What’s Love got to do with it? Crystals and the Heart.

broken heart

jasper heart – broken – and repaired (in appearance)

Crystal & Healing are two words that tend to go together all the time. And surely most of us carry around a broken heart, or at least a wounded heart – from failed & troubled relationships – including messed up childhoods. This creates all kind of mixed emotions, and the Heart Chakra (energy center located right there in your rib cage), can be a complicated place.

One color – Green – is often associated with that place we call our Heart (according to the preponderance of chakra charts). I’ve added Pink as its logical companion. Isn’t that the color we most often associate with things lovey-dovey (in the West).

SQR - gemmy rose egg

gemmy Rose Quartz egg, unparallelled in color

The distinction I make between Green & Pink is represented by two stones: Rose Quartz & Green Fluorite (which, in its rough, chunk form, looks just like a green version of pink Quartz). Rose Quartz represents Unconditional Love, the opening of the heart – that vulnerable “first love” vibration – also experienced by the lucky few who’ve had a first hand experience of The Divine…and feel that way towards G8D. It is innocent – not judging – and infinite.

best cluster

large cluster of perfectly colored green Fluorite

Unfortunately, most of us lose touch with that Being Love feeling, and are caught up more in its unavoidable companion (at least for humans): Relational Love – how we connect with those around us, with our Self, and with our Spiritual guides and cohorts. Money, at least in the U.S. – is green – and represents our commercial relationship to the world. So as you can imagine, Green Fluorite is a complex stone, given the variety of connections it ‘watches over.’ I think of it mostly in terms of its spiritual role, which is enhanced by its clarity, translucency, or “gemminess.”

IMG_5823

trio of matching, high grade octahedral blue Fluorite

Some people are just not green people, they relate far more to blue, and for them – although this aspect of the heart chakra remains green in color – they’d connect more easily with Blue Fluorite, a rarer, and wonderful form. So you can choose your Blue Spirit world or your Green Spirit World, but blue generally belongs higher, in the throat chakra and beyond.

heart shape a

naturally heart shaped, river worn Nephrite Jade

There are a number of other Aspects to what I call “the Heart Complex” – which are fortunately reflected in other, related stones – which ‘reside’ around “the big two.” Jade is directly beneath – and interestingly, appears not only in shades of green, but also in blue and gray. Jade is the great Emotional Soother – it’s surface is most like human skin (especially when naturally worn) – and it somehow “makes everything okay.”

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz, Madagascar

attached, twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

Above “the big two” one could place Milky stones, particularly Milky Quartz (though there are other varieties – specifically some Calcites and Verengita – which is like a white Onyx or Alabaster). These represent most bluntly: a mother’s milk…compassionate…nurturing (which is a bit different from soothing).

IMG_4924

pair of matching Malachite spheres

Next, beneath the Jade, come Smoky Quartz and Malachite.

Malachite can be a mixed blessing, because it’s an Emotive. The black represents opening, and the green represents the heart, so it’s an opening of the heart…helps feelings come up…not always an easy prospect.

But then, there is the Ultimate Forgiveness stone: Smoky Quartz, here to make everything okay – not by soothing – but by whisking away the negativity, transmuting it into some other place and time. It’s hard to get angry with Smoky Quartz around – I have a large beaded necklace of it – simply can’t get upset while I’m wearing it!

broken, dark Smoky

broken tip, but perfectly colored Smoky

So there you have it – the overarching duo of Unconditional & Relational Love – surrounded by other Heart Aspects: the expression of Feelings; Soothing; Compassion & Nurturance; and the power of Forgiveness…all important nuances coexisting in the Heart Chakra…and given voice and language through Crystals.

How they are configured, and ‘used’ to treat and enhance people’s experience, is the field of the ‘Crystal Healer,’ of which I am one. This arrangement is of my own ‘making’ – the choice of stones that participate in this important energy sector (of the human body) – have been selected and inter-related by me.

CC logo pink n blue text

If you would like to learn more about how to dwell and explore the Heart Complex – through Meditation, Personal Sessions, or Live & Virtual Learning Opportunities – please contact Kyle Russell via email, at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com.

