Healing crystals have become very popular recently, with people buying many different crystals to either wear or place in their homes and help with physical and mental health issues, monetary problems and any other problem you could imagine. There are even water bottles with crystals in that are supposed to somehow "energise" the water you drink.

A great article in the New Republic looked into where these crystals are coming from, given that crystals are now estimated to be a billion dollar a year industry. It's unsurprising to learn that many crystals which are sold as healing items that care for mother earth are sourced from mines with bad track records, both for environmental damage and unfair labour practices.

Many crystals are found as byproducts when mining for copper or other useful elements, but some come from dedicated mines in places such as Myanmar where workers are treated poorly and profits are used to support oppressive regimes.

Of course, most people who are interested in buying healing crystals won't be too worried about where they came from, just so long as they're cheap. The New Republic journalist asked several major crystal sellers, such as Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop, where their crystals come from, but everyone was unwilling to answer.

I've checked local shops in New Zealand, and have seen a lot of unsubstantiated claims about the miraculous healing that these crystals apparently offer, but very little information about where these crystals come from.

"The amethyst is used to overcome addiction. It can be used for bumps, bruises, headaches, tension, insect bites, and even skin conditions."

There are also the usual nonsense disclaimers:

"This information is for research purposes only and should not be construed as medical recommendations for any disease or symptom. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Consult a licensed healthcare professional for treatment."