How to Handle Gemstones Safely | What to Know
Gemstones are fun. They are pretty, neat, and you can do a wide variety of things with them. However, sometimes, one can get hurt by them. How can gemstones present a threat? It depends on the mineral greatly. While the average person doesn't have to be too cautious, one can never be too safe when handling minerals. Even the average reader might find some of this information useful, if not for themselves, then for those who do work with minerals and stones on a daily basis.
This occurs when one breathes in silica dust. This can commonly occur with those who work with gemstones that have silica, a compound of silicon and oxygen. Due to just how frequent it is, many workers are exposed to silica dust, which comes from breaking, shattering, cutting, and general work with stones that contain it. There is no cure, but one can prevent silicosis by limiting their exposure to silica dust, wearing proper respirators, having well-maintained equipment, controlling dust, and using water-tools are just a few ways one can limit silicosis. We recommend those who work with stones to look at the CDC's document regarding silicosis.
Some stones are sharp, jagged, and have formations that can easily cut someone when mishandled. While tumbled stones and orbs are often too smooth to cut someone, it can still happen. How? If that stone drops and shatters into a dozen pieces, you have to watch your step, or else you may end up stepping on a sharp piece that could cut you. The same applies for trying to pick it up. Raw, rough, or uncut gemstones may have pointy and sharp natural formations. Exercise care when handling them.
If you drop a gemstone and see that it has shattered all over, be extra careful and wear thick gloves and shoes while cleaning the pieces up. It's heartbreaking to lose a stone, but it's way worse to accidentally step on a broken piece and really hurt yourself.
There have been cases where people have been badly burned or worse from misusing fire. We strongly advise people to not use fire when experimenting with their gemstones. Fire is extremely dangerous, and you could hurt yourself and others by misusing it.
Many want to experiment with gemstones and find fire a fascinating way to do so. They think that they can heat treat their stones at home. We discourage this, as it is exceptionally dangerous. Aside from accidental burns, some stones may react explosively when put under heat for a prolonged amount of time. This is especially true or those with liquids inside.
While most adults know not to stick rocks in their mouth, many young children or infants don't know. If one has children, then they should be sure to keep rocks and stones away from their reach. Many rocks or stones could present a choking hazard.
Aside from this, many stones have minerals or chemicals that are not safe for consumption, such as those with lead, silicon, asbestos, uranium, metal, arsenic, mercury, fluorine, and sodium. While that list seems long and is shocking (yes, many stones do have arsenic), it is important to consider when handling stones.
There are adults, however, who believe that gemstones can greatly benefit one when ingested. They will try to mix potions and even drink water that stones swam in. This is exceptionally dangerous, as, again, many stones have minerals or chemicals not safe for consumption. While we joke that some stones look delicious, we would never recommend someone to put ANY gemstone in their mouth. Really, however, you shouldn't put any stone inside your body for any reason, no matter the shape, size, or appearance. This is especially true for crystal towers or phalluses...
There are many ways one can prevent risk or accidents when handling gemstones. The following is geared more towards those who work in the industry and use tools when experimenting with stones, but can apply to anyone who is cautious:
- Wear gloves
- Wear a lab coat or other protective bodywear
- Wear safety gloves
- Wear a mask or proper respirator that can filter dust and other mineral particles
- Heavily research gemstones before working with them
- Keep stones out of easy to reach areas to prevent animals or small children from accidentally ingesting them
The Wrap Up
While stones are fascinating, interesting, and subject to experiments, we always have to consider potential dangers, especially if we are using devices to test our fun gemstone theories. We also have another article that is safety related, but this one dives into beauty! If you love UV light and fluorescent stones, then this blog is for you. Thank you for reading! Stay safe!
Please Note: Crystals and gemstones are nature's true beauties, but they are not a substitute for seeking professional medical, legal, health, or financial advice. Crystals and gemstones are to be used in conjunction with any professional care you are receiving and do not provide healing, cures, or other remedies modern medicine can provide. The information provided in our listings with regard to the powers of crystals and gemstones is all derived from personal & professional experience with crystals & gems as well as ancient wisdom and texts documenting knowledge gained from civilizations around the world. They are not backed by the FDA or scientific/government resources. Our crystals & gemstones are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or malady. Our crystals and gemstones are also not a replacement for seeking professional legal advice, financial advising, or any other field of professional expertise. Crystals and gemstones are intended to be appreciated for their natural power and beauty and used alongside modern, professional methods.