FAIRBORN — Frances Coyne, owner of downtown Fairborn shop Coyne’s Crystals, describes herself as an artist. But she does not use brushes, pencils or paper. Instead, her canvases are rocks.
Coyne hand-picks each gem and mineral on sale at her shop and wraps and wires the stones to create jewelry along with her business partner and cousin Crystal Gibson. Gibson additionally handles the social media aspect of the business, which also sells products online.
Coyne, a Fairborn native, birthed a “passion and hobby that grew on us,” she said, while on a soul-searching mission in Arizona in 2003 when she discovered mining and started rock carving.
“That’s how I learned about gems and minerals,” she said. “Some of the most creative people I know live there (in Arizona). I really enjoyed rock hunting and became a minor out there.”
On a former trip out to Arizona, she brought back 1,000 pounds of rocks. As she mined, she learned the mineral content of the rocks and started to understand why some individuals believe in a metaphysical aspect of the materials. Coyne said she believes it is all “inter-connected,” and enjoys getting creative and making the stones into jewelry.
“There is a lot to learn,” Coyne said. “I’ve researched it all and feel like an encyclopedia for gems and minerals.”
She later started street vending some of her findings and creations. Coyne said she got by with support from her boyfriend, Phil Smith, as well as Gibson.
“Our shop offers gems and minerals, both exotic and domestic, and hand-made items,” she said. “We have items not available within miles … People have came in excited and positive about my shop.”
She opened Coyne’s Crystals in June 2018 in a space below Kai Yoga Studio on Main Street. By October 2018, she had outgrown her space and moved to 25 W. Main St., where the shop remains. Coyne grew up in Fairborn, graduating from Baker High School. Five generations of her family have made the community their home.
“I hope to be successful in Fairborn,” she said. “I want to give our hometown something no one else can.”
Coyne’s Crystals additionally offers a mining station for children, which was a specific goal of hers when she went into business. The mining station is a wooden rectangular box that hoses water from one side to the other with baskets of rocks inside. Children can mine for rocks and learn about what each found item is. Smith constructed the mining station as Coyne desired for the shop to be “kid-friendly.”
Coyne’s Crystals is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 25 W. Main St. For more information, visit the website at https://bit.ly/2NYVnEU or its Facebook page at https://bit.ly/2u5IXCc.
The shop not only offers gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry, but art, tie dye shirts and essential oils as well.
“I’m very grateful to have come this far for our passion for gems and minerals,” Coyne said. ” … I’ll always do this, whether I have a store or not, I am meant to get rocks to people.”