 

twin, or 'couple stone'

twin, or ‘couple stone’

PS. what about Romantic Love? It exists within the personal experience of these various energetic “pulls,’ but can be represented by “couple stones,” or twins…which do not pertain (or reside) directly in the Heart Chakra…but may be meditated on, or worked on, with Crystals that fit this description (as pictured here). Similarly, multi-point conglomerations (not necessarily clusters) can represent families, children, etc.

different heart-shaped stones will evoke different experiences of Love...this one is Tiger Iron...and is all about grounding your love, having a strong center of gravity, to not stray or be swayed wrongly

different heart-shaped stones will evoke different experiences of Love…this one is Tiger Iron…and is all about grounding your love, having a strong center of gravity, to not stray or be swayed wrongly

What stone can be used to attract love? That’s an interesting question, and not an easy one to answer. I believe that working with the other stones, and all that they “conjure” in the human breast, as well as approaching your life holistically, with an eye to balancing your energies, and more importantly…letting Universal Energy flow maximally through your being, and without snags…THAT is the way to open yourself up most easrily to receive Love into your life.

A good variety of these mentioned stones are also accessible at the For Sale items page at www.Facebook.com/PowerStoneCrystals, or by request, with interest, to the email above.

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Protection (and Crystals)

Protection. You want it. I want it!

Who doesn’t? But what is it…what does it really mean? That word – and the actions required to achieve that thing called “protection” – what’s it all about?

I hear a steady hum of requests and claims from people who are seeking, using, even needing Crystals for this purpose. “Do this” or “carry that” – I’ve heard – and (essentially…people claim): “you’re all set.”

Egyptian Amulets

Egyptian Amulets

As with most complex, Spiritually co-creative processes – the actual mechanics of how “protection” works – is only loosely understood (by most people). There is a pervasive (and very old school) “amulet mentality” – stemming from the notion that possessing (or holding, even in your pocket) a certain stone (or trinket) – will necessarily ward off evil.

Could it really be that easy? I wish it were so. And there are times, no doubt, when it is (or can be).

I just don’t think it’s (always) so easy – which is why I don’t like to give people quick – pat answers. The circumstances, nuances, particulars, and specifics all matter.

There is a LOT of grey area in the Spiritual realm – as there is in our own “grey matter” – the human brain and psyche…both are infinitely complex.

Also, you can have all the “protection” in the world – but if you stand out on a railroad track , and the train is coming towards you late at night – there’s nothing you can do to keep from being mowed down.

Tempting fate is a losing prospect. Ultimately, what you’re trying to do, is to get on the safe side of reality. Reduce your risk to a minimum. That means “don’t trouble Trouble.”

Stay the hell out of the way, unless you’re trying to be a hero, a martyr, or a fool. In any of those cases – you’re courting disaster, saying “bring it on” because your cause is just (or you think it is) – and feel the risks are worth taking. In other words – for you – “the ends justify the means.”

If you’re seeking Protection, it’s because you want to be safe along the way. You may not actually want to endanger yourself in the first place. You’re first line of defense should always be: don’t to put yourself into harm’s way.

Many people (sometimes instead) are looking for “quick fixes,” an age old panacea…something easy!

Aztec human sacrifice

Aztec human sacrifice

Let me be clear: I don’t idolize past traditions – there were (and are) many closed-minded and hurtful superstitions in place – not just issuing from Europe, but from many of the latest and “greatest” belief systems, all around the world. Nobody has – or should claim – to have all the answers.

I don’t want to say that protective objects don’t exist (like the Kuba nail fetishes of West Africa, and so many more) – but in the case of Crystals – we have the opportunity of gaining a much broader understanding of how this tricky dynamic can work, and be empowered (more than just in awe) of our own capacity to defend ourselves against “the dark arts.”

Not that evil is the only thing we need defense from. Often, our woes are not from malicious malefactors (or supernatural demons), per se. Who we’re in need of real protection from – in the day-to-day – are (in the grand scheme of things): ill-willed politicians, imperial and genocidal cultures, climate change, disease and old age. More mundanely (but no less threateningly): vindictive ex’es, negative co-workers, or a car accident can all creep up on you.

