and I’m pretty sure she knows everything about them. crystals are amazing!

  • Kelly K January 17th, 2014 5:29 PM

    This is cool! When first went pagan, I wasn’t really into crystals, but now I think they’re nice.

  • droppingdaisies January 17th, 2014 6:14 PM

    i was a bit of a skeptic, but this is actually really cool! it’s so interesting, i wanna try this out now

  • soviet_kitsch January 17th, 2014 6:25 PM

    i have rose quartz, blue agate and amethyst already! what do you rookies suggest as being the best way to meditate with them?

  • EmmaS January 17th, 2014 6:33 PM


  • Yun Xi January 17th, 2014 7:04 PM

    Everytime i go to a buffet i should try out the amethyst.

  • oldelectricity January 17th, 2014 9:14 PM


    i got a gorgeous lapis crystal (and felt called to a rose quartz one, too, but settled for the lapis — y'know EYES OF THE G-DS, etc.) last year, and then when out to eat delicious thai food with my skeptic brother. right away said bro asked to see THE CRYSTAL. while he was looking it over/bonding with the vibez/whatever, i ran to the bathroom. AND THEN WE FINISHED OUR MEAL AND WENT OUR SEPARATE WAYS AND LO AND BEHOLD, I FORGOT ALL ABOUT MY CRYSTAL. (which he had kidnapped.)

    six months later, right before i moved away, he gave it back, and said that it made him "skateboard really well."

    i felt bad, because — dude. it was kind of his crystal at that point. (but then i felt less bad, and started wearin' my crystal! i didn't know about crystal cleaning — this totes makes sense — but i also am fine with a sort of "family crystal" energy situation.) AND, just this holiday, the formerly crystal-kidnapping bro pulled me aside at our parent's house and opened the pockets of his jacket: ENTIRELY FULL OF LAPIS STONEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. like, they must clack like marbles when he walks.

    the moral of this story is: (TRU) LOVE WILL FIND YOU (IN THE END); CRYSTALS WILL FIND YOU (ALWAYS); it's kind of awesome; look out!


  • THEHOODWITCH January 17th, 2014 10:32 PM

    I am so happy to have been a contributor for this wonderful article. Please feel free to ask questions about any of your crystals/minerals by following @Thehoodwitch on IG. Where I regularly update and discuss crystals, tarot, as well esoteric books!


    The Hood Witch

  • julalondon January 18th, 2014 9:54 AM

    Crystals on Rookie!!! I can’t believe it; this website gets better every day! My family and me all believe in crystals. My dad has a huge collection of them and I own three. When I was a kid I suffered from migraine and my mum used to give me an Orange Calcite. I was holding it while I tried to fall asleep and it worked EVERY TIME. Without it, I couldn’t sleep. When I was at my aunt’s for example and didn’t have a stone with me it was really hard for me to fall asleep with all the headache I was having. But with an Orange Calcite I fell asleep easily. Stones are magical!!! <3

  • Anya N. January 18th, 2014 9:56 AM


  • Ally_O January 18th, 2014 11:39 AM

    This is so cool! I kind of (really) want to get myself some crystals now.

  • Estelle January 20th, 2014 12:01 PM


  • _lefthandedhag January 22nd, 2014 3:23 PM

    I’ve also read that you can clean crystals of previous energies by passing them through the smoke of a lit white candle. I like the water method though.

  • Monq January 22nd, 2014 11:17 PM

    I’ve always been interested in crystals for quite sometime now but I always been a bit skeptical due to growing up in a Christian home. This article has just ignited my interest in crystals even more. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or a good thing. I remember feeling this exact same way when I first got interested in Tarot (Because of you, Rookie). Sorry I’m going off on a tangent.


  • Dylan January 23rd, 2014 2:47 AM

    Dope. Ready to get hexy!!!