Belief in the supernatural is innately human. Since the dawn of civilization, people have believed that some inanimate objects hold power, energy, mystical abilities, or special connections with deities. And despite living in the 21st century — when science and technology, for a large part, dominate — people are still attuned to the spirituality of everyday objects.
Hence, the rise of the crystal industry. From a purely scientific point of view, crystals are simply natural rocks. But for believers, crystals hold power that could heal, enrich, save, and guide an individual in all aspects of life.
Crystals are defined as any solid material with atoms arranged in a definite pattern, giving it an internal symmetry and external facets. Technically speaking, the crystal category includes pretty rocks like quartz, as well as table salt and snowflakes.
But in the spiritual sense, crystals are the beautiful rocks that hold healing, enriching, and even romantic energy. These include:
- Amethyst. is is a gemstone whose colors range from lilac to deep purple. Commonly used as stones for jewelry, amethysts are also believed to target the crown Thchakra and bring tranquility. Amethysts used for jewelry are in different cutting styles, but amethysts used as crystals are often uncut, unpolished, and come in their natural geode form.
- Rose Quartz. This is the pink variety of the mineral quartz. It’s abundant and easily found in many regions around the world. Gemologists attribute its gorgeous pink color to traces of the mineral dumortierite. Just like amethysts, rose quartz crystals are often used in their natural geode form. It’s the crystal of love.
- Black Tourmaline. This is the black variety of the gemstone Tourmaline. One of the most colorful gemstones, tourmaline comes in a rainbow of colors. It even has a unique variety called watermelon tourmaline, which perfectly mimics the pink and green of the summer fruit. Black tourmaline is believed to be absorbent and takes away the toxicity in your space.
- Citrine. A popular gemstone, citrine comes in citrusy colors, from pastel yellow to dark orange. When used for jewelry, citrine is cut and polished. As a crystal, however, citrine is sold as irregularly shaped rocks with a rough surface. It’s the crystal associated with abundance and prosperity.
- Jade. Jade is the stone of wisdom, beauty, and prosperity, which is why it’s highly valued in Chinese culture. As a crystal, jade is associated with luck, blessings, and abundance.
- Selenite. In the world of crystals, selenite truly lives up to its name. It got its moniker from Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon, and is now used by crystal believers to give them rest and a good night’s sleep.
The Big Business of Crystals
The popularity of crystals may be tied with the increasing attention on overall wellness, which skyrocketed during the pandemic. In 2018, in fact, the global wellness and self-care industry was valued at $3.7 trillion.
The pandemic did not faze the crystal business. Rather, it even added fuel to the fire. The use of crystals rose alongside Zoom, phone video players, online shopping, and telehealth.
Crystals are the stars of the wellness and self-care trend. The Guardian reports a 40% increase in Google searches for “crystal healing” from 2014 to 2018. Sales spiked dramatically during January, in line with the popular new year, new me goal. There’s also a 35% increase in Google searches for “crystal shops” near me.
The crystal industry boom is caused by many factors, other than people’s innate tendency to believe in the supernatural.
- Crystals give people a sense of control and calm. Turbulent political landscapes, global pandemics, economic recessions, and climate emergencies leave people at the end of their wits. Many believe that whatever people are doing is not enough, so they may turn to crystals — rocks that come from the earth itself — to ground them and calm them down.
- Crystals have celebrity champions. From Gwyneth Paltrow to Victoria Beckham, celebrities are digging the crystal trends. And so do their legions of followers.
- There’s a crystal for everything. Whatever problem a person is facing, there is a specific crystal that could help them. The universal appeal means the market is big because, after all, everyone has personal struggles.
- For financial problems, use citrine or jade
- For issues with personal relationships, use rose quartz
- For protection and cleansing, use black tourmaline
- For health, use clear quartz
Crystals as Placebo
Many consider the crystal trend as a powerful example of the placebo effect. A placebo is an object or treatment that seems real but is definitely fake. Researchers use it to evaluate the effectiveness of a new drug.
The placebo effect is real and documented. A person may expect results from a placebo, and their body produces those expected results.
No matter the mechanism behind crystal healing, it’s safe to say that crystals are not going away any time soon. It’s only starting to penetrate fashion, design, and home décor, and people may expect more shops to sell these dazzling stones.