Back to School: Crystals for Focus and Concentration
While it may still be warm and sunny, fall’s chill is just around the corner. There’s no clearer sign of the seasonal change than all of the “Back to School” ads flooding our newsfeeds. Maybe you’re packing for a return to college, or maybe you’re heading to the office supplies store for your grade schooler’s binders, folders, and pencils. But have you thought about adding crystals to your list?
Whether you are a student, teacher, parent, or just a lifelong learner, back-to-school season is the perfect time to re-dedicate yourself to your goals. At My Dream Crystals, we’ve curated a list of our favorite crystals for focus and concentration so that you can make this academic year your most successful one yet.
This year we are previewing our Back to School kit available in two sizes. More info coming!!!
Malachite and Healing the Heart
Malachite has a long and storied past. It was highly prized by the Ancient Egyptians, who associated it with the abundance produced by agriculture and horticulture. Modern crystal healers continue to associate Malachite with the Earth, as evidenced by its vibrant green color.
This rare and beautiful crystal has a myriad of uses, but one of its most powerful often goes undiscussed: heart healing. Also known as the Guardian of the Heart, Malachite channels Mother Earth’s nurturing energy to your Heart Chakra. Whether you are recovering from a recent breakup or loss or are trying to process deep-seated trauma, Malachite can help.
Malachite is a stone of transformation, and it works with your heart to create sustainable emotional change. Malachite draws out toxic energy, cleansing you of anything that has been holding you back. You can also leverage this ability to identify any external factors that might be negatively affecting your emotional health. Once it has identified the negativity, Malachite uses its protective vibrations to shield you from anything that could do you harm.
Malachite cuts past your superficial wants to reveal your true needs. This deep level of self-awareness makes meaningful spiritual development possible. It also allows you to recognize the things that bring you joy and are positive presences in your life.
When you achieve this mindset, Malachite opens you up to new possibilities. Change can be scary, but your dreams cannot come true if everything stays the same. This crystal emits stabilizing vibrations that allow you to maintain your balance, and it infuses you with the courage to embrace change, even if its positive aspects are not immediately apparent.
Malachite encourages profound introspection and spiritual growth that can be daunting at times, but once you complete it, you are finally free to manifest your best life. To make the most of Malachite’s heart-healing powers, try wearing it as a pendant over your heart.
Real vs. Fake: How Can You Tell?
Crystals have exploded in popularity in the last few years. It’s exciting that so many people are discovering the secrets crystal collectors and healers have known for years. However, when something becomes popular, there is always someone ready to exploit it.
As crystals have become mainstream, so have fakes. “Fake crystals” can come in a variety of forms, from fully synthetic replicas made of glass or plastic to cheaper crystals that have been dyed or heat-treated to pass as more expensive ones. That means you could wind up with a stone that either has no metaphysical properties or entirely different ones than advertised.
However, you don’t need to worry. There are a few simple ways that you can make sure that you are only buying real crystals. With this guide, you will never be caught unawares.
A Note on Manmade and Treated Crystals
Before we begin, we should clarify what we mean by “fake crystals.” Just because a crystal is made or treated in a lab, it is not automatically “fake,” so long as the retailer is upfront with you. For example, all forms of Aura Quartz are made by fusing metals to genuine Clear Quartz, which amplifies both minerals’ properties. Opalite is always manmade, but it still promotes self-worth, clarity, and harmony. Sometimes, stones like Amethyst, Citrine, and Aquamarine are heat-treated to make their colors more vibrant; although they have been modified, they are still genuine crystals that maintain their innate qualities.
A trusted dealer will always disclose whether a stone has been altered or made in a lab.
Pay Attention to the Name
Crystal collectors tend to be creative people, but watch out for overly inventive names. Shady retailers occasionally come up with unique monikers for stones to avoid being called frauds. When you’re looking for Pink Moonstone, you should be wary of Melon Moonstone. If you encounter an odd name, give it a quick Google search to see whether it has been used by other reputable dealers.
Look for Imperfections
No one is perfect, and our “imperfections” are what make us special. The same is true for crystals! Fake crystals are often too perfect. Their shape may be too symmetrical and free from flaws. If your crystal is uniformly clear, without marks or blemishes, it may be a cause for concern. For crystals that have patterns, such as Malachite and Petrified Wood, you want to avoid perfectly uniform, extremely clear lines. That level of definition is a tell-tale sign of manufacture.
Does it Resemble Glass?
