Often called upon by designers, architects and discerning homeowners, Mystic Journey Crystals’ founder Jeffrey Segal is fulfilling his lifelong passion while making a splash in the design community.
Segal, after spending 20 years as an attorney, decided to pursue his passion only after overcoming cancer using natural and alternative treatment methods. With a new outlook on life, Segal decided to make a career change in 2008 when he founded the Mystic Journey Bookstore located in Venice, California.
“I transitioned my life and career,” he says. “Ultimately, it came down to ‘What am I passionate about?’ The answer to that question was ‘my spirituality.’ After years of studying the healing power of crystals, Segal recently launched Mystic Journey Crystals gallery, also located in Venice.
From discovering his passion for crystals and exploring his favorite projects to learning design tips for homeowners, Segal sharies it all.
When did you discover your passion for crystals?
Crystals have always played a part in my life. I have explored the world of crystals from my fascination as a young boy to my now regular trips not only to gem and mineral shows, but also to the sources in Brazil and Uruguay. I “know” each and every one of our crystals: where it comes from, who mines it, how it is prepared for sale and how it is transported.
What advice would you offer homeowners and designers when it comes to designing with crystals?
Crystals are sculptural statement pieces; they are really like fine art. Like an expensive painting or an antique figurine accent piece, crystals can serve as a center focal point of a room or more subtly as an interesting backdrop to complement the decor of a space. When it comes to design, regardless of whether the crystals are large, multi-point clusters or small, single point crystals — there isn’t a right or wrong way to incorporate crystals into home design. Homeowners and designers often come into our gallery and pick pieces that draw them in, whether it’s because of their visual beauty or they are drawn to the energy a piece emits.
What makes the amethyst a great addition to the home?
The enigmatic range of purples can bring energy and balance — while also adding a touch of glamour — to any room amethyst occupies. In the current design world where “less is more,” amethyst can coolly work as a focal point piece in a pared-down room. It is a favorite stand-out crystal, bringing a calming energy to a room as well as a vitreous luster. Amethyst helps to enhance higher states of consciousness and meditation. It has strong healing and cleansing powers and is often used for spiritual purification.
What have been some of your favorite projects?
It’s hard for me to compare them as I put my heart and energy into every project, so they are all uniquely special to me. Most recently, a couple came into our gallery looking for two large crystals to incorporate into their bay-area home. They chose a large white quartz cluster for their outdoor entryway and a beautiful rotating amethyst geode for their interior. Projects like this, where clients are looking for crystals to create a synergy between themselves and their living spaces, are always fun. I not only want my clients to think of how the crystal will work aesthetically, but also the crystal must “speak” to them on a deeper level.
Photos courtesy of Mystic Crystals
Whether positioned on a pedestal, displayed in a library bookshelf, or situated on a coffee table, fine minerals and crystal specimens make for great accents in any luxury home.
By Alyssa Gautieri
Photos courtesy Astro Gallery of Gems
Located on 5th Avenue in New York City, Astro Gallery of Gems is the largest mineral gallery in the world. A favorite destination for top designers, the gallery embraces a movement that has skyrocketed within the last year — incorporating natural art into home décor. “Depending on the décor or style of the room, you have a world of different things to choose from,” explains Dennis Tanjeloff, the owner and president of Astro Gallery of Gems.
Depending on rarity, color, aesthetics, quality and perfection, Amethyst gems are available for a range of prices, starting as low as $30 and exceeding more than $75,000.
While Amethysts are more readily available than their counterparts, this is not the only reason for their popularity. “The purple color, size and shape of the crystals are so amazing to the eyes that even the most novice people are wondered by them,” Tanjeloff says. “People are so fascinated by the fact that this just comes out of the ground this way.”
Amethysts, uniquely crafted by mother nature, may resemble anything from a tree, flower or animal. “They are so unique,” Tanjeloff adds, “they are stand out pieces in any décor.”
From kitchen countertops and columns to jewelry and belt buckles, agate can be used for almost any purpose. “I would say the number one item right now in interior design is agate,” says Tanjeloff on the crystal’s growing popularity. “People have so many different ways of applying the product, it is almost hard now not to see agate everywhere.”
From bright pink to calming yellow, agate appears in a range of colors. The high desire for agate comes from its rich color, translucence, and the beauty of its striations and shape.
Bring the atmosphere of the sea into your home with aquatic fossils. “Sea shells and corals have always been very popular in summer homes,” Tanjeloff explains, “but now it seems that they have been incorporated into almost any type of room. Now you see corals almost anywhere.”
Crafted by the ocean, no two aquatic fossils are alike. “They really can open up a room because no one has two of the same,” Tanjeloff says. “They are really unique conversation pieces.”