A Beginner's Guide To 10 Types Of Crystals & How To Use Each Of Them

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
A Collection of Crystals - Amethyst, Citrine, Clear Quartz, Celestite, Black Tourmaline
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From amethyst to zincite, there is a whole alphabet of crystals available on the market today. This guide to 10 powerful types of healing stones and their properties can help you find the perfect one for your intention.

How to find the right crystal for you.

According to Ashley Leavy, founder and educational director of the Love and Light School of Crystal Therapy, there are a couple of ways to go about finding a crystal:

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1. Follow your intuition.

First, you can go the intuitive route. Check out a local crystal shop and really immerse yourself in the space. "Take a step back and look at the different crystals," she says. You may find one is undoubtedly calling out to you.

"Hold your hands over them and see if you feel anything that draws you in," she suggests, or close your eyes, then open them, "and see which one really stands out," she adds.

2. Research the best stone for your needs.

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Alternatively, you can choose a stone based on what you want to call into your life. Beginners can research the qualities of different crystals, knowing that everyone will have a slightly different experience with them.

Before you go the research route, it's important to take some time to consider what you really need. Leavy notes that she's had people come into her store looking for a crystal for love, for example, when it turns out what they really needed in the love department was more confidence or better communication.

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Finding ethically & sustainably sourced crystals.

As far as purchasing ethically and sustainably sourced crystals, Leavy says the four main questions you want to consider include:

  • Are the working conditions for the people mining those crystals safe?
  • Are they given fair pay?
  • Was there child labor involved?
  • Is there minimal environmental impact?

"A lot of times people use 'ethical' as kind of a blanket term," she adds, so it's worthwhile to ask a supplier these questions.

Leavy also advises getting familiar with specific areas of the world where there are big environmental impacts from mining, where workers are not paid fairly, where there are unsafe mining conditions, and where there are child labor issues, and intentionally being more cautious when purchasing crystals from those areas.

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10 powerful crystals & how to use them:

1. For happiness: Citrine

Citrine Crystal for Health & Happiness

Citrine is a crystal of happiness and presence. "Holding one serves as a friendly reminder to be really mindful and appreciate the world as it is right now," crystal expert Heather Askinosie previously wrote for mbg.

It's a great manifestation stone and encourages us to follow our dreams, stay positive, and walk through life with gratitude. It's associated with the solar plexus chakra and is a powerful crystal to use during breathwork.

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How to use it:

Yulia Van Doren of goldirocks recommends this visualization for citrine:

  1. Find a quiet spot and kick off your shoes so your feet can make a connection with the ground.
  2. Hold a piece of citrine in your hands, or lay one on your navel, and imagine a specific goal you have. Visualize that goal in a clear balloon, and let it hang a few feet in front of you.
  3. Imagine energizing flames beginning to emerge from your citrine crystal, flickering upward and outward, slowly changing the color of the balloon from clear to a golden, fiery orange.
  4. With a puff, blow the shimmering balloon up and away, to the land where dreams always come true and to-do lists are always finished on time.
  5. Don't forget to thank your crystal when finished; your gratitude unplugs your personal energy from the crystal, a very important final step.

Where it's from:

Citrine is a variety of quartz that has its roots all over the world. Most commercial citrine is now mined from Brazil and Uruguay, though it's been found in the mountains of Russia, as well as Kazakhstan, Madagascar, and more.

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2. For abundance: Malachite

Malachite is a beautiful emerald-hued stone that can offer you strength and courage, to transform any fears or doubts you may have in regards to money. Sometimes the biggest thing standing in our way of abundance is ourselves, but with this stone handy, we're reminded that we deserve abundance, and we have the power to get it.

How to use it:

To use malachite for calling in the courage you need to live the life you want, Askinosie recommends placing a malachite stone over your heart. "Ask yourself, what does my heart desire? What brings me passion? How can I align my passion with my financial goals?" Malachite can offer you guidance on how to move forward.

Where it's from:

Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral and can be found worldwide, particularly in the Urals region of Russia. It's also notably been found throughout Mexico, Australia, the Congo, Gabon, Zambia, and Namibia.

