Crystals can remain unchanged for millions of years because their constituent atoms are arranged in a stable, regular pattern, called a lattice. This lattice repeats throughout the crystal and ensures that every crystal of the same mineral will show the same geometrical characteristics, with the same number of flat faces always meeting at the same angles. This precise repetition is the same no matter what size the crystal or whether it is a faceted gem or a dull, rough piece. A crystal’s external form is simply a reflection of its internal atomic structure. These shapes have a significant influence over the magickal and healing properties of a crystal.
The lattices fall into seven major types. Different minerals that share the same core pattern will have similar basic shapes. Unfortunately, these simple forms are seldom obvious from the external appearance of crystals owing to the variable conditions in which they form. However, careful scrutiny will allow you to recognize certain identifying traits (for example, the hexagonal cross-section of quartz or emerald).