Buying Crystals - Crystals for Beginners Part 3
If you’re delving into the crystal collecting game, you’ll no doubt be looking into the best places to get your gemstones. This post will take a closer look into purchasing crystals and the best way to acquire the ones you want. Things that we will cover in part 3 of our Crystals for Beginners series are the following:
- Where to get crystals
- What to look out for
- How much should you spend
Where to get your crystals from:
The majority of crystals that are great for beginners can be found pretty easily - with sites like mine (shameless plug haha) or through our Instagram Sales, or lots of sellers on Etsy offering a vast array of specimens in multiple forms it could not be more simple. Of course, you may have a good local store which supplies lots of lovely crystal beauties, so you might opt to go and hand pick your starter crystal kit (just make sure it's not a tourist trap). Let’s take a look at the different ways of shopping for crystals and the pros and cons of both:
The world wide web has opened up so many opportunities to obtain whatever crystal you have your heart set on, and with the information available online, you can discover new crystals and find out what they all mean.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of shopping for crystals online:
- Endless choice (which could be a con if you struggle to make decisions haha)
- Similar to above - unlimited choice, which means you can be a bit picky and choose the crystal that looks the “best” or the one that suits your aesthetic the most
- You can find any crystal you want
- Information about each crystal is available online so you can make informed decisions and research while you shop
- Rare crystals are easier to obtain
- You can shop online at all hours of the day
- You can purchase from sellers around the world
- You can compare prices
- Some people feel the need to hold a piece before purchasing, which obviously you can't do
- It’s sometimes hard to gauge size when shopping online for crystals
- Some people sell crystals by weight (eBay especially), which can be a little vague
- You might end up with a fake crystal or not quite what you thought you were getting, so be sure to only shop with reputable sellers! If you want more options than just my site I'm happy to give some recs.
Going to your local new age store or crystal sellers can be a really great experience and you often get the chance to chat with the shop owner, who may even advise you on crystals for your specific needs. As I mentioned before, may sure it is a real crystal or metaphysical shop versus a tourist 'catch all' kind of shop that just 'has' crystals.
- Being able to hold the crystal and feel its energy
- Getting a better sense of size, color, etc.
- You get to take a little more time making a decision versus an online piece that might get purchased at any moment
- Talking to the staff who may have suggestions for you as to which crystal you should go for
- Being surrounded by crystals and being able to have a good, energy-filled browse. : )
- Generally a more limited choice
- The shop hours may not work with your schedule as many are very small businesses that can't be open all the time.
- You may end up paying more for crystals in a shop as they have to make a profit on their initial purchase price and cover their rental and other shop running costs which an online store doesn't have
- You may still run into 'shady' sellers that still sell fakes and/or are preying on tourists and inflating prices
- Also beware of 'big box' crystal stores that are popping up. They often have low quality at just as high of a price
This option is perfect for the more seasoned crystal collectors or wholesalers, as it is easier to visit one of these shows, knowing exactly what you went there for. At a show you will be more likely to get hold of some rare and larger specimens, but some smaller shows will also have small jewelry items or collectible tumblestones - often these are pretty well priced, but you will more than likely have to pay to get into a show or specialist crystal event in the first place.
For those of you who are starting out, we would recommend sticking to online and your local stores. Although, if you are intrigued to visit a crystal show, go for it, it is super fun! Just be aware they can be quite overwhelming, especially for newbies or if you are looking for something super specific.
In reality, this is one of the main benefits of buying from a seller like me, so you can shop the best of the best.... because trust me, I pass by A LOT of crap at shows : )
What should you look out for?
When shopping for crystals, you want to be sure you are buying from a reputable seller and not just getting pieces of plain old rock or glass, or something man made. This happens more often than you might think - there have been cases when fake gems are being sold but advertised as the real deal. Sellers aren't always doing this to be slimy, sometimes they really don't know. I'll admit, way back when I first started, I didn't know there was such a thing as 'fake citrine'.
Look out for faux gemstones!
Places like eBay are where you are probably most likely to find faux gemstones, especially cheap crystal jewelry items, but even Etsy is starting to have these pop up - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! If you are ever in doubt as to the legitimacy of a crystal, judging by the price can be a good place to start. Real, quality crystals will cost you a little more, but don’t break the bank if you’re not sure on the crystal’s authenticity, size, quality.
You might want to buy some crystals in a store first which you KNOW are real, then you will be able to make more informed judgments on online purchases. Stick with reputable sellers and you’re sure to be fine and dandy, with no worries of getting sold a dud!
I actually did a more detailed blog post on real vs. fake crystals that you can check out here.
Look out for faux citrine!
One crystal, in particular, should always be purchased with a little caution, this is citrine. Oftentimes you will find pieces of citrine which are actually heat-treated amethyst. If you want a real piece of citrine, you will want to look out for the following things:
- Color -
- Faux citrine - the deep brown/yellow coloring will be more concentrated towards the tip of the crystal if it is heat-treated amethyst and will go white towards the base.
- Real citrine - is usually honey-toned with an even distribution of hue. Although, a darker form of citrine (Madeira citrine) is also produced in the earth, only it is quite a rare find.
- Shape -
- Faux citrine - will frequently be found in clusters or larger points that look exactly like amethyst, only yellow, orange or brown.
- Real citrine - is often offered purely in a polished point or carving, but it does actually form as a cluster sometimes like Congo Citrine.
- Stability -
- Faux citrine - will sometimes be a little on the crumbly side because of the temperatures they have to be exposed to in order to change the amethyst purple to citrine yellow/brown.
Of course, if you don’t mind altered crystals, then you don’t have to worry about it at all! If you want to learn more about citrine, you can check out the blog post I did a while back.
How much should you spend?
When it comes to making your crystal purchases, how much you spend is completely up to you! But, as a general rule of thumb for beginner crystal collectors, you might want to start with smaller, more inexpensive pieces before shelling out on a huge bank-breaking specimen.
As we mentioned before in our Crystal Starter Kit post, buying a nice selection of tumble stones or small crystal pieces is a great way to start - this is probably the cheapest way too. This way, you’ll get a feel for the crystals you like and which pieces you feel you want in a larger form - the crystals you feel you will work with the most. We actually have a couple beginner tumbled crystal sets available on the site!
But hey, if something 'calls' to you and you think it would be a great addition to your space, listen to your intuition! They often say crystals choose us. Quite often people will tell me that they bought a piece from my sale on a whim, and once they researched the properties of it, it was just want they needed!
We hope you’ve found our 3rd Crystals for Beginners post super handy and that you feel more confident about starting your crystal collection. Buying crystals doesn’t have to be tough, just take it slow and don’t feel pressured to get too deep too quick - crystals are natural beauties to be enjoyed as healing helpers in our lives.
Keep your eyes peeled on our store because we have a huge range of stunning crystals of all sizes, shapes, and types for you to choose from. All of our crystals come packaged super safely and we even add in a Palo Santo (we’ll get to these later in the Crystals for Beginners series) stick for cleansing your new besties when they arrive in your home.