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Understanding The Crystal Community: A Beginner’s Gemstone Guide

by Martha Simmonds

It would be fair to say that crystals have never been more popular than they are today. All kinds of people from all walks of life have embraced the alluring charm of crystals, and have found ways to implement them into their daily lives and feature them around the home.

There are also many that choose to wear crystals and gemstones on their body, through beautiful pieces of jewellery that have been artfully designed based on the power of each stone. The market for crystal eggs wholesale, runes and other natural stones is proof of a thriving community.

If you are a beginner and have no idea where to start on your gemstone journey, here is a beginner guide!

Is every stone a gemstone?

Can anyone just pick up a stone, give it a buff and a shine and call it a gemstone? The answer is no. to qualify as a gemstone, the stone must be rare, and durable – and it helps if they look unique and beautiful.

A gemstone should also be clear, bright or have a ‘fire’ design within the stone that can make it look alive or smoky. Most stones you see in necklaces, bracelets and earrings are gemstones.

Gemstone formation

If you have ever considered what shape of stone you want on an engagement ring or piece of jewellery, that is not necessarily what we mean when we talk about gemstone formation. The formation is about the minerals, environmental conditions and elements that went into forming a gemstone.

As you can imagine, if we could easily engineer gemstones through natural and artificial measures, we would all be going in the backyard every week. Gemstones are a product of the earth and depending on where they are found and created, then the conditions that produced them will vary enormously.

Let’s look at a diamond for example, which can be found deep in the earth where it is formulated as the result of explosions of molten rock. Quartz, on the other hand, is a product of oxygen and silicon.

All gemstones have a different formation which makes the study of gemstones so fascinating and gives us more information about what their uses are and how durable they will be in jewellery and other purposes.

Where are gemstones found?

There are more than 200 different varieties of gemstones out there, and they can be found all over the world. Depending on the rarity, durability and popularity of the stone, there may be mining operations that have found these gemstones as they dig and dive all other world in destinations with a rich gemstone volume. The main types of gemstone mining approaches are:

  • Tunnel mining
  • Open-pit mining
  • Alluvial mining

An important note to make is that there are some gemstones that are sourced in unethical practices. This means that the gemstone mining operation is not legal or welcome in a country, or that the mining is having a detrimental impact on the local community – sometimes it is both.

There is a market for ethically sourced gemstones so if this is an important consideration to make you can find ethical suppliers and seek more information from your suppliers.

Different gemstone cuts

Most people have a preference for the type of gemstones they want for their jewellery. Contrary to belief, when a gemstone is recovered from the earth, it needs to undergo some work before we find it for sale in a gemstone store or jewellery store.

It needs to be polished and gemstone cut and this job is taken on by specialist jewellers who can expertly identify the durability and strength of a stone and cut it accordingly. Some popular gemstone cut varieties include:

  • Square
  • Antique cushion
  • Trilliant
  • Oval
  • Round Brilliant
  • Princess
  • Marquise
  • Pear
  • Emerald
  • Heart
  • Asscher
  • Baguette

Falling in love with the beauty and mystery of gemstones is a fantastic hobby and one that is rich in resources, information and an engaged community.

Whether you want to start designing jewellery or want to learn about the wellness properties of gemstones and crystals, there is a lot to learn and enjoy about these ancient stones.

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