Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystals, Gems, and Metal Magic


Review by Tabitha Chamberlain

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystals, Gems, and Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham


I’m the first person to admit that I’m a huge Cunningham fan, I find that his clear laid back style of writing to be a welcomed change for those that are just starting out in the magickal world. An excellent reference point for those that have been practicing for years.

I’ve been practicing magick for almost 6 years, over the years I’ve collected tons of different references material both printed and my own bad scribing handwriting. That being said I have to say out of all of my experiences with Cunningham’s writing and books, this one is the one that I’m disappointed by the most. 

The reason? This is for magick users only. There is very little offered that is for anyone else to use. The other, most important reason: there is no pictures next to each stone listed. Someone who is just beginning with gems and crystals will find this rather frustrating, I know that I did. Nor is the 16 page colored insert actually helpful. If you want to use this book, make sure that you know which gems or crystals before you start.

There is some good things about this book though if you at least have an idea of what you're working with. 

Upside is you can work backwards. If you have a magickal intent but aren’t all that sure which stone to use, great place to start is with one of the tables in the back of the book. There are about seven different types of tables to have easy reference. One being a list of substitutions for most stones.


A handful of the author’s own collection of gems and crystals.

The beginning of the book gives you some great ideas on collecting your own stones. Some ideas for divinations. Also some resources for not only collecting stones but also finding some of the less than common stones.

The book itself has a monster list of the most common gems and metals to be found here in the States. Each listing offers energy, planet, element, deities, stones/metal, herbs associations along with the magickal intention and purpose of them. 

Most entries have short lore to start them off, giving you the user an idea of why the gem/crystal has certain magickal properties that they do. This is the part that I find the most interesting part of the book. 

Cunningham is the reason I always check out bibliography in any book. Especially those dealing with magickal purposes. He was excellent about giving a detailed listed of books that he used during his research for each of his writing. He also did his own little quick quotes of what he liked about the book and found the most useful of them. 

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