Southern New Mexico and the surrounding areas are some of the most prodigious locations in the United States for finding rocks, gems, crystals, and minerals that rockhounds from all over the world come to marvel at and in some cases even collect. Many children in grade school go through a rock-collecting phase (I was no exception), likely housing their treasures in old shoeboxes. Some of these kids may grow up to be casual collectors, but when a person considers themself a “rockhound,” they are a far more serious, organized, and knowledgeable rock and mineral collector (likely not housing their prized possessions in old shoeboxes). While some people simply enjoy the beauty of these pieces of nature, others attribute healing qualities to them.
Where and Why
The Headqrtrs Supply Company owners describe the store as “Las Cruces’ new, good vibes shop,” and encourage folks to “come by and enjoy the positive vibes, enter as strangers, leave as family.” Among many items to assist individuals on their metaphysical journey, they have a large selection of raw and polished crystals and stones. I took a trip there one afternoon and met with owner Monica Garcia, who was welcoming and helpful. “I believe you should trust your intuition and whichever crystal you are drawn to is the one you should get. Usually the crystal will choose you, depending on what is needed at the moment,” says Monica.
I followed her advice and walked out with a polished piece of black obsidian, several crystals, and three powerful bracelets made of hematite (to dissolve negative energy), lapis lazuli (to boost mental awareness and intuition), and black tourmaline (to aid in cleansing the emotional body of negative thoughts, anxieties, anger, and/or feelings).
Jose Martinez is the owner of TruArt of the Earth located in historic old Mesilla, and along with his variety of crystals for sale, he periodically hosts “crystal bowl chakra tune-up and meditation” events. “Personally, I believe people are becoming more sensitive to the energies emitted from the stones. Besides just being attracted to their beauty, people are tuning in to the energetic vibrations. People are becoming more curious about working with crystals and using them as tools in different aspects of life,” says Jose.
Lori Lytle Coleman operates under the name Spanish Stirrup Rock Shop and is a commercial rock miner. She is originally from Deming where her current rock yard is housed, but now lives full-time in Alto with her husband, Bruce. “Rocks lit a passion in me many years ago and I now do it professionally,” Lori said. The pair spends about 100 days out of the year mining for thundereggs, jasper, and agate. They allow rock club members to join their excavating adventures as well as visit their showroom and processing facility in Alto by appointment. They also sell online.
For new and seasoned rockhounds alike, Lori advised, “I think the most common encouragement I give people is to join a good club! They have knowledge, shops with equipment, and even field trip coordinators.” Conveniently, several clubs are dotted around the region, including in Carlsbad, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Roswell, Silver City, Socorro, and Truth or Consequences.
Slightly southeast of Deming, Rockhound State Park, established in 1966, lies within the Little Florida Mountains and is a 1,100-acre playground for collectors! It is the first, and perhaps only, park in the United States to allow collecting of rocks and minerals for personal use.
Our neighbor to the south, El Paso, is home to the Crystal Gallery. They have an exceptional assortment of stones and crystals available for purchase, such as agate, tiger’s eye, citrine, rose quartz, and jasper.
You can leave your worries behind with their selection of smooth, polished “worry stones,” which are said to activate by rubbing the stone between your thumb and pointer finger, naturally triggering acupressure points responsible for reducing fear and worry. Additionally, they help us practice mindfulness by being fully present in the here and now, focusing on what is right before us.
Also located in El Paso, Bon Bon’s Creations is a must-stop, offering individualized crystals as well as unique pieces of jewelry. Much of their focus is on items related to chakra (which in Sanskrit means “wheel” and refers to energy points in the body), including gift sets and certain pieces of jewelry. These items aid in ensuring that an individual’s energy stays open and aligned, and correspond to nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical well-being.
In the Eastern New Mexico city of Roswell you will find Eclectic Treasurez, which has a mission to help people on their journey in life and self-discovery. What started as a traveling business has expanded into both a brick-and-mortar and online store. They have a vast selection of stones, with some of the most interesting being blue aventurine, carnelian, unakite, and zebra agate.
Display Your Collection
So aside from the classic shoebox, with a bit of creativity there are some chic ways of putting your collectibles on display. For instance, you can line them along shelves, place them in decorative bowls, use them as bookends, frame them in a shadow box, or even create a crystal garden. If you prefer to be more connected to your precious stones, you can craft them into jewelry (or have someone do it for you), and some folks carry them right in their purse or pocket throughout the day.
You can also elect to promote positive vibes by keeping them in your entryway, by your bedside, or in your workspace. A great way to add them to your self-care routine is by including them in your meditation or yoga practice due to their calming, relaxing, and grounding effects. If you want to get really creative, you can place them in your bath, sprays, and oils to allow them to absorb the energy that crystals carry.
Local gemologists shared the correct way to collect safely. “It is your responsibility to know where you are collecting and to know the rules for each type of land,” Lori notes. Jose agreed, stating, “Always know where you’re going, stay off private or government land, and always practice safety. In this area especially, watch out for snakes and carry lots of water.”
Along with the plethora of positive metaphysical properties these treasures are believed by some to possess, hunting for crystals, gems, minerals, and rocks (trust me, they are definitely all different things) can be a healthy activity for entire families, make for a unique and enjoyable first date, or even provide solace with some quality alone time. I hope you have been inspired to revel in our beautiful desert landscape. And, let’s be honest, rocks . . . ROCK!
The Headqrtrs Supply Co.
816 S. Solano Dr.
TruArt of the Earth
2411 Calle de San Albino, Mesilla
4001 W. Picacho Ave.
Rockhound State Park
9880 Stirrup Rd. SE
Spanish Stirrup Rock Shop
148 Hill Country Rd.
By appointment only
Bon Bon’s Creations
6006 N. Mesa St. Ste.1006
4012 Alameda Ave.
207 N. Main St.
Written and photography by Desiree Bustamantes
Additional photos courtesy
Originally published in Neighbors magazine.
Posted by LasCruces.com