the Good Vibes & the Bad vibes of Crystals

The Good Vibes

I’ve always been drawn to crystals. Since my uncle gave me a set of quartzes as a 5-year old, I’ve collected and cherished crystals. While there is no scientific proof that crystals have healing properties, many people (myself included) feel the energy and effects of holding or being near them.

Quartz crystals made modern clocks, computers and phones possible. The crystal oscillators in our devices transmute “noisy” electricity into a near-perfect frequency, keeping near-perfect time and frequency.

It is this power that crystal healing harnesses: tuning a person’s vibes back into harmony. Many healing practitioners have incorporated crystals into their practice, believing the stones to amplify, transmit and transmute energy. There is a whole new school of crystal healing, designating each crystal for a specific intention. Read our guide to crystals.

And while this is a new field, it comes from an ancient practice. There is 6000 year old documentation of Sumerians using crystals for magic. Plato mentioned crystals in his writings on Atlantis, claiming Atlanteans used crystals to transmit thoughts. Egyptians made amulets out of lapis lazuli, the Maori make sacred objects out of jade, and many other ancient cultures used crystals as a form of currency or in religious rites.

And this generation is making all of their sacred objects out of crystal: dildos, cannabis pipes, gua sha, yoni eggs, you name it. The market of quartz and semi-precious stones is now in the billions, having doubled from 2016 to 2019, according to The Guardian.

The Bad Vibes

But there is a sudden and passionate interest in crystals (despite the good vibes they transmit) is having a devastating effect. The demand is causing a wave of environmentally destructive mining and human rights violations.

For example, the main source of  blue chrysocolla, a healing crystal believed to support communication, comes from the Tyrone Copper Mine which contaminates 2 billion gallons of water every year. And many of the big sources of crystals, like China, India, and Mexico, have negligent labor laws. The Guardian reported that 85,000 children work in the mines in Madagascar, a mega exporter of crystals from tourmaline to carnelian. And the newly discovered and rare varieties of crystals are often byproducts of gold mining, one of the most contaminating industries on the planet.

If you buy crystals, please buy them from ethical and sustainable sources. This is surprisingly difficult to do, however. Don’t expect even the higher end crystal galleries to have sourced their crystals ethically. Most come from unregulated mines in India, China, and Mexico. Because we’ve been challenged sourcing kindful crystals, we’ve compiled a list of how & where to buy ethical crystals.

Events to raise your vibes