“The enemy” can be great or small. Or faceless. “Bad luck” – having been dealt a poor set of cards – that’s a very common thing we all need protection from.

You have to work a bit, to determine exactly what you’re trying to be spared, so that you can mount your counter attack, or build your defenses intelligently.

particularly sweet Black Tourmaline

particularly sweet Black Tourmaline

In the “Crystal World,” Black Tourmaline is often reached for -reflexively – but why?  What is the mechanism by which its protection is effected? What is the crystal DOING to keep you safe? And why should you choose that one over any other?

These are prickly questions – ones we don’t get answers to often – because the purveyors of crystal lore often repeat by rote what’s been “handed down” to them, without attempting any substantive explanation for why one set of assertions should be considered more truthful than any others.

Now I don’t expect you to do a science experiment to identify what methods will work best against invisible forces. I don’t know if such a thing is even possible (or desirable). You’re using etheric energy to fight etheric energy…there’s no place for that in the scientific method arena (or vice versa). True to the playing field of “grey area,” there are no easy answers, or solutions to the quandary.

There is, however, a way of understanding what’s happening – or what needs to happen – which might make sense, and feel like it’s involved in the physical cause-and-effect progression 0f that which you’re seeking.

Basically, self-defense consists of four parts: avoidance of dangerous situations (stay out of the way); bolstering of internal strength (to gird against attack); the clearing of negative energies (to ensure that that your vibes go unfettered); and going on the offensive (beating back your enemy).

Avoidance can be active, and literal – or “passive” – as in stealth, “cloaking,” being unseen…shapeshifting. It combines common sense, practical “street savvy,” and advanced knowledge of esoteric arts. So I won’t be getting into that one right now, from a metaphysical perspective. It’s a bit premature, and not really necessary, with all this other advice I’m dishing out. Just mind your P’s and Q’s, and you should be alright with what I’m presenting here. This is a solid foundation for understanding how Crystals can be used for Protection.

Herkimer Diamond with lots of internal fracturing

Herkimer Diamond with lots of internal fracturing

Next. How about bolstering your internal strength? Take a page from our friend, the Herkimer Diamond (a variety of Quartz that forms solo, or in groups, and is generally double terminated). I can’t “use” this material for much, like Quartz points, wands, and tabulars. Those all permit the use or projection of energy flow through them. Herkimers hold their own, however: they’re pretty much energetically impermeable.

Am I repeating this because I’ve read it somewhere? No! What I’m saying here comes from my own personal experience. You can take it with a grain of salt – “find out” for yourself – and/or trust me, based on my 25 years’ experience with Crystals.

Herkimers can be rather expensive, for their size, but they’re kind of  unique (though I’ve seen similar formations coming from Mexico and elsewhere). Dynamically, though, nothing from anywhere else does what a Herkimer Diamond can do. Bigger is indeed better here, and by merely having, or reflecting on it, you can cultivate your own inner resources, “thicken your skin,” strengthen your immunity. This is a useful tip, even beyond the topic of Protection…it feeds right into Health and Wellness in general. That’s one thing (among many!) that I like about Crystals…they’re useful in so many ways, and for so many purposes.

The suggestions I make here are by no means the only methods for getting at any given ends. I (and you) might have other stones or techniques (including many that don’t even involve Crystals), which may be perfectly useful. But I’m touching on these particular pieces to give you guidelines about how to use these specifically appropriate stones, and how different stones can affect different ends (or sub-priorities) – even if you have one overarching “goal” (in this case, it’s Protection). A multi-tiered approach is always better than a one dimensional fix-it.

sheen Obsidian wand

sheen Obsidian wand

Clearing of negative energies – I use light percussion or sage too (to achieve this) – but in the mineral world, Obsidian (specifically in wand form) is a really good way of shoo’ing away unwanted vibrations. It’s like clearing cobwebs. The idea is to scare off “bad spirits” – to make an open, fresh space – for new (and “better”) energies to come through. Imagine it’s like erasing a blackboard, zeroing out a calculator, or wiping a slate clean. As a result, you can work with “what’s left,” and build something new in “the vacuum.”

