In celebration of our new MINERALIST Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick Collection — 25 clean, vegan, botanical-infused lip colors with shade names inspired by gemstones — we’re pointing the spotlight on crystals. From ancient civilizations to modern wellness culture, crystals are as fascinating as they are beautiful. Read on to discover popular crystals and their roles in wellness culture, and even a few shout outs to crystals with surprisingly utilitarian uses.
The Role of Crystals in Wellness Culture
Whether it be tinctures, supplements or devoted personal rituals, humans throughout history have embraced non-traditional ways to feel better. Calming, aesthetically beautiful and said to be givers of energy, crystals have served that role for many.
“Crystals date back thousands of years. They have been used in religious ways, poets have marveled about their beauty on paper, and they were incorporated in ancient holistic ‘potions,’” says Jennifer Walsh, a wellness teacher and co-founder of a crystal-based wellness line called A State of Energy. “[One can argue that] crystals offer a form of wellness directly from nature, and that they provide a sense of grounding to the Earth. The more technologically driven our world becomes, the more nature we need in our lives.”
Walsh likens crystals to other worldly elements that tend to bring us joy and a sense of calmness, like trees or sunshine on a walk or even warm sand between our toes at the beach. Not only are crystals beautiful to look at, she says, but some believe that each has a special energy that can be passed on to the holder.
“People incorporate crystals in their life as a way to explore and understand the healing benefits of nature, just like they would with a plant,” says Walsh. “The more time we spend outdoors and explore what nature can offer us, the better off and healthier we become.”
Whether you believe in the above, one cannot deny the staggering beauty of crystals. Nor can one deny their great presence in the world around us, whether they’re sparkling in the sunlight upon your finger or sitting on your beauty shelf in the form of a gua sha tool.
The Most Popular Crystals Used in Wellness
We asked Walsh to fill us in on the most popular crystals in the wellness space, along with what their believed “powers” are.
- Amethyst: “This crystal is believed to dissolve negativity and activate spiritual awareness and openness,” says Walsh. The MINERALIST Lipstick shade Wisdom, a vibrant orchid hue, was named after amethyst.
- Tiger’s Eye: “Some say this stone brings good luck to the wearer and has the power to focus the mind and promote mental clarity,” says Walsh. MINERALIST Lipstick in Integrity, a gorgeous mulled wine color, was inspired by Tiger’s Eye.
- Quartz: “Quartz is [believed to be] the amplifier crystal of thoughts, dreams, and intentions. It also amplifies any other crystals around it,” says Walsh. The MINERALIST Lipstick Collection has two shades named after Quartz: Purpose, a cool cranberry inspired by Strawberry Quartz, and Romance, a blushing peony inspired by Rose Quartz.
Popular Crystals Used for Practical Purposes
As mentioned above, crystals have a number of practical uses in our everyday lives. In fact, it might surprise you how much we rely on them.
- Diamonds: “Ranking a 10 on the Mohs Scale (a scale is used to determine the hardness of minerals), few other minerals can match a diamond in hardness and strength,” says Hibiscus Moon, a crystal expert and science teacher who holds a master’s degree in science with emphasis on geology. “A diamond’s durability is due to its molecular structure, where we have carbon atoms strongly bonded to each other in a shape that looks like a three-sided pyramid (AKA a tetrahedron). The tetrahedron is known as the strongest shape to occur naturally in the universe.” The diamond is so strong it’s the gem of choice for engagement rings (hence the “diamond is forever” motto), and is even used in microdermabrasion tools and drill bits.
- Sapphires & Rubies: Moon tells us that sapphires in general — of which there are many colors and types, including rubies — are used often in technology. For example, rubies have long been fitted into watches (though today less costly synthetic versions of this precious stone are often utilized). “This crystal is far superior due to ruby’s ability to maintain a stable temperature, maintain accuracy, and for its reduced friction without the need for lubrication for a very long time,” says Moon. This is called “ruby movement” in the watch industry.
- Rose Quartz: You might have noticed that many beauty tools, including gua sha tools and facial rollers, are made from rose quartz. And it’s not just because it’s so pretty. Rose Quartz has a natural ability to remain cold, which soothes your skin and can help reduce the look of puffiness.
More Hard Facts on Crystals
Whatever you believe about crystals and their place in wellness, you cannot deny the cold hard facts about how they’re formed, what gives them their color, and which are considered the most precious. We asked Scott Friedman, a master gemologist appraiser for the International Gemological Institute (IGI), to throw us some fascinating crystal trivia.
Crystals Take a Very Long Time to Form
If you thought you had to wait forever for your friend to get ready before dinner, she has nothing on a crystal. “Crystals form deep within the earth over millions — or even billions — of years,” Friedman says.
Their Surroundings Can Affect Their Color
“The color of a crystal can be determined either by the gem’s chemical composition, or by the trace elements within the surrounding area that are being introduced to the crystal while it’s forming,” notes Friedman.
The Oldest Crystal Award Goes To…
You may be surprised to learn that zircon — which comes in a rainbow of colors including pink, blue, red, green, and yellow — is the oldest crystal known to humankind. Friedman tells us it’s approximately 4.4 billion years old.
Some Argue the Most Valuable Crystal is…
This one’s technically up for debate, but it probably won’t surprise you to learn that many believe diamonds are the most valuable crystal in the world. Friedman argues that this is because they’re quite rare, boast incredible beauty and are notably durable.
The Earth Isn’t the Only Place You Can Find Crystals
“It is said that there are many gemstones on the earth’s moon, including diamonds,” Friedman tells us. On that note, moonstone — which inspired the MINERALIST Lipstick shade Balance, a peachy beige, isn’t actually from the moon. It was, however, named after the moon’s many phases.