You have a few options for buying crystals—a brick and mortar rock shop (or metaphysical-themed shop), a gem and mineral convention, yard and estate sales, or online.
If you’re new to working with crystals, I recommend heading to your local rock store to make your first crystal purchase. It won’t be as overwhelming as a big convention and you’ll get to see and touch the crystals before you buy them. It’s also helpful to have a rock shop employee there to answer any questions you might have.
You can definitely find some good deals online, and it’s nice to get an idea about what different crystals cost before heading to a store. Etsy and eBay have some reputable sellers but check their ratings and reviews carefully before ordering. The downside is you can’t feel the stone’s energy before you make your purchase.
Do a grounding meditation before you go to the store. This can be something simple like sitting quietly and focusing on your breath for five to ten minutes. You can also do a visualization where you imagine roots growing out of your feet and connecting to the earth.
Ideally, you’ll want to feel balanced and peaceful when you do your crystal shopping. If you’re in a bad mood while buying crystals, it’s kind of like going to the grocery store hungry. You may not be as discerning with your purchases.
That being said, stepping into a crystal shop can also be an incredible mood-booster, so don’t let your emotions deter you. Be mindful as you look through the crystals and decide on your purchases. If you begin to feel ungrounded at any point while you’re shopping, hold a black-colored crystal in your left (or non-dominant hand) until you feel better.
As you’re shopping, take your time to walk through the aisles, scanning the shelves for anything that catches your eye. You might be attracted to certain colors, textures or shapes. Follow those impulses. Allow your intuition to lead you to the crystals that will benefit you the most at this point in your life.
When you find a stone you’re drawn to, hold it in your non-dominant hand so you can receive its energy. Even though crystals vibrate at a consistent level, it’s important to see how that particular vibration interacts with your current vibration. If the stone feels good in your hand, you know it will be a useful addition to your magical toolkit.
If you want a crystal to help you with a current issue, do a bit of research beforehand to find out which crystals are associated with the healing you desire. If you’re purchasing a crystal for someone else, think about the energy or the goals of that person. Select crystals that support their goals or attract a certain energy you know they’d benefit from.
The last thing you should do when buying a crystal is to ask the crystal if it’s right for you. Hold the crystal and think the questions, “Are you the stone I need?” If the first thought to pop into your mind is “Yes!”, go for it. If you sense your intuition telling you no, keep hunting. Trust that you’ll find the crystal you’re looking for.
Crystals range from a couple dollars all the way up to thousands of dollars. More expensive crystals aren’t necessarily more powerful. You might also notice that different rock shops sell crystals at different prices for no obvious reason. That’s why it’s helpful to visit more than one crystal store when building your crystal collection.
Larger crystals are thought to be more powerful than smaller crystals, but they can also come with a hefty price tag. Another downside of a large crystal is that you can’t carry it with you as you go through your day. The advice here is to choose a size that works for your intention. If you’re looking for a selenite window to charge all your magical tools, get something large enough to fit everything. If you want a piece of rose quartz to take with you on a romantic weekend getaway, a small stone will do the trick.
We touched on this earlier, but be aware that most synthetic crystals are cheaper than the natural version. You might have to ask the shopkeeper which stones are natural and which aren’t. It’s hard to tell just by looking at the crystal, especially if you’re not familiar with that particular stone. One tell-tale sign of a synthetic crystal is that the stone looks a little too perfect—sparkly, large, smooth, and vibrant—but noticeably inexpensive. It's up to you which type of crystal you decide to purchase, but make sure you get accurate information before you spend your money.
Similar to man-made crystals, some stones are “treated” in some way to make them appear to be a different kind of crystal. Amethyst can be heated up until it turns a yellow-orange color, and then sold as citrine. Crystals might be dyed or coated with metallic coloring or painted to enhance their appearance. Some crystals are not even stones at all, but pieces of glass or plastic. You can ask someone who works at the store if any of the crystals have been treated, and if something feels “off” when you hold the stone, don’t buy it.
Some sellers make up names for crystals, minerals, and sometimes pieces of glass and trademark them. Trademarked crystals usually fetch a higher price tag and are not at all more powerful than the “generic” version. A good way to tell if a crystal is trademarked is to do a web search and see what comes up. If you learn that a crystal is trademarked, see if you can find the name of the original crystal. If you don’t see any info online about the crystal, it could be a random mineral with little or no energetic benefits.