Rough vs. Tumbled Crystals: What’s the Difference?

Rough vs tumbled crystals guide

If you’ve ever needed a dose of healing energy, then you may have turned to crystals for guidance! Crystals have various healing powers that can help you break out of a funk and back into your divine flow of life. You’re probably aware that there are various types of crystals, each with different purposes. But did you know that characteristics like color, healing properties, and origins can influence their powers? There are even categories for shapes — like rough vs. tumbled crystals!

Rough Vs. Tumbled Crystals: What’s in A Shape?

When you’re searching for your next crystal, it’s important to note the cut, or “shape,” of the stone. Is it perfectly smooth and molded into a specific design, or is it raw, rough, and shapeless? Those are good indicators for identifying tumbled stones vs. raw crystals.

So, are rough or tumbled crystals better? And how can you really tell the difference? We’re breaking down everything you need to know about rough vs. tumbled crystals, so keep reading! 

What Are Rough Crystals?

Rough crystals are pretty much exactly what they sound like – rough, raw, and straight from the Earth! Essentially, when a crystal is “rough,” it means the stone hasn’t been altered or polished in a lab. 

Sometimes, rough crystal shapes are irregular and one-of-a-kind, making them appear slightly lackluster in brightness or sparkle. But just like our fellow humans, we should never judge a book by its cover.

The beauty of rough stones is that few hands reach them on their journey from the earth to you. As such, they come individually or in crystallized clusters. They can vary significantly in size, from small gravel-like pieces to larger natural formations.

So what are raw crystals good for? Allow us to explain!

Rough crystals

Rough Crystal Characteristics and Properties

Conventionally, rough crystals might appear less “pretty” next to their tumbled, smooth friend. However, they have one edge: they’re more powerful in their organic state.

Like we mentioned above, tumbled stones pass through fewer hands and remain in their natural form, so they’ve endured less energetic influences on their journey to find you!

However, many raw crystals will still go through a physical cleansing process that can cause alterations to the stone’s metaphysical properties.  

That said, the extent of influence depends on the stone’s mineral composition and origins. For the most part, though, rough crystals are untouched and untreated, which indicates among spiritual crowds that they contain more pure energy. 

Good news for us crystal lovers, right? Think of raw crystals as wholly organic and untouched. There’s beauty in this unpolished splendor, as the stone’s healing powers drive straight through to you uninterrupted.

So, how do tumbled crystals stack up?

What Are Tumbled Crystals? 

Now that we’ve got rough crystals covered, let’s discuss their polished counterpart. 

Tumbled stones go through a smoothing out process. But what does it mean when a stone is tumbled? Think of the tumbling process as a crystal makeover. The crystal still contains the same high vibrational energy as before, but it’s just a bit more shiny and new!

How does the tumbling process work?

Tumbling stones is a four-step process that can take up to 28 days. As you might imagine, all that hands-on interaction can alter the crystal’s natural properties.

Not to worry, because, in a bit, we’ll teach you how to cleanse and charge your tumbled crystals to reset them to their organic potency.

Crystals go through a rotary or vibratory tumbler to grind down their rough edges and make them ultra-smooth.

Here’s what the 4-step process looks like:

  1. First, the crystals go through a coarse grind of silicon carbide to soften the most rigid edges.
  2. Then, they receive a medium grind tumbling.
  3. The third step is a pre-polishing process using a finely ground tumble.
  4. And finally, the softened stones are polished with an aluminum oxide powder.

You’d never guess that this silky-smooth crystal was once a rough, crystallized specimen! 

Do all crystals need to be tumbled? Not exactly. Various stones can be too soft and will crumble without the help of a rotary or vibratory tumbler. The month-long tumbling process ends with a beautifully polished crystal, and this is especially ideal for gems that have a noticeable flash or sheen — like tumbled Chakra stones!

chakra stones

Tumbled Crystal Characteristics and Properties

So what are tumbled stones good for? Coddling your crystal babies in your hand, especially when meditating, will tend to be more comfortable when using tumbled crystals due to their silky smooth texture and symmetrical shape. 