A corollary to clearing, is the subsequent (or co-incidental) creation and maintenance of Sacred Space. That can be effected through layouts, with energetically neutral objects (or stones), and is an important prerequisite for doing serious energy work.  You don’t want negative vibes slapping back once a person’s aura has been opened. It’s not fair to them, as they’ve put their trust in you. Another form of Obsidian – specifically “Apache tears” – is great for this…it’s like those circular bubble-generators that keep sharks away.

Lastly, there is the notion of actively fighting back opposition (or malevolent intentions). For this, you do need a heavy hitter. It’s a bit like fighting fire with fire – the reason people like to have guns – for self defense (or offense towards others). People like to think that their weapon would never “fall into the wrong hands,” or be misused by an innocent (like a child). For “2nd amendment’ers,” there’s also the expectation that their weapon would never be used against them, and that only “good” people’s rights are defended by allowing unbridled access to firearms. It’s a tricky game that can backfire, and should not to be trifled with.

large irradiated Arkansas Quartz

large irradiated Arkansas Quartz

I digress though – but only sort of – because it surprises me to see some folks in the crystal business (usually the non metaphysically-oriented ones) glorifying gun ownership. And yet, here I am, advocating something similar.

Evil exists in the world – mostly because of people – it’s a force we’ve generated by our own human hand since “the fall” (or the expulsion from Eden). Even in the natural world – where the construct of malevolence does not apply – predators and other natural forces beset the individual as soon as they’re born.

We all need tools for defense – and tools are a uniquely human problem solver. Specifically, I present to you this giant, irradiated “generator” point. Notice: it points away from you, and off the page.

Usually, I reserve the term “generator” for wide points that stand straight up. In this case, the piece does push out energy spontaneously. And you don’t want it pointed at you – or anyone, really – it’s more generally for protection, to ward off any evil intentions (which may be out there). I can’t tell you the perils I’ve avoided…which at least, in part…I owe to having this power piece.

I realize not everyone has access to something of this magnitude – I haven’t seen another since the late 80’s – and not all irradiated Quarz will manifest the same qualities (as this one does). However, you may wish to seek out something similar to it. The look may not be the identical. You may find a completely different stone – or some other power object to use – but the function should be comparable. Like an attack dog, it safeguards  your scene…and that’s a very important role (for it) to play.

Thus, and in conclusion, it is possible to effect Protection through Crystals. It’s not as simple as putting a bandaid on – or one rock in your pocket – my prescriptions are multi-layered. In this, as with any other ambitions you may have, it behooves you to look at the problem from several angles. Then, understanding the intrinsic energies of Crystals, it becomes possible to put together a creative, and 3-dimensional approach to whatever challenges face you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Crystal Concentrics’ founder Kyle Russell has been working with Crystals for over 25 years. He is available for individual session work (in person, and long-distance), as well as group instruction: Classes & Meditations. His For-Sale pieces may be seen at http://www.Facebook.com/PowerStoneCrystals, and you can contact him directly at CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

Crystal Pricing – it’s in all the eye of the beholder

Boston Mineral ClubPART ONE – the principal of it

I joined the Boston Mineral Club recently, and overheard one of the elder gemologists say “unlike in most industries, there’s no standardized system for pricing minerals.” A lightbulb went off for me. Of course, I thought – that’s so true!

Diamonds may have a ‘universal’ price code – but even there – you can find a lot of variation in cost-for-product…and if you’re not an expert yourself, who can you trust?

Folks you know – folks you’ve seen demonstrate their knowledge, experience, and selection – you can (and should) trust them. And trust yourself, over all. If you think it’s worth it (to you) – and you have the money – they go ahead and buy it…without any regrets!

question mark diamond

question mark diamond

But who really knows what a Crystal is worth? If there was some ONE person who knew it all, it wouldn’t be much of a game anymore. It’s ultimately “all in the eye of the beholder.”

The Seller is the gate keeper – the ultimate “decider” – but every one has their bottom price. Unlike mainstream shop attendants, most dealers have the flexibility to give you a break. So play with them…bargain. Worst thing they can say is “no!”

