Victoria Beckham uses them backstage at her fashion shows.
Miranda Kerr places them in her meditation-yoga room.
Katy Perry sleeps with one in her hand at night.
Welcome to the increasingly popular world of healing crystals.
Having first risen to popularity during the 1970s, crystal healing has made a resurgence in recent years,with the likes of Cara Delevingne, Lena Dunham and Adele raving about their calming, fortune bringing and healing properties.
But when you have celebrities like Spencer Pratt (the blonde guy from The Hills) forking out over £380,000 on crystals and collectors claiming they've been healed from addictions thanks to a stone's natural energy, it's hard to decipher exactly what they do, how they work and whether buying them is just another excuse for the Hollywood elite to spend their money.
In search for answers, we spoke to Devi Brown, founder of wellness brand Karma Bliss to find the truth behind the crystals.
First of all, what are healing crystals?
Crystal healing is a term that applies to a certain type of therapy which involves placing gem stones on your body or in nearby places to help draw out negative energy. Crystals have existed on earth for millions of years. They're a tool which work with your energy field to absorb, focus and direct energies.
Where are you meant to keep them?
People put crystals in interesting places but I like to keep them in a bag, which I'll put in my handbag or pocket, but they also work well when tucked around the house, depending on what they do.
Another great place to put crystals is on your nightstand because you can feel their energy while you sleep or behind your computer at work. It's best to keep them in spots where you're around them for a substantial amount of the day.
ELLE Top Tip: Crystal healer Emma Lucy Knowles suggests keeping a small crystal in your bra to carry the good vibes around with you all day. Sounds weird, but trust us, it's a thing.
If you're a crystal beginner, which are the best ones to buy?
There are hundreds of crystals which all have unique properties that can be used for different things. In terms of a starter bag, I suggest the following:
- Amethyst: It's a beautiful and abundant stone. It helps get rid of addictions, disruptive behaviours, enhances your intuition and increases your spirituality.
- Citrine: Known as the stone of success, citrine brings in energies of personal power. It's great at getting rid of negative energy and perfect for people in demanding careers.
- Aventurine: This is known as the stone of luck. It's good for mental powers, money, peace and good fortune. When people hold this stone they say spontaneous opportunities of luck suddenly start to drop in front of them. It's a great stone to help enhance your career.
- Clear quartz: It's great for focus, balance, positivity and clarity. Rose quartz is a favourite among women because it's known as the love stone, helping to enhance one's sense of self-love before opening them up to the love that awaits them in the world.
Does the size of a crystal matter?
The energy of a crystal does vary depending on its size, but you can absorb energy no matter how big or small the crystal is. Basically, the bigger the crystal, the more properties of energy it wields. I've seen crystals which are as tall as me and I'm 5ft 8. You can be floored by the amount of energy they give you.
Is a person drawn to a crystal or is the crystal drawn to them?
Both. If there's something you need in life that you're not addressing, you might find a crystal pops up for you.
When I'm looking for crystals I like to take a moment to close my eyes, hold them in my hand and see which feels right. For example, if I held my hands out and put five crystals on top and focused, I would feel the difference of one or two and they'd stand out to me. That would be a sign to me that those are the crystals I should grab.
Is it possible for crystals to conflict with each other?
No, they all work in perfect harmony because they're an extension of nature's innate balance. However, I would be careful – if there's something particular you want to work on in your life, crystals do have the potential to make a lot happen at the same time which can get overwhelming.
In this case, you might want to maybe pace yourself with using them.
How can someone 'pace' themselves with a crystal?
At different moments in life, we're all looking for different things so it's good to switch stones out of your bag or work spaces once a month or twice a year, depending on what you think you want more of.
At the moment I feel like I've harnessed my intuition and spontaneous luck so I'm grabbing a lot more stones that prepare me for opportunities I haven't even thought of opening myself up to.
ELLE Top Tip: Don't worry if you lose a crystal, according to crystal healer Emma Lucy Knowles each stone has their own spirit so when you lose one it means you no longer need it.
What are you meant to do with crystals?
When you have a crystal, the best thing to do is to set an intention on them. Hold them in your hand and visualise a white light going through them.
