Lab-Grown versus Natural Crystals & Gemstones


I remember seeing Bismuth for the first time. It’s rainbow colors seemed to glow, and the geometric patterns reminded me of sacred geometry. It was one of those crystals where you see it and think, I have to have this. I scoured the store for the perfect one, bought it, then went home to research its metaphysical properties.

It was then I found out Bismuth is a lab-grown crystal. To find it naturally occurring is extremely, and I mean extremely, rare.


Some websites declared that it couldn’t be used for spiritual healing then, or that its metaphysical properties were way less potent than a naturally occurring crystal like rose quartz. Others went ahead and gave me a list of what type of healing Bismuth could be used for.


So, what’s the truth? Can lab-grown crystals be used for healing, spellwork, or whatever else?


Well, first things first…

It isn’t very common for crystal wholesalers to open up about where they got their crystals from anyway. They usually don’t disclose whether they were mined ethically with the environment in mind, or if they were created in a lab by scientists.

So even that rose quartz you love dearly could be lab-grown, and you wouldn’t even know.


But, if you happen to know, there seems to be argument for either choice.


In an article for Refinery 29, Shaman Deborah Hanekamp says, “If you want crystals that heal, let them come from the earth.”


In an article for Refinery 29, Shaman Deborah Hanekamp says, “If you want crystals that heal, let them come from the earth.”


She explains that the reason crystals were bestowed with such value, both materially and spiritually, is because of the long process they had to go through. All those years being created under the earth’s surface gave them the properties of the earth. So, only the ones that come from earth itself should contain those special properties.

Shaman Hanekamp also says, “I think man-made crystals carry the energy of the people in the lab that made them.”


And while this might be a valid point, all crystals everywhere are said to carry the energy of the people that have touched and handled them – and that includes the people that may have mined the stones too.

A simple solution: cleanse the stones you buy. It’s common practice to do so anyway.


We could do an entire blog post on the ethics and reality of gemstone mining. The long story short though is that if you’re environmentally cautious, or strive to put ethics first, lab-grown crystals are the best choice for you.


According to Slate, usually even professional gemologists can’t even tell the difference between lab-grown and naturally occurring gemstones. Not only that, lab-grown gems and stones are grown with the same minerals and chemical makeup of natural ones anyway.


Meaning, if you’re someone who believes part of a crystal’s magic is the organization of their atoms and the frequencies they breathe out into the world, lab-grown crystals will do it the exact same way as their naturally occurring counterparts.


It all seems to come down to personal preference.

While Shaman Hanekamp says lab-grown stones are fine for décor, but ones used to spiritually heal must come directly from the earth, others may disagree and say lab-grown crystals are made of the same minerals.


If you care about where your crystals come from, start asking! If you’re environmentally cautious, purchase less crystals or go for lab-grown.


The long story short though is that if you’re environmentally cautious, or strive to put ethics first, lab-grown crystals are the best choice for you.

To me though, my Bismuth (and any other lab-grown crystal) has served me well by bringing me not just joy, but healing too.

What’s your perspective? Let’s talk about it over on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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