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Raw vs. Tumbled Crystals. What's The Difference?

Raw vs. Tumbled Crystals. What's The Difference?

As you may already know Crystals possess a wide variety of amazing properties and benefits ranging from where they form in the world, their overall chemical make up as well as general  color. A debate that's been going on for a long time is the difference between Raw and Tumbled crystals and if the shaping of the crystal changes the spiritual components of the stone. While there is no one definitive answer for choosing the “best” stone, let's go over a few of these different shapes and their unique qualities.

What are Raw stones?

Raw stones are unprocessed minerals found in various places and depths all over the world. They can vary greatly in size, shape, texture, inclusions, and overall durability. When a crystal is considered to be “raw” that means it hasn't been cut, polished, treated, or colored in a lab.  To Some cultures the more “natural” the stone is the more value it possesses to them. Sometimes, natural shapes are irregular and more dull, making them appear slightly lackluster in brightness or sparkle. Raw stones have a natural connection with mother earth allowing for a deep connection to the aura and spirit. For the most part, an untouched and untreated crystal indicates they contain more pure energy among spiritual enthusiasts. 

What is a Tumbled crystal?

A tumbled crystal is a smoothed and polished version of its raw counterpart. They are processed with rock tumblers using water, grit, and polish for several days to weeks or even months.The process often starts with the crystal going through a coarse grind of silicon carbide to soften the harsh edges. After that the stone will go through a few different levels of grind and tumble till its final process where the softened stone is polished with an aluminum oxide powder. The tumbling process often reveals and enhances the crystal’s dormant colors, layers, and natural beauty. Only minerals above 7 on the Mohs hardness scale are usually tumbled, those on the lower side unfortunately break or wear down rather quickly in tumblers.

What's the difference?

No matter what you choose, crystals all contain divine energy within them. Every energy contains a lesson so I always try to follow my intuition and go with whatever is calling to me. It's important to go with the flow and follow what feels natural and comfortable for you!

Let's go over some of the fundamental properties of each and look at them together.


  • Energetic Properties: Whether the crystal is raw or tumbled the specific benefits to the material stays the same. More specifically it's not about the nature of the stones abilities but rather its potency of spiritual connection.
  • Personal specifications: In modern times we have access to a huge variety of size, cuts, shapes, polishes, and materials. Whatever your specific desire or need is for crystals in your life, I'm sure it exists at exactly what you imagine you require for yourself. Some may just take a little more searching than others.
  • Rare earth minerals: Even though tumbled stones are processed and sometimes treated they are still natural elements found on the planet. Every stone whether treated or not contains a powerful connection to our planet and gives us access to the divine nature of the spiritual and mystical.


  • Chemical treatment: Raw stones come to you straight from the earth how they were naturally found, while  tumbles undergo a tumbling process and chemical treatment of silicon carbonate and aluminum oxide described above.
  • Feeling and sensation: The tumbling process transforms the stone into a well polished work of art bringing out vibrancy and hidden layers of the crystal that would have been previously very tasking to see. While the tumbled stones may be easier to transport there is something unmistakable about a natural stone that brings us back to our roots of humanity.
  • Cost: The time and materials it takes to get a stone from raw to tumbled is no small feat. Often within stores and markets the tumbled variety of a stone will be more costly than its raw counterpart due to labor that goes into its creation. Something to consider when researching your next energetic investment!

In closing, I don't personally believe there is any one correct choice when it comes to choosing crystals. Different stones for different folks! All of us are attracted to different colors, shapes, and textures. It's important to take time to meditate and reflect on  whether something is truly of your own interest. It's up to each of us to decide our own happiness, so please choose according to your own thoughts and feelings.

Check out our Collection of Raw and Tumbled crystals!


Robert S

I hope I was able to shed some light on the different types of stones. Please check out our shop and peruse the many raw and tumbled crystal varieties!

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