Brazil has always been a special place to us. It's the home country of my dad and the founder of Stonebridge, Ulymar Rocha. It's also home to the vast majority of our suppliers. And oh, what a joy it was to have visited the country again recently!
My dad, my brother Arthur, and I spent a few days touring around the most important gem locations in Brazil and rubbed shoulders with our partner artisans and dealers.
It's a thrill to touch and see crystals up close. But it's a new level of thrill to see them in their raw form, freshly dug from the Earth!
Here's the lowdown of our Brazil trip to give you a glimpse of how your beloved crystals came about and what it takes to produce them.
First Stop: Ouro PrÃªto
We spent the first few days in Ouro PrÃªto, a historical and colonial city in Minas Gerais (Brazil's mining powerhouse). It is called the home of gold as it was once the epicenter of the Brazilian gold rush in the 1690s.
We visited my dad's farm. He has a big property, but what was exceptional was the abundance of white and smoky quartzes that can be found on the property.
Literally, every step you take is on quartz. You pull the quartz out of the dirt roads and walls all around the property! The property is undergoing some maintenance and construction for a soon-to-be retreat. That means you can take home as much quartz as you can carry!
Also, our soapstone supplier is in Ouro PrÃªto. They supply all of our rough soapstone chunks and sculptures as well as all of the animal soapstone carving kits.
Handcrafted Crystals in Corinto
The next 4 days were spent in Corinto town northwest of Minas Gerais. Corinto may be a little town but it's also rich in quartz. Gorgeous clear quartz crystal clusters are found here and are dug by hand by local miners.
Corinto is where we source all of our quartz and more rough pieces, key chains, pendants, and carvings. Here, we got to watch how much work actually goes into all of these carvings, keychains, pendants, and more.
They're all done by hand, every single piece. We specifically get these things from Corinto because it is of the highest quality compared to anywhere else. Met some incredible artists here as well!
There are about 5 suppliers we deal with all located in Corinto. These suppliers store all of their stock basically in their backyards. And there are maybe one or two workers who power wash and carve the stones.
Giant Cathedrals in Soledade
We then made our way to a place called Soledade. The city is nicknamed Cidade das Pedras Preciosas meaning the city of precious stones/rare gems. Much of the amethyst in the market comes from the mines of Rio Grande do Sul near Soledade.
Suppliers here are much more organized, with massive 100,000 square ft. facilities and 300+ workers on site. We came here also for amethyst and quartz, as well as massive pieces or certain higher quality ones we couldn't get in Corinto. These are cathedrals, butterflies, and show pieces.
Since these places are huge and have the resources and manpower, they are able to experiment more”they make mirrors, privacy shutters, home decor, candle holders, trees, tables, chairs, and much more all made of crystals! We get a lot of the already finished home decor pieces from these suppliers. We also get our jewellery supplies from them.
There are about 5 suppliers we deal with all located in Solidade, each one with something specific to offer. One just deals with agate, that’s where all of our agates come from.
One just with cathedrals, another with more home decor pieces. They overlap a bit with the stock they have so we go for the highest quality in that case.
Saw some incredible things like a 30 ft. amethyst cathedral that may cost over 1 million dollars. We also saw some crazy 3 ft. handcrafted trees and bird sculptures made of citrine and agate!
We got to shake hands with the suppliers and introduce ourselves to keep a strong connection with them. After all, they play a huge part in Stonebridge Imports and The Rock Space.
And that wraps up our short yet worthwhile excursion to the Land of the Palms, Brazil. Looking forward to going back soon!
@kw.rockspace Suppliers are the ?? of every crystal shop and many other businesses ?? #love #crystaltok #crystals #foryoupage #fyp #fyp? #fy ? Alors On Danse - KDDK