In light of everything going on in the herbal community and our collective awakening to unethical practices in general I wanted to touch on the ethical sourcing of crystals. I have been working with crystals for nearly 15 years as well as being an avid rockhound. For many years when I first started selling, I would sell some of our local San Diego rainbow quartz! I loved going out to the desert to dig up my own stones- but as we grew it was no longer an option to make the drive and do this for anything more than just a hobby. We also were making formulas with much more than just quartz. We had to source our crystals from other places. This is when we began to go to the big gem shows every year.
I have told my story with mental health issues many times so I won't go further into that but basically I started making crystal infused products to help people because it had helped me, and there wasn't anything else like it out there. This was before natural skincare and the new wellness movement really took off. I never in a million years thought vogue and allure and other huge beauty magazines would be featuring crystal infused products. I didn't think this small idea would become a huge trend. It is still hard to believe sometimes.
This journey for me began after my own studies with crystals (metaphysical and geology) and the intention of spreading this knowledge and healing with others. I truly believed in what I was trying to share with the world. Now with so many others following suit, everything from herbs, to essential oils to crystals are being called into question because of its sheer prevalence. I have had several people ask me whether or not our crystals are ethically mined. As a rockhound myself, who is deeply connected to the earth in many ways I can only say that the crystals we sell are ethically and responsibly sourced to the highest degree possible.
We have strong ties to each of our mineral and crystal suppliers, many of whom are small family run businesses that gather material from their own land. It is hand processed by them and only sold at smaller gem shows once a year or by appointment. We get our serpentine from a husband and wife team who found this beautiful lime green variety of serpentine on their own land in Washington and the husband tumbles and polishes it on site. Our Quartz comes from Arkansas from a 5 generation family run operation. All our crystal chips and smaller pieces that are in some of our smaller products are byproducts of larger tumbling operations. So pieces that normally would be tossed are saved and can be used in smaller bottles. Our Kunzite, and aquamarine come from another family run operation that grew up about 15 minutes from my home in San Diego but moved back to their homeland of Afghanistan to work in the gem business. Our selenite, calcite, and obsidian come from yet another family run business based out of Mexico.
While not all stones can come from the US, we try and only buy from reputable suppliers with whom we have trusted for years. Jade comes from China (and other places) just like quartz can come from Brazil, Arkansas and pretty much every place on earth. So for people who ask if a specific stone is from China isn't a matter of being of poor quality it's a question of where is the stone found. We form relationships with the people from around the world who sell these stones and many of them have the same stories of family and love for the work they do. I only buy small quantities of stones from legitimate sources. We are not about selling mass quantities of crystals for profit, we hand pick only the best, clearest, most high quality stones from legitimate, ethical sources. Otherwise we would just choose not to sell it at all.
How do you feel about crystals? Have you ever purchased any that you felt weird about? Not knowing where it came from or if it's being over-mined? Not knowing if child labor has been used? Just like the textile industry, beauty industry, etc we have to call into question where are things come from. If the intent of owning crystals is to provide some kind of spiritual and physical healing then it is counterintuitive to be making an in uninformed purchase from a possibly unethical source. What are your thoughts?