Home Culture Must be Serendipity: A Look at Jersey City’s Crystal Shop

Must be Serendipity: A Look at Jersey City’s Crystal Shop

by Stephanie Spear
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Serendipity Crystals, located at 271 Newark Avenue, is an oasis in the midst of busy downtown Jersey City. The shop, which opened in fall 2021, is a warm and welcoming spot that truly has something for everyone. There’s more than meets the eye with the beautiful crystals that fill the store: each one is imbued with a different healing power. Read on to learn more about this shop and how to work with crystals.

About Letitia Gontijo

Longtime New Jersey resident Letitia Gontijo is the manager of the shop, and she has been studying and working with crystals for over eight years. “It was a lot of books and self-study,” Letitia said. “I was learning about geology, where they come from, spiritual property, where on the body does the crystal work best.”

Letitia was also drawn to the scientific aspect of working with crystals. “There is actual science behind it, including really famous names like Nikola Tesla, who have studied energy and how to create and manage energy.” she said. “He called crystals ‘living beings’ — he loved quartz crystals. The molecules inside the quartz aren’t very stable so they’re a good conductor of energy. The same crystal is an energy booster for the body. I thought that was very cool. I noticed a change in myself once I started working with crystals. We have fields of energy around us that interact with different things. The crystal isn’t going to make things magically happen in my life, but it can help me direct my energy towards that.”

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While Letitia’s studies started with self-study using books, she found that her studies connected her with like-minded people. “I kept connecting with other people who also wanted to heal from within,” she said. That’s how she connected with her business partner Dominic Barzel, who runs Serendipity Crystal’s sister businesses, Serendipity Loft in Jersey City and the Home Sanctuary for Wellness in rural Pennsylvania. “We wanted to open a crystal shop and Jersey City made sense because there was nothing like it nearby,” she said. “People would travel to Montclair or Manhattan to get things like crystals or sage and we wanted to make it easier for people.”

Since the shop opened a little over a year ago, Letitia says that she’s been pleased with the community that has formed. “After Covid, a lot more people started meditating. The demand for crystals went up, when a lot of other things went down,” she said. “Every single person who comes in here teaches me something. It’s been great. I love talking to the people who walk in. There are a lot of reiki masters, yogis, a lot of kind and vulnerable people. They feel safe here and that makes me happy.”

Something that surprised Letitia was how many children enjoy the shop. “Children love crystals. The kids come in here and it’s like a toy store. I wasn’t expecting that. Some kids know about crystals, they know the geology, or they want to meditate like Mom. It’s pretty cool to experience that. I wasn’t expecting children to be so into it,” she said.

Visiting the Shop

Serendipity Crystals is located at 271 Newark Avenue, which is a short walk from the Grove Street PATH station. The shop is open from 12:30 PM to 8PM on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It is open from 12:30PM to 10PM on Friday and Saturday, and is closed on Tuesdays. The shop itself is cozy and colorful, with natural burnt-wood artwork and colorful crystals lighting up the space. Several oversized branches from trees that fell during Tropical Storm Henri are used to display items like jewelry or strands of beads.

“A lot of times, people will come in and they’re attracted to a certain crystal,” Letitia said. “Once we start looking at what the crystal’s properties are, it turns out that it matches up to something they want to work on in their life.” Letitia works with customers to pick out the right crystal to meet their goals.

People who are new to working with crystals are encouraged to come in and see what draws the eye. “Always tell people to just go to what you’re attracted to, no matter the reason,” Letitia said. “We’re drawn to things that are attracting us. There’s so much information about there, just do with what calls to you. Just come in with an open mind.”

“There are meteorites here that fell from space,” Letitia said. “That’s really cool to work with. Something that fell from space and now it’s on Earth. People who work with this all say that they experience big shifts in their life.”

Letitia continued, “Crystals can be used for tools for healing, depending on the shape. For example, crystals that have a point can be used to pinpoint healing to a specific area. Or, people will do reiki over the crystal to enhance the healing powers.”

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Out of all the crystals in the shop, Letitia said her favorite is the rainbow fluorite, which is a shimmery blue, purple, and green with a black background. “I was very attracted to it. When the store first opened I was just drawn to it and I started collecting it,” she said. “It is discipline, discernment, creativity. These were all of the things I wanted to enhance in my life.”

Every color of the rainbow can be found in the crystals in the shop. Several have patterns or layered colors. The shop has raw crystals in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as wearable crystal jewelry, reiki-infused candles, incense, resource books about crystal work, and many other spiritual products.

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