I’ve done that plenty myself – making preposterously low offers – it can’t hurt. But I never question people’s prices – especially in front of others, or on Facebook – I think that’s a big no-no.

I asked one such naysayer “why would you want to ‘yuk someone else’s yum’ – I mean – if that’s what they’re charging, it’s their business (after all), and if someone’s gonna pay what they’re asking, then more power to the both of them!”

a decent sphere - like this golden rainbow Calcite sphere - should cost over $100

a decent sphere – like this golden rainbow Calcite sphere – should cost over $100

I’m not into the high end, jewelry or gem stone business, preferring minerals. I do specialize in finer specimens, but within the (I think) more modest range of $30-$200.

I think of that as “affordable” – and that if you can’t spend that type of change on something that really matters to you – then perhaps you should find a cheaper hobby.

Amazingly, a lot of people think that is a lot to spend. I don’t know what that says about our economy, people’s living conditions, or our priorities. People are spending $50 a week on coffee and donuts…so it’s hard for me understand why they can’t seem to find the same amount for something that’ll last forever…and give them satisfaction many times over.

I feel like I’m holding the torch solo – sometimes – for people respecting the value of good Crystals, and the effort that goes into finding, and presenting them in a way that truly honors their special value.

Aragonite 'sea horse' floating cluster

Aragonite ‘sea horse’ floating cluster

The reason my prices aren’t what you’ll see at a local rock shop (or gem show), is that I am neither. This is a boutique operation. Every piece is hand picked because of some unique quality, and my prices reflect that TLC.

A wholesaler I met with recently said “I can’t go there – I can’t look at individual pieces – everything has to get marked up by weight only.” How could I compete with – and why should I be compared to – folks buying directly from the source?! That’s not my place in the pecking order – my ‘ecological niche’ is post miner, post international shipper – serving up that special sauce for retail buyers with great taste.

All and still – and excuse me for tooting my own horn here (if I don’t, who will, aye…though you may want to look at my Buyer Testimonials) – but I’m pretty confident that I have a broader variety of true power stones than most operations I’ve seen out there – be they online or in person – mom and pop or major importer.

Every time I leave a gem show or wholesaler – I thank my lucky stars: I get to walk away with the good stuff – while they’re stuck with literally tons of 2nds and 3rds…stuff I wouldn’t even want to give away…but their margin (hello, everybody’s got ’em) takes that into consideration. Plus, they have volume on their side.

Have you seen some of the truly high grade stuff displayed at Museums, and even Gem Shows? It’s on sale for really big numbers? People are asking $800 for a pebble here, and $4000 for a cluster there. Try complaining to those guys about pricing.

I’m the little  guy, here. How is it fair that I should occasionally get grief for charging the cost of a good meal on arguably outstanding product?

worthless lot I returned

worthless lot I returned

Let me tell you a little story about unreasonable pricing. There was a guy I bought a whole parcel from recently, for $140 online. I failed to get dimensions, trusting the source – but when I got it – the little ‘puddle’ was worth $30, maybe. There were tiny points that looked huge in the photos (which is why every piece I sell online is photographed ‘in-hand’ – to show relative size). Others were broken. The Citrine was all irradiated (undisclosed by the Seller), and the ‘Lemurians’ turned out not to be. He didn’t even have an “All Sales Final” clause, but he wouldn’t take them back! I put them in the mail and said “don’t even refund me – keep the money as a cushion for yourself, or give it to a charity – I could never accept this overpriced garbage.” The black Tourmaline was all I wanted to hold onto, but to do so would only suggest the legitimacy of any part of the transaction.

I don’t know if it’s yard sales, volume sellers, or rock hounds who can offer great selections for under $30 – but if they’re out there – have at ’em.

As I say to some folks: “you can find another stone like this out there – but you won’t find this one anywhere but here, today.”

One of the favorite claims made (and I hear this one a lot) is: “I have one just like that” – or better yet, with additional glee: “and I paid $4 for it!” Awesome, I’ll say: “show me a photo of it.” And they disappear into the ethers.

You know what they say about opinions…

it's just a $3 tumbler - right(?) - wrong: it's a hand polished Celestite, worth a lot more

“This is just a $3 tumbler – right?” Wrong: it’s a hand polished Celestite, worth a great deal more.

