From ancient times, humans have always been fascinated with clear reflective stones in their many colors. For many South American ancient cultures such as the Incans or the Chimu, the property of being clear and shiny, not being air or water, but something just like them, just like sunlight, this was what was far more valuable to them than gold. It seemed to be as close as one could get to light or life itself. Today, many of us wear them as decoration, still attached to their aesthetic properties, perhaps even just attached to their cultural value and status symbol, but less for spiritual or magic reasons. For many cultures, the crystals held magic, were a piece of the divine, or could be used in rituals to cast spells.
You may have heard of the paranormal practice of crystal healing that lives on in alternative medicine communities, among pagans, and those who are attracted to the field. There is no scientific basis on which to make claims of its effectiveness, but a placebo effect can leave one feeling better for having used crystals nonetheless. Having a quartz, for example, which is said to be a multipurpose stone that can generally protect you and keep you in good health, might serve as a comfort object to someone who wears it every day. It might allow them to let go of anxiety knowing that they have it with them.
Cultures such as the Hopi of Arizona and the natives of Hawaii have always held crystals as important to their customs and traditions. There is still an attraction that seems to be innate in us to the fascinating assembly of minerals from the earth into a glittering solid form. Something about this natural formation just exudes magic to us, seems special. To me, crystals, like flowers, are another awe-inspiring object that seems to consolidate all of the mystery and wonder of living on earth. How lucky we are to discover beneath our feet a miracle of the dirt and rock.