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Druzy & Desert Druzy
These are gorgeous encrustations of micro-crystals which cover the surface of a host rock. What makes Druzys particularly attractive is the way the micro-crystals reflect light, producing a subtle yet dazzling sparkle. Druzy gems come in an infinite variety of colours: a great number of these will be gorgeous natural colours, though pigments can also be enhanced. The magnificent crystal surfaces of Desert Druzys in particular display dreamy swirling or concentric patterns reminiscent of moody grey landscapes and emanate the powerful protective, healing and assuring energies of Quartz and Chalcedony.
What is Druzy?
In geology, Druzy (sometimes spelt ‘Druse’ or ‘Drusy’) refers to a coating of countless tiny crystals which create a sort of sparkly ‘skin’ on a rock fracture surface, geode, vein or within a vugh. Usually, it occurs over another colourful crystal or matrix (host rock), though the Druzy may no longer be attached to it. These glittering gems grow slowly, over millions of years, and tend to be the last layer of growth on a mineral base. They occur as coatings of a wide variety of minerals: the most common is Quartz Druzy, while Desert Druzy consists of Chalcedony micro-crystals (its composition is Silicon Dioxide).
Characteristics of Druzy
The quality of Druzy gems is determined by its colour, clarity and weight as well as the evenness and size of the crystal coverage. Good quality Druzy stones are actually relatively rare, especially in non-Quartz species.
While Druzy looks sparkly and delicate, it can be a fairly durable gem. The toughness and durability of each piece depends on the nature of the crystals and on the matrix on which they are encrusted, for example, Calcite Druzy is rather fragile while Quartz Druzy is more resistant. However, a Druzy is probably more fragile than a single gem of the same mineral variety. This is because, in addition to the usual concern of scratching or chipping, there is a risk of detachment of the micro-crystals from the host rock.
Druzy must be handled with great caution and care during the mining process and when cut. To be considered gem quality, Druzy formations must be in near-pristine conditions, this is a major factor contributing to the rarity of these gems. For example, nodules must be carefully sewn apart to expose the sparkly surfaces and too deep a cut, or a cut at a bad angle, can destroy the micro crystals in an instant, forever. Once damaged in fact, these stunning miracles of nature cannot be repaired and will lose value.
Where can Druzy be found?
Druzy crystal habits can occur anywhere in the world depending on the mineral forming the micro-crystals and the host stone. Most commercial Desert Druzy comes from deposits in India.
Different types of crystals form and grow in a variety of geological formations, protected within cavities or inside nodules for eons of geologic time. The more common Quartz Druzy can be found on the last stages of growth in an Agate geode, which means the Druzy pieces are usually chopped out of geode centres. Other types of Druzy, such as Garnet Druzy, can be found as interlocking crystal plates. In order to form a cabochon, as these are found on a matrix, the form simply needs to be cut out and the matrix trimmed.
Types of Druzy
There are a great variety of Druzy stones worldwide. The most common is Quartz Druzy, consisting of Quartz micro-crystals over Agate or a larger Quartz rock. Usually, natural Quartz Druzy is clear, grey, purple (in the case of Amethyst), blue (Agate), orange (Carnelian) or brown. Less commonly it can also be pink or a variety of shades of blue. This type of Druzy usually has a soft, velvety appearance to it, though there can be large formed crystals or many medium crystals with the formation.
Chalcedony Desert Druzy is a particularly stunning variety of Quartz. Its sparkling colours are earthy and span from light to dark grey, to light brown. The micro-crystals often create dreamy swirling or concentric patterns reminiscent of moody grey landscapes.
Another colourful and much appreciated variety is Garnet Druzy. The crystals of this type of Druzy can at times be slightly larger than the micro-size which characterises most other varieties, nevertheless they provide the type of sparkle Druzys are much appreciated for. Druzy Garnets are found in brilliant green (in the case of Uvarovite, the rarest of Garnets), deep red (Almadine or Pyrope), greenish brown (Andradite), orange (Spessartite), peach to pink (Hessionite) or even black to dark brown (Melanite).
Pyrite is also known to form Druzy crystals, while this is usually the color of ‘gold’ it can also be found in a multitude of other colours combined with gold in the Rainbow Pyrite and Chalcopyrite varieties. Other natural varieties of Druzy minerals are Malachite (a gorgeous deep green and blue), Psilomelane (black to dark grey in colour), Hematite (black or silver) and Chrysocolla (bright turquoise to mint). There has been a growth in popularity and demand for this type of stone, which has led to many varieties being dyed. They are artificially coloured to resemble other, more sought after Druzy varieties or to create a new, attractive tint. One of the treatments currently dominating the marketplace exposes the Druzy stone to a vaporized metal oxide. The end result can be incredibly attractive and once dyed, the material is very stable and does not usually wear off.
Properties of Desert Druzy
Desert Druzy is a gorgeous combination of Quartz Druzy and Chalcedony. Thus, it combines the great healing properties of both stones, radiating the gentle, dream-like and smooth energy of Chalcedony while also emanating the many healing powers of clear Quartz.
The Quartz within Desert Druzy is known to increase self confidence, ease self-doubt and harmonise mind, body and spirit. It is also useful in assisting reflection, promoting honesty and open communication while keeping emotions under control. On a physical level it can be used to make an elixir to cleanse wounds and promote their healing and also to cleanse and detox eyes, bones, spleen, blood and gall bladder.
Chalcedony on the other hand is known for being soothing and calming, and for promoting peace and a sense of happiness. It is believed to absorb negativity, relieving us of negative emotions, while promoting harmony and thus bringing a greater sense of joy into one’s life. Furthermore, this is a known as a ‘stone of Brotherhood’, as it alleviates hostility while promoting a group’s stability.
A Druzy cluster emanates an energy which is especially helpful for Light-work and Spiritual worship. Used in meditation, it can help open up the path to enlightenment and to psychic abilities. It can also help attune tarot cards to oneself and assist with a clearer reading of them.
Akin to other types of clusters, Druzys are known to empower the energies of other stones and crystals. A stone is to be placed on top of the Druzy cluster for 24 hours or longer to have their energy enhanced. This is particularly effective if placed in moonlight or sunlight for the duration of this treatment.
Desert Druzy is a protective stone: it can be kept in a child’s room to ward off nightmares or it can be worn near the head to ward off the evil eye and reflect negative energies back to the sender.