Crystal Collecting: A Guide for Beginners


By definition, a crystal is a solid whose atoms are arranged in a highly ordered repeating pattern, known as a crystal lattice. There are seven different types of crystal lattices and more than 3,000 (!) types of distinct crystals on earth, all forming in different ways. Aside from being complex and beautiful gifts from the earth, crystals and gems are also known for their healing properties.

I’ve noticed crystal collecting come back into the mainstream in the past year or so, which I’m loving. I owe much of my crystal knowledge to my mother, who insisted on teaching me about different kinds, taking me to metaphysical shops and enriching my life with beautiful stones. My ears were pierced with my birth stone when I was only 5 years old, and I wore those aquamarine studs proudly as a little kid! My black onyx ring was passed down to me from my grandmother, who was also a collector and seeker of crystal knowledge and enlightenment. There are many reasons one might want to surround themselves with these beautiful things. Maybe the molecular structure interests you, or maybe using them along with meditation is more your thing — or even just decor. Whatever your reason for wanting to collect, crystals can be enriching in so many ways.


In my opinion, the best way to start collecting is to simply seek out a shop around you. There are tons of fantastic local businesses that carry a wide variety of stones and crystals. Some of my favorites in the Rochester area are The Purple Door and Archimage, but do some exploring for yourself and see what you’re drawn to. Once you get there, it can be really exciting to see all the different varieties, but you’ll usually feel a pull to a certain stone or at least a color that resonates with you — and that’s a good sign! Use your intuition when crystal shopping. Most small crystals and stones are extremely affordable; a small chunk of a geode can be around $4-$6, and single stones can go for as little as $1 a pop. Some places even carry smaller geodes that you can crack yourself!

Whether or not you just want to collect the crystals you deem the prettiest, there are also several ways to use them for maximizing your good vibes. If you’re still unsure on how a rock can help you add some serious zen to your life and you’re eager to explore the topic, I suggest you go the old-fashioned route and dig into some books. Crystal Enlightenment: The Transforming Properties of Crystals and Healing Stones by Katrina Raphaell is one of my personal favorites. The most important thing to remember is that like all matter around us, crystals are made of atoms and they still give off vibrations and energy, no matter how subtle.

Want to start building your collection? Collecting is entirely based on individual preference, but below are some suggestions to start with.


This is probably one of the first images that popped into most of your heads when you read the word “crystal.” Nevertheless, there are several different types of quartz, each more stunning and interesting than the last. Clear Quartz is one of the most common types of crystals on the planet, therefore easy to come by and utilized frequently. This baby is a must! The color can range from crystal-clear (pun intended) to milky white, excluding the colored varieties. It’s great for building a collection because it’s known as an amplifier, or something that boosts the energy it’s surrounded by, whether that’s another type of crystal or just your own good mood! It’s also a favorite of holistic healers and energy practitioners because of it’s high healing vibrations, ability to clear negativity and enhance spiritual receptiveness.


Tourmaline, like Quartz, has many different varieties, but I wanted to include Black Tourmaline because it’s known for being very protective. When building a crystal collection, you’re bound to want at least some stones that resonate with protection. It is safe and grounding, so if you know you’re going to be somewhere with heavy energy and possibly a negative circumstance, it may be helpful to wear some Black Tourmaline jewelry or carry it in your pocket. If frantic days and high stress has gotten the best of you, this is definitely a good stone to have!


Citrine is a variety of quartz, but the healing properties associated with Citrine are a little different. In color, it ranges from champagne to golden brown (that’s actually from heat, as most Citrine stones you will find in a store are actually just Amethyst that has been heated up). It’s really easily accessible and a good crystal to have in your possession whenever you’re feeling a little blue or if you have any kind of creative blockage. Citrine is known for adding a dose of cheeriness to your life, and I keep several pieces around my bedroom since that’s where I’m at my most creative. This crystal beams pure positive sunlight directly into your life — who doesn’t want more of that?


Boom, more quartz. Rose Quartz is one of my absolute favorite stones. It’s light pink in color, hence the name, and is associated with the heart, positive self image and all things love: a good gift for a significant other or friend, or just nice to have in your own space to cultivate love and ease negative vibes. My mother actually just gifted me a beautiful Rose Quartz wind chime set that I hang from my window, plus I always keep a piece on my nightstand, my dresser, in my purse… plus two gorgeous Rose Quartz bookends sit atop my bookshelf. Needless to say, it’s a very special stone. Powerful yet soft, comforting yet strong, it’s truly an essential whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been collecting stones for ages.


I know what you’re thinking… more quartz? YES! Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz that is absolutely lovely, and it’s also a stone that I find a lot of people are automatically drawn to. It’s calming and peaceful and is even known to promote better sleep and dream recall! I always keep a chunk by my bed & even gave a tumbled Amethyst stone to my boyfriend for his bed as well. Amethyst is highly spiritual but like all of these stones, it’s very easy to find which in turn makes it easy to utilize in your daily life. Keep some Amethyst on you if you’re feeling a bit spiritually drained or when the world demands too much of you.


Collecting crystals is the easiest way to add a little magic into your life. It’s a highly personal activity and can be so valuable once you commit to building your knowledge. Besides all the different healing properties they offer, they also act as a visual and tactile aid in working towards solid solutions. Above all, it is a personal experience that can offer insight in very unexpected ways, so get out and see for yourself which crystals work best for you 🙂