Cleaning Spirit Quartz Crystals

Here’s a short video I did on the cleaning process we put all of our crystals through. If you have any questions or want me to clarify anything just leave a comment below.

I have just gotten 300 – 400 kilograms of crystals straight from the mine and it will be some time before they are all cleaned up and put on the site, but the examples seen in this video have been listed and can be seen on our home page.

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Hang on – why would anybody simply give these beautiful crystals away for free?

It’s simple really. After years of selling literally tonnes of these crystals, I have a LOT lying around. I get them directly from the mines here in South Africa and I mostly sell large batches of several kilograms at a time and I am hoping that after you add your freebie to your shopping cart that you will be tempted to add another crystal or 2 to your order – but it’s not compulsory :-).

Is it really 100% free?
Yes, the crystal is 100% free, you just pay for the nominal shipping fee. While I can afford to give some of my crystals away for free, I can’t afford to pay the shipping for everybody as well. The post office charges me, just like everybody else, for every package I send.

Ok, so how much is the shipping?
I really don’t know. It depends on where in the world that you are. It’s calculated in real time via the API direct from the post office in South African currency and converted to US$ or other currency at the prevailing international exchange rate, so it will be slightly different for everybody.

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Spirit quartz crystals and the mines they come from

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Ok – so my film making skills aren’t at Spielberg levels yet but I hope this will be of interest to all rockhounds 🙂

Wholesale flats are available in the wholesale section from just $15 per kilogram – I have just picked up another 300 kg or so of top quality crystals, but it will take me about a month to get them all cleaned up and added to the site.

Please leave any questions or comments in the comment section below and give us a like and a share on Facebook.

Actual footage of the mines starts about halfway through if you want to avoid staring at my ugly mug.

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Poisonous mineral specimens

10 Poisonous mineral specimens you may already have in your collection.

We often think that the only way a rock could hurt us is if somebody threw it at us or bashed us over the head with one. The truth is that some rocks are far more insidious and will quietly poison you. Do you have any pf these in your collection?

