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Practical Questions Part 1

1. Which types of rocks are allowed to go in water?

Crystals from these families are safe for water: Jasper, Quartz, Agate, Obsidian, Beryls and Chrysoberyl (e.g. emeralds)

The best rule I know is if a crystal ends in "ite" be careful around water. e.g. calcite, selenite, malachite ... If a crystal is soft and easy to scratch - that also is an indicator that it is not good around water. If a crystal gets wet - dry it off straight away and place it some where warm to dry but be careful of the hot sun as it may fade!

Be careful with crystals that are coloured with dues - some are done badly and the colour leaks off.

When you buy a crystal - that's the best time to ask. Write down the answer so you don't forget.

2. How do rocks get patterns on them? (e.g howlite, red coral, chalcedony, purple tumble, etc)

It is how they grew - like rings in a tree when you cut off a branch or see a tree that has been cut down - different things happened in the environment - it received different amounts of food, or different weather existing each year creating bigger or smaller rings. So similarly for rocks - Calcite gets patterns in a very similar way to the tree as it grows in a similar way.

Example two: if the rock was formed in a river bed: the rain washes different materials (all different colours) into the river and drifts down when the water stopped flowing to lay unevenly one level upon the other. Then the rocks sunk deep into the Earth and became heated. Those nearer the hot magma got more heated and that changed them differently to those that stayed in the cooler part of the Earth. Then the Earth moves in quakes which cracks and bends the layers. This is what creates patterns in Jaspers.

3. How do rocks originate in other rocks?

a. A rock may fall off a mountain, into a river and then other material floating in the river surrounds it and the it sinks into the Earth and becomes hard. An Earth quake may then push the whole thing and erosion lets it be seen.

b. The most common is minerals are melted in the hot magma which boils up through the Earth's crust and as it cools, it forms rocks/grows as crystals inside the main rock. e.g. gold, quartz, amethyst inside agate

c. The rain dissolving mineral from the planet's surface and it runs into cracks which slowly creates more and more minerals to grow as crystals inside a hollow. e.g. calcite, azurite, malachite ..

4. How many different types of rocks crystals are there in the world?

If you include different natural shapes e.g. fluorite can grow as cubes, balls, lumps, .. and colours e.g. fluorite can be yellow, green, pink, blue, clear .... . And then some rocks grow in rocks e.g pyrite in quartz, blue tourmaline in quartz, ..... then there are thousands - so many that I released I could never buy one of them all.

5. Do you think there will be any new types of rocks crystals to be found?

Yes new rocks are found all the time - Nature is an amazing creator. And even if its not a new rock, because it grew in a different country or a different part of the country¬¬†- it can look very different to those that were found elsewhere.

6. How is it that some rocks are harder than others?

It has to do whether they grew from:

  • being melted and cooled to grow crystals (medium hardness e.g. quartz, obsidian),
  • dissolved and dripped to created crystals (softest e.g. calcite) or
  • grew and then were placed under intense pressure that they had to change their structure¬¬†in order to survive (very hard e.g. diamonds)




Hematoid Quartz


Moss Agate


Rainforest Jasper