3. For clarity: Clear Quartz

Clear Quartz Crystals for Health & Happiness

Image by mbg Creative

Clear quartz is one of the most popular stones you'll find in stores and online, and Askinosie says it's beloved for a reason.

It's long been revered for helping to balance the body and clear the mind, and its clear color makes it a versatile stone for a variety of scenarios and situations. "For that reason, this is a great stone to start with if you're a total beginner to the world of crystal healing," she adds.

How to use it:

Askinosie suggests holding the quartz in your left hand, the feminine, receiving hand: "Close your eyes. State out loud one thing that you can take action on that will bring you closer to your financial goals."

From here, let the quartz guide your path. What is needed to manifest your goals? Create an achievable, action-oriented plan with the guidance of clear quartz.

Where it's from:

Quartz is a crystalline mineral that, like citrine, has been found all over the world. Today, much of the clear quartz you'll find originally comes from the Alps, Brazil, Japan, and Madagascar, though it's not uncommon to find it in the U.S., in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and in upstate New York.

4. For love: Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz for Health & Happiness

Image by mbg Creative

Everyone's favorite when it comes to romance, rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love. It's associated with the heart chakra and encourages us to forgive others and of course, forgive ourselves. 

This is a great crystal for nurturing and supporting your ability to love yourself and accept love from others with an open heart.

How to use it:

Try this simple heart chakra ritual from Askinosie:

  1. Take out your rose quartz, and place it over your heart.
  2. Take six deep breaths (six is a number that's often associated with love).
  3. As you breathe, imagine the stone radiating love into your heart, clearing away darkness and pain to heal your heart space.
  4. For all-day loving energy, you could also wear a rose quartz necklace that falls right at your heart chakra.

Where it's from:

Rose quartz is a pink, coarse-grained variety of quartz and can be found around the world. Much of the rose quartz you can purchase today will mainly be from Brazil, India, South Africa, and Madagascar, though it's also been mined in Namibia, Mozambique, and Sri Lanka.

5. For clearing negativity: Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline for Health & Happiness

Image by mbg Creative

Black tourmaline is a great option if you've been feeling like there's stagnant negative energy abound. It's a great crystal for clearing and creating a more positive space, whether that's your home or office. It's also believed to be a powerful stone for protection, with the ability to ground any space.

How to use it:

Using black tourmaline for clearing negativity couldn't be easier. Simply place it by the front door of your home, or if you have multiples, disperse them throughout corners of your home. You can also take it to your office or workspace, should you feel like there's negativity there. Keep it on your desk for extra protection and positivity.

Where it's from:

Black tourmaline is a crystalline mineral, mined primarily in Brazil, as well as many parts of Africa, such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, and Malawi. It has also been mined throughout Asia, in countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

6. For emotional support: Moonstone

Moonstone is known for balancing emotions, improving focus, and corresponding to the cycles of life, making it a very supportive crystal overall. It's also believed to enhance connection to the divine feminine and increase feelings of nurturing, spiritual curiosity, surrender and acceptance, and patience.

According to Leavy, "Moonstone encourages you to experience the freedom that's found through giving in to your wild side and following your passions."

How to use it:

"Hold a piece of moonstone over your root chakra for about 60 seconds while breathing deeply, visualizing the stone and the chakra center glowing bright red," Leavy notes.

"Feel any energy that's not for your highest good being drawn out of the chakra center, moving down your legs, and out through the soles of your feet into the earth. Move the stone up to your sacral chakra, and repeat this process while visualizing the color orange. Continue on in this way, visualizing yellow at the solar plexus chakra, green at the heart chakra, light blue at the throat chakra, indigo at the third-eye chakra, and violet at the crown chakra. Take three deep, cleansing breaths to complete the practice."

Where it's from:

Also sometimes called hecatolite, moonstone is part of the feldspar group of minerals, and it can be found all over the world, from the U.S. to Australia to Madagascar to the Austrian Alps and more.

