Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Surprises and Geodes

This afternoon I will be on the hunt for gemstones. Kyanite is at the top of the list followed by carnelian, onyx, chrysoprase, calcedony, amethyst, crystal and smoky quartz, green quartz -- so okay, maybe I should just say "I am on the hunt for anything that catches my eye."

That might be a more accurate description. I'm like a crow -- attracted to anything that sparkles! It's so very hard for me to stay focused on what it is I had set out to find when my senses are bombarded by so many things.

Case in point, yesterday, I was scouring an outside venue that is loaded with miners and consolidators selling tons of rough gemstone material. I like to buy beads from these guys when I can since it's fun to see the actual rough that comes from the ground. What fun did I have when I happened upon Jay King (he does Mine Finds on HSN and has some of the most beautiful and unusual gemstone jewelry) taping a segment that will air on Valentine's Day weekend. He and a very nice guy that I buy beads from were actually showing the technique for "popping" a geode. There is a pretty simple, but heavy-duty, vise-type tool in which they place the geode and then ratchet by hand, putting enough pressure on the geode to make it pop -- kind of like cracking an egg but in the case of a geode it splits nicely in half. And, of course, the rock is much better than an egg -- since inside you usually find the most beautiful crystalline structure. In this case, amethyst. So that was fun to see. I marvel at the fact that rocks like that have been in the earth for millions and millions of years housing those treasures. Pretty amazing stuff, eh? Reminded me of my youth and bringing rocks home from the desert and then trying to crack them open with hammers. Oh to have had a tool like I saw yesterday -- that would have been cool. We were nutty little kids, I suppose; but we had fun.