TURNING ROCKS, STONES into gem business


At the start of her mining business, Sylvia Mariano, general manager of Minex Crystals, and her Australian business partner wanted to mine stones in the Philippines and export them.

But Mariano found out that our local stones and crystals could not compete in the international market when pitted against the gems of Brazil and India. Pricing, according to her, was also a deterrent.

sylviamlatimesMoreover, she said, mining in the Philippines is risky since it requires exploring the remote areas of Mindanao and other far-flung provinces (“and dealing with rebels and leftists for myself and my staff’s safety!”).

“Thus we ended up importing from Brazil and India and found a growing market for our raw and polished semi-precious stones here and in Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.”

Even before the proliferation of “gem stones” in Greenbelt, Divisoria or Quiapo, Minex Crystals has initiated the wholesale trading of these stones in the country and introduced crystals in Brunei, Singapore, Hongkong and Malaysia. The company continues to export to these countries today.

Gem of business

Mariano, a business administration graduate established Minex Crystals in 1988 at age of 25. She first worked for a publication firm. Later, she accepted a part-time job as a business seminar trainer. One of the topics she discussed was “How to import and export with little capital.” So when she met the Australian miner who offered her a partnership in a mining business in Mindanao, she readily said yes.

“Actually, with this business I heeded the words of my great grandfather who every now and then would counseled me to “go into business, be your own boss, and earn plenty of money.”

Mariano said she never went wrong with her great grandfather’s advice since then. The old, man according to her, has himself ventured into several businesses—agribusiness, poultry and piggery. He also started a mango farm in Nueva Ecija, which still thrives to this day.

For 22 years now, Minex Crystals boasts of having the first and largest showroom of semi-precious stones and other mineral specimens in the Philippines. Its showroom, located in the heart of Manila, will make any visitor gasp. Entering it is like stepping into a mine pit.

The visitor’s eyes will surely feast on crystals of all kinds, shapes and sizes. Gem-quality amethyst stones set in silver beckon on those with a taste for the more refined things in life. But there are also crystals in the raw, like tumble stones the size of a fingernail and crystal balls bigger than a closed fist.

Clear quartz crystal wands, aventurine obelisks, fluorite flat stones, sodalite pyramids, jasper eggs, holed stones and amethyst grottos or cathedrals also vie for the visitor’s attention, all coming to life at the touch of a hand.

Real stones, real power

Having landed in the mining business and doing good in it Mariano decided to study the magical powers of these natural crystals and specimens.

“In my research, I found out that we can enhance or improve our good fortune and transform the negative energy into positive energy with the aid of crystal. We can always do something to get what we want with the aid of crystals,” Sylvia said.

The lady entrepreneur is talking about her true experience on the power of crystals. Having worked with them for half of her life, she definitely has a vast knowledge about the characteristics and uses of natural crystals.

Here’s the science of crystal power: Famous scientist Jacques Marie Curie in 1880 discovered the Piezo-Electric Energy of quartz crystals, which stores, amplifies, transforms, transfers and focuses energy.

“This is why quartz crystal is widely used in the electronic industry for computers, watches, laser beams, etc.

Good study aid

Quartz crystal can amplify physical and mental energy for academic advancement and career or business successes because quartz crystals stimulate the cells to store and recall information and formulate better decisions. As it enhances memory, it is therefore effective as a study tool for students,” Mariano said.

Today, the wizard bracelet is among Minex Crystals accessories’ most saleable items according to Mariano. It’s a combination of clear quartz crystals with other stones especially designed to enhance brain function, analytical capability, courage, self-confidence, leadership, motivational qualities and mental focus. It also helps increase resistance to stress and acts as good luck charm.

“At first, I just wanted my kids to wear them to aid them in their studies. Now, it has become a hit to many crystal lovers and walk-in customers alike. Right now, we offer dealership and consignment of our accessories.” Mariano said.

Minex Crystals showroom is located at 1621 J. Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila. For more information, call 526-0741 or visit www.minexcrystal.com.