Thursday, April 16, 2009

Minerals galore

Minerals play a prominent part of my life, since my DH is a retired scientist who has long had minerals as one of his main interests in life. We missed the big show at Tucson this year, which is the largest gem and mineral show in the world. It takes place every February, and is a true experience. The whole town is taken over by exhibitors, some of them with expensive (and I mean expensive to the point of amazement) as well as old rockhounds who bring in the raw blocks of minerals they've just dug up. Every hotel and motel along a certain stretch of the highway is occupied. Some have big tents with elaborate exhibits, and some have each room occupied by a single exhibitor who can afford to enter the big shows. They make their beds in the morning and spread their wares out in their rooms, mostly on their beds.

As I say, we missed it this year, but found a very small mineral show was scheduled to come to Escondido, a small town close to us. So we went, expecting very little. It was in an old armory, not a big place at all. We paid our whopping $2 entry fee and took a chance.

To our great pleasure we found one of the most beautiful small exhibits we're ever seen, including a new rock called Moldavia. A brilliant olive green that postively glowed. I've put it at the right on the top of the page.

There also was a beautiful aquamarine that would make about twenty gorgeous rings. I'm adding the photo of that too so you can the rock in its natural state, growing out of a bunch of shale. Doesn't look like the $4,000 price tag, does it?
Minerals in their natural state are so different from when a jeweler gets done cutting and polishing them. Come to think of it, that little rock would probably makes more than 20 rings.

Drawing on my husband's knowledge and and a few interesting books I made my second mage book revolve around the hero, Gareth, who collected minerals and used them as part of his magical powers. He knows the particular ability of each stone to influence the wearer., and uses them to help people.

Did you know know turquoise conveys peace and serenity? At one time only the shaman of a native American tribe was allowed to wear it, as its power was considered so great. Amethysts also exert a calming influence, and Gareth has huge amethysts sentinels on each side of his door that his guests pass between. I hope the cover for the book takes my suggestions and include the glowing amethysts guests see as they enter. I used other minerals too for different purposes in the book.

Always something to learn, isn't there? I have a wonderful time learning about minerals. It doesn't hurt that these shows always have great jewelry exhibits also which I can drool over.

If one comes near you, do go. You'll love it!!!!!!


Marianne Stephens said...

I never knew about minerals and how expensive they can be in raw form...only to be converted into wonderful items to buy. You've got lots of information to use in your books! Great background for those of us "mineral challenged".

Mia Watts said...

Have always wanted to search for minerals as a vacation optioon. May yet do. Opals in Nevada particularly appeal as does learning method for gold panning.

Intriguing post. Thanx, Jean.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks Marianne and Mia. While I'm strictly a looker it really is fun.
There's a tourmaline mine not too far from us where you can dig in the residue of the miners and I've always meant to do that....

Fran Lee's Romance Blog said...

I get lost in these exhibits...I can spend hours wandering. And buying any little tidbit that someone wants to sell. The book will also be purchased!