The Healing Power of Gemstones: Jewelry Designer Gorjana Reidel Leaves No Stone Unturned
Plants heal. Waters heal. And if you haven’t heard, rocks heal. Especially tumbled gemstones and spiky crystals in pretty colors and Instagram-worthy formations.
Back in the day of pharaohs, it’s said that Egyptians would crane their heads into amethyst geodes to ward off headaches and evil spirits. Today, in a busy high-tech age dedicated to en-masse multitasking, we wear them for their earthy, natural beauty—and don’t mind if mystical healing properties work their wooey magic on the side. Baubles to boost our confidence? Yes, please. Earrings to attract a doting paramour? Needed them 10 Tinder dates ago. Bracelets to clear the negative clutter from our heads? We thought we were the only ones!
So when we heard that Gorjana Reidel of gorjana jewelry will be celebrating National Best Friends Day on June 8 with a “power gemstone” event in our Mission Viejo store—with stone consultations, aura readings and custom engravings—we were indeed intrigued. Gorjana’s brand is known for clean-lined, California-cool jewelry you can layer on and on (think softly clinking sleeves of colorful, beaded bracelets), and her Power Gemstone line is devoted to harnessing the energy within earth’s most eye-grabbing minerals, which makes her a bit of an expert in the field.
Ahead, we mine the Laguna Beach designer’s range of knowledge on, well, which rocks rock the most. Read our Q&A with Gorjana—and then grab your BFF this Friday to check out the woo-meets-jewels event if you’re in the area. (Lucky folks of Austin, Texas: there’s a sister event for you in Barton Creek that same day.)
Nordstrom: Before we get to the gemstones, can you tell us a little bit about your brand? Who your customer base is and how you got started?
Gorjana: I think one of the unique things about gorjana is that it really is multi-generational. I know that sounds weird, but I feel like our jewelry is timeless, classic, yet completely on trend at the same time. I think that really speaks to a wide age range. I don’t think that’s very typical. I mean, that’s probably more typical in a fine jewelry [market] space, but I think in our space, things tend to be a little more trendy—or just a little bit more in a direction where they definitely have a target age demo.
I majored in marketing and went on a bunch of interviews after college and was like, “Okay, I cannot do this. I can’t sit in an office and just be behind a desk.” I was born in Serbia, and my grandmothers, they knitted our clothes. They would crochet all the time. They were always cooking. We were always making things. And so I grew up in a very creative household.
[After working in the jewelry department at Neiman Marcus], I worked for a smaller jewelry designer in Newport Beach, and it was fine jewelry, very high end. I was around really beautiful products, but I was 22 and couldn’t afford any of it. And there wasn’t really anything out there at the time that kind of had that feel of fine jewelry, that really had the quality, but wasn’t fine jewelry and was approachable. So that’s what led me to do this. I thought, “You know what? I want to make stuff that my friends would wear, or my mom would wear, and not break the bank.” I wanted to make jewelry more affordable, so you could buy more of it, and you could have fun with it, and you didn’t have to make this huge purchase.
When did you start getting into the healing power of gemstones? And was there somebody who led you to this?
At the first boutique I sold at in Newport Beach, I sold a piece to a customer and she insisted on meeting me. I was just starting out. I was so excited I had someone who even loved the pieces. She ended up giving me this gemstone book, and it was all about the healing powers and the meanings of gemstones. I didn’t realize this at the time, until after our conversation, but she was kind of an intuitive. And she was like, “You know, I know I need to give you this book. It’s going to be really meaningful to you.”
“I always kind of knew they had healing properties…. And then I realized these things have been around me and I have these things in my home—I was subconsciously drawn to them for those reasons, but didn’t realize how deep that went and how much more meaning there was.”
And then probably like six years ago, I was cleaning out my desk and I came across the book. So then I started reading, and it all kind of happened at the same time—I even wandered into this gem store that had opened here in Laguna. It’s almost like the universe was telling me something. All these funny things were happening where it’s like, “Oh, look at the meaning of gemstones,” and then I just started becoming fascinated with crystals in my home—even just for decor purposes.
I always kind of knew they had healing properties, but I wasn’t really aware or incorporating them into my life. And then I realized these things have been around me and I have these things in my home—I was subconsciously drawn to them for those reasons, but didn’t realize how deep that went and how much more meaning there was. I don’t want to put it out there like, “Oh, they definitely work,” but for me, it works. Sometimes it’s just that thought—like maybe because I feel like it works, it’s working, because I’m putting the energy out there.
Not to be a naysayer, but what do you say to skeptics who might say it’s just the placebo effect?
I think there’s a part of that. If I have a labradorite bracelet on for balance, I personally feel that the labradorite carries a certain energy. But I also feel that, because it’s reminding me to focus on balance, that just that initial reminder is helping me be more balanced, not necessarily the energy of the stone. It’s like when people wear a charm for a certain reason.
Funny you say it’s for balance. I have a huge chunk of labradorite next to my bed because I thought it was supposed to help with dreams!
That’s the thing—all the stones are so multifaceted in terms of their meanings and what they do. And for us, we kind of tried to home in on one aspect when we did the research, whichever property seemed to be the main one people talked about. But they all really have all kinds of healing properties.
And do you actually get an intuitive or somebody who’s an expert in the woo?
Well, when we get a shipment, whenever the product comes in, we do have a shaman come and clear the energy, if that makes sense. So the pieces are really set with positive intentions; it’s almost like a blessing. Whether it’s sage or whatever it is, it’s set that way to cleanse the energy and amplify it. And there’s also certain stones that I know do that, and so those are kind of around it. So there’s different ways you can do it, but I do very much want the pieces to leave our warehouse in a cleansed state.
Let’s say someone just wants the best feel-good gemstone out there. What is something that everyone could wear?
I would say labradorite because it’s such a beautiful stone (a). And (b) it kind of brings out a higher awareness of yourself. And then, well, they say it’s considered a stone of magic, right? So it’s great for pivotal moments in your life—if you’re having a baby or going to college. It’s supposed to help banish insecurity, get confidence—so it’s kind of an all-around good stone.
Okay, good to know. Also, sometimes we’re stuck in a rut and need help getting past certain obstacles—I just wondered if you had a special stone in mind that works for that too.
I guess I’d say use a clarity one, which is crystal quartz. Also, I’m obsessed with apatite right now. It’s one of our new stones, and it’s for inspiration. It either brings up ambitious energy, stirring up your brain activity and your intellect, or it gives birth to new thoughts and ideas. If you’re kind of in a rut, you feel like you just have to step back and then start feeling—and not necessarily always be thinking. Kind of getting yourself through it, and giving you some motivation. So I love that one right now. And it’s the most beautiful color of aqua blue.
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