To my understanding, and I could be wrong, but crystals do have their own energy, however the best way to explain what that energy is like is to call it a blank piece of paper. When that crystal is formed, it is this, building together. The bigger the crystal, the more "blank" energy there will be. The stones you buy in a metaphysical shop would be different than the ones you bought in a souveneir shop for the reason being that somewhere along the line someone "dedicated" a batch of crystals for a single purpose. When the packer sees where the package of cyrstals and gems are going, they can subconciously regcognize, and even consciously, that where they are going will mean they will be used differently. Now, the crystals/gems aren't completely blank. I suppose you could tap into this minimal amount of energy and take from it, but it would be more beneficial to charge it or channel your own energy into it.
What are some qualities you value in a friend? While you can't "befriend" your cyrstal, you can certainly create a bond with it. You can do this by charging it with certain qualities that you admire and appreciate, and you can also create this bond by putting a piece of you into it. Channel the good, the bad, the ugly and the pretty into that crystal, and you'll have given a piece of yourself to it.. Sleep with it, carry it in your pocket everywhere, no matter what, and so long as you charge it correctly you will not feel alone for this was your intent when charging it.
I agree with Divinius. Another good way to bond with your crystal is to really feel it's energy. From personal experience I can tell you that when you're bo dead with a crystal you can hold it in your hand and feel a sort of "heart beat" and yes I know they don't have hearts. What your feeling is a pulse of crystal energy.
Here's a link to a really good video that teaches you how to do it:
In short, not the the extent you are referring to. While I do believe in animism of natural substances, it is not to the degree (at least in my experience and opinion) of coinscousness that we experience as human beings. Stones and gems tend to be more in tune with higher consciousness of celestial bodies and the flows of the universe, not individual minds and conscious beings capable of transcendence.
I think in order for you to understand why crystals have their own energy signatures, we have to look into why and how they give off energy:
It is my experience that stones give off a few different types of energy: Energy through wavelengeths of light they are reflecting (color(s)), energy from the wavelengths they absorb and retain, and energy from non visible spectrums.
Due to the chemical composition and the geometric way that gem stones align their molecules, gem's reflect and even retain certain wavelengths of light (light can also be defined as Electro Magnetic Radiation) - which is why they appear within our visible spectrums of light. Because of the way these gems reflect light, they often absorb energy from nearby sources of the light they don't reflect (this includes non-visible spectrums - Ultra violet and Infra red), and even steadily release this energy over time as we see with radioactive decay. So it is my belief that with these visible and invisible spectrums in play, they create a unique experience with every stone that is not quite the same as the last, as no two stones are the same when it comes to their exact geometrical structural patterns.
Beyond that, I have also found that sound waves have affected and can even be emitted by gem stones, precious metals, bone, and even more natural substances. Sound waves are interesting in that they move at a much slower rate than electromagnetic waves (light waves) and thus don't contain quite the energy that the EM waves do.
Delving deeper into this would take paragraphs upon paragraphs on my opinions on the higher self and how our consciousness' exists both physically inside our brains and is an electro magnetic expression unique to each person, that comes into contact with the electromagnetic reflection and leaching of the stone - thus creating the experience we have when we hold the stone and tune in to 'listen to what it's saying'. It's a very deep subject with a deep understanding so I suggest looking further into light waves, sound waves, the chemical structures of gems, and the research behind color therapy. All very useful.