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Passion crystallizes into downtown rock shop

Business sells handmade jewelry, hosts readings, tumbles own stones

Rocks from as near as Oregon’s sunstone mines and as distant as Madagascar and South Africa are the mainstay of a recent addition to Newberg’s retail scene: The Crystal Crossroads, located at the west end of downtown.

Owner DeEllen Hardy opened the store at the beginning of September in the retail space formerly home to Urban Relics on West First Street.GARY ALLEN - DeEllen Hardy opened The Crystal Crossroads at the southwest end of downtown Newberg in early September. The metaphysical shop sells crystals, jewelry, incense and much more.

The Crystal Crossroads is a “metaphysical shop,” which means it carries herbs, incense, jewelry, candles, handmade soaps, essential oils, all the way to tapestries, palmistry and tarot materials.

Hardy makes the jewelry that’s sold at the store. She’s been crafting jewelry for nearly 20 years and before opening the store she was traveling to bazaars and craft shows working as a vendor.

Now, besides a dedicated space to show their products, Hardy and co-owner Rick Murray have space to work as well: stones are processed onsite, which means putting the rocks through a tumbling process.

Just what that entails depends on the type of stone. Tumbling means placing the stones in a tumbler with a certain level of grit and a media such as ceramic pellets, and tumbling it together to refine the stones.

“If it’s just an agate or something regular, we do four stages,” Hardy said. “We do a stage for shaping, then a second stage that doesn’t shape it quite as much, then we do a pre-polish and a polish stage.”

For other harder rocks, like carnelian, the tumbling process is more involved and can take 10 days or longer. Sometimes up to a third of the rock is lost during the tumbling process at it shapes into the final product.

Once tumbled, the rock appears in stark contrast to its former self. Hardy displays a batch of Oregon sunstone, pre- and post-tumbled side by side: once refined, the stones are rounded and translucent, while they appear opaque and jagged beforehand.

For those curious about the purported metaphysical properties associated with different stones, the shop includes an explanatory card that comes with each rock.

“Someone that’s having this problem, an emotional problem, I’m going to give them this rose quartz, and then the card talks about love,” Hardy explained.

Although the market for metaphysical shops is smaller in Oregon than some states — in some parts of Arizona one might find three different shops specializing in candles, stones of in­­cense on the same block — Hardy is working to drum up interest, not only with the merchandise but with special events hosted onsite.

The space now features tarot and Oracle card readings, and in the future Hardy said she wants to start putting on workshops as well.

As to the product line, so far the best-selling stones are the amethyst and the rose quartz, while the most popular sale overall is the double-terminated necklace — handmade by Hardy herself.

The Crystal Crossroads is located at 116 W. First St. To learn more, visit www.the crystalcrossroads.com.