I’ve just come across this very valuable article, “Potentially Toxic or Harmful Stones: For Gem Elixirs, Gem Waters, Massage Oils, Handling, etc.” from Robin Harton, of Crystals and Jewelry.com, detailing the elements (minerals and/or metals) in a number of stones which you might consider using for various purposes involved in crystal/gem work.
Although most people who visit this blog are looking for jewelry ideas, if you do get into metaphysical work with stones, you might want to check this out.
Learn about some potentially toxic, poisonous or otherwise harmful crystals and stones that should not be ingested, inhaled, or in some cases, even handled.
For Gem Elixirs, Gem Waters, Massage Oils, Handling, etc.
I’ve been asked many times about whether a certain stone is safe for making conventional gem elixirs, gem waters, massage oils, or other internal or absorbent uses. While any stone can be potentially harmful for fumes, or dust, here is some information on stones that are known to be toxic in certain situations.
While some of these minerals are micronutrients, such as copper which we need to survive, they can also be extremely toxic in larger amounts than required by the body.
Please be aware that this is an partial list, as I don’t know all the possible toxicity information. Some I learned in college, from crystal experts, or from books. Before using any stone or crystal for elixirs or waters, you should personally make sure that it’s safe by consulting a mineralogist, healthcare specialist, or other professional.
Types of stones that are typically toxic to ingest are minerals/ metals containing copper, lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, barium, mercury, zinc, or other poisonous / toxic substances. These substances are often what give a stone its characteristic coloring or shape. Great to look at, great to hold, but not great to put in the body. Where I have information on it, I’ve noted the toxic material that is or may be in the stone.
Actinolite – asbestos
Adamite – zinc, copper
Amazonite – copper
Amber – toxic dust, fumes, possible trapped bacteria or virii, possible ingestive toxicity
Angelite – lead, sulphur
Anthophyllite – asbestos
Aragonite – sometimes contains lead
Atacamite – copper
Atlantisite – contains Serpentine (see below)
Auricalcite – zinc and copper
Azurite – copper
Boji-stones/Kansas Pop Rocks – may contain sulphur
Bronchantite – copper
Celestite aka Celestine – aluminum
Cerrusite – sulphur, molybdenum
Chalcantite (aka “blue shit”) – copper
Chalcopyrite (Peacock Stone, Peacock Ore) – copper and sulphur
Charoite – barium, strontium
Chrysacolla (Chrysocolla) – copper
Chrysotile – asbestos
Cinnabar – mercury, VERY TOXIC
Cobaltocalcite (Pink Cobalt Calcite) – cobalt
Conicalcite – copper
Copper – copper
Coral – organic, may contain bacteria as well as pollutants from toxic materials in the water it forms in
Chrysoprase – nickel
Crocidolite – asbestos
Cuprite – copper
Diopside – copper
Dioptase – copper
Eliat Stone – copper
Emerald – aluminum
Feldspar – aluminum
Fluorite – source of dangerous gas hydrofluoride
Garnet – aluminum
Gem Silica – copper
Galena/ Galenite – lead
Garnierite (Genthite, Falcondoite) – nickel
Hematite – iron
Hiddenite – aluminum
Howlite – boron, boron oxide, borate
Iolite – aluminum
Jade (Jadeite) – aluminum, iron
Jade (Nephrite) – aluminum, iron, titanium
Kambaba Jasper – cyanobacteria and possible cyanotoxins
Kansas Pop Rocks – may contain sulphur
Kunzite – aluminum
Kyanite – aluminum
Labradorite – aluminum
Lapis Lazuli – may contain copper, sulphur
Leopard (Skin) Jasper – iron
Marcasite (Markasite) – sulphur
Magnetite (Lodestone) – iron in large quantities
Malachite – copper
Merlinite – barite, iron
Meteorite – may contain many toxic substances
Mohawkite – copper, arsenic
Moldavite – aluminum
Molybdenum – molybdenum
Moonstone – may contain aluminum or other toxic substances
Mother of Pearl – organic, may contain bacteria as well as pollutants from toxic materials in the water it forms in
Ocean Jasper – iron
Opal – toxic dust for inhalation at least
Paraiba Blue Quartz – aluminum in the tourmaline component
Pearl – organic, may contain bacteria as well as pollutants from toxic materials in the water it forms in
Psiomelane – barium
Pyrite (Fool’s Gold, Inca Gold) – sulphur
Quartz (all types) – toxic dust for inhalation
Realgar – sulfur, arsenic
Rhodocrosite (Rhodochrosite) – lead
Rose Quartz – iron / titanium
Ruby – aluminum
Sapphire – aluminum
Sepentine (fibrous type) – asbestos
Sodalite – aluminum
Spinel – may contain aluminum, zinc
Stibnite – lead, antimony
Smithsonite (Galmei, Zinc spar)- zinc, may contain copper
Spinel – aluminum
Spodumene (incl Kunzite, Hiddenite) – aluminum
Strawberry Quartz (natural) – hematite/iron inclusions
Stromatolite – cyanobacteria and possible cyanotoxins
Sulphur – sulphur
Sunstone – Aluminum
Tiger’s Eye – asbestos
Topaz – aluminum
Tourmaline – aluminum
Tremolite – asbestos
Turquoise – copper
Unakite – aliminum/iron
Uranium – radioactive mineral
Vanadanite – lead
Variscite – aluminum
Wulfenite – lead, molybdenum
I recommend avoiding and not making conventional gem elixirs, gem waters, massage oils, or other consumables with these stones. The guidelines below can help you and those you know stay safe.
- Do not make conventional, direct gemstone elixirs, gem waters, massage oils of any stone containing metal (lead, copper, etc.) Use an indirect method instead.
- FYI: Polished stones are less likely to allow elixirs, etc. to leach any potentially hazardous materials. Rough stones are most likely.
- In general, almost all blue and green stones, especially brightly colored ones, contain copper and/or arsenic and are potentially unsafe to use for conventional gem elixirs, etc.
- Shiny, metallic stones should be avoided.
- Don’t handle stones containing arsenic, such as realgar, or mercury, such as cinnabar without protective gloves. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling them. These stones are extremely toxic.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling potentially toxic stones.
- Keep all potentially harmful stones (including small, bite-sized stones that aren’t necessarily toxic but can cause choking hazards!) out of reach of children for safety.
You may find contradictory information elsewhere as to the potential hazards of crystals. I recommend being cautious, though, and using indirect methods for making elixirs and other consumables unless you’re absolutely certain of what you’re doing. To be on the safe side, consider these stones, and any stones you don’t know for sure about, to be toxic to eat, drink, or otherwise consume.
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