5 Crystal Identification Apps You Need To Try

Come across a pretty rock and don’t know much about it? Use an app!

Table of Contents

What are crystals?

You might’ve heard chatter about crystals like amethyst , topaz, or even quartz recently, but did you know that any substance that is made up of a highly ordered repeating pattern is technically a crystal?

What are crystal identification apps?

With so many types of crystals out there, it’s hard to judge whether the mineral in your hand is actually a piece of aquamarine or a piece of topaz. That’s where crystal identification apps enter into the conversation.

Crystals have immense commercial and scientific importance
Crystals have immense commercial and scientific importance, Credit: Wikimedia/Parent Géry

Nowadays, there’s an identification app for everything. The data collected by citizen enthusiasts and scientists, coupled with the power of the internet, has enabled the advent of identification apps. These apps house mountains of information and also act as platforms on which you can engage with fellow enthusiasts.

How do they work?

1. Depending on whether you use your phone or your PC, you can either download the app (Apple users, head to the App Store; and Android users, head to the Play Store) or pull up the website for the app on a web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera; whichever one you’re comfortable with).

Geologists, gemmologists, petrochemical scientists, as well as enthusiasts and hobbyists… crystals intrigue a lot of people!
Geologists, gemmologists, petrochemical scientists, as well as enthusiasts and hobbyists… crystals intrigue a lot of people! Credit: Wikimedia/Sowjaka

2. If you don’t already have an account, you can use the registration tab to create one. A few apps might also have the option to let you sign in with your Google accounts directly.

 

3. Crystal Identification Apps are generally of two types:

 

a. Type 1: If you come across a rock or a crystal that you can’t identify, simply take a photo and upload it to the app, and the app will identify the rock for you!

 

b. Type 2: Instead of uploading a photo, some apps serve as extensive databases of information. You can use the information in these databases to compare and evaluate any rock or crystal you may come across.

Multiple Apps To Choose From

There’s no shortage of crystal identification apps on the market today. We’ve picked a few gems (pun intended) for you to pick from.

 

1. A Guide To Crystals – The CC

 

With over 100,000 downloads worldwide and impressive 4.8 and 4.9 ratings on the Play Store and the Apple Store, A Guide to Crystals is a brilliant app. The app, developed by a husband-and-wife team, has a working database of over 400 crystals.

 

While you can’t upload photos to the app to help determine which kind of stone you may have come across, you can use their extensive database to figure it out yourself!

 

The app also has fun features like quizzes and games to help users better their knowledge.

 

Apple Store Link

 

Play Store Link

 

2. Rock Identifier: Stone ID

 

Rock Identifier is one of the top-rated identification apps on the market. It has a 4.6 rating on both the Play Store and the Apple Store and has over 1 million downloads worldwide. To use Rock Identifier, simply take a photo (or upload one) of the rock in your hand and watch the app identify it for you in mere seconds! You can even save records of any rock you’ve identified and create your own personal museum of sorts. Another fun feature that the app has is its extensive database. You can browse through a massive collection of over 6,000 rocks and learn all you want to know about geology. The coolest thing about this app is that you they offer an email service that can connect you to an actual geologist for a one-on-one!

 

Apple Store Link

 

Play Store Link

Many apps have an in-built GPS or mapping system that lets you save details related to where and when you’ve collected crystals.
Many apps have an in-built GPS or mapping system that lets you save details related to where and when you’ve collected crystals, Credit: Wikimedia/Sri2161k

3. Geology ToolKit: You can browse through a database of over 200 rocks to use as a guide. The app is easy-to-use and a good beginner app if you’re just getting into geology as a hobbyist or as an enthusiast. If you’re a professional, you might want to look into Geology ToolKit Premium, the paid version of the app. On the paid version, you can make use of an extensive toolkit with cool features such as Geocompass, GPS , exclusive diagrams and tables for identification, and much, much more!

 

(Author’s note: This app is only available to Android users on the Play Store.)

 

Play Store Link

 

4. Rockd: With a rating of 4 on the Play Store and 4.4 on the Apple Store, this App is particularly unique. It’s the only one on the list that’s been developed by a university. The Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin came up with Rockd as a way to serve both professional geologists as well as hobbyists and enthusiasts. A super cool feature of the app is that you can explore landscapes using a virtual 3D globe. You can even save maps and past locations for fieldwork.

 

Apple Store Link

 

Play Store Link

 

5. Geology of Rocks – Handbook of Rocks: Geology of Rocks has a database with over 4,000 individual specimens. The app is fast and easy to use with a simple and minimalist user interface. It divides all rocks into three kinds—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic—for quicker and easier identification.

 

(Author’s note: This app is only available to Android users on the Play Store.)

 

Play Store Link

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a professional scientist, knowledge has never been this accessible before, and there’s a plethora of identification apps out in the market now.

 

In conclusion, you can’t go wrong with any of the five apps we’ve mentioned so far. In fact, you may also consider using two apps in tandem, to better your identification skills.

Readability: 62.3

 

Flesch Kincaid Grade Level: 8

Glossary

Crystal: A solid made of atoms or molecules arranged in a highly ordered system.

 

Amethyst: A variety of quartz crystal. It is generally found in a violet form and is highly sought after in gemmology.

 

GPS: Geographical Positioning System; uses a network of satellites and signalling devices to map locations.

 

Database: An extensive and meticulous record of data, stored in a structured order, usually on a computer or electronic system.

What is a Crystal? (n.d.). https://nature.berkeley.edu/classes/eps2/wisc/Lect4.html

 

International Gem Society LLC. (2021, July 2). What is a Crystal? – International Gem Society – IGS. International Gem Society. https://www.gemsociety.org/article/crystal/

 

International Gem Society LLC. (2022, June 14). Rock Scanner Identification Apps Review – International Gem Society. International Gem Society. https://www.gemsociety.org/article/gem-mineral-and-rock-scanner-identification-apps-review/

Contributors

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