Some of you may know I used to handle and grade minerals for a living. I still enjoy rockhounding and collecting interesting gems - but I find it hard to express how much it ANNOYS me trying to find nice samples on eBay. I wish there was a filter to source out the "metaphysical" specimens.
Here's a chunk of choice words used by "crystal" sellers that really tick me off:
New Age! Healing. Reiki. Shamanic. Enchanted. Lemurian. Tibet. Sexuality. High. "Body and emotions". Dream. Seed. Vision. Elevated. Grounding. "Rare" (That's a favourite of mine - usually the item in question's a chunk of cheap, battered quartz, but you've given meaning to all it's dings. Oh, it's damaged and "repaired" itself - it must be good at healing people!). Energy. Fairy. Meditation. Stabilising. Unique. Quest. Confidence. "A Grade!" (It never is.) Isis. Clearing. Power! Hemimorphite! (Just kidding, that's a real stone.) Transformation. Aura. Blockages. Essence. Love. Chalice. Talisman. "True Natural". Goddess. Boost. Chakra. Ornate. "Carved Shiva Lingham" (You can't have a CARVED Lingham. It defeats the bloody point. Ask me why only if you're REALLY interested.) Spiritual. Luck. Money. Bohemian.
Seeing dyed agates also cheeses me off - trashing a lovely slice with tacky flamingo pink colourants. Yuck.
It seems that if you attach one or some of the above words to your chosen rock, you can inflate the price to incredible levels. At risk of sounding hypocritical, I am even comfortably conversant in the "magic abilities" of some of your basic minerals for the people who are actually into and believe that kind of thing and I appreciate it's very effective for boosting sales (I can sell you a crystal for that, nudge nudge...)
But I'm sad for all the poor people out there that are being conned into buying a nasty bit of glass because someone has laser etched an angel into it and called it "Shamanic High Energy Enchanted Tibetan Meditation Quartz Lemurian".
There's a lot of fake crap comes out of a certain big country. Bad sellers. BAD!
Some good did come of today though - I found this rather handy little gidget: http://iruler.net/ It measures your screen settings and produces a true to size ruler for you! Handy!