The Citrine Circle was born out of a lifelong passion for crystals and minerals by husband and wife team Emma and Stu. We know that not everyone is lucky enough to have a local crystal and rock shop (certainly not in the UK!), so we opened an Etsy Shop at the start of 2018, with a focus on customer service, and honest and accurate selling so you know that what you see is exactly what you will receive. We wanted to have a shop that sells beautiful crystals, whilst helping our customers to learn more about the history of these beautiful stones. We hand select the crystals in the shop so that you can be assured we only sell the very best.
We also love to go and mine our own crystals whenever possible - the Oregon Sunstone you see for sale has all been dug by us, along with other various crystals that we offer up for sale occasionally. Cutting and polishing is a newer passion as we finally have a machine, and Stu in particular has been creating gorgeous freeforms and slices that have been wonderful to be able to offer to you.
We love getting to show you all our new finds, and if you have the time, join our Facebook group where we do live previews before every website update, so you can get to know the crystals (and us!) , see everything up close, and maybe even learn something new about them! Our group can be found here: www.facebook.com/groups/thecitrinecircle
If you are ever interested in something we don't have on the website, do get in touch as we have new stock coming in all the time from our frequent supplier trips. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, as we often share exclusive offers on new crystals before they even make it to the online shop!
We also have a growing set of resources in the 'Resources' tab on to help you learn more about crystals and how to work with them, plus how to spot fakes and make sure you know what you're buying. We also created a free Crystal Guide App for both Android and iOS that is packed with both geological and metaphysical information for over 370 different crystals. Find out more about it here.
As on online retailer, we find it really important to be as eco friendly as possible. Our top priority is ensuring your crystals arrive in perfect condition, but also in a way that has as little impact on the planet as possible. We use box suppliers who create our boxes out of recycled materials, and our padded envelopes are from FSC certified sources.
A little bit about how and why we do things
Personally, I don’t like buying things online, and as strange as it sounds, I had never bought a crystal online before. For this reason, when we started The CC, one of the main things that was important to me was making sure it was as easy as possible to feel comfortable in what you were going to buy. I’m incredibly fussy, and it takes me ages to decide on anything I want to buy - what size is it going to be, what does it look like, is that the exact one I’m going to get or have you just used a stock photo? Stu on the other hand is an internet shopping convert, he won’t even buy his clothes in a shop so he can try them on, he just orders them online! So between us, I like to think we strike a fairly good balance with the website. There are some things it’s just impossible for us to list individually, like tumbles, as we simply don’t have enough time or storage to lay them out and photograph them individually. However my fussiness strikes again - even though we hand select them all wherever possible at suppliers, even when we get them back to the shop, I’ll still go through them and pick out the best ones whenever I’m picking out orders.
Our website pictures also aren’t the snazziest, and that’s on purpose. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ever envious of the glorious colourful, saturated popping photos you see on IG, Etsy and FB - often the crystals look so yummy you want to eat them! However real life is rarely as beautifully polished and colourful as social media makes out, so I’d much rather go with photos that are as realistic and accurate as I can get - I much prefer to have people tell me that a crystal looks so much better in real life than to hear someone is disappointed because it’s not as good as the picture implied.
We’ve struggled a lot over the years with the dilemma of “free” shipping. From a sellers point of view, free shipping is never free. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for an ebay purchase that states it’s got “free shipping”, but all that really means is that postage is included into the cost of the item. And to be honest, that’s fine if all you’re buying is one item, it works out the same if an item is £15 plus £3 shipping or £18 with free shipping. But as soon as you buy more than one item, you’re paying shipping costs twice. Sure, some shops break it down so they build the cost of the postage into 2 or 3 items, so if you buy enough to break the “free shipping” threshold then you’ve paid enough extra to cover the shipping costs for them. To be honest though, that’s just too much like hard work for us. I’d rather just say how much an item costs, then you can either get it shipped, or put it in a hold box and build up a parcel over time, and just pay shipping once. You pay it in one form or the other anyway, so we’d rather just be upfront about it!
Anyone who’s been a customer of ours for a while will also notice that we don’t run regular sales, we just try to keep our prices reasonable all year round. I don’t like to use the sales tactic of inflating prices to start with, just so you can then offer an amazing sale and slash the price to what it should have been to start with, just to make it seem more appealing. We do run a couple of genuine sales a year, one on my birthday and one on Stu’s though, and I promise we don’t hike the prices beforehand!
We're also suckers for a good loyalty scheme, so we're very excited to be able to offer our own - sign up to earn money off and free crystals! Find out more about it here.
On a final note (for now!) I just want to say a little bit about the buzzword of 2020 - ethical crystals. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say a couple of things that I think really need addressing. Firstly, we need to make sure we distinguish between large scale, commercial mining where they dig up huge swathes of land and crush huge amounts of rock to find the minerals they need for industry, such as steel, lithium, coal. Against this we then have the small scale artisanal mining that is often done to produce the crystals that end up in our collections, either by families, individuals or co-ops in places like Brazil. I am aware though that although artisanal mining is done on a much smaller scale, it still affects the environment. This is one of the reasons we partnered with Ecologi and donate money from our sales to aid reforestation, mainly the Mangroves of Madagascar as this is a country close to our hearts, and one that has lost 90% of its original forests.
Secondly, I also think it’s important to recognise the cultural differences between our way of life, and how other people expect to live and work. I’ve had many long discussions with suppliers about ethics, and one man who I love to buy crystals from (he’s as crystal obsessed as me), told me a story that stuck with me. He has mines all over the world, and contacts with many families he has dealt with for decades. One of these is a nomadic family who make their money through their herd of sheep and by travelling around, digging for crystals. Their whole family is involved, they do not go to school as there isn’t one, their kids grow up learning how to look after the sheep and helping out with the digging. This is their way of life, and without that, they would struggle to survive. Does this make it unethical child labour? Should we refuse to buy from them because their children are involved, even though at many rockhounding sites in the US you will inevitably see children digging in the dirt with their parents? I would much rather get to know the people we’re buying from and make my own judgements, and follow my heart.
To this end, we enjoy travelling to gem shows and meeting the people behind the crystals as much as we can - the gentleman who spends all year digging Herkimer Diamonds in peace and sells them once a year at the Tucson show, the new dealer from the Congo who we discuss new ways to cut and polish crystals with, or the family from Mexico who found a new seam of beautiful blue opal and are at the gem show for the first time to show off their new discovery. That for me is what makes the crystal world an exciting place, the wonderful people and the treasures we find on our adventures around the globe!