Crystals Articles / What is a Crystal?
A crystal: from Diamond to Quartz: is a mathematically precise tower of perfectly-aligned atoms. Laid down one layer at a time, each atom is the same shape, and they sit next to each other in organised "lattice" patterns.
A stone is also made of atoms (as is everything) but in a totally unorganised struture. There are quite a few 'stones' which we humans also love: but which are not accurately crystals (as they are unorgansied atomically) such as Opal, Moldavite and desert/volcanic glasses.. such as Obsidian.
QUARTZ and GLASS are chemically THE SAME! Both are Silica DiOxide - but Quartz is perfectly internally organised, with precise mathematic rows of Silica DiOxide atoms. Glass is vacuous, with no internal structure at all.
Lets look at Pyrite (Iron Pyrite / Fools Gold) which has square atoms. When you put squares on top of squares, you get bigger squares!!