  1. Coloradoite
    Coloradoite is a recently discovered crystalline mineral originating in magma veins. The mineral Coloradoiteis a mercury telluride compound formed when mercury fuses with tellurium, another extremely toxic and rare metal. Coloradoite therefore poses a doubly toxic threat to anyone daring to handle it. The combination of the two elements poses the risk of serious poisoning if carelessly handled. If heated or chemically altered, deadly vapor and dust is released by this strange mineral. Interestingly, the mineral may be mined for its tellurium content. Tellurium minerals may combine with gold, but were previously not recognized. In a strange twist of fate, the streets of Kalgoorie in Australia were mined in a bizarre gold rush after the realization that gold-bearing tellurides had been used to fill potholes.
  2. Chalcanthite
    ChalcanthiteSeductive blue chalcanthite crystals are composed of copper, combined with sulfur and other elements and water. This arrangement turns copper, which is required by the body but toxic in excess quantities, into an extremely bio-available crystal. In another words, the copper becomes water soluble, and may be assimilated in great quantities by any plant or animal, rapidly weakening it and then killing it by shutting down body processes. Chalcanthite should never be taste tested by amateur scientists for salt content, or an extremely serious overdose of copper could result. Just releasing crystals of the blue mineral has killed entire ponds of algae, and posed great environmental threats. Because of the incredible beauty and rarity of chalcanthite, an enterprise dedicated to growing artificial crystals and passing them off as genuine specimens for sale has developed within the geological community.
  3. Hutchinsonite
    Thallium is the dark twin of lead. This thick, greasy metal is similar in atomic mass but even more Hutchinsonitedeadly. Thallium is a rare metal that appears in highly toxic compounds consisting of rather strange combinations of elements. The effects of thallium exposure are even more peculiar, and include loss of hair, serious illness through skin contact and in many cases, death. Hutchinsonite is a hazardous but dramatic mixture of thallium, lead and arsenic. The three poisonous metals form a lethal mineral cocktail that should be handled only with great caution. Hutchinsonite was named after John Hutchinson, a prominent mineralogist from Cambridge University. The mineral is found in mountainous regions of Europe, most frequently in ore deposits.
  4. Galena
    GalenaGalena is the principle ore of lead, and forms glistening silver cubes with almost unnaturally perfect shapes. Although lead is normally extremely flexible, the sulfur content of galena makes it extraordinarily brittle and reactive to chemical treatment. Galena is capable of taking an equally heavy toll on workers and amateur researchers who are exposed to it. Contact with specimens may lead to lead dust exposure, while workers in mines face a high risk of poisoning from contact with the mineral and the deadly dusts released through production. Once extracted, the lead content from this mineral poses environmental and health threats during treatment and extraction. Galena has a cubic fracture, and if hit with a hammer, the crystal will shatter into multiple smaller replicas of its original shape.
  5. Asbestos
    Asbestos is not a manmade product, but one of most terrifying minerals on the planet. Where asbestosother minerals act as toxins through their chemistry and sicken victims of accidental poisoning, Asbestos conducts full scale mechanical sabotage on the human lung. Asbestos is a fully natural category of minerals composed of silica the most abundant of Earth’s hard elements, iron, sodium and oxygen. Asbestos deposits consist of aggregates of thousands of tiny, fibrous crystals that can become airborne and lodged in the human lung. Carcinogenic effects occur through persistent irritation of the lung tissues, leading to scarring. Asbestos formations can also be uncovered among any set of silica rocks, warranting caution when exploring. Strangely, natural weathering leads to natural distribution of asbestos in Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, many humans carry some asbestos fibers in their lungs.
  6. Arsenopyrite
    ArsenopyriteArsenopyrite is fool’s gold, but with a difference. One would not just be a fool to mistake it for gold. Equally foolish would be a decision to pick up this mineral on a hike at a quarry, and proceed to use your hands to put trail mix in your mouth. Arsenopyrite is arsenic iron sulfide, which is the same type of mineral as pyrite (fool’s gold, iron sulfide), but with a heavy addition of arsenic. If one attempts to heat or in any way alter the mineral, a strong garlic odor of arsenic will be produced as lethally toxic, corrosive and carcinogenic vapors are released. Just handling the mineral brings one into contact with unstable sulfuric arsenic salts. Interestingly, arsenopyrite may be identified by striking a specimen with a hammer. The powerful garlic odor of arsenic can be briefly detected as the sparks fly.
  7. Torbernite
    Torbernite is the mineral from hell. The prism shaped green crystals form as secondary deposits Torbernitein granitic rocks, and are composed of uranium. Formed through a complex reaction between phosphorous, copper, water and uranium, the stunning crystal displays have seduced many mineral collectors into taking a sample for a shelf collection. If the uranium decay from a pocket sized Chernobyl were not enough, lethal radon gas capable of causing lung cancer slowly releases from these hot rocks. This is one crystal to leave alone. Torbernite can occur in granite, so your stone countertop just might contain traces of torbernite. The bright green crystal blooms were used by prospectors as indicators of uranium deposits.
  8. Stibnite
    StibniteStibnite is antimony sulfide, but it looks like silver. For that reason, the huge, shining metallic crystals of this unstable compound were once fashioned into magnificent eating utensils. But the sword shaped crystals bore the powers of death to those who used them. Stibnite’s antimony laced crystals killed a number of people before it became known that use of the mineral was causing food poisoning of the worst kind. Even in collections, stibnite samples should be handled with great caution to avoid poisoning. Hand washing is advisable after any contact. Mines near Oksaku in Japan have produced the best stibnite crystals in the world, measuring up to a foot in length. Many stibnite samples have the appearance of a miniature steeple.
  9. Orpiment
    OrpimentThe only thing worse than arsenic itself could be a rock made from arsenic and sulfur. The lethal and chemically reactive orpiment crystals are found growing below the surface in mineral formations, often near hydrothermal vents. The colors are seductive, but holding the crystals in your hands may release carcinogenic, neurotoxic arsenic powder. Like cinnabar, the Chinese made extensive use of this mineral, but to far more terrifying ends. Arrows would be rubbed on crushed samples of these stones and then launched to poison the enemy in a rather fancy way to throw a rock. Orpiment is known to give off a strong garlic smell due to its arsenic content, and may crumble into dangerous powder when exposed to light. The mineral was used as a primary component of ochre paint, and likely poisoned many of the artists who used it.
  10. Cinnabar
    CinnabarCinnabar (mercury sulfide) is the single most toxic mineral to handle on Earth. The name of the crystal means dragons blood, and it is the main ore of mercury. Forming near volcanos and sulfur deposits, the bright red crystals signal danger of the worst kind. Cinnabar may release pure mercury if disturbed or heated, causing tremors, loss of sensation and death. In the Middle Ages and late 1700s, being sent to work in Spanish mines containing cinnabar formations was widely considered a death sentence. Cinnabar was widely used in Chinese history for ornamental food dishes, and intricate carvings were created from chunks of it, sometimes at the expense of the artisans. Even more incredibly, some ancient medical practitioners believed cinnabar held healing powers, and prescribed it for certain conditions.

 

Yup, these minerals are pretty but deadly! If you want to play it safe, here are a few minerals and crystals that aren’t a hazard to your health (unless your significant other beats you with them for buying yet more rocks for your collection :-))

Welcome back

I have to admit that I was pretty nervous when I mailed out a newsletter last Sunday. I mean my website has been inactive for about 7 years and I was worried that people would have forgotten me and I was expecting a flood of complaints, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Sure, a lot of people have changed their e-mail addresses or otherwise moved on, but the response was overwhelming positive!

A fair number of orders came in, and I am exceedingly grateful to everybody that checked out the site – even those that didn’t order anything because it gave me a chance to stress test the site (it passed) and fix any niggles that might have been missed while I was creating it (there were one or 2).

Anyway, I have decide to keep the Re-Opening Special going until the end of the month, during which time I will upload as many new items as time allows (I do have a full time day job at the moment).

When I say “new” items, they are new to the site – I have had all these crystals safely packed away for years, so they were all bought and paid for years ago so I can afford to let them go at really low prices.

I am contacting all my old suppliers as well as cultivating some new ones so I expect to have a lot of really awesome new crystals on the site ASAP.

By the way, this site is exclusively for supplying natural quartz crystals! Once I have built up some momentum, I will set up a couple of other sites to cater for mineral specimens, polished crystals, spheres etc., but in the meanwhile I am going to concentrate on sourcing only the very best and rarest quartz crystals that I can possibly get my hands on 🙂

Once again, thanks so much for sticking with me for all these years and if you have any feedback regarding the functionality of this site or if there are any features you would like to see added, or if there is anything else you would like to say or ask – please feel free to comment below