Sometimes what I buy costs me more than someone else may have found it for. I’ve heard braggadocio like “I can get that for this amount.” I’m like “cool, let’s talk, maybe I should be buying it from you!” Again, the magic vaporization trick.

Some folks just like to hear the sound of their own voices…

In addition to my markups reflecting the considerable time spent choosing ‘greats’ from lesser pieces, they reflect miles driven to faraway places (you know the price of gas!); hours spent sorting through what’s been gotten; the cost of storage bins; display boxes…this isn’t an overhead-free business.

I see plenty of shop owners buying keystone, and charging a standard markup, but that doesn’t do justice to specifically selected stand-outs. And that’s not even taking into consideration a piece’s metaphysical attributes!

awesome Smoky Elestial I saw in a 'local rock shop' with a price tag of $150 more than I'd sold a similar piece for

awesome Smoky Elestial I saw in a ‘local rock shop’ with a price tag of $150 more than I’d sold a similar piece for

I also find myself in stores scratching my head – “why the heck are they charging so much for this?” Tell me that hasn’t happened to you! And yet…they must have their reasons.

Sometimes a rock is just plain worth more, or the seller has put a premium on it, they just don’t want to part with it for less. That’s their prerogative.

Again, you do have choice. You can buy anywhere. Let me repeat, this time for all vendors: “if you want this stone, from this source, this is what it’s going to cost you.”

PART TWO [optional] – the nitty gritty (behind the scenes)…fine print details

awesome, giant Scheelite I have my eye on

awesome, giant Scheelite I have my eye on…it’s here for no other reason than that I like it

I’ve covered some important ground, so far, but I want to address (in this Blog) some more topics that have come up through feedback from customers and the curious. They’ve inquired about pricing on my For Sale page: www.Facebook.com/PowerStone.

As you can see, I have more to say than will comfortably fit on a Post or Comment, so here goes. I so love the flexibility of being able to ‘stretch out’ in my Blogs.

Facebook iconTo begin with, the question: “to price or not to price?” Why I never used to, and why some people still refuse to do it publicly (like on Facebook)…is for a bunch of reasons.

Unlike on one’s own site – mine is www.CrystalConcentrics.com, but I haven’t yet launched my new shopping cart system…it mostly just hosts my blog) – Facebook is (pretty much) an open book. That means that any and everybody can comment (and they often do).

Heckling on price or steering customers elsewhere happens, and it’s not cool. That’s why, even though I used to publish a range (“under $50” or “under $400”) – I have always urged people to “DM” me – that is, direct message me for details.

“DM” is my own challenge to the generally accepted “PM” or private message abbreviation most commonly used. Although I have this request on virtually every item description, I’m astonished that people still prefer to Comment with questions, instead of writing me directly, as I’ve requested. The result – regrettably – is that I don’t notice their outreach till months later, if at all.

Moving on: wholesalers (even from other countries) have been known to come in and try to undercut you to the interested party, or separately message them, trying to steal the sale. Also not cool…and it doesn’t serve anyone, in the long run.

I learned this lesson the hard way – a LONG time ago – when I had 2 retail stores selling international clothing and jewelry. My suppliers started opening up direct-to-retail shops in the neighborhood. What happened? The bottom fell out of the market (for me and for them).

Jewelry show display

Jewelry show display

Sure, I want to get buyers the best possible prices, but after awhile, know that if the margin becomes too slim, it becomes pointless even to carry the product (never mind photograph it, post it, talk about it, etc.).

Remember, all vendors also have to have a huge amount of money tied up in inventory – to stay stocked – so they’ve got to believe in their product (and the pricing they’ve chosen).

In my case – you’ll also have to take into consideration that when I walk into a private healing session with a client (or a class) – sporting thousands of dollars in stellar material – that stuff will never be sold. It’s being held strictly for therapeutic purposes. It’s like water being tied up in the glaciers, never being turned over, even for the price that was paid. Think of all that capital out of circulation.

