Crystal market has seen an upward graph in recent years due to the large scale popularity of these stones. From a college-going individual to a retired person, crystals have become everyone’s favorite, thanks to their healing properties. Even many celebrities have started endorsing these crystals which have led to the widespread of these stones. And with the boom in the fashion industry in recent years, crystals are also being made into beautiful jewelry which has made it possible to carry these stones everywhere. Many institutions have been set up around the world which offers Crystal Healing Certification courses for those who aspire to be a crystal healer one day. Such amount of popularity and craze about these crystals have side-lined an important aspect about them – their origin, authenticity, and mining methods.
Many who are drawn towards the healing power of these crystals do not understand the effect of their mining practices, especially in poor countries. The conditions of the men, women, and children have never come under close scrutiny, on whose labor this multi-billion dollar industry has been set up. In a country like Madagascar where technological advancements and machinery has not been able to build a proper base, it’s the poor people who do all the labor work. These people are paid very low wages while their managers earn tens of thousands of dollars. With no governing authority to monitor the mines, these poor people are treated in an inhuman manner and are made to work for many hours without proper food and water. Child labor is also on the rise with malnutrition being a common thing. Many have lost their lives due to landslides and those who are working in these mines are prone to lung diseases due to the fine dust particles that accumulate in the lungs. There are very few mines in the world that implement fair and legal mining techniques, but such companies are just a handful among many. Apart from the human cost of mining these crystals, there are many environmental repercussions as well. Crystals are not just waiting scattered over the earth for us to go and pick them up. Same as gold, copper etc the crystals have to be mined from the earth. These mining practices severely affect the ecological balance in that area. These mines discharge tons of ore and waste rock every single day which is dumped into nearby rivers and this leads to permanent flooding and even species extinction.
Most people who say that crystals are magical and can be used for almost any problem in your life are often unaware of the dark secrets of this multi-billion dollar industry. Just like most minerals, it is very difficult to know the exact environmental and human cost of these crystals. But there is one thing which we do know for sure that despite all the healing properties of these stones, there is and always will be a dark side to them.
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