by Liza Simon
photo by Jim Shea
Kaua‘i is aglitter with plenty of crystal shops, but it’s the Crystals and Gemstones gallery in Hanalei that has enough sparkle to awaken even the most somnolent third eye. That’s thanks to the idyllic light that filters through the inventory of everything from citrine to smoky quartz. The rocks are sold by the small chunk or set in various amulets and other objects of art, including tinkling mobiles of thin-sliced agate and a 500-pound column of amethyst imported from South America (which is easily the largest geode to make it to Kaua‘i).
Luminescence seems to emanate from the gallery’s proprietor Tanize Weck Kostel, a psychiatrist by training. Kostel was vacationing on Kaua‘i years ago when Hurricane ‘Iniki hit. Instead of returning to her native Brazil, she began helping at the local hospital while marketing crystals from her brother’s gemstone business on the side. Then Island aficionados introduced her to classes in crystal healing, where the therapist lays a patchwork of crystals on a client’s body to induce tranquility. “I saw that it beats sitting in a chair, where it takes so long for people to get to the issue. With crystals, people surrender. Things pop into their memory, and defenses come down,” she says. Now that she has chucked conventional shrinkdom for this rock-steady modality, Tanize conducts healing sessions in the back of her store along with Mi-key, a noted Kaua‘i crystal maven. The New Age practice is not without a scientific basis, Tanize insists, mentioning modern technology’s usage of crystal material in aligning energy waves. But for all their shine, perhaps the appeal of crystals is in the hand of the beholder. As Tanize says, “Sometimes people come in here and make a beeline for a certain crystal. They know nothing about it but that it makes them feel good to hold on to it, and they can’t put it down. And that is so nice to see.”
Crystals & Gemstones