I can’t sell any one piece for less that I think it merits. That being said – you should know that my regular customers sometimes enjoy major discounts – as much as 30-40% off! It’s, ultimately, about making the sale – having product move, in the larger flow of Life energy – and creating the space for new and different items.

One more factor the Buyer should account for: privately held collection pieces not earning for the Seller. One wholesaler I met doesn’t have that problem – he saves nothing – but I can’t think of many who can resist holding onto some precious Crystals for themselves.

How do you even begin to price a giant elestial double terminated quartz(?!)

How do you even begin to price a giant Elestial double terminated Quartz(?!)

In all fairness, you (or I) really have no idea what the Seller actually bought the merchandise for, or what their overhead may be.

Just today, I bought some pieces Retail, because they’re that special. I was willing to ‘overspend’ because I know those pieces have their ‘rightful owners’ out there, and I’m their steward (until such time).

I can’t speak for others – but I spend a lot of time dealing with product – I take photos of everything; have paid for a sophisticated in-the-cloud inventory system; and have many other time and material costs which are incurred (behind the scenes) to bring you the best selection I can.

I am prepared to sit on an item if it doesn’t sell (cause it’s that good) – and if it does go (especially if it’s unique) – I may have a real struggle trying to replace it. So sometimes, it’s better to hold something until the right buyer comes along. Thankfully) they are out there. I am so grateful for the discerning customer!

Volume, which is the lifeblood of wholesalers, is not the prime motivator of this metaphysical retailer (though it is for some). If you have a storefront, and lots of folks coming through, you want to move as much product as possible. My goal here is to focus on quality over quantity, and to match the buyer with the right stone for them, regardless of price.

I take extra time talking or emailing with people – to make sure we ‘get it right’ – and that’s part of why I have a 100% satisfaction rate. When a total stranger (online) makes an inquiry – I do ask for their email, to followup – and build the relationship. If they refuse to share that with me [I’ve never abused someone’s contact information], chances are: they won’t be that great to do business with. Another way of thinking about this is – what if someone walked into your store with an invisibility cloak – and balked at you asking them to remove it before talking to them?

As stated, valuation is not a rigid science – costs can change over time. I wouldn’t want to be held accountable for outdated pricing (“but in November, you said this cost such-and-such”)…especially if later, I find that the piece has become that much harder to find (or sudden abundance lowers the price it can command). Not posting exact numbers used to give me the flexibility to bargain, too – if it made sense – or I’d just hold out for my highest asking price.

purple Flourite bowl

unique purple Flourite bowl

Having been in the business 25 years, I’ve seen a LOT of rocks, from what’s in the shops, to gem shows…a great gamut of retail and wholesale offerings. I’ve even sampled what the museums are sporting (though I’m sad that it’s always behind glass)! I’ve got a pretty good sense of what is out there, what’s not likely to come around again, and what’s a fad.

Yes, even in the crystal world (or especially?), there are phases and fashions. New finds get milked (become all the rage, like Fluorite bowls – a purple example pictured here – were “happening” just a few years ago…and then they’ve disappeared since. Am I gonna charge more for something like that? You betcha.

New Age names & qualities (like the “Auralite 23” phenomenon) get slapped onto pieces that had otherwise gone unnoticed. These in particular – end up fetching a ridiculous premium – but oddly, I find myself liking (and buying) them regardless. If it’s worth it, it’s worth it.

I have priced pieces for the long run, not just based on what I paid for them. I have to take into consideration what I estimate their long term value will be…mindful of the current market, but also of its future.

pair of Saphires

blue and yellow Sapphire

I do get some surprises, at times. Because much of my stock has been accumulated over 10 and 20 years, even my pricing can get out of date.

Take for example these Sapphires (pictured left and available here, on Facebook). I don’t even know what I paid for them – an I was willing to basically give them away – but now, they apparently fetch upwards of $50 a gram(!), currently.

Some vendors are in a hurry for turnover – others like attracting the lowest bidders – not me. That’s part of why I don’t do auctions. I’ve held some stones a quarter century, and don’t mind holding them some more. I’m really not comfortable ‘giving them away’ to someone who doesn’t truly appreciate their value.

