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Home > News > Content
How Crystal Water Bottles Became 2018’s Status Symbol
Aug 10, 2018

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It was not so long ago that the world collectively cried “nut case” at Spencer Pratt, the Hills star whose obsession with healing crystals went viral, in 2010, when he furiously held one against his forehead during what appeared to be some sort of lapse in sanity. But that was then, well before celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Adele openly sang the praises of draping your home and body with minerals, before buying a Himalayan salt lamp from Urban Outfitters for your dorm room became the new Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster.

Owning a set of a crystals and aligning your chakras is now as easy and ubiquitous as a one-click Amazon purchase; last summer, The New York Times was willing to acknowledge “the great crystal boom of 2017.” And though these rocks, by their earthly nature, can never change, the way we are expected to consume them—and pay for them—certainly can.



Crystal healing can be traced back to some 6,000 years ago to the Sumerians of Mesopotamia. From there it found its way into the cultures of ancient Egypt and religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, where people began placing certain crystals on their bodies for their supposed health benefits. A carnelian crystal is said to help female reproduction, while clear quartz is believed by some to increase energy, and rose quartz boosts creativity. Celebrities, no strangers to pilfering ancient religions for their own wellness trends, started catching on to crystal healing in the mid-to-late aughts, and what had been a timeless tradition became a trend.

Enter the crystal water bottle: not water bottles made out of crystals, but water bottles with crystals inside of them. Crystals, like Kabbalah or Hillsong, have been thrown into popular culture thanks to the celebrities who sing their praises and swear to their benefits—and then, of course, profit from them. Pratt, for example, seized the opportunity of his reality-TV breakdown and is now a crystal entrepreneur himself, selling a variety of stones online, many of which are sold out.

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The goal for adding crystals into your water bottles, however, is to transfer the crystal’s energy into the water, which then goes directly into the body, with claims of everything from stimulating a sense of calm to enhancing psychic abilities. As with anything that might be sold on Goop, these bottles don’t come cheap. Depending on the brand and crystal of choice, these water bottles can go for up to $330; Glacce water bottles, whose claim to fame is crystals that actually touch the water, run about $80, when they are in stock at all.

Sharon Leslie and Julia Schoen founded Glacce in June 2015, with Leslie making the water bottles by hand in her apartment. Now the company makes thousands of bottles a year, and sells them through outlets like Free People and, yes, Goop. Their main competitor, VitaJuwel, keep the crystals safely inside a glass dome in the bottle; some of the most popular crystals of the current boom, like jasper, aventurine, and aquamarine are toxic to actually consume.

Despite the price tag and proximity to poison, the Instagram-friendly water bottles have taken off with everyone from the average yogi to Miranda Kerr. “I got these really cool bottles for my birthday that you can just refill with water, but at the bottom is a rose quartz,” Kerr told PopSugar in March. “I actually have a rose quartz one and an amethyst, and I use them all the time. You feel like you’re getting that little extra bit of love when you have your water."

“I’m a believer in the power of crystals,” Kerr said over e-mail in April, extolling the virtues of rose quartz in particular. “I feel like we can all use a little more self-love in our lives, which is why I’ve chosen to incorporate Rose Quartz crystals into KORA [Organics, Kerr’s beauty line].” She’s a particular fan of VitaJuwel: “You can choose which crystals and energy you want to channel that day. Plus, they are gorgeous!”

So is it the healing power of these crystals in proximity to water that’s powering their rise, or their sheer visual appeal? Psychology professor Christopher French suggested the placebo effect to Time in October 2017, calling some treatments “therapeutically worthless,” but also acknowledged, “If people believe that a treatment will make them feel better, many of them do feel better after they have had the treatment.” Scientists have attempted to prove that crystals can “purify” water, with plenty of skepticism around their findings. (Pratt, for one, firmly maintains that “the science is definitely behind the spirituality.”)

But for the average consumer, without a product line to promote, the good vibes are tough to quantify, and that’s O.K. “I felt calm,” said 29-year-old __Rebeca Lopez, a blogger from Miami, over Instagram. “Nothing you will notice as a WOW event. But you feel good and also I can say [there is] better [water] taste. If you are a very negative, or impulsive, aggressive person, you will need more than [crystal] water.”

Sarah Briley, a 29-year-old resident of Nashville, said she firmly believes that crystals are “earth’s secret gems, and that they hold energy.” Her water bottle “hasn’t left my hand since I got it, basically, and I can tell that I am more fearless with it. Maybe it’s all in my head . . . it’s only real if you believe.”

“Every day we receive waves of positive responses from our customers regarding how these bottles affect their lives,” Glacce’s Julia Schoen said. “They feel healthy because they are drinking more water and they feel special for being gifted or rewarding themselves with a luxurious and beautiful drinking experience."

Makeup artist Misha Nesselrod, who lives in Newport Beach, C.A., admitted that she bought the bottle solely because “it was pretty.”

“I don’t know that I’ve noticed a difference in how I feel energy-wise, however, I do feel really fancy,” she said over Instagram. “I love how they look and buy them as gifts for people, too. My only wish was that the bottle was bigger.”

The high-status bubble that surrounds crystal water bottles shows no sign of popping—at least not until summer is over and everyone gets their perfect Instagram shot—whether or not it actually enhances psychic ability. And compared to the wellness experiences that have captivated people in recent years, from sage to the yoni egg, $80 for a pretty water bottle that makes you feel both centered and cool doesn’t seem so bad. Or, as Spencer Pratt told me, “Any water that has not been energized by crystals is basic, imo.”