Glass is one of the most common materials for fraudulent crystals, especially members of the Quartz family. Glass is smooth and has an even appearance, whereas natural crystals will have minor flaws such as fissures or cloudy spots.
You should also be on the lookout for air bubbles! As already stated, crystals contain imperfections, but they usually don’t contain bubbles. A frequent byproduct of the glass-making process, air bubbles are a clear red flag.
Glass also weighs much less than natural Quartz, so if your crystal feels suspiciously light, it could be a fake.
Consider the Color
Crystals have truly beautiful and vibrant colors, but if a color seems unnaturally bright, it might be a bad sign.
Citrine is a common target in this area. Sometimes a crystal sold as “Citrine” is actually dyed glass, especially polished points or spheres While we all love this sunny stone, it should bear a closer resemblance to a gentle lemon color than a yellow highlighter. Similarly, real Rose Quartz is more of a light or even dusky pink shade, not a hot pink.
Another thing to consider is that crystals usually don’t have a single color. During the crystallization process, the stone will develop gradients, inconsistent coloring, and slightly different shades. For example, a “Turquoise” or “Malachite” crystal with a uniform, flat hue is likely fake.
Test the Strength
Natural crystals are usually much harder than glass or plastic. The Mohs scale measures a stone’s strength on a scale of 1 to 10. Minerals that are higher on the Mohs scale are able to scratch lower ones, but softer stones will not be able to mark stronger substances. This test is most effective on raw, not polished, crystals.
For example, Quartz is a 7 on the Mohs scale, and glass is a 5. If you try to scratch Clear Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, or Rose Quartz with glass, the glass won’t damage the crystal. However, if the glass is able to scratch your stone, then it is not real Quartz. You can also try scratching glass with your crystal of choice; so long as it is above a 5 on the Mohs scale, it should be able to damage the glass if it is real.
Feel the Crystal
Sometimes, picking up a crystal is enough to clue you in to its authenticity. Natural stones are denser and heavier than most fake crystal materials, such as glass and plastic. A crystal’s temperature is another sign. Quartz and Malachite should both feel cool to the touch. If the stone is warm, it may be fake. Finally, consider the feel. Some crystals have distinctive textures, such as Calcite, which feels slightly waxy.
Test for Dyes
Fraudulent dealers may “create” rare crystals by dying more common stones. You can often spot a dyed crystal by sight, as the color will be perfectly uniform and often has a more matte appearance than real stones.
Turquoise is one of the rarest and most highly sought-after crystals on the market, so it is ripe for fraud. Many “Turquoise” crystals are actually dyed Howlite, because both stones have a signature web of black lines. To test your Turquoise, dip a cotton ball in acetone (nail polish remover) and rub the stone. If some of the crystal’s blue color comes off, it is dyed Howlite. However, that doesn’t mean you need to discard the stone! Howlite is an amazing concentration crystal, so simply remove the blue dye and work with its natural properties.
Buy Raw Crystals
Raw crystals are harder to convincingly fake. They have texture, asymmetry, and coarse edges that are extremely difficult to recreate in a lab. Raw crystals are also easily tested with the Mohs hardness scale.
However, glass’ smooth, even surface can mimic tumbled stones, polished towers, and crystal balls much more easily. If you can’t confirm your retailer’s credentials, opting for raw stones is a much safer option.
Know the Market Price
We all love a good bargain, but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Crystals are inherently valuable items, and then they have to be found, mined, and shipped to a retailer before you can buy them. All of these elements translate to a certain price point. While there are crystals for every budget, a genuine stone will cost more than fraud made from glass or in a lab.
Before you buy a crystal, shop around to see what the standard market price is for the type and size of stone that you want. If a retailer charges something radically different, you might want to purchase the stone from someone else.
Ask Your Retailer
The absolute best way to avoid fake crystals is to buy from a trusted retailer. Crystal dealers with a wealth of expertise and a long list of satisfied customers will be able to put your mind at ease. A retailer should be able to identify their suppliers and where their stones were mined. At My Dream Crystals, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always happy to answer your questions and share the sources of our stock.
Buying a fake crystal can be a disconcerting experience. My Dream Crystals always has our customers’ best interests at heart, and we are here to guide you to real stones that are right for you. If you are ever in doubt—or simply curious—never hesitate to ask!
Crystals and Their Power to Transmit Energy
If you have ever been intuitively drawn to a certain stone or felt a crystal’s subtle vibrations while using it, you have experienced crystals’ power. We understand that crystals work based on our personal experiences, but have you ever wondered how they actually work?