That can happen after I’m gone. But if I have anything to do with it, I’ll have all my inventory properly codified and transferable, so anyone can know from looking at my archives what these pieces should sell for.

I passed up the 18 carat Gold bracelet I once wanted, and any big rings, for this diversified investment in a different kind of earth bounty. I give thanks to Mother Earth, Gaia and “the G*ds” – however you want to call him, her, or them – for giving me the eye (and occasionally, the full wallet) to have come this far in my collecting. I’d like to think what’s happened up till now is the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible.

As you can see, I value my time and inventory highly. The reason I’ve taken so long in writing this Blog post – days, probably, over it’s various incarnations – is that it really matters to me what you, the reader, think. I have to present every angle I can think of, to make sure you can see my nuanced perspective (and become as informed as possible).

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

twin pair of giant Candle Quartz

My mission now, is to share and to educate, so that more people will appreciate the worth of Crystals – not just for their rarity (or beauty) – but for their unique energetic qualities (even if that lends a financial boost to their price tag).

I boast a piece’s metaphysical merits only when I have personal experience indicating this would be appropriate, as opposed to some others’ making claims, attributing to them a laundry list of supposedly scientific and magical attributes.

Ours is a fine line – the metaphysician sellers’ – between what is, and what is imagined to be. Sometimes how we feel matters most. I just want to be wary of the “Emperor’s Clothes” syndrome – where everybody believes something just because everybody else believes in it – or some “master” went and put it down on paper. That feels spurious, and not sufficient basis for a shared belief.

There are treasured varieties out there that I just ‘don’t feel’ – but again – I won’t ‘poo-poo’ another’s gig. If it’s working for them and their customers, then as I’ve heard said: “who G*d bless, let no man curse!”

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blogger Kyle Russell, also founder of Crystal Concentrics and Power Stone Crystals

blogger Kyle Russell, also founder of Crystal Concentrics and Power Stone Crystals

Hope to connect with you, email: CrystalConcentrics@gmail.com

Facebook Pages:

http://www.Facebook.com/PowerStoneCrystals (strictly For Sale items)

http://www.Facebook.com/CrystalConcentric (new modality, inspirations, and personal collection pieces)

Facebook Profile: http://www.Facebook.com/CrystalConcentrics

Facebook Group 1 (for New Englanders):                                       http://www.Facebook.com/Groups/CrystalsNewEngland

Facebook Group 2 (for chronic rock spenders):                                       http://www.Facebook.com/Groups/Gemoholics Anonymous

Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/CrystalsPower

Twitter: @CrystalsPower

Crystal image ‘debut’ on Flickr

the momentous Pinnacle Rock, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

SO thrilled to have gotten serious about posting my Crystal images on a proper photo archiving site: www.Flickr.com!

And (surprise, surprise, for the Web) the default setting is to Copyright the images so people can’t just grab them).

Of course, not only Crystals are represented, but minerals, boulders & Rock formations, like the volcanic structure to the left.

My Blog’s been converted to a .com web site: CrystalConcentrics.com, and the WordPress Theme I use pulls photos right from Flickr to display in its Gallery.

You can click through to it from CrystalConcentrics.com, or go directly to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/crystalconcentrics/. I even have a Group on Flickr (called Crystals & Power Stones).

large 'soft-all-around' African Prehnite, upon glacially worn rock (overlooking pond)

They allow you to set up Albums called Sets, and I have 24 of them so far. There’s stones by color: yellow, red, pink, blue, black; a section (or set) devoted to ‘clear’ Quartz; vendor displays; heart-shaped stones; soil & rock formations; ‘worked’ stone (carvings); and the list goes on…you have to see it to believe it. There’s even “odd” stones, which is a euphemism for spooky stones, and non-stones, which still “have the energy.”

I actually see this listing become the foundation for a book. It will have a Crystal Healing bent as well.

One thing’s “for sure” (I put that in quotes ’cause nothing’s ever 100% certain) – I plan on finishing something in writing – a book-like entity – THIS year (by September at the earliest…December at the latest).

Last, but not least, I’ve started a Twitter account @CrystalsPower (user name Power Stone), which has already begun to yield some pretty interesting Social Networking connections.