Difference Between Gemstones and Crystals

Gemstones and Crystals
Posted on June 20th, 2023 05:22 PM

What Is The Difference Between Crystals And Gemstones?

Gemstones and crystals are terms that are often used synonymously to refer to the stones we see in our daily lives. However, there's a catch: These two terms can sometimes be used interchangeably but not as synonyms. There is a difference between crystals and gemstones - in their formation, shape, and use.

People holding their unique preferences value them for diverse purposes. They are explicitly used in different practices. While all gems can be designated as crystals, crystals cannot be called gemstones. Why? What is the significant difference between gems and crystals? Know it here.

Gemstones vs. Crystals

The major difference between crystal and gemstone is that gems are well-shaped and skillfully cut from crystal. Yes, gemstones are part of crystals. While crystal is the raw form, gemstone is the finalized product, cut, polished, and treated. 

Gemstones are very valuable stones known for their healing properties and powers. Their demand in the market is both because of their beauty and significance in astrology and traditions. Mainly, stones are used to make jewellry. They are crafted skillfully into cuts and shapes so that they can be used to make gemstones pendants, rings, bracelets, etc. The treatments and cuts improve their clarity and color; hence, according to a cut, gemstone prices vary. 

Crystals are pure substances, raw materials that are found naturally on Earth. They are mined from various regions worldwide. Crystals are not treated or polished; they are pure atomic structures of minerals like quartz, corundum, etc. When these crystals are cut and treated to give them a particular shape, they are called gemstones. For example, when the red corundum mineral crystal is polished and faceted, it is called a Ruby gemstone. During crystal therapies, raw and pure minerals are often preferred over gemstones.

Formation and Structure

First, let's learn about the basics, which starts with the formation of gemstones and crystals. Are gemstones crystals? You will find the primary difference between gems and crystals in their structure.


Gemstones originate from the Earth's crust. They are formed by many geological processes which undergo specific conditions. This involves intense heat, pressure, and the presence of certain minerals. Some gems come from igneous rocks through volcanic activity, while others come from sedimentary or metamorphic rocks. The alignment of the atoms in an order or in a repeating pattern makes them a gemstone. They mostly have crystalline or amorphous structures. The structure gives them their clarity and durability.

Because of their structure, many phenomena can be seen in distinct gems. Refraction, Dispersion, piezoelectricity, and fluorescence are some of the phenomena that are visible. However, gems of different mineral compositions and structures show distinct phenomena.


Crystals have repeated lattice patterns that are formed through a myriad of processes and have a disordered arrangement of atoms. They are formed over thousands of years in the core of the Earth. Some of them emerge over time as well, while some are found in their raw states. Crystals of the purest forms are rare to find.

Mostly igneous crystals are formed from the cooling of molten rock, while vein crystals are formed within the fissures and hollow spaces of rocks. These are classified based on their lattice structure and symmetry. Some of the notable systems are cubic, tetragonal, monoclinic, triclinic, and hexagonal.

Gemstone vs Crystal: Different Types

Gems and crystals are part of the world of healing spiritually through the powers of the universe. They are known to take you on a fascinating journey, and using them during spiritual practices will help you focus and tap into your inner self. Crystals and gemstones have their own distinct properties and carry energy and symbolism. They have unique colors, meanings, and healing properties.


Gemstones have to be worn all the time so that the stone's energies keep flowing through you. For that, it is recommended to wear a gem in the form of a ring, bracelet, or pendant. This way, it will always be in touch with your skin and let its energies flow through you.

Here are some of the gemstones that will benefit you in different ways; look at these examples and see the properties they have:-

Ruby—Ruby, the red-hued gemstone, is associated with love, passion, commitment, and courage. It is believed that the ruby gemstone will bring you fierceness, boldness, and determination. It will also increase your leadership skills, attract love, and strengthen your relationships.

Blue Sapphire—Blue sapphire is one of the longest-known gemstones in the world, found in hues of deep dark blue. This stone is known to bring fame and success to its wearer. It attracts wealth and represents royalty and divinity.

Emerald—Found in dark green hues, emerald stone is the of communication and self-expression. It also activates the heart chakra in the wearer, opening the heart to love and strengthening it.


