raw vs polished crystals

Raw vs. Polished, which is better? What is the Difference Between Raw and Polished Crystals?

In this article, we’ll explore all these questions and more…

Having been the owner of a crystal and mineral business for many years, I have been asked these types of questions repeatedly. Which is strongest, raw or polished? Is there an energetic difference between raw and polished? This article is my opinion, based on years of working with crystals, both as an energy worker and someone who has had many discussions with sellers, collectors and holistic practitioners who are customers. I also strongly believe that when it comes to crystals, you must use your intuition to discover what is best for you - crystals that are raw or crystals that are polished. And why choose one over the other if you love both?

The Difference Between Raw and Polished Crystals

What is the difference between raw and polished crystals? When people use the term raw crystal, they are referring to crystals that have not been processed or altered other than extraction from the Earth. Quartz clusters are an example of a raw crystal as they are often left in their natural state. Polished crystals are cut, formed, and polished; they are processed in some way. Many polished crystals are mass produced in factories, while some are created by artisans who have an appreciation for the material they are using and the craft of stone cutting and carving. You will pay more for a crystal that was not mass produced, but in my opinion, it will be money well spent.

Are Rough or Polished Crystals Better?

So… the question is, are rough or polished crystals better? I don’t believe there is an energetic difference, you can find (and quite easily) polished crystals that are energized and powerful regardless of the processing they have been through. It will depend on the individual crystal and its innate quality. For example, was it a stronger crystal to begin with? When you have been collecting for a while, it will become easier for you to notice vibrant, lively crystals vs. flat or dead feeling crystals. These flat or dead feeling crystals can be either raw or polished and can be re-energized and healed if you are willing to take the time to care for them. Those who believe raw is better than polished or polished is better than raw – they are expressing a personal preference. The answer to the question, are rough or polished crystals better is clearly that either one can be a valid choice.

What is the Strongest Crystal?

Keep in mind that whether a crystal is raw or polished, it retains the same crystalline structure and matrix within. This is not altered by polishing and processing. Sometimes, polishing is an enhancement that allows the natural beauty and energy of the crystal to show itself in full. Some examples of this are moonstones, labradorite and included quartz. We would not get the full flash effect of moonstone or labradorite without polishing and would not see the beautiful, otherworldly interior of included quartz. Quartz is easy to find in its raw state and can be energetically bonded with, a quartz crystal has a crystalline matrix that will retain the knowledge of your healing work. Care for your crystal partners, tend them as you would a garden and they will serve you well. Instead of buying a crystal that is already energized and powerful, consider buying one that you will energize through personal care and attention and most importantly – make your own.

Raw Crystals vs. Polished Crystals from a Historical Perspective

In many ancient communities, crystals were used extensively for protection and healing. They were often carved, cut, and polished. Ancient crystal skulls used by shamans and medicine people have been unearthed all over the world. Without modern implements for cutting, carving and polishing raw crystals, it would have been back breaking and incredibly time consuming. And yet, the people of these civilizations took the time and care to do so, creating the exact item they needed for healing and personal talismans, in polished form.

Can a Polished Crystal be as Energized as a Raw Crystal?

Crystals form in fractal patterns. When you look at smaller pieces of the crystal, they still resemble the whole crystal. This is true when looking at only a few atoms of the crystal by x-ray diffraction, regardless of whether it is a raw or polished crystal. Many people like to carry crystals with them daily. Carrying a polished crystal vs. a rough crystal in the pocket is much easier. It can relieve stress to use a polished crystal as a worry stone or increase your ability to focus on a goal. For some it’s much easier to wear crystals daily as a pendant or ring and in many cases, cabochons used in jewelry have been cut and polished to better showcase the color or aesthetic beauty of the crystal. Over the years, many teachers have purchased polished crystals from my shop for students to hold during tests or when they cannot focus, to help them maintain equilibrium in the classroom. This practice goes for therapists as well, many will gift the crystal to the patient so they can remain focused on the healing and goals of the session. 

My own collection consists of more raw than polished crystals and minerals. This is a personal aesthetic choice, as it should be for you – choose what you love and what makes you sing, and you will not go wrong.

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