Crystals don’t just store energy; they are energy. Formed by the Earth’s natural processes, they are composed of different minerals that vibrate at unique frequencies and combine to create a stone’s individual properties. This energy is stored in the crystal’s geometric structure. When exposed to pressure, crystals can create electricity, and this fact is a cornerstone of modern technology.
Everything in the universe has its own unique frequency. Humans are no exception, and our vibrations change with our feelings. Emotions like love and compassion oscillate at higher frequencies, whereas more negative feelings like jealousy and anger have lower frequencies. Because we are passionate creatures, humans’ frequencies are very unstable.
In contrast, crystals have some of nature’s most consistent vibrations. This stability allows crystals to work with humans in a harmonious way. They impart their own unchanging energy, and they also interact with our frequencies. Scientist Marcel Vogel has published research that shows that crystals are affected by human thoughts and can even store them, similar to a vinyl record.
When a crystal encounters something with a lower frequency, the crystal acts upon the object. It raises object’s vibrations match its own. Some crystals, like Jet, absorb negativity, whereas others, like Citrine, amplify our most positive intentions. If you have ever felt refreshed and re-aligned after using a crystal, this frequency exchange is the reason why.
Frequencies also explain the personal connections we develop with our crystals. Some vibrations harmonize better than others. Sometimes you intuitively know that you need a certain stone, regardless of whether its traditional properties are directly tied to your needs.
To explore crystals’ power to transmit energy, try this simple meditation practice:
- 1.Gather your entire crystal collection in one place (if you can!). See if you are drawn to any stone in particular. If you don’t feel a strong pull, try hovering your hand over each crystal. You may notice a change in temperature or a buzzing sensation. However you chose, pick a stone that calls to you.
- 2.Find a calm, quiet space where you can be alone. If it improves your concentration, go ahead and put on some soothing music or white noise.
- 3.Take a comfortable but active position. You can stand, sit, or even lie down; just make sure that you can remain present in the moment.
- 4.Hold your crystal in your hand, or, if you prefer, you can place it on a related Chakra point.
- 5.Focus on your breath. With each inhale, imagine the crystal’s high frequencies flowing into you. With each exhale, release any negative energies into the crystal.
- 6.Try this technique for at least five breath cycles. You are welcome to continue for longer.
- 7.When you are finished, thank and cleanse your crystal.
Crystals transmit energy in a very real and powerful way. Do you have any crystals that you work with better than others? Is there a stone that always uplifts you when you feel down? Let us know!
How Long Does a Crystal Take to Form?
Crystals get much of their power from their strong connection to the Earth. We know that crystals are formed through the planet’s natural processes, but have you ever wondered exactly how crystals are made? How long do they take to form?
There’s no perfect answer. Some crystals can be made in a matter of days, and some take millennia. You can even make your own crystals in your kitchen in a few hours; rock candy fits the scientific definition of a crystal.
Crystals form in complex and fascinating ways, and we are here to demystify the process for you!
What is a Crystal?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a crystal is defined as “a body that is formed by the solidification of a chemical element, a compound, or a mixture and has a regularly repeating internal arrangement of its atoms and often external plane faces.”
In lay terms, crystals have a repetitive pattern of atoms that form a geometrical lattice shape. A crystal’s outward appearance reflects its internal crystalline structure. For example, salt is cube-shaped, and its internal structure is made up of cubes of Sodium and Chlorine ions. Deviations in this inner pattern can also determine a crystal’s color. Quartz is clear in its natural state, but Quartz varieties like Amethyst, Citrine, and Rose Quartz can result from impurities at the atomic level.
The Necessary Conditions for Crystal Formation
All crystals need five things to form: ingredients (namely minerals), temperature, pressure, time, and space. These elements must also be present long enough for the crystal to form. Variances in these five ingredients, as well as the stone’s physical location in the Earth, will affect the crystal’s specific physical properties.
For example, Diamond and Graphite are both made up of carbon, but they are both drastically different. Graphite contains thin layers of carbon atoms, but Diamonds form under extremely high pressure, which forces the carbon into tight groups of five atoms.
How Crystals Grow
Crystals start small and grow as more and more atoms—trillions—come together in a geometric pattern. For most crystals, this development is facilitated by mineral-rich ground water, but melted rock can also provide the necessary atoms.