Crystals are in their rawest forms and are recommended to be kept in pairs or in bulk in homes or workplaces. The combined energies of the crystals will purify your place and fill it with positivity. Most people also use crystals during crystal therapies by using multiple crystals at the same time while meditating or acting out any spiritual practice.

Here are some of the best healing crystals that are used the most around the world:

Amethyst—This purple-hued gemstone will bring you peace of mind and relaxation. The soothing energies of the Amethyst stone are widely known to help the person who wears it overcome depression, anxiety, sorrow, grief, or any emotional trauma. 

Rose Quartz—Rose quartz amplifies the energies and brings you love. Its light pink hue makes it highly loveable. This gemstone is used and worn to attract all types of love, including self-love.

Citrine—The citrine gemstone, also known as Sunela, is a yellow stone that brings hope and warmth. It is also known to bring abundance, prosperity, and success. It enhances a person's positive mindset and helps them make better decisions.

Crystal vs Gemstone - Basic Differences

Based On
Gemstones are cut and polished stones out of minerals. (disordered arrangement of atoms)
Solid materials with arranged atoms in a high order, repeating pattern, extending in all three spatial dimensions.

They are formed under very specific geological conditions, mostly at high pressures and temperatures.

Formed by the cooling of molten rocks, and evaporation of water or solutions.
Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, amethysts, emeralds, etc.
Quart, calcite, silicate, fluorite, etc.
Jewellery and decorative items. (Majorly) Diamond is used in industries for cutting.
Watches (Quartz), Healing crystal therapies, scientific research, and industrial applications.
More Valuable due to rarity, beauty and treatments.
Less Expensive as compared to gemstones.
Cut and polished to enhance the color and clarity.
Natural geometric shapes and raw state.
Highly rare
Some are common while some are rare.

Cleaning and Care Tips for Your Gemstone/Crystal Jewelry

Above, we have learnt all the crystals and gemstones difference, but to maintain them and gain their maximum advantages, it is essential that you cleanse them and care for them well. 

In gems vs crystals, both are highly valuable although, there might be a price difference between gemstone and crystal. However, you need to take better care of your gemstone or crystal in order to maintain their beauty and preserve them. 

Here are some tips that you should keep in mind: -

Caring Secrets

Protect the gems or crystals from the chemicals and acids. Never clean them with any cleaning agents or chemicals.

Avoid getting them in contact with scorching fires. Also, try not to expose them to sudden temperature changes, as they might damage the stone.

While you are storing your crystals or gemstones, make sure you store them in separate boxes. Otherwise, they might get scratches and damage from each other. Some gems are more delicate and soft than others, and so they can easily get damaged if stored with other crystals.

Do not go swimming wearing your gemstones. Also, avoid exposing them to hair, beauty products, and perfumes.

Also, remove the gemstones while you are gardening; the process and fertilizers can damage the gem.

Clean them with lukewarm, mildly soapy water and a soft, bristled toothbrush. Gently scrub and then rinse with water. Pat it dry with a lint-free and soft cloth. Make sure you remove all the dirt and oils.

Cleansing Rituals

The gemstones and crystals absorb your negative energies, so it is essential to cleanse them once in a while. You should nurture these treasures with all your faith and belief and cleanse them at home with proper procedure to keep their enchanting essence. 

To do that you can use several methods. Moonlight and Sunlight are the most basic ones, but you should consult an expert about which one your gem or crystal is good for since each will have their distinctive features.

You can cleanse by sound therapy, incense sticks, or by Gangajal (Holy water).


Are gemstones and crystals the Same? Well, now you must have understood that gems can be crystals but crystals cannot be gemstones. Even all crystals cannot be turned into gems either. Like, a diamond is both a crystal and a gemstone but Sugar is only a crystal.

The major gemstone and crystal difference is in their structure and use.

If you want a constant flow of energy and want to gain maximum benefits for yourself, wear a gem. While, if you want to clear your environment of negativity and enjoy benefits for your home or whole place, keep crystals at your home or workplace. 

Crystals and gemstones both possess energies that heal you and align the energies of your body. They will turn the events of the universe to you. They will offer you solace and enrich your life with positivity. They will spiritually enlighten you, heal you physically, and assist you emotionally.

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