Crystal Vision

Semi precious stone pendants hanging on a craft stall

Every stone has a meaning… but how can that help me?

“Oh, they’re lovely.”

A fellow stallholder at the craft fair reaches out to touch earrings dangling from my display.

I am immediately alert – she has selected a pair of Pietersite drops. Pietersite is the stone of the tempest.

I look more closely, but I don’t think she’s going to turn any of the tempest on me today.

It started off as a bit of fun, this study of the meaning of stones.

When I began to make jewellery as a hobby, crystals and semi-precious stones were inexpensive, pretty, and meant I could make attractive, affordable jewellery.

Then I began to notice a relationship between the pieces people bought and what kind of person they were… or the things that were happening in their lives.

“Excuse me.” My potential customer takes a call on her mobile. “What do you mean, you can’t come?”

Her expression flushes darker than deep-grey Pietersite.

She walks away, cradling her phone between neck and shoulder, gesticulating angrily with her free hand.

Oh, dear. I regard her favoured earrings with dismay. I’ve used Kyanite too: the stone of emotions. I must have made them in my bitter and black-hearted phase.

“If there’s so much meaning in the stones, how come you can’t use them to divine a future for you and Joe?” my friend demanded last week.

“Don’t be daft, Emma. I’m not Mystic Meg. You can’t use crystals to foretell the future.

“It’s just that certain meanings are attached to certain stones and sometimes what people choose tells you something about their personalities or what they think is important.”

“You can’t make him cufflinks to inspire undying love, then?”

She giggled; I swatted her arm.

“No. I’ve been seeing him four months now and I don’t need second sight to tell you he wouldn’t wear cufflinks.

“Anyway, it’s going to take a lot more than a couple of polished stones for me to be prepared to put my trust in a man again.”

“What about one that buys you diamonds, then? Even I know the meaning of that.”

“That he’s faithful?”

“More like he’s loaded.”

We both laughed so hard, people at other tables in the coffee shop looked over as if we were demented.

“Seriously,” Emma composed herself. “You need to do something about moving the relationship on if you really like him. He’ll think you
don’t care.”

“I do care – but that’s the problem. I thought Paul was the one, you know? How are you supposed to tell if someone new is worth taking a risk on? I wish the stones could tell me, but they can’t.”

“What has he suggested for your birthday?”

I shrugged. “Chinese take-away and a DVD.”

“Not very exciting.”

“No, but it’s kind of cosy.”

“See!” Emma was triumphant. “Already he’s got you sussed – Little Miss Stay-at-home. He’s perfect for you, Nicki. Do something about it.”

I love Emma to bits – she’s my oldest friend – but ever since she ditched a long term relationship that was going nowhere last year, she’s been evangelical about taking action to change your life.

The jewellery she buys is Red Adventurine, the stone of action. She’s changed her appearance and found a new job.

I really admire her… it’s just that I’m not sure whether I’m that dynamic.

I do like Joe a lot. But I just wish there was a way for me to be sure that I won’t get hurt again.

“Absolutely typical!” The Pietersite admirer is back. “Once again my fiancé fails to show when he’s promised to help set up my stall. I don’t know why I bother believing him in the first place.” She snatches the Pietersite and Kyanite drops. “I’ll take these.”

“Actually – er – these might suit you better.” I produce another earring pair. “See how the fluorite sets off the deeper colours – it’s a pretty contrast.”

She smiles. “Yes, you’re right.”

I feel a flicker of relief. Fluorite is the crystal of new perspectives.

I’d like to temper all that emotional turmoil with a bit of clarity and hope if I can.

My mobile flashes: a good luck text from Emma.

This is my first craft fair; it’s down to support from Emma and other friends that I’m here at all.

The jewellery making started as something to do during all those long empty evenings after Paul left. It was creative and as it turned out, all consuming. It stopped me feeling sorry for myself and maxing out on crisps and chocolate as consolation.

Friends who bought pieces recommended me to others, and now here I am, rubbing shoulders with all these skilled, experienced crafters at
the fair today.

I stand back and admire my display, take a photo and post it onto my newly established Facebook page. Immediately a text comes in from Joe.

Facebook looking good!

He’s sent a smiling face and a heart. My stomach gives a little twist: it would be so easy to fall for him.

Still on for tonight?

I love that he never assumes. If anything, he always comes over as a bit unsure of himself.

I’m not used to that. Paul was always pretty certain he had me in his pocket. I expect that’s why I became boring. Or at least, less interesting than his personal trainer.

I’m better off without Paul, as Emma never stops telling me. To be honest, she doesn’t need to tell me any more. I know she’s right.

I’ve taken to wearing Turnitella Agate – the stone of survival – and while I may not be in the Red Adventurine league like Emma, I now wear the green version: stones of opportunity.

Eighteen months on from Paul’s desertion I am stronger, and much more sure of myself.

Yet still I am afraid to fall in love again.

People are beginning to browse stalls. I swallow the fizzing in my stomach and fix on a welcoming smile.

“These are pretty.”

A motherly-looking woman is drawn to my Agate. I smile: it’s the stone of stability.

“Grandma!” She is pounced upon by a little girl who looks around four. “Can we get a burger? Mum will never take me.”

“Well –” The woman frowns. “We shouldn’t really if Mum says ‘no’.”

The girl groans.

“How about we go there for a milkshake after this fair and I’ll make you homemade burgers for our dinner?”

“Grandma, you’re the best!”

The child pogo-jumps so that my displays are momentarily in peril.

I’m not at all surprised by the grandmother’s hasty purchase. She chooses a necklace of Blue Lace Agate, the stone of the diplomat.

It’s a busy craft fair; I am delighted to have lots of customers including a pregnant woman who, without any guidance from me, chooses earrings in Goshenite and Garnet, the stones of motherhood and good health.

Bless him, Joe comes straight from work to help me pack away and then comes round later with the Chinese and selected box-set.

I am fragrant from a bubble bath, and tired but jubilant with the success of my first foray into craft fairs.

Unpacking food, beginning to tell Joe about my customers and how much you can guess about a person’s nature by their choice of stones, I become aware that he is holding a beautifully gift-wrapped box out towards my back.

“Happy Birthday!” he says a little sheepishly.

“Aww, thanks. You know it’s not till tomorrow. Can I still open it, though?” I giggle.


As I fumble with ribbons, Joe rubs fingertips nervously against his chin.

“I hope it’s OK. Well, I mean, I don’t think it counts as buying from your competition exactly, but –”

I am momentarily breathless. “Joe, where did you get this?”

“I found this site online where they would make a personalised crystal garden in a box. You know I don’t know much about it – meanings and stuff. It’s just I thought these looked really pretty. I know how much you love your crystals and I thought, well… You’re not cross, are you?”

“No, Joe. I’m not cross.”

As I put up a hand to caress his cheek I’m blinking back tears.

Because I realise the stones have sent me a message after all.

Joe’s crystal garden for me… Rose Quartz, stone of unconditional love; Red Tourmaline, stone of the perfect heart; and Red Beryl, the “right time” crystal.

“If you don’t like it, er…”

“Joe.” I lean into his embrace, knowing finally that it’s a place I can trust. “It’s the perfect present.”

We’re sharing another lovely story from our archives on the theme of Hope for the Future, every Monday and Thursday during January. Look out for the next one…