All of the crystals sold here at Castle Rocks Cornwall have been sourced responsibly and ethically. Each one handpicked by myself or in partnership with my direct suppliers
60% of the stock I have here is sourced by myself, direct with the miners in Brazil and Madagascar. I also have direct contact with suppliers in Indonesia and India.
Small family businesses, two of them are social enterprises. This is where the money received is sent back into the community to allow for the supply to continue and put to use for the whole of the community. There is no child exploitation involved, and everyone is very happy in their work.
40% of my other stock is sourced from only two UK suppliers. I will not buy anything from them if I can’t track the source.
The majority of crystals sold here at Castle Rocks are of premium quality. The people who supply these crystals take care of them, and they pride themselves on having the very best. They take their business very seriously, as do I. Ethically sourced, premium quality crystals cost more money to buy. I could buy cheaper crystals direct from China, but ethically this isn’t an option for me. I’m happy to pay a higher price because I know that they’re the very best, not just in quality but ethically too.
If I can’t understand or know where a crystal has come from, I will not buy them. It has taken me three years to get to a place where I am content and satisfied with the souring of my crystals. I won’t lie, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I would buy any crystal I liked the look of. I remember one time when I was trying to find some Bumblee Bee Jasper (back when it wasn’t so popular), I went to my trusted source and was surprised to hear that they didn’t have any. Nor would they ever have any. When I asked why I learnt that the early mining of Bumblee Bee Jasper involved young children working in enclosed factories. They were being exposed to the toxic dust that is emitted when undergoing the cutting and polishing process (tumbles, spheres, towers, etc.). Since then, I’ve learnt a lot about the ethical problems surrounding the crystal and mineral world. I now make it my business to make sure I’m up to date on this subject.
The ethical question is massive. Extracting minerals from the ground could be seen as unethical; it doesn’t matter if they’re mined by hand or by a local community. It can be seen as raping the Earth of her life force. This is what some people say to those of us who sell crystals. I’ve spent a lot of time in Earth healing ceremonies, and my awareness towards the pain of our planet is so great at times, it hurts. I can’t ignore that pain and I do question the way I make a living. I’m at peace with it now because I do my utmost best to make sure that I know where and how the crystals are mined. I won’t stockpile crystals and will only buy in relatively small quantities. The communities I work with don’t have a massive supply anyway. I’m happy knowing that my business is helping them to provide for their families and run their own business too.
There are different levels to the ethical argument. What is unethical for us isn’t necessarily unethical for others in other parts of the world. I can only do my part and make sure I know the provenance and trust the source. For example…. Families in Indonesia that don’t have access to schools, they take the whole family on a days mining. It is their way of life and their way of survival. Children are taught to survive by their parents and family. My daughter was homeschooled for years. I taught her a way of learning through life experience. She and I would often sit down and clean crystals together. It’s quite surprising how much she and I learnt by doing this. We would talk about where the crystal comes from, and that then led us in all different directions. We like to think that if other families are doing the same, they are enjoying themselves and learning lots too.
I do understand that some children work in unsafe conditions, not just children but adults too. Sadly, I can’t control that, all I can do is make sure that I’m not contributing in any way. That is why I prefer to buy my crystals from small independents that I trust.
There is a lot of talk about regulating the crystal and mineral industry. Although this might sound like a good idea, it isn’t necessarily so. It could be seriously detrimental to some smaller families and communities, those that rely on the small amount of business they do get. They wouldn’t be able to adhere to or afford the strict regulations. The end result would be disastrous for them. No work or business = no money. No money = no food or home…
Also, a lot of crystals are bi-products of much richer elements and minerals, such as oil etc. They aren’t wanted or valued and only mined as a bi-product and left to waste. The same for Amethyst, Smoky Qtz etc. The local clay mines here in Cornwall turn out Amethyst by the ton, daily! And they get ground down to dust!
This is an interesting and no doubt firey discussion that will continue to evolve. I will update this post as and when I feel something needs to be added.
Thank you for caring