Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Trip to the Gem and Mineral Show

The Augusta Gem and Mineral Society is hosting their annual Gem and Mineral Show this weekend, and I closed the bead shop yesterday so I could scoot downtown and scope out the goodies!

Ostensibly, I was going so I could find some unusual things to offer for sale at the shop. Truthfully, I knew I was going because I love to look at all the fossils and gemstone specimens. Just looking, mind you - I would never buy any ..... says the woman with cabinet after cabinet after cabinet of fossil and gemstones in her home!

The good news: I found a few cabochons and other focals for the shop (and for my own silversmithing).
The bad news: I was behind 4 school buses as I approached the venue, and since it was 10AM, I had a sneaking suspicion where they were headed. Sure enough, they pulled in right in front of me, and discharged some 425+ school kids for a field trip to the Gem and Mineral Show. Ugh.

It was loud, and super-crowded in there, and very hard to get to the tables and displays. The headache that I already had soon blossomed into a Super Headache.

But I saw so many gorgeous rock and gemstone specimens. I wish I had had my camera with me (I purposely didn't take it, because I wanted my hands free for touching!) I saw many unusual specimens that up until yesterday, I had only seen on my Pinterest Gem and Mineral Board!

Here are some of the rocks that followed me home:

A fossil trilobite (in matrix);
Trilobite - Andalusia. Devonian Age, Morocco

 I think the back is almost as pretty as the front!
What you can't tell from these pics is that this specimen is 12 inches wide - it is basically the size of a small serving platter. I love it!

Citrine in matrix - unbelievable golden color!

This side view of the citrine specimen shows the crystal morphology and growth pattern.

This citrine was another large specimen - about 9 inches across. Absolutely stunning.

A gorgeous amethyst geode, 10 inches tall:
 amethyst geode

And as if this geode weren't lovely enough, all on its sparkly own,  if you look closely at the above pic, you can see some dark brown circles coming around either side - these are what make this piece special to me:

These brown circles represent an orbicular agate, growing alongside the amethyst (or, one is replacing the other - I don't know. Doesn't matter - they are together in this pretty specimen!) In this particular picture, there are some brown crystals visible mixed in with the amethyst; these are probably smoky quartz.

Elestial quartz:
Elestial quartz - mixture of clear and smoky quartz

This is a new one for me - never heard of it! The lady who owned the booth filled me in on its metaphysical properties (I just picked it out because it was pretty!) - I Googled it, and learned that elestial quartz consists of multilayered or etched quartz crystals with many small terminated crystal formations all over it; the most common elestials are smoky quartz, clear quartz, and citrine. Amethyst elestials are rare and ametrine elestials even more rare. Mine is a mixture of clear and smoky quartz.

This stunning opalized ammonite:
 Opalized ammonite, with brilliant gold, orange, and green fire.

Can you see the incredible fossilized leaves in this specimen? - I took a more detailed shot, just in case - this was breathtaking, to me.

Look at the fossilized leaves in this ammonite, and the flashes of opal fire!

Fossilized sand dollar; whole, intact clam; and sea urchin:
fossil sand dollar, clam, and sea urchin

Some quartz points (which didn't photograph well) and aqua aura points for wire wrapping:
aqua aura points and quartz points

More ammonites (sorry - the pic is over-exposed) - for wire wrapping, bezel setting, bead weaving, etc.:

Some colorful dyed agate slices (I can think of so many cool ways to use these!):
 Dyed agate slices

They may not look too impressive in this photo, but look what happens when I hold them up to the light:

I love how you see the delicate veins in this blue one!

I love the colorful blue ruffles on the edge of this one!

Last, but not least, the cabs:
clockwise from top left: turquoise, sodalite, charoite, charoite, larimar

clockwise from top center: banded agate/quartz geode, rainforest jasper, magnesite, chrysoprase, rainforest jasper, and chrysocolla (center)

top row: dalmatian jasper; middle row: lapis; bottom: opals

I really scored, right?!

If I had an unlimited budget, I would pretty much have a house full of rocks - I have no idea where I am going to put these new ones!!

3 comments: said...

I have to to say - that sometimes I think you and I are on the same astral plane - we work with much the same materials - love to play with beads, you have a dog named baily - I have a cat named baily - I went to the gem and mineral show last weekend you go to a gem and mineral show this weekend - its pretty eerie dont you think? I love the fossils and almost bought an ammonite last weekend -....doodoodoodoo (twilight theme)

Sweet Freedom said...

Separated at birth, I'd say!

BackstoryBeads said...

Yep, you scored! That must have been such a fun day (despite the headache!) I especially love the sea urchin and that charoite cab. Gorgeous!