KEYS and IMPRINTS – Unlock Answers & Adapt During Growth

This week we’re going to discuss Imprints and Keys. Remember we talked about Growth Interference last week, and that it is caused by the introduction of another mineral to the crystal during its growth. Keys and Imprints are caused by crystals being in close proximity to one another as they grow.

poking something in clay (photo credit: is created when a crystal pokes into another crystal during its growth. To the left is a visual example of how they are created: Take a crystal, and stab the top of the point into a cylinder of clay (surrogate for our crystal in this example) and then remove the crystal (pictured is actually a round object, but pretend it is a crystal). The impression left in the clay is the Key. Sometimes Keys have a pointy bottom and sometimes a flat bottom. example of pokey bottomed Key (photo credit: to the right is an example of a pointy bottomed Key in a crystal. This would be caused by the tip end of another crystal penetrating the original crystal as it grew.

Now take the same crystal (assume it has a flat base) and press the base into the clay, instead of the tip… this pressing will create a hexagonal shape like the picture to the left. (This crystal actually has both a flat bottomed and a pointy bottomed Key. The pointy bottomed is that notch in the top right of the crystal, the flat-bottomed is the hexagon beneath it.) To call them “Key” seems like a misnomer, really, because it is actually more of a key HOLE in shape, but they are called Keys, none-the-less.

Crystal is hexagonal (six-sided), so Keys are normally six-sided like the one pictured left, but not always. Sometimes the portion of the crystal that is smashing into the other crystal (the clay in our prior example) isn’t aiming head on so all six sides aren’t in contact or part of the crystal making the impression is half on and half off the crystal receiving the Key so there may be three, four or even five-sided Keys, but the traditional (textbook-perfect) example would be six-sided. Here are some pictures of Keys, both textbook perfect and not:


Imprints are areas of indentations which are larger than Keys, and often alter the shape of the crystal. They could also be called a partial Key. Imprints are caused not so much by another crystal poking INTO a crystal as Keys are, but rather more that two (or more) crystals are growing in proximity to each other and sort of crowding each others’ growth. Here are some pictures of Imprints:


And here are some Imprints which alter the body shape of the crystal:

imprint shape change

To make the terms Key and Imprint even easier to understand, take an example of a smoothly iced cake. The cake will be the crystal receiving the Key or Imprint, and our hand will be the crystal causing the Key or Imprint. A  Key would be a pointer finger poking straight into the icing (either shallowly or deeply), and an Imprint would be a palm or edge of a hand laying onto the icing.

You will be able to tell it is an Imprint and not simply damage to the crystal because there is almost a fingerprint inside the Imprint which occurs as the crystal grows. Here is a picture of a Key and an Imprint side by side, so you can see the difference between the two and also the characteristic “fingerprint” type marking inside the Imprint:

imprint and key side by side

So, what are these Keys and Imprints useful for? Key crystals are good to help you unlock answers to questions you may have. You can access them in different ways. You may gaze into them during meditation, or simply close your eyes and enter the energy of the crystal, imagining it opening and see what answer you get to a question you may ask. I like to put my thumb or finger into the Key as I meditate on the question. There are many different ways, use your intuition for the best way!

Imprints show how something is affected by outside influences. The original structure adapts to its environment as outside influences change its shape or form. This allows for growth and change, while still maintaining its basic inherent truth and beauty. I like to meditate on this and see how it applies to my life and circumstances. It makes me feel softer and more loving toward perceived flaws I may have.

Remember when we discussed that Growth Interference, since it is caused by the introduction of another mineral, represents how outside influences (non-human) such as illness, cause the adaptation. In Imprints and Keys, it is crystal on crystal, so I see this as more human/relationship oriented.

Bevel edged impressions

Sometimes Keys and Imprints have beveled edges like the picture to the right. These bevel-edged crystals have a softer energy than traditional Keys. Ask the crystal for help in determining the best way to work with it. I find myself rubbing the beveled areas and feeling the energy that presents.

So, as you can see, there are many different ways shapes and indents may appear on a crystal, created in different ways and presenting in a wide range of sizes, shapes and forms. (In these cases, Growth interference, Keys and Imprints). In working with any of them, the most beneficial method is to sit with the crystal and experience its special energy as an individual. While they may appear similar, they are all different. However they present, I find the energy of these shapes thrilling. As for how to work with them, use your intuition, the Crystal People will help you to figure out how to best work with your particular crystal. It will vary as much as the crystals themselves.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion of Keys and Imprints. Next week we’ll talk about Included Crystals.

