The mayor thinks New York gets ‘special energy’ from crystals. Is he right?

Eric Adams, who also wears energy stone bracelets, believes the city’s unique vibe comes from quartz and labradorite under Manhattan

Healing crystals have long been a fixture in the spiritual and celebrity worlds – with Adele using them to ward off stage fright and Nicole Richie wearing a clear quartz around her neck for protection.

But the New York City mayor, Eric Adams, believes that they have even more power than that: he professed in a recent interview that he believes there is a “special energy” that comes from the city he presides over, citing its location on a store of rare gems and stones.

As the New York area news website Hell Gate has deftly pointed out, Adams may be the first “crystal guy” of politics. He regularly wears “energy stone bracelets” featuring an array of powerful crystals. And when he proclaimed a “vibe shift” is upon New York City, he wasn’t just talking about the return of low-rise jeans.

The mayor is right about one thing, says Andrew Pacholyk, a New York-based crystal expert: the city, indeed, is seated on unique bedrock that has been known to produce more than 100 varieties of mineral. Called the Manhattan schist, it was formed about 450m years ago in a collision between what is now the east coast of North America and the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

So what effect might crystals be having on the lives of New Yorkers? Pacholyk is vague on specifics but believes that certain areas in Manhattan do have a “special energy” owing to the unique mix of minerals found there – including quartz, kyanite, and dumortierite. He says it can be felt more strongly in natural areas with exposed rock, like Central Park.

Adams, who shockingly declined to comment for this piece, appears to wear several varieties of quartz himself. Pacholyk analyzed a photo of Adams at a December 2021 event and found the bracelets the mayor wears feature at least a dozen varieties of crystals including amethyst, rose quartz, lapis lazuli, citrine, and aventurine.

eric adams shuffles papers
Eric Adams is right that New York sits on unique bedrock. Photograph: Getty Images

They hold properties that would be helpful for any leader, Pacholyk said: aventurine “helps to stable financial matters, especially when times are tough”, amethyst “provides common sense and flexibility in decision”, and citrine is a “versatile” protecting stone that “dissolves negative energy”.

Adams’ interest in crystals is in line with rising trends, as the industry has boomed in recent years, said Isabelle Corvin, a credentialed jeweler with the American Gem Society who works in a jewelry store in Washington.

“It always ebbs and flows, but during the pandemic more people had time to research and embrace the metaphysical,” Corvin said. “I think we were all looking for something bigger than ourselves to help us get through what was going on.”

Michael Brant Shermer, an author and executive director of the Skeptics Society, says there is not a shred of scientific evidence to show crystals have a measurable effect on humans or cities like New York. Still, he says, while Adams may be the first high-profile candidate to publicly declare a love of crystals, the metaphysical has found its way into politics in the past.

When the spiritual speaker Marianne Williamson ran for president in 2020, she claimed “the power of the mind” had helped turn Hurricane Dorian away from the US. Nancy Reagan let her astrologer dictate her husband’s travel schedule based on the stars.

Shermer says as long as Adams does not let his personal beliefs color his policies, the interest in crystals is harmless.

“Adams shouldn’t think, ‘What should we do about gun violence? Let me consult my crystals,’” he says. “That is a hard enough problem as it is using all the best science we have. Let’s not compound it with crystals. But I think of it the same way that I think of it in other areas of life: if it’s for entertainment purposes only, it’s fine.”

The crystals found under New York City


“Quartz is known as the ‘master healer’ of stones,” Pacholyk says. “Our own body has quartz in it as a mineral, so it is believed we resonate to its properties vibrationally and magnetically. If you are open to it, you can feel it.”


Dumortierite is the stone of “tolerance and tranquility”,” Pacholyk says, promoting “self-discipline, cleanliness, courage, trust, accomplishment, harmony, positive attitude, patience and tolerance”.

“It highly reduces disorganization, scattered thinking and distractions, and helps make troublesome, daily tasks more tolerable,” he adds.

Black and blue kyanite

Black kyanite is known for its grounding properties, while the blue version is about strengthening creativity and the relationship to the metaphysical. The mix, Pacholyk says, reflects “the dualities of the city”. “Black kyanite very much represents drive and vision, while blue kyanite is more spiritual and otherworldly,” he says. “People flock to New York to find their tribe and purpose, and to follow their dreams. That’s why people are drawn to this place.”


Kari Paul

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
New York mayor’s message to bodegas: ban shoppers who won’t remove masks
Spokesman for city’s corner stores defends plan as disability advocates say it breaks federal law

Alaina Demopoulos

08, Mar, 2023 @6:00 AM

Article image
‘Food is doing more injustice than mass incarceration’: New York mayor Eric Adams on veganism
Adams appears to have had some personal success with a vegan diet after a health scare, but can he replicate it among all New Yorkers?

Ed Pilkington in New York

09, Feb, 2022 @11:00 AM

Article image
New York’s mayor is getting paid in bitcoin. But can he pay the bills with it?
Eric Adams will find it difficult to spend his cryptocurrency paycheck to pay for the daily costs of living in the Big Apple

Matthew Cantor

21, Jan, 2022 @2:51 PM

Article image
‘We have to make ourselves seen’: the New York rent strikers fighting eviction
Five residents on the battle for affordable housing after the end of the city’s eviction moratorium

Wilfred Chan with additional reporting by Thalía Noboa Lamar Photographs by Natalie Keyssar

09, Feb, 2022 @11:00 AM

Article image
‘All kinds of discrimination’: inside the secretive world of New York housing co-ops
The exclusive buildings, which make up most of Manhattan’s apartment stock, operate with impunity. Getting access can be a nightmare

DW Gibson

08, Feb, 2022 @11:00 AM

Article image
‘I feel so guilty’: the highs, lows, and hustle of New York housing brokers
As rental applications surge, jobseekers have flooded to the industry. It’s often far less appealing than they thought

Carey Dunne

22, Aug, 2022 @9:02 PM

Article image
‘Amazon for real estate’: how the StreetEasy app took over New York
The platform has changed the way city residents search for housing – often to the chagrin of brokers

Kathryn Lindsay

09, Feb, 2022 @11:00 AM

Article image
Beauty breeds obsession: the fight to save orchids from a lethal black market
Behind the scenes of its 20th orchid show, the New York Botanical Garden toils to rescue endangered plants

Francesca Carington

24, Feb, 2023 @6:00 AM

Article image
Eric Adams meets with the drill rappers whose music he said he wanted to ban
New York City mayor appeared to blame the music scene for recent shootings, but now says he wants to work with the artists to address gun violence

Wilfred Chan

18, Feb, 2022 @10:00 AM

Article image
‘Egregious acts of violence’: why is Eric Adams cracking down on subway buskers and mango sellers?
The NYPD has dramatically increased low-level arrests, especially targeting those trying to make a living on the streets

Wilfred Chan

01, Jul, 2022 @10:00 AM