Transparency in Crystals

TRANSPARENCY, n. the quality of something, such as a situation or an argument, that makes it easy to understand

“So where does this crystal come from?

Insert any country in the world, from Afghanistan to Zambia, Morocco to Mexico. And the thrill of imagining the dark cave deep in the earth where the beautiful stone in your hand grew many, many years ago. Heat! Gases! Liquids! Pressure! And now this enticing crystal has come to light. It’s exciting!

But what if we ask another question? 

What if we ask how instead of where?

Here’s the real deal.

We think it’s as important to know how crystals were harvested as the country they’re from. 

Don’t get me wrong - I love knowing where in the world each crystal is from. It makes me feel like I could be a Carmen Sandiego of crystals and criss-cross the world through my crystals.

But that doesn’t tell me anything about how it was extracted, whether the people who first plucked it out of the ground were paid fairly or working in safe conditions, and what the impact was on the local communities. This article in the New Republic is one reporter's story of attempt to shine some light on the process.

There are so many, many questions to consider:

Are the workers fairly paid and working in safe conditions?
What happened to the earth that was displaced to reveal this crystal?
What animals and insects were impacted in the process?
Was the water recycled?
How was the local community compensated for extracting this natural resource? 

There. That’s so much more than just the country, right?

We can do better. And it all starts with just asking questions.

Coba Crystals was created in answer to these questions.

And we share the story of each partner we work with to source crystals. 

For more info, check out our partners here.  And this post on why we don’t call our crystals “ethical crystals”.

Spoiler alert: The ethical designation isn’t a certification like fair trade or direct trade that’s regulated or verified by a third party, so it doesn't have an industry-wide definition.