My Crystals Come from a 7 Year Old in Myanmar, Where Do Yours Come From?

I have absolutely nothing against healing crystals. If you want to believe they heal, bring love, and guard against negative energy—although scientifically untrue—that’s fine, I’m a huge believer in the benefits of the placebo effect.

In fact, I find them quite beautiful and have even purchased my own once or twice—and while I haven’t used them to summon love or conquer electromagnetic waves—I have never considered where they come from. The first time I bought a crystal, the seller assured me they were ‘ethically mined,’ and while I smiled and thanked them for disclosing the information, I didn’t fully understand what they were referring to.

The sad truth about some healing crystals is that in spite of their purported abilities and the wellness communities total indulgence in them, recent reports from The New York Times, The New Republic, and Amnesty International show that crystals may not be as eco-friendly or ethically sourced as they seem.

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Image via The New RepublicThe New Republic

In fact, the majority of top sellers of healing crystals are not even aware or don’t disclose where their crystals are sourced, according to reports, and in while they range from family-owned mines to ethically and environmentally troubling mines in Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is almost nearly impossible to find exactly how they are sourced.

The New York Times reported that ‘Myanmar’s jade business may be the biggest natural resource heist in modern history.’ Due to the tens of billions of dollars that are being handed over to rogue military hard-liners, army companies, proxy tycoons, and international drug lords. In the DRC children as young as 7 have been working in environmentally hazardous large-scale industrial mines where crystals are sold as by-products of gold, copper, or cobalt. One academic writer spoke with The New Republic stating that in most cases, ‘the sellers just don’t know.’

Every February, attendees from all over the world descend upon Tuscon, Arizona, for a large Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, seeking to buy and sell wholesale healing crystals. In some cases, gems are sourced from local mines, but in most cases, sellers have exchanged hands with so many people involved there is little to no way to track down where the crystals originally come from—making disclosure of this information, unspecific, and able to negatively impact business owners.

But if these healing crystals are as porous and impacted by negative energy as they are marketed, wouldn’t they maintain the ‘negative vibes’ of the environmentally hazardous coal mines they are brought from or feel the impact of Myanmar’s jade production which is comparative to blood diamonds? Or does its history get wiped every time you soak it in the sun? Simply asking because I’m not sure I would want that on my conscience or necessarily my crystal.