The Most Beautiful Crystals On Earth Can Also Be Deadly (Photos)

Gemstones, Uncategorized

(N.Morgan) Many avid stone collectors will tell you that it is pure joy for them to find rare and beautiful stones and crystals. The energy these stones augment in one’s home is amazing. While there are more than 4,000 unique types of minerals, many of which are perfectly harmless, some can be absolutely deadly.

Below is a list of some deadly stones and crystals as reported by Thomas at


Galena can be found nearly anywhere on Earth within the planet’s crust. Galena is the official state mineral of the U.S. states of Missouri and Wisconsin; the former mining town of Galena, Kansas takes its name from deposits of this mineral.

It looks pretty harmless, but is incredibly brittle. It poses the risk of lead poisoning to anyone who touches it or inhales the dust from the mineral. Beautiful, however, not one to mess around with.


Orpiment is a naturally occurring mineral found near hydrothermal vents. It is composed of sulfur and arsenic. Even a simple touch of these crystals is enough to release it’s neurotoxin and will cause you to become very ill.

Some indigenous cultures used orpiment to tip their arrowheads, making them much deadlier in combat.

Orpiment was also traded in the Roman Empire and used as a medicine in China even though it is very toxic. It has been used as a fly poison and,as already mentioned, to tip arrows with poison. Because of its distinct color, it was of interest to alchemists both in China and the West, searching for a way to make gold.


Since the discovery of Stibnite, it has been used as an alternative to silver, often finding its way into our eating utensils. Pastes of Sb2S3 powder in fat or in other materials have been used since ca. 3000 BC to create cosmetics for the eyes in the Middle East and farther afield; in this use, Sb2S3 is called kohl.

It was also used to darken the brows and lashes, or to draw a line around the perimeter of the eye. This stone produces similar symptoms in humans as arsenic poisoning, resulting in the deaths of many people before it’s use was halted. If this is one you’d be interested in adding to your collection, take precautions when handling.


This stone, like the others listed here, is absolutely stunning. Arsenopyrite, otherwise known as arsenic iron sulfide, looks a lot like pyrite, or fool’s gold. When arsenopyrite is heated, it becomes magnetic and gives off toxic fumes. With 46% arsenic content, arsenopyrite, along with orpiment, is a principal ore of arsenic.

When deposits of arsenopyrite become exposed to the atmosphere, usually due to mining, the mineral will slowly oxidize, converting the arsenic into oxides that are more soluble in water, leading to acid mine drainage. The crystal habit, hardness, density, and garlic odor when struck are diagnostic. Arsenopyrite in older literature may be referred to as mispickel, a name of German origin.


Of all of the different varieties of stones on this list, this absolute beauty is my favorite. It’s also happens to be one of the deadliest. When introduced to water, this beautiful blue crystal breaks down and proceeds to kill any plants or animals it comes into contact with. This stone has been used to clear ponds of unwanted plant growth.

Chalcanthite’s blue color is one of the most notable features, but it is insufficient in identification. Other useful tests include associated minerals, crystal habit, solubility and subsequent coloring of the water blue, and taste. A special note on tasting chalcanthite; it has a sweetly metallic taste, but taste testing should not be done haphazardly. The specimen should never be touched with the tongue as chalcanthite is poisonous.

The liquid from chalcanthite will also stain skin blue for several days.


Cinnabar, while seductive in its beautyand name, is one of the most toxic minerals known to humanity.

The associated modern precautions for use and handling of cinnabar arises from the toxicity of the mercury component, which was recognized back in the time of ancient Rome. If the stone is distrubed, it will release Mercury, which can result in tremors and even death. It forms naturally near sulfur deposits and volcanoes.




This lovely stone’s name derives from Greek molochitis lithos, “mallow-green stone”, variant, “mallow”. The mineral was given this name due to its resemblance to the leaves of the Mallow plant

Malachite green (MG) is traditionally used as a dye. Millions of kilograms of MG and related triarylmethane dyes are produced annually for this purpose. MG is active against the oomycete Saprolegnia, which infects fish eggs in commercial aquaculture, MG has been used to treat Saprolegnia and is used as an antibacterial.

Rats fed malachite green experience “a dose-related increase in liver DNA adducts” along with lung adenomas. Leucomalachite green causes an “increase in the number and severity of changes”. As leucomalachite green is the primary metabolite of malachite green and is retained in fish muscle much longer, most intake of malachite green would be in the leuco form. During the experiment, rats were fed up to 543 ppm of leucomalachite green, an extreme amount compared to the average 5 ppb discovered in fish. After a period of two years, an increase in lung adenomas in male rats was discovered but no incidences of liver tumors. Therefore, it could be concluded that malachite green caused carcinogenic symptoms, but a direct link between malachite green and liver tumors was not established.


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