What you need to know about decorating your home with crystals - It's not what you think

The allure of minerals and crystals is as old as humanity itself. We've always been drawn to these Earthly treasures, as archaeological records of primitive jewelry, talismans and ancient mines proves. 

Today, we continue to adorn our bodies with mineral jewelry - and place special stones around our homes for aesthetic purposes, intellectual stimulation and wellness benefits.

When it comes to crystals for home decor, one obvious benefit is their one-of-a-kind nature. No two natural crystals are exactly alike. Each is completely unique and the possibilities of crystal shapes, colors, and sizes are seemingly endless. 

Red, purple and pink minerals on display

In addition to their inherent beauty, some crystals can be great investments too! Similar to investing in art, some minerals increase in value through time. So, not only can you enjoy nature's beauty in your home, you can watch them grow in value through the years (and eventually sell for more than your investment or pass them down to your family.) 

Hundreds of psychological studies show that time in nature has immense power to improve the quality of our lives. So it only makes sense to bring natural items into your decor scheme. Many of us already have potted plants in our homes. So nature-made sculptures as home accents can certainly strengthen our bond with nature and nurture our overall well-being.

Mineral Specimens as Art

Natural mineral specimens, with magnificent colors, shapes, and textures formed in nature, can touch the depths of our souls. We marvel at the divine and unique geometries that (most often) formed deep in the earth - with intense heat and pressure- millions of years ago. It's mother nature's art - something that can inspire us but we can't replicate. 

Deep blue Azurite with natural crystals

In addition to natural crystal shapes, many minerals and crystals on the market are also shaped and polished by humans. This is typically done to smooth an irregular surface, like the thin vein of turquoise in the rock that's exposed and polished in the picture below. The process of shaping and polishing tends to highlight features otherwise masked and can give a glossy finish. 

Hand-polished American turquoise specimen

Many art collectors love to know the backstory of artists. Their inspiration, their trials and tribulations, their techniques, their creative processes, their stories. Mineral collectors too, love to connect with the miners who unearthed their crystals. 

One of our diggers looking for a pocket with hand tools.

Most are true adventure stories- hikes on steep mountainsides, cliffside camping, or moments of gratitude and elation at finding a pocket after years!

One of our diggers holding one of his finds.

One of our customers once asked me for a picture of one of our digger's hands. He wanted to see the rugged, strong, labor-worn hands of this artisan miner and imagine the process, the tools used, and acknowledge the physical labor in the extraction process. The customer thinks of the digger daily as he marvels at his breathtaking specimens. 

Crystals as Investment Pieces

One estimate is that fine mineral specimens and turquoise increase in value by 7% each year and double roughly every 10 years. Good to know if you're eyeing a four thousand dollar crystal cluster that will look perfect on your end table. 

This usually applies to natural crystals (with some exceptions) and not typically to inexpensive, mass-produced shaped and polished "crystals".

If you choose to go with an investment mineral specimen for your home decor, make sure to keep great records. One key piece of information is provenance. That means knowing where the crystal came from. What part of the world? Which mine? When was it mined? Any other interesting stories about the piece? Was it once part of a famous collection? In a museum? The more background information you can get the greater the value proposition. 

An actual museum piece, formerly in the Colorado School of Mines museum

Take note of the provenance, purchase date, price and everything else you can. This may come in handy if your grandkids decide to sell off some of your pieces in the future. 

I've just seen some rare turquoise sell for more than 50% above the average market price, because the seller bought it from a famous (now deceased) jewelry artist and its provenance is indisputable. 

How to choose crystals for your space - it's not what you think

Of course, aesthetics are important, but don't forget to consider the physical properties of the mineral and the environment you're considering for it. For example, some crystals are sensitive to sunlight and will fade over time if exposed. 

Are you looking for a coffee-table piece that will sit out in a brightly lit room? Or are you looking to create a shelf display (maybe with that mineral tucked away behind glass) and away from natural light? 

Sensitivity to sunlight is not necessarily mineral specific. Fluorite, for example, is somewhat sensitive to sunlight in general. However, there's a specific New Mexican blue fluorite that's super sensitive to sunlight. If you put it outside in direct sunlight for an hour it will fade to clear and never have that blue color again. Another example is rose quartz. It'll hold its pink hue, but Pink quartz fades. 

Bingham, New Mexico fluorite, which will lose it's color if exposed to sunlight.

Some minerals are soft. And accumulated dust over the years can cause microscopic scratches (dulling them through time). 

Other minerals are sensitive to water and are affected by high humidity environments. (I've tried to have Himalayan salt lamps in the Houston humidity and they "melt," creating salt puddles on whatever furniture they're on.) While some are super robust and will hold up for years! 

Quartz and feldspar are among the most robust minerals for long-term home decor displays. Both are relatively hard. Most varieties are not susceptible to rapid changes when exposed sunlight and they're easy to clean.

Clear quartz clusters are ideal for home decor. They're robust and go with almost every interior.

Where they come from matters

If your home decor strategy includes ethically sourced materials, or you don't want crystals that may have been dug by child labor, or support extremist religious groups, make sure to seek that out. 

Whether on a small scale and dug with hand-tools, or on a large scale with dynamite and large equipment, the American government has environmental regulations and labor laws to protect miners and the planet. 

At Truth Minerals, we offer American and Canadian mineral specimens, usually extracted by artisan miners- the guys with hand-tools. Stay in touch to be notified about new blog posts, and new collections by signing up for emails from our geologist and founder. And to browse the current offerings in the home decor collection click here