You're a Gem(stone)

Crystal necklaces are gracing the necks of street-style stars and sorority girls alike. This comes as no surprise, since holistic healing is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Holistic healing is focused on mind, body and spirit. Lifestyle, physical health, emotional health and spiritual health are all factors taken into account when going through holistic healing. More people are turning away from prescription drugs and toward natural methods of healing, one of which is crystals. These luxe stones give off subtle, witchy vibes to ward off the naysayers (and people less trendy than you).

By Caitlin Phan

The History

The practice of crystal healing is not too different from using other natural beauty products like clay for face masks or coconut oil for skin care. A quick Google search will tell you that crystal healing can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Rome, but there is much skepticism surrounding how crystal healing came to be. Websites, of questionable authority, dedicated to the art of crystal healing claim it has Chinese origins, based on the concept of chi. The concept of chi refers to energy of all kinds, from the blood flowing through your veins to something as abstract as thought. Health and happiness may be achieved by the balancing and mixing of energies and crystals can facilitate the flow of energy in and out of your body. Another theory is that crystal healing comes from Hindu and Buddhist practices, based on the concept of the chakras. Your body has seven chakras, or energy points and energy flows from one chakra to another starting at your feet. Crystals restore self-harmony by fixing your energy imbalances and are often be placed on your chakras.

Typically when you visit a crystal healer, they ask what is ailing you and proceed to place crystals on the corresponding parts of your body, including but not limited to your chakras. For example, a healer can provide prehnite for self-esteem, amethyst for intestinal trouble, hematite for sleep aid or yellow topaz for clearer thinking. You can also wear crystals and gemstones around your neck or carry them in your pocket to prevent sickness by trading out negative energy for positive energy.

The Look

You might not buy into all that superstition about energy, chakras and vibrations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t subtly incorporate crystals into your everyday look for style purposes. Gemstones and crystals go well with your mom jeans, crop tops and Birkenstocks, adding to the whole ‘90s vibe . Layer a gemstone piece with a few other necklaces to achieve that effortlessly bohemian effect. For a subtle crystal look, wear one underneath your oversized t-shirt to class and reap the benefits of your newfound positive energy on Mondays.

Tory Burch featured bold gemstone necklaces in her spring 2016 collection, as does Michael Kors, who featured earthy jewels in his spring 2016 collection at New York Fashion Week. Since Halloween is around the corner, why not experiment with crystals? Who knows — the witchy accessories may actually benefit you in more ways than just aesthetically.  

If you’re interested in adding some powerful energy to your everyday look, check out some of these Austin jewelers.

Desert Flower Designers

Erica Alcocer, the owner of Desert Flower Designers, can be found selling her products at local events typically announced on the shop’s Facebook page. Alcocer prefers to see her patrons in person, hence her minimal web presence. Desert Flower is locally-minded and truly embodies the Austin spirit. Their crystal pieces, like all of their jewelry, are handmade and guaranteed to be good vibe magnets. Desert Flower is a little edgier than your average fare, but you will surely find some pieces that fit your personal style. Check out Desert Flower if you like your jewelry to be a little more Austin.

Valerie Allen Jewelry

Valerie Allen and Paige Sheffield are an Austin-based mother-daughter team. They have an impressive selection of stones, from small and delicate to graphic and statement-making. Allen and Sheffield craft fun and feminine pieces that are easy to wear and far easier to buy. Valerie Allen pieces are sold on Etsy and stocked in stores around Austin, just in case you want to check out the stones you are personally drawn to. Their crystal jewelry will upgrade any outfit and heal you, even on your bad hair days.

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Crystal Tribe

Crystal Tribe is another local shop owned by husband and wife duo Jordan and Ashley French that’s serious about crystal healing. On each of their Etsy listings, they provide descriptions of the crystals and the healing properties they possess. The Frenches are like stylish modern day medicine men and women. Crystal Tribe’s pieces are ethereal and eye-catching, and the duo believes in the pieces they craft.

Stitch and Stone

Michele Rootstein, the woman behind Stitch and Stone, is a New York-bred Austin transplant. Stitch and Stone pieces are a little more Kendra Scott-esque and beginner-friendly for you newly minted crystal enthusiasts. Her jewelry is not intimidating in the slightest and will go with all the accessories you already have, if you want to dip your toe into the healing crystal waters. Stitch and Stone is sold on Etsy. Rootstein also makes appearances in person at local markets around Austin.

Crystal healing is not proven to work and there are no studies to prove its legitimacy. Some scientists have deemed the practice a pseudoscience, but if you believe in chakras and chi, perhaps crystals will work for you. If not, it might be wise to stick to your over-the-counter grade Tylenol. Holistic healing might not be on your side, but crystal necklaces are fun to wear regardless Pile them on, cast those negative vibes away and embrace your energies.