The safe handling of stones requires common sense and a basic understanding of scientific principles.
Fragile stones score between 1-5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Stones that score between 6-10 can usually be carried in a pocket or bounced around in a bag without breaking. However, if a stone is very thin or has delicate edges, it may chip or break if handled too roughly.
Toxic stones should not be used to make a direct-infusion elixir. Other metaphysical sites will flag certain stones as toxic because the mineral contains an element such as Aluminum, Asbestos, Copper, or Sulfur, or because it has a radioactive element. The idea is that the element could potentially leak out of the stone and into the water of the elixir. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Aluminum is used for canned food and carbonated drinks.
- Asbestos is found in most drinking water. The real danger is from breathing in fine dust particles into the lungs.
- Copper is regularly used for drinking water pipes in homes.
- Sulfur is found in many foods such as eggs and broccoli, and is necessary for a healthy diet
- Radioactive elements sound scary, but the dosage is laughably small! For example, holding a tumbled Eudialyte, which has minor radioactive elements for 4 hours will expose a person to 0.01 mrems of radioactivity. This is comparable to eating a banana, which are also mildly-radioactive due to the potassium content. For perspective, radiologists who work in a hospital can be safely exposed to 50,000 mrems every year. A lethal dose of radiation is 500,000 mrems.
Some sites take it a step further and suggest that even handling a stone with bare hands is dangerous. Elements in a large solid state have no effect whatsoever on the skin and cannot “seep out” or “soak through” skin anymore than an apple or a sock can. Our skin’s job is to keep solid objects out of our body and that includes tiny particles of rock. The only exception is if a person has a metal allergy. Like any allergy, exposure will activate the immune system. With metal allergies the most common reaction is contact dermatitis, an itchy rash which is irritating but not life-threatening. Interesting fact: most people who think they are allergic to Silver, are actually allergic to Nickel. Pure Silver, like pure Gold and pure Platinum, is 99.9% hypoallergenic. But all three are too soft to be worn as jewelry and must be mixed with other metals to hold their shape. Nickel is commonly added to silver jewelry and is the most common metal allergy.
In the vast majority of cases, the dangers associated with stones are ones that put miners and polishers at risk, not collectors and energy healers. At Moonrise Crystals, “toxic” stones are those which can be damaged by water due to the elements of lead or salt. The former, will cause the stone to rust. The latter, will cause the stone to melt.
Sunshine-safe stones can be left in sunshine for long periods of time. They are typically opaque stones that are black, grey or white. Colorful crystals will lose their color over time if exposed to regular sunshine. Transparent stones should be stored in indirect light. In rare cases, transparent stones, such as a Quartz crystal ball, can act as a prism and ignite a fire.