Ethically Sourced Crystals

With recent current events bringing mining conditions into the headlines, we wanted to share our beliefs in fair trade and responsibly harvested stones. We work with the small suppliers who treat their folks fairly–our Brazilian friend who visited us last week has even been a driving force to improve living conditions not only for the miners who work for him, but for miners throughout Brazil. We focus on stones and crystals that are ethically harvested, and not strip-mined through blasting.

We will not work with mass-produced stones that are by-products of huge mineral extraction companies. We hand pick every stone that we carry for its energy and beauty, with a conscious thought towards supporting the communities who harvest these beauties.

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Questions about our Crystal Buying Practices

Several months back I asked for questions you have about crystals for a pending radio interview. Here are a few that didn’t make it to the interview. Have a question, just comment below or drop us an email.

• How do you pick out crystals you want to buy for TOSOTS?

That’s a fantastic question! We look for several things in a crystal; energy, beauty, and willingness to travel. We scan the crystals available and also listen to what they have to say too. It’s more like a background chatter, but we open our intuition to see who wants to come home with us. A beautiful, well formed crystal is sure to catch our eye, but overall, energy is more important to us. That is why you’ll find many “warrior” crystals with bumps and bruises too. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. Often you’ll find us digging through box after box to find the select few that are calling loudly for us to find them. Because we know that they crystals will spend more time than most in the mail system, a willingness to travel is also important, which is usually not an issue; after all many of the crystals have already traveled thousands of miles. Of course a good way to catch our attention is to flash a rainbow at us. 😉

• What is the process by which crystals go from being in nature to being for sale? Who are the intermediaries and what do they do?

This is a very tough question, because it truly depends on where we’re getting the crystals from. Some are washed and released from sandy soils, others are picked up from a stream bed. Some are hand chiseled from rock surfaces. Most crystals that reach the display/metaphysical market are hand mined to preserve the crystal formations. Blast mining is done for raw minerals for commercial purposes. We try to acquire our crystals close to the source, that way all win with lower prices! So crystals usually go from the the miners, then usually someone who sells for them, and hopefully straight to us. The more we travel, the more we’re able to purchase straight from the miners!

• How can one know if a crystal has been kindly brought through all those steps?

The best way is to ask. We do our best to support fair trade practices. Sometimes it is impossible to know for sure. However you can often feel the energy of a crystal that has been mistreated in the process. Is it calling for rescue? Does it feel abused? The energy of a crystal that has been mishandled will be dull and sluggish. Poorly treated stones are often found at outlet department stores.

We honor all of the stones that we purchase, no matter the routes they have traveled to reach us. We listen to their needs, allowing those that wish to rest for weeks or months and occasionally years before we list them on the site. We handle the crystals routinely, with a good dose of Reiki along the way. We often play the Tibetan bowls for them. We smudge with sage and now Paulo Santo wood several times a year, and especially after we receive a new shipment of crystals. They often rest in receiving (aka our living room) where our Master crystals greet them and they get lots of kitty love. 🙂