There are countless types of crystals and each one has its own colors, shapes, and density. Many gems are also crystals, however, not all crystals are gems. Experts identify crystals based on their pure nature and geometric molecular arrangement. If you know the basic factors to identify crystals, you can do it at home with very little equipment. It is best to clean the glass with a soft, damp cloth before attempting to identify it, as this will help make the tests more accurate. Examine the color and shape of the crystal and compare it to pictures in an identification book.
Method 1 of 2: Identify Crystals by Color
Step 1. Examine the color and compare it to the images in a crystal identification book
This is one of the easiest identification methods and you can do it from home without equipment. Identify the main color of the crystal. Try to describe the glass in common colors like red or blue rather than unusual colors like salmon or lilac. Use a crystal identification book in which they are categorized by color to compare the stone you have to the correct variety.
- You can search online for a crystal identification directory if you don't have a book.
- The Crystal Bible by J. Hall and The Crystal Guide: Identification, Uses and Values by Patti Polk are widely used identification books.
Step 2. Compare a green stone to a sapphire or an emerald
These are 2 of the most popular green crystals. Compare the color of the crystal to that of an identification book. Compare the crystal to a green fluorite if it doesn't appear to be a sapphire or emerald.
Step 3. A purple crystal could be an amethyst or a charoite
Amethyst is the most common type of purple crystal. Compare the crystal with pictures of amethysts. If it doesn't look like it, compare it to the charoite.
If it does not appear to be amethyst or charoite, compare it to images of other purple crystals
Step 4. Check if a yellow or gold crystal is a gold topaz or a citrine
These popular golden crystals symbolize wealth and power. Compare the color of the crystal to images of gold or citrine topaz, or take it to a crystal store and compare it to the selection of gold crystals.
If it doesn't appear to be gold topaz or citrine, check to see if it is tiger eye or yellow jasper
Step 5. Determine if a red crystal is a garnet or a ruby
These red crystals release passion and energy into the atmosphere and their deep color brings warm and balanced energy. Compare it to the images of garnets and rubies in a crystal directory.
If the crystal does not appear to be a garnet or a ruby, compare it to a red tiger's eye
Step 6. Check if a pink crystal is a rose quartz or a rhodochrosite
These pink crystals help energize and open the heart and promote a positive mood. Use an identification book to find the image that best matches the pink crystal.
If it doesn't appear to be a rose quartz or rhodochrosite, compare it to a lepidolite, a pink tourmaline, and a pink sapphire
Method 2 of 2: Distinguish a crystal based on its shape
Step 1. You can identify an emerald or an aquamarine by its hexagonal shape
Examining the shape of a crystal is an easy way to define the type of crystal you have. If it has a hexagonal shape, it could be an emerald or an aquamarine. If it is not green or blue, compare it to other hexagonal crystals.
Look at the glass from different angles to help identify its shape
Step 2. You can identify pyrite, diamonds, and fluorite by their cubic shapes
These crystals are formed in a square pattern. Check to see if the crystal has a square base and an elongated cubic shape. Compare the color of the crystal to pyrite and diamonds. If it doesn't match, use a crystal directory to compare it to others that are cubic in shape.
- The balanced structure of these cubic crystals is believed to create a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.
- Pyrite is usually brass in color and diamonds are usually white or transparent.
Step 3. You can identify a peridot by its orthorhombic shape
Orthorhombic crystals take a long spear-like shape and are not symmetrical. Look at the glass from different angles to verify that it is not symmetrical. Compare the crystal to images of peridots in a crystal directory.
If the crystal does not match the peridot images, compare it to others that are orthorhombic
Step 4. You can recognize an apophyllite or a zircon by its tetragonal shape
A tetragon is symmetrical and looks like 2 4-sided pyramids connected at the base. Compare the crystal with pictures of apophyllites and zircons. If it doesn't look like the pictures, compare it to other tetragonal crystals.
Apophyllite and zircon come in a variety of colors
Step 5. Identify labradorite and turquoise by their triclinic shape
This shape is like an asymmetrical elongated oval. If the crystal is symmetrical, it is unlikely to be triclinic. Compare the triclinic crystal with images of labradorites or turquoise. If it doesn't match any of the crystals, compare it to images of other triclinic rocks.