Stop in to this Bristol rock shop for all your crystalline needs

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 8/4/22

“Some people are into rocks and fossils, others into metaphysics and spirituality...Either way, if you have a question, you will get an answer with experience.”

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Stop in to this Bristol rock shop for all your crystalline needs


Natures the Rock Shop relocated to 416 Metacom Ave. (next to the Dunkin at that address) in early June, from its longtime Tiverton location. Based on the traffic during a recent weekday visit, their loyal following has found them.

“When you move a store, no matter what kind of advertising you do, you lose customers until they finally come around and find you,” said owner Nancy Swing. “But they do — we’re a niche business.”

Natures has a little bit of everything.

“We carry minerals and fossils for the collector, we have cut and polished for the healer, and we have natural art, for people who don’t necessarily care that amethyst geode is 250 million years old, formed by a gas bubble in a lava flow…they just think it’s gorgeous.”

In addition to minerals and fossils, they carry crystals, jewelry, tarot and oracle cards, Native American gifts and crafts, and they also offer metaphysical services such as Reiki, Tarot, and Sound Healing. Future events include classes in crystal wire-wrapping.

Nancy is a Herkimer miner, geologist, and former geology professor at CCRI.

“I’ve been a geologist for almost 30 years,” said Nancy. “But most of my experience was from the field, not a classroom.” A passionate “rock hounder,” Nancy didn’t complete her degree until she was in her early 40s. About a decade ago she suffered a fall that left her unable to continue collecting. “Before I became disabled I was in the field, that was my favorite,” she said.

Years ago, when she was operating her first shop in Portsmouth, she met her husband Terry at a PowWow. Both Nancy and Terry are of Native American ancestry. A truck driver by trade, business has been so good at Natures, he’s left his job to work full time in the shop. In fact, they are in the process of opening a second location in Jamaica Plain, outside of Boston.

It’s a happy turnaround from March and April of 2020, when they were forced to close due to Covid regulations, something that still doesn’t sit well with them. “Yes, this is a business,” said Nancy. “But we have people for whom this is their religion — it’s like going to Mass. Who’s to say what’s essential and what’s not?”

“This is a conglomerate, and the rounded stones that make up this rock are rounded and were well-traveled, before they fell into the mud,” Nancy said to a customer who brought in a polished round rock looking to get a sense of it’s worth. She gets a lot of advice-seekers and people looking for information through her doors, and that is part of the experience. With Nancy and Terry, you’re not just making a purchase — a visit to Natures is an opportunity to learn something new about the treasures beneath our feet.

“Some people are into rocks and fossils, others into metaphysics and spirituality,” said Nancy. “Either way, if you have a question you will get an answer with experience.”

Natures is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

2023 by East Bay Media Group

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.