My Essential Crystal List
Well, calling this list “essential” might be a little overstated. I’m a huge believer in the fact that you don’t need anything—ANYTHING—to start your craft, but sometimes, it can be nice to invest in yourself financially. I’m not saying go spend more than you can afford on crystals (or other tools); I am saying that, if it would help you be more intentional with your craft, and you think that would be good for you, then there is beauty in getting things for yourself and just for yourself. It’s a careful balance to strike.
That established, there are also a lot of crystals out there. What should you get if you don’t have anything at all? And where should you get them?
Here’s my list of the crystals that I use most frequently, and that bring me the most joy. They’re also all pretty readily available—I find that I don’t use my more expensive crystals as often, since I have less of them and I subconciously save them for “special occasions.”
A quick note: I personally don’t believe in ‘resonating energies’ or ‘vibrations.’ I believe that these crystals and their symbolic meanings can help me set my intentions for a day and have a positive psychological effect. But you’re free to believe whatever helps you best!
Amethyst is, by far, my favorite crystal to use. I use it to remind myself not to be anxious. I use it to calm my thoughts, and I use it to remind myself to be patient.
Note: Amethyst fades in the sun! Keep it safe by not leaving it out in a window or outside for too long.
2. Black Tourmaline
No list of crystals would be complete without black tourmaline. It’s a self-cleansing rock, and it’s a very powerful reminder to me that my dark thoughts don’t have to stay with me. I often visualize squeezing them out into the tourmaline, and the tourmaline cleansing them, absorbing them into its deep, black shine.
I have to admit it, I’m still not sure whether the large amount of red stones I have are carnelian or agate. Due to the banding they have, I’m going with agate.
Labradorite is one of my favorite stones to look at. It just looks like a magical rock, what with the rainbow play of colors over the green-grey stone. It reminds me that I do have power over myself, and power over my circumstances. It makes me feel the witchiest out of all my rocks.
5. Dalmation Jasper
Dalmation Jasper is a playful stone. As someone who works in childcare, this is really important for me personally. However, I find that even on days I don’t work, carrying Dalmation Jasper helps me take everything a little less seriously. This is a rock I started carrying with me and using in rituals only more recently, and I definitely enjoy it.
Hematite is my power stone. Due to its natural iron content, it’s quite heavy, and putting one in my palm always makes me feel like I’m holding something that could be used as a weapon. This makes sense, since Hematite is a stone of “masculine energy” according to many traditions.
7. Rose Quartz
Good for self care, feminine energy, and sexuality, rose quartz is a versatile must-have to me. It’s also frequently sold carved into fun (read: phallic) shapes, which can be fun for certain rituals.
Where do I buy crystals?
Usually, I prefer to buy my crystals on Etsy, from smaller sellers. You have to be careful, though—there are many people trying to sell crystals that are advertised as one thing, but are actually another. A common and well-known substitution is baked amethyst for citrine. Real citrine has small, brown-yellow points atop white, whereas baked amethyst is much more golden and singularly-pointed. I’ve never successfully bought citrine on Etsy.
Here are a few of the shops I trust on Etsy and have ordered from, just to start you off. (Note: I have no financial links to these shops and gain nothing from promoting them! I just know looking through all the shops for reputable ones can be difficult.)
This shop has a number of beautiful, small crystal carvings, as well as bracelets and points. And yes, they do have the aforementioned phallic carvings!
This shop has a number of stones as well as jewelry items. I was especially happy with the calcite I ordered—it was chunky and beautifully colored, just like I wanted.
If you can’t find something you want on Etsy, what do you do? What if you want a very specific crystal, or a very specific shape?
That’s when I recommend the third shop on my list:
Crystal River Gems has pretty much anything you could want, though the prices are a little higher for some things (especially rare stones).
My favorite thing about Crystal River Gems, though, is their Scratch and Dent section. If you go to their selenite option, you can get truly remarkable deals on large pieces of carved selenite that have been, well, scratched and dented. Since selenite is so soft, this happens rather frequently.
I myself ordered a large selenite wand and selenite athame from this section, and was extremely pleased with both. Neither were very scratched at all. My wand had a minor chip in the tip. And I got both of them, together, for less than $20—even though the wand is quite large.
Crystals, and their use in witchcraft, isn’t everyone’s favorite thing. There are ethical concerns that come with some crystals, especially the more valuable ones. If this concerns you specifically, something I’ve done in the past is gone to antique shops and bought my crystals there. That’s where I got all of my carnelian, actually, as well as some beautiful carved jade leaves.
But if you enjoy the click-clack shinies—if you have a magpie witch brain—crystals can be an excellent way to ground and center your intentions.
I hope this list has been a helpful place to start!