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  • Writer's pictureStacey Ferrell

How Rocks Are Created

Let’s explore how most stones or crystals are created. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to refer to them as rocks to keep things short. Rocks are formed when five basic conditions exist:

1) minerals (solid, naturally occurring, with an inorganic chemical makeup)

2) temperature

3) pressure

4) time

5) space

When a mineral (or combination of minerals) are heated, and pressure from the surrounding earth is applied, the minerals stick together. With the right combination of minerals, heat and pressure, applied over a period of time, rocks begin to form. With enough space, continued heat, pressure and time, the rocks get bigger. Most of the rocks form in the earth’s crust (3-25 miles deep in the earth). Only two, diamond and peridot, form in the earth’s mantle (mostly made of semi-molten rock). There are three different classifications for rocks: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

Igneous are the oldest types of rocks. Made with lots of heat, the minerals, still in liquid form, push their way towards the surface, cooling as they move upward. If they cool slowly, large crystals are formed. However, if they cool quickly, small crystals are formed. There are many types of rocks that fall within the igneous classification, such as quartz, amethyst, citrine, emerald, aquamarine, garnet, moonstone, tanzanite, tourmaline, and topaz to name a few.

Sedimentary rocks are formed when the igneous (and/or metamorphic) rocks reach the surface and begin to erode. As small pieces wear away, they are carried and scattered by wind and/or water, forming a thin layer of the small particles. Over time, more and more layers of deposits are stacked, one on top of the other. These layers become compressed from weight, causing chemical reactions and physical changes, eventually forming sedimentary rocks. Many sedimentary rocks are formed in water, cementing together when the water evaporates and the weight of the land itself compresses them, while some are formed when the land itself erodes away by wind. Some common rocks that fall into the sedimentary category include jasper, malachite, opal, and limestone.

Metamorphic rocks are formed at a deeper level in the earth. As the earth shifts and the land moves, the igneous and sedimentary rocks are buried. There, they are put under intense pressure and extreme heat, which in turns causes more chemical changes, thus forming the metamorphic rock. Rocks associated to the metamorphic process include beryl, jade, lapis lazuli, turquoise, ruby, sapphire, and diamond.

Rocks are classified by their internal structure, not by the minerals that make them up. What we refer to as “crystals,” have an orderly, repeating, atomic structure with a set geometric pattern. Some, like fluorite, quartz and garnet, tend to have a larger geometric pattern which can be seen with the naked eye. Others, like aventurine, chalcedony, and agate, have such a tiny pattern they can only be seen and identified by using a microscope. On the other hand, “stones,” generally speaking (there are exceptions to every rule), don’t contain the same geometric shapes, and appear more round and smooth.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that rocks are in a constant state of change. They are the building blocks of the earth. If you think about it, they are the chemical record keepers, and hold the history of the earth itself. Knowing how they are formed can help us to understand how we can use them in the healing process. In the next blog, we’ll take a look at the vibrations contained in the rocks.

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