Hindu legend has it that Lord Shiva created gemstones as a cure for various illnesses. Besides admiring Jaipur’s precious stones at The Gem Palace or Amrapali, you must book a session with the city’s legendary ‘gem doctor’, Dr MS Chauhan, through the travel experts India Beat. During Chauhan’s healings, he uses the ancient method of dowsing to find out which stones work best with your chakras and energy field.
Book in at 47 Jobner Bagh, a charming guesthouse with whitewashed walls and Indian antiques, plus an incredible collection of jewelry. The owner Shiva is a gemmologist, and will welcome you to his basement studio to dream up an heirloom piece to take home.
PORT NOLLOTH South Africa
Commonly found in the isolated town of Port Nolloth on South Africa’s western coast close to the border of Namibia, diamonds are the only gemstones comprised of one pure element, carbon, the molecules of which bond in perfect symmetry and make it the hardest naturally-occurring substance on the planet. Due to their physical properties, they’ve long symbolized qualities like innocence and strength, and have been prized as the ultimate healing crystal.
Learn how to mine ocean diamonds as part of Cape Town hotel Ellerman House’s diamond safari, where guests can have a bespoke piece of jewelry in their hands three days after uncovering the raw materials.
For those with an interest in all things mystical, this desert town is still the definitive New Age hotspot. Here, you can imbibe all the holistic benefits of Arizona’s healing red rocks at various energy-vortex sites, and enjoy hikes through the ancient, granite boulders of Boynton Canyon. In town, don’t miss the iconic store Crystal Magic, where you can find orbs and a variety of smudge sticks (to clean said crystals).
OURO PRETO Brazil
The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is home to the world’s biggest quartzite terrain, filled with topaz, tourmaline and aquamarine. The Baroque capital city of Ouro Preto, a former gold-mining town, is a must-see for its architecture, gilded churches, and some of the best stone stores in the world. Learn all about them at boutique ITA Gemas, whose very knowledgeable owner, Rasmire Valarini, will bring out little paper parcels filled with hundreds of glittering imperial topaz, including the rare, pink-tinted variety.
The magical 18th-century house Solar do Carmo is a three-bedroom stay filled with antiques, floor-to-ceiling shelves stuffed with monographs and near-complete back catalogues of Italian fashion and interiors magazines. Situated next to the opera house, it’s a stone’s throw from Ouro Preto’s main square.
JATHIKA NAMAL UYANA Sri Lanka
Make the pilgrimage to the ancient mountain range of Jathika Namal Uyana to seek out rose quartz (the crystal most associated with the heart chakra and love) in all its raw and glorious state. You’ll find it along the mineral-rich metamorphic rock of the largest ironwood forest in Asia.
At the nearby Water Garden Sigiriya, guests can choose from daily yoga classes, cycling tours of the surrounding gardens, or just enjoy the views of the famous ancient rock fortress from one of the hotel’s 30 luxurious villas.