Drilled Pebbles

February 6, 2009

The Tucson gem shows are in town.  Years ago, this annual event was a total-immersion experience for me – a mad week of looking, visiting, buying, selling, trading, and discovery that inspired me for the rest of the year.  But the shows have changed, though there are still tons of minerals and gems to delight the eye.  Dealers are scattered through more venues around town, prices and expectations have risen, and the whole affair is more serious and less fun.  I haven’t made a sale or a trade in several years, so I don’t buy as much.  The friends I had among the dealers have long since died or quit coming, my own interests and projects have diversified, and I have more cats, more responsibility, and less spare change than I used to.  But I still visit a few shows each year, to admire minerals and buy a few tools, a strand of beads or a cabochon, and perhaps a rock or two.  This year my first stop was the outdoor show at Tucson Electric Park, a sprawling village of little white tents, RVers with tables full of rocks, and the diverse (and sometimes just weird) collection of dealers in the Main Tent.  Made my traditional visit to Kent’s Tools.  The store is a Tucson landmark, with an enormous inventory of new and used tools of all kinds, and their booth at the gem show has a huge array of jeweler’s supplies and lapidary equipment.  This time I bought some little diamond core drills for poking holes in rocks.

Peridot Pendants

Peridot Pendants

These two pendants are for an iron necklace.  Total length is 1.75″ and 1.5″.  They are very large specimens of facet-grade peridot (the gem name for the mineral olivine) from the mines at Peridot, Arizona.  Both are natural rough stones – the one on the right has a natural rounded, frosted, slightly oily-looking polish.

Drilled Pebbles

Drilled Pebbles

These two are stones that I collected.  They will eventually adorn knife chains or jewelry.  Both are about one inch long.  On the left is a brown chert beach pebble from the Outer Banks.  The other one is a transluent chalcedony ventifact from Wyoming, naturally sculpted and polished by windblown silt.  The little white hydrated spot is opaque and moonlike, and both pebbles are much more attractive in person.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.