I am a gemstone and crystal hoarder. I’m not an expert in rocks and minerals, but I am a zealous enthusiast and for the most part, can identify most common stones. Hubby, a world traveler, makes a point to bring back stones and crystals for me from wherever he goes, and not from stores at retail price points, oh heavens no– he’s not that kind of guy anyway. He’s an adventurer, rock climber, hiker, goes places where there is no running water, plumbing, electricity, or internet. Those are the places he brings home rocks and crystals for me from. I also happen to work for a company that owns a couple of mines and trades internationally in natural resources, so that helps. Finally, I buy a ton of stones on my own. Most places I buy from are ehh, okay, that will do. But this place… omigosh this place…. Crystal River Gems in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
It started with a personal hunt for tumbled malachite. I bought some from this other seller, who will go unnamed, and was disappointed. It was expensive and then the stones that came were, for one, small, all under 1.0 inch, lackluster, and some were even chipped. I was displeased, but still needed to restock my personal malachite collection. Then I stumbled upon Crystal River Gems.
Okay first of all, they were selling the same weight of malachite and same size description at a slightly lower price than the place I had just purchased from. So right away I was a touch skeptical. Here is what came:
Every one of those stones is over 1.0 inch long. Over! Some close to 2.0 inches. The pieces have a great meaty roundness to them, not like some sliver morsels of gemstones that you get when you order in bulk. I also ordered the bloodstones you see above. I’m always in short supply of bloodstones, it seems, as I work frequently with them. Feels like everyone and their mother I metaphysically empower stones via sigils for need bloodstone. Anyway.
As you can see, I bought a ton of other stones in my order and in the course of the purchase, had conversations with the seller to learn more about what they do. The more I learned, the more I loved. It turns out they’re a small local seller, a mom-and-pop business located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
By the way, Crystal River Gems sells very, very reasonably priced selenite. Selenite is one of those stones those who do divinations as a profession will want to have nearby. Selenite palm stones and selenite wands emanate a balancing energetic field that has a calming effect over those in its vicinity. It heightens intuition and clairvoyance, and is said to help you connect or channel higher spirit realms. It is also a healer’s tool for clarifying the aura. True or not, I find that I like having some selenite handy when I’m doing readings for people.
Black tourmaline or schorl, by the way, is another one of those stones that metaphysicians of all paths, East and West, tend to have around. In feng shui, it’s believed to shield from the harmful effects of electromagnetic frequencies or EMF waves and neutralize geopathic stresses. Ceremonial magicians believe it protects against demons and lower realm spirit entities and is a must for high energy rituals, summonings, and conjuration. New Age practitioners believe that black tourmaline forms a psychic shield and blocks out negativity. If you click on the linked photo above, it should take you to a keyword search on the Crystal River Gems website showing all black tourmaline products. As you can see, super reasonably priced. Buy individual raw, rough pieces here.
One thing I love to do is test my luck by buying assorted stones, like the one pictured above. $6.00 for that bag! Seriously. The linked photo takes you to the webpage that I bought the stones from. These are small, tiny, cute little stones all under 1.0″ but you’re getting a really good assortment. This time, the up side is I got tumbled emerald, moonstone, howlite, and some beautiful jaspers; down side is a lot of pale rose quartz. I’m kind of in surplus right now when it comes to rose quartz. Oh– when you order assorted gems from Crystal River, make sure you read the description. They do sell both natural and dyed. I tend to shy away from dyed stones, therefore look to make sure I’m ordering natural gems only.
Okay. Now I need your help. See below pic.
I’m wondering if anyone out there can help me identify some of these stones. One of the drawbacks of buying assorted stones in bulk is they don’t always come labeled. The above are raw, rough natural stones. By the way, you can buy raw, rough gemstones in bulk from them. Here’s a link. Psst… they also have a collection of $1.00 rocks. How nuts!
1 – Rose quartz
2 – Unidentified I
3 – Sodalite
4 – Unidentified II (best guess thanks to Instagram friends: apatite)
5 – Amethyst
6 – Chrysocolla
7 – Unidentified III (snow quartz and… ???)
8 – Unidentified IV (best guess: aquamarine)
9 – Black epidote? Or maybe black kyanite? (those were my best guesses…)
10 – Blue Kyanite
Before this blog post has gone live on my site, I’ve already placed my second order with these great folks!