Today, as usual on our first day, is dedicated to re-establishing connections and looking around to see what is new. It is always great to reconnect with friends from around the world!
On the way to The Strip, we noted and followed signs to a small, unadvertised rock show. Though we were early, the dealer waved & invited us into his showroom. There are outstanding Rhodocrosite stand ups (one-face polished specimens) he acquired when he purchased an old collection. The collection included tons of this material, enough to fill two garages! While he has been selling it for over a week, there are still beautiful specimens. This material is from an Argentine mine, which closed years ago after playing out. Rhodocrosite of this quality has not been on the market for eons. We could not resist; several spectacular pieces are coming home with us!
Their showroom features Thomsonite, available as individual stones or set in jewelry. The color and texture of this material is unique, reminding us a bit of ocean jasper. We were told that gem-quality stones are found only in a limited area of Lake Superior’s shoreline. This Minnesota mineral must be removed from its volcanic rock matrix – not an easy task!
A great assortment of Lake Superior Agates was also available. This agate is a beautiful chalcedony, banded with rich red, yellow, and orange colors; the colors coming from iron and copper ore in the soil. We learned that Lake Superior agates were dispersed by glacial activity during the last Ice Age. This stone is difficult to carve due to the natural flaws inherent in it; many carvings break during their creation. We are pleased to return with horses and rabbit carved from this stone.
Back on the road, we saw lots of U-Haul trailers and trucks carrying goods to the various shows. The majority of the gem & mineral shows don’t officially start until January 29th; many dealers are just now getting their merchandise. Reaching our destination, we greeted vendors who have helped us in the past and looked around for new material or items in short supply. We are returning with massage wands in nephrite, banded calcite and jasper from Peru.
Tomorrow is just a night away; can’t wait to see what we’ll discover and bring home!