7. For grounding: Black Obsidian

The Benefits of Obsidian & how to use it in your spiritual practice

Image by microgen / istockphoto

Black obsidian is an excellent choice if you're in need of grounding. It offers a calming and positive energy that can help you find perspective and stay hopeful. It can also help with getting centered, feeling present, clearing energy, and connecting to the earth and our own bodies.

How to use it:

On any given day that you know might be emotionally turbulent or otherwise ungrounded, keep your black obsidian on you, somewhere it's easy to grab, like in your pocket or a purse. If you're in the car a lot and tend to get frustrated by traffic or are prone to road rage, you can also keep one in your car for a reminder that calm is available to you.

Where it's from:

Leavy notes black obsidian usually comes from countries in Central America, like Mexico or Guatemala, where there's a lot of volcanic activity. It's also scattered throughout countries in South America, including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Guatemala, and even up north in Canada and the United States.

8. For protection: Shungite

Shungite Crystals

Image by iStock

Author of Crystals for Healing Karen Frazier notes that shungite is extremely grounding and is thought to shield you from electromagnetic frequencies. And as Leavy adds, it can also help you better integrate cosmic wisdom and karmic lessons, as "its high vibration helps to bring your spiritual body down into the physical plane."

How to use it:

Leavy recommends simply wearing a piece of shungite jewelry to stay centered. "Any time you're feeling overwhelmed, bring your attention to the place where the stone is making contact with your physical body, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of four. This deep, rhythmic breathing will bring you back to your center and will help create stillness in your mind."

Where it's from:

Northwest Russia is where the largest and oldest source of shungite lies, but there are also other deposits in Austria, India, Kazakhstan, and the Congo.

9. For tapping your intuition: Black Jade

If you're looking to strengthen your intuition and get in touch with what your highest self needs, black jade might be a good choice.

It can help you steer clear of negative people and situations by helping to bring your intuition forward so you can see the truth behind whatever is happening.

How to use it:

Black jade is a great crystal to just have on hand whenever you think you might need your intuition front and center. Take it with you when traveling, doing something new, meeting new people, or really any time you want an extra dose of intuition and clarity.

Where it's from:

There are two types of stones that are called black jade: nephrite and jadeite. Also sometimes called black jadeite, this rare mineral is primarily found in Burma and Guatemala. Black nephrite, or nephrite jade, is the more common variety of black jade and can be found on the West Coast of the U.S.

10. For creativity: Carnelian

If you're stuck in a creative slump, carnelian could be the stone you need. It can be used to remove blocks that leave us feeling burned out, uninspired, and stuck. And because creative energy and sexual energy are both associated with the sacral chakra, you guessed it, carnelian is also great for amping up sexual energy.

How to use it:

Even just gazing at carnelian's gorgeous orange color can stimulate passion, motivation, creativity, confidence, and joy. You can also place it by your vision board, to give your manifestations a little extra oomph.

Where it's from:

Most of the commercial carnelian you can purchase today is mined in India, though it's been found all over the world. Deposits have been found in Brazil, Egypt, and Uruguay, as well as in Washington State in the U.S.

How to take care of your crystals.

Whether you just bought a new crystal, or you've had one for a while that needs an energetic refresh, it's always a good idea to keep your crystals clean, clear, and activated. There are many ways to do so, so be sure to check out our full guide on crystal cleaning and charging.

Some crystals can be cleaned with water, but some can't, depending on porosity, so it's always best to check specific guidelines, stone by stone.

It's also important to store them in a safe place where they won't be damaged, especially if they have any sharp edges that can easily break off. Wrap them up in a soft pouch or piece of fabric when you're not using them, and if you display them on your altar or anywhere else in your home, be sure to clean them once in a while.

The bottom line.

Once you know the basics of the crystals in your collection, you'll find it's really quite simple to incorporate them into your everyday life. One day you may need confidence, and you can grab your carnelian. The next, maybe you want to feel more grounded, so you reach for your obsidian. There's one thing you can be sure of: No matter what you need, there's definitely a crystal out there to help support you as you go after it.

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