The next stage is to set an intention on the crystal. For example, if I had a piece of citrine (the stone of success) I would think 'In this moment I'm hoping to enhance my career and have more beautiful opportunities open up to me in the work place'. My intention would then be implanted on the stone.
You can set an intention on any stone but I always recommend people to pop them in the sun for a few hours to recharged them by the sun's energy. Alternatively, place them in a salt bath to clean off any bad energies that they might have picked up over time. You'll then need to reset your intention on the stones.
The most important part of crystal healing is to keep the stones close by. Just by existing they're heightening your energy. You can also mediate with them by hold them in your hand.
ELLE Top Tip: Emma Lucy Knowles advises using a pointed rose quartz crystal together with rose oil to massage temples to help relieve headaches, stress and eczema.
What would you say to a skeptic who doesn't believe in crystal healing?
Crystals are strongly connected to your energy and intuition. If someone is deeply skeptical, there isn't a way to 'talk' them into it – they have to do what feels comfortable to them. If healing crystals doesn't sound good for them, then they shouldn't do it. If you choose to be closed off , you're not able to open up your energy to anything.
However, if you're interested or curious about crystals, just pick one up. No harm, no fail. Besides, crystals are a piece of the earth so even if you didn't want to open yourself up to their energies, they're still beautiful pieces of stone to look at.
What are the common misconceptions about healing stones?
Crystals aren't a magic potion – they don't put a magic spell on you. Rather, they enhance the work you're already doing. So when you make a choice to change the way you think or stretch yourself emotionally and mentally, crystals help with that.
I don't want people thinking, 'I'm going to get a crystal and my whole life will be better by tomorrow and if it's not then it's the crystals fault'. You still have to actively engage with your own journey and growth. Crystals are a beautiful compliment for that journey.
How long does it take to notice a difference in yourself after using a crystal?
It's individual. The more open you are, the quicker you feel their impact. They work as fast as you do. I'm so open to crystals that I can actually get overwhelmed by them if I'm surrounded by too many. I feel their energies strongly.
ELLE Top Tip: Find falling asleep difficult? Try keeping an amethyst nearby (under your neck is an option if you want to take things to the next level) to help promote sleep - add some lavender oil to your pillow case and the two work together perfectly for a good night's kip.
What does their energy feel like?
It depends on the stone – some are great for energy and some are great for focus. In my office, I have citrines and clear quartz so I feel the energy of focus from them.
In general, crystals bring about a feeling of calm and knowingness – it's not like a frantic or manic feeling. When you hold a crystal, your energy is heightened but you feel at peace and in flow with the universe, with the knowledge that the things you want to happen are coming. I feel very at one with my life when I'm surrounded by crystals.
Do crystals have an expiry date?
Crystals work forever but I do recommend people keep them in the sun for a few hours every few weeks to charge them with their own natural energies, either on a full moon or in sunlight. If you keep them in the house all day they can become disconnected from their natural sources of energy.Gemstones are participants in nature just like we are as humans.
Is crystal healing a type of spiritual belief?
It fits well in the spiritual and mindfulness community. Crystals are a part of the earth so they're a great way to feel more connected to the balance of nature. It's so easy to go for days without seeing nature so using them is a great way for people to reconnect with their surroundings.
We heard stones can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. What prices should people expect to pay for them?
It varies on where you buy them from. Healing crystals are broken up into three categories:
- Cut stones: They're similar to gem stones which take a lot of time and effort to cut, in much the same way as jewellery stones.
- Tumblestones: These are found easily so are lower down on the price scale. They're the polished versions of stones which are smaller and beautiful.
- Raw stones: These crystals aren't as shiny as tumblestones but emit the same amount of energy. They're less expensive because they're not cut and polished so are the least expensive to buy.
Of course, some crystals are rare and some are abundant. The more difficult to extract, the more you should expect to pay.
When buying crystals, it's important to remember that they all do the same thing so it depends on personal preference and how much you can afford to spend. Crystals can be found at very different price points – a small tumbled piece could be worth a few pounds and big, cut and polished could be worth thousands.