Here is a recap of the past posts featuring the metaphysical configurations and links to where you might find these various crystal configurations if you decided you might like to work with them:

KEYS and IMPRINTS (Answers to questions and Adapt During Growth) purchase Key  purchase Imprint

GROWTH INTERFERENCE (A Lesson in Adaptation) purchase GROWTH INTERFERENCE    read blog post

GOLDEN HEALERS (for healing applications) purchase GOLDEN HEALER   read blog post

GENERATOR or MERLIN CRYSTALS (For precise, direct, focused energy)  purchase GENERATOR or MERLIN   read blog post

FEMININE, MASCULINE & YIN/YANG CRYSTALS (An anatomy lesson) purchase FEMININE    purchase MASCULINE    purchase YIN/YANG      read blog post

FAIRY FROST & MIRROR FRACTURES (To connect us to Nature Spirits and to care for Mother Earth) purchase FAIRY FROST crystal    read blog post

FADEN CRYSTALS (For astral travel or connecting) purchase FADEN crystal     read blog post

E.T. CRYSTALS (Access otherworldly beings or boost distant healing) purchase E.T. crystal     read blog post

ETCHED CRYSTALS and SACRED SIGILS (Surface features with special energies.) purchase ETCHED crystal  purchase SIGIL crystal    read blog post

EMPATHIC CRYSTALS (To bring out and amplify compassionate feelings.) purchase EMPATHIC crystal   read blog post

ELESTIAL or ELESTIATED CRYSTAL (To connect with angelic energies.) purchase ELESTIAL crystal   read blog post

EIGHT-SIDED FACE / GROUNDING CRYSTALS (Any time you need to refocus and ground.) purchase EIGHT-SIDED FACE or GROUNDING crystal   read blog post

DRUSY (To assist with ideas or thought forms ready to spring forth and grow such as thoughts or dreams, desires or wishes.) purchase DRUSY    read blog post

DOW or TRANS-CHANNELER CRYSTALS (For divine balance, and a connection with the self and Universal Truth.) Note: Dow crystals are rare, and I don’t always have very many of them. Sometimes the ones I have are Dow by count (7-3-7-3-7-3) but have one large 7-sided face (present as a Channeler) or two large 7-sided faces and one small 7 (present as a Transmitter). If you order one, I will let you know at time of purchase what I have available.  purchase DOW or TRANS-CHANNELER crystal     read blog post

DOUBLE TERMINATED CRYSTALS (Useful in any application in which you want the energy to flow in both directions) purchase DOUBLE TERMINATED crystal    read blog post

DOLPHIN CRYSTAL (To encourage teaching in a loving, fun, joyful way, or alternately, to assist one to enjoy learning) read blog post

CURVED CRYSTAL (To assist with flexibility “go with the flow” or to cleanse or brush your aura)  purchase CURVED crystal    read blog post

CLUSTER CRYSTAL (Raise the vibration in an environment or to assist with group dynamics)  purchase crystal CLUSTER    read blog post

CATHEDRAL or LIGHTBRARY CRYSTAL (Raise your vibrational frequency or access Akashic Records)  purchase CATHEDRAL or LIGHTBRARY crystal    read blog post

CHANNELER or CHANNELING CRYSTAL (To access higher wisdom, guides, other-world beings)  purchase CHANNELER crystal    read blog post

BRIDGE or INNER CHILD CRYSTAL (To help Bridge between worlds or help to access your innermost self)  purchase BRIDGE or purchase INNER CHILD    read blog post

BARNACLE QUARTZ CRYSTAL (Wise energy; ‘new souls’ attracted to ‘old soul’ energy)  purchase BARNACLE    read blog post

See you next week for Included quartz crystals.

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About Genn

Genn John has been acting as the legs for the Crystal People as the Keeper at Arkansas Crystal Works, an internet-based source for crystals and crystal knowledge, since 1995. Having accepted the honor to be their voice as well, she is the author of Understanding The Crystal People: A Handbook for Lightworkers; a crystal reference book for people who desire to fully understand their connection to the crystal kingdom and who wish to enhance their working knowledge of these majestic beings. Genn has also published a 4 part series of coloring books which are a useful tool for anyone with an interest in learning the anatomical structures of quartz crystals. It features precise, extraordinary hand-drawn designs crafted especially for easy coloring and interactive study. Find the store and more at, or her blog at To connect: email -, facebook -, Instagram - gennjohn or Twitter @GennJohn.

5 Responses to KEYS and IMPRINTS – Unlock Answers & Adapt During Growth

  1. Angelina canizzaro says:

    Love this, hope I,can read more.

  2. Pamela Lee says:

    Oh my, oh my… I am able to identify many crystals but the many idiosyncrasies of Crystal growth, I have been highly ignorant in realizing the why’s and the potential of the abnormalities… This has been an eye opening article… Thank you for your years of dedication… Certainly a site(s) I will visit time and again…
    Pamela Lee 5/14/18…???

    • Genn says:

      Hey Pamela! Thanks so much for your comment! They DO have many idiosyncrasies don’t they!! I hope you continue to find helpful articles here. Blessings!

  3. Courtney says:

    Thank you for this article on imprints! It took me an hour of trying different Google image search terms and finally “Crystal Quartz groove” brought me to your page. Very thorough with excellent pictures!

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