These features also make them ideal for making jewelry or decór! 

While the argument of rough crystals vs. tumbled crystals alleges that raw crystals have more pure energy, tumbled stones don’t necessarily lose their energetic or vibrational healing powers during the tumbling process.

No matter what the crystal’s process to completion was, tumbled crystals are effective protectors and healers.

What you will want to do with both rough and tumbled crystals is cleanse and charge them the moment you get them in your hands.

How to Cleanse Your Crystals

We break down the entire process for cleansing crystals here, but we’ll also give you a few pointers below!

  • Give them a moon or sunbath. Lay your crystals outside overnight or for a few hours during the day to let the moon and sun’s healing vibrations cleanse your crystals to renewal.
  • Clean them under cold water. Nothing like an aqua bath to cleanse bad vibes away! Baptize your crystals under clean, cold water to restore them to their earthy exuberance.
  • Smudge crystals in healing smoke. Use sage bundles to waft sacred smoke into the air. Then, run your crystals through the purifying smoke to cleanse away previously absorbed energy and restore your crystal.

So, you’ve got a fail-proof strategy for cleansing crystals, but which ones are right for you? Chances are, you’ll want to bring both types of crystals into your healing practice. 

However, before we set you loose to start healing, let’s break down key differences and similarities between rough vs. tumbled crystals.

Rough vs tumbled crystals

Rough vs. Tumbled Crystals: What’s the Difference?

Whether you choose a rough or tumbled crystal, it’s going to bring you the protective energy that divinely calls to you. So let the crystals do their thing! 

Here’s a quick breakdown of everything we just discussed regarding the similarities and differences between raw and tumbled stones. 


  • Healing energies: Whether your rose quartz crystal is tumbled or rough, it’s going to bring you the vibrational energies of love, gentleness, and fertility. Essentially, it’s not about the shape of the crystal but the potency of the stone’s powers! 
  • Size variety: Tumbled and raw crystals both come in a wide variety of sizes. You can find stones small enough to slip into your pocket or large enough to fill a corner of your room!
  • Born from the Earth: Even though tumbled crystals are processed in a human-made machine, they are still natural creatures of Mother Earth and contain her powerful essence. 


  • Processing: Rough crystals come to you straight from the ground, and they’re unchanged from their original form, while tumbled crystals undergo the tumbling process described above. 
  • Texture: The tumbling process makes tumbled stones oh, so silky smooth! On the other hand, raw crystals are uniquely shaped and tend to have a crystallized texture.
  • Potency: While each type of crystal does have the same spiritual protection, whether it’s tumbled or raw, rough crystals are said to be purer because of their all-natural physical state. However, you can mitigate this variance by cleansing your crystals when you bring them home.
A picture highlighting rough and tumbled healing crystals.

Raw vs. Tumbled Crystals: Which Is Right for Me? 

By now, you might be thinking, “are rough or tumbled crystals better?” Well, there really is no right answer to this question. It’s up to you to decide which crystal is best suited to your needs. Do you feel the energetic pull to rough amethyst? Then, by all means, choose that crystal! 

Does tumbled Tiger’s Eye give you a feline roar? Regardless of tumbled vs. rough, every crystal has transformative power; it’s time to yield it to your benefit! Let the divine, celestial spirit guide you to the best healing stones for you!

It’s also a good idea to try out a few different stones from each category to determine how they make you feel when you hold them. 

What kind of energy and protective healing is washing over you when you hold it in your hand? Rough and tumbled stones provide various purposes to meet different needs, so tune in to your connection with each crystal and go with your gut — or should we say, go with your solar plexus chakra!

Why choose one when you can have the best of both worlds? Browse our collection of raw and tumbled healing crystals!



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