In college, I began my in/formal pagan training. Mostly from "free practitioners" and from reading books, I was slowly indoctrinated into religions other than Judeo-Christian. It was during this time that I began working with crystals and other trinkets.
My friend showed me how to use the flow of energy to charge crystals. And that different crystals had different resonances with different properties. I often felt that the references I consulted sometimes got it right but sometimes missed the subtleties in the gems. Some of my favorite stones were pulsing with energies not attributed to them. Which lead to me getting frustrated that a particular crystal was not responding like I expected it to at times.
One of the coolest things was meeting someone who was interested in crystals and letting them 'touch' or touch (depending on their sensitivity) the crystals that I had. It was always a confidence boost to hear them exclaim at how they could easily feel the energies pulsing through the crystals, sometimes from a little bit away, sometimes through my shirt. Sometimes, an insensitive clod would grab the crystal around my neck; it felt like I was being grabbed in a most unpleasant way.
I also purchased a small trinket. It had a skull on the top, a three-sided dagger below, an axe blade on one side, and a strange mesh sphere-like thing on the other side. The whole thing was only about 2 inches on the longest side. I was drawn to it but didn't know what it was. The dealer who sold it knew it was Indian or Tibetan but didn't know what it was beyond that. It was almost 20 years later before I learned that it was, in fact, Tibetan; it was a miniature version of a weapon used by Bön masters.
One thing I never learned how to use was a crystal sphere, intended for scrying. I never could get that thing to work, as a scrying device in any case. I found a lovely companion piece and it looks pretty but maybe I will find a use for it in the future.