To start growing, however, all crystals did a nucleus, sometimes called a seed crystal—a starting point around which the crystal can grow. As long as a crystal remains in the Earth and the conditions remain stable, it will continue to grow. Crystals only stop developing after they are mined.
You may remember learning about the three basic rock types in biology class:
- Igneous rocks are formed when magma or lava solidifies. Crystals that form via this method include Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Obsidian, Quartz, and Tourmaline. This process takes as long as the magma needs to cool down, which can be anywhere from thousands to millions of years.
- Sedimentary rocks are created when minerals slowly accumulate in the Earth’s surface. Crystals formed by sediment include Azurite, Chrysocolla, Chrysoprase, Malachite, Opal, and Turquoise.
- Metamorphic rocks develop when an existing rock changes its texture or mineral composition due to pressure or heat. Andalusite and Kyanite are examples of metamorphic rocks.
Crystals can grow from liquids evaporating within the Earth’s surface. The resulting stones are often druses. Amethyst forms when a silicon dioxide and iron solution evaporates within a bubble of lava. When crystals grow inside lava pools in this way, they develop a hard, outer layer of rock and become geodes.
Living organisms also create crystals. Amber, Jet, and Stromatolite are all fossils, and Petrified Wood forms through permineralization, a process in which Quartz slowly replaces the wood. Some crystals, including Calcite and Aragonite, can be produced by mollusks.
While we don’t need to know all of the science behind our crystals, understanding some of the processes that created them deepens our relationship. For crystals to develop, many disparate elements must be in the right place at the right time, usually for a long period of time. Every stone that you have is a small, natural miracle!
Growing Old Together
When crystals work together, you unlock a whole new world of possibility. You can combine crystals in grids or on meditation altars, but nature has created some supercharged combinations of her own, all in one stone!
Combination crystals form in a variety of different ways, from twinning to inclusions. Most combination stones form due to changing conditions during the process of crystallization. Other times, a new crystal starts to form around an older one.
Let’s explore some of our favorite natural combinations.
Ametrine forms when temperature shifts affect iron oxide, resulting in different-colored areas of a single Quartz stone. This crystal combines the powers of Amethyst and Citrine. Naturally occurring Ametrine is extremely rare and is only sourced from Bolivia.
An extremely empowering crystal, Ametrine leverages both Amethyst’s soothing spirituality and Citrine’s confident energy to help you really take control of your life. With Ametrine, you can discover your highest self.
Chrysocolla and Malachite are both made up of Copper. Chrysocolla forms due to Copper oxidation, and Malachite is created when Copper dissolves into new compounds. When both of those processes occur in the same place, the resulting crystals grow next to and around each other, combining to form Chrysocolla Malachite.
This visually striking crystal uses Chrysocolla’s gentleness to temper Malachite’s unbridled transformative energy. It promotes slow, steady, and sustainable development. If you find Malachite’s vibrations too powerful on their own, Chrysocolla Malachite is the stone for you!
Clear Quartz with Inclusions
Inclusions occur when small amounts of a mineral become trapped in a crystal as or after it forms, often due to cracks. Many stones contain natural inclusions. Because it is colorless, Clear Quartz shows its inclusions more easily, and it uses its amplifying abilities to supercharge its encased minerals. Epidote, Hematite, and Tourmaline are all common Quartz inclusions.
Ruby occasionally grows together with three other stones: Fuchsite, Kyanite, and Zoisite. These combinations were first discovered in India, but they have since been found in a handful of mines around the world. All of these crystals are considered metamorphic rocks. They are formed through two natural processes: regional metamorphism and hydrothermal alteration. When tectonic plates collide, they cause widespread geological changes that can move minerals around, known as regional metamorphism. Hydrothermal alteration occurs when extremely hot underground water moves through an area, redistributing minerals.
Ruby and Fuchsite both resonate very strongly with the heart. Their combination in Ruby Fuchsite clears and balances your Heart Chakra. This crystal allows you to be your most compassionate and generous self, aligning you with divine love. When you achieve this mindset, Ruby Fuchsite also increases your psychic abilities.
Ruby Kyanite links your Heart and Throat Chakras, allowing you to express your emotions in a constructive manner. It is also a profoundly stabilizing stone that radiates balance from a healthy and happy heart.
This crystal is perfect for all creatives! Ruby Zoisite provides an infusion of inspiration and positivity to support any artistic goal.
Just as these stones transformed to create something new, these combination crystals support transformation and enlightenment. Try any of these varieties for a truly unique and powerful spiritual experience.