The American West is a rebellious land of seekers and explorers and Daniel has an older, freer, connected spirit to a time when the land revealed it’s treasures to those with gold in their hearts.
We recently partnered with Daniel from Mineral Aligned to use his hand-picked crystals in a small collection of our limited edition custom Crystal Slider Charms. He has a peaceful, sweet energy which is reflected in the way he handles his stones. He unearths the rocks with respect for the soil and the spirit of the land. It’s easy to walk into any metaphysical shop and choose a stone by it’s glamour, blind to it’s origins and journey. When you buy from Daniel you know that your crystal was chosen with intention and intuition. It has a story.
Why do you mine crystals? How would you describe your relationship with the earth and your inspiration for exploration?
I collect and dig for minerals because I’m a seeker of things, and always have been. I was a kid who wanted to be a paleontologist and a marine biologist. Perhaps a marine paleontologist, if it existed in my realm of possibility. The Earth is so abundant with marvels, living and nonliving, that there are endless realms for exploration. I’ve always wanted my own role in that ethos.
Over time, I became increasingly drawn to minerals- the raw building blocks of our Mother Earth. Minerals are a record of geologic genesis and destruction, literal art produced by processes that have happened over the course of millions and billions of years.
All it took was one visit to a quartz mine in South Carolina, almost by chance, to really doom me to a lifetime of sore-necking it from staring at the ground looking for rocks. Just kidding, I’m immensely grateful that my path has gone this way, and for all I have learned (I’m only scratching the surface), and the places I’ve traveled to in search of minerals. I feel called to do this work, and share it with others.
There’s real beauty out there to be witnessed and dug up. A lifetime worth of digging and collecting could only produce a tiny portion of what’s in the ground right now. It’s insanely humbling.
How did you come across this particular stone? What makes it significant?
This particular stone is a fluorite specimen from the Elmwood Mine in Carthage, Tennessee. Its interlocked cubes and bold blue color are very characteristic of the fluorite that comes from this mine. In the last two decades the mine was closed to specimen collecting, and now most of the specimens underground are blasted to extract zinc ore. For a while, the only new specimens on the market were brought out in miners’ lunchboxes.
This makes sourcing a tricky issue in the modern day. This stone was hand selected from a Tennessee miner’s stand, before making its way here to Los Angeles, where Ashley and I adjusted the piece to fit perfectly into the DIPHDA slider. It’s nice to know where things come from, and furthermore, knowing that you supported someone’s livelihood along the way.
For those interested in learning a bit about where crystals and minerals come from, procuring their own minerals, etc….
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