Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Remembrance...

Dev and I both have family in the military. My nephew just currently at boot camp for the army. He's going to be a medic. We both worried and so very proud of him!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Opal Yawah Nuts and a chance to help a friend


Okay.. first check out this video!
Hopefully Dev will share his story about the purchase of the first half of this opal.

Devin came home from Tucson one year and told me all about this wonderful opal lady he met. He couldn't say enough nice things about Barbara. We so saddened to learned that she is in stage 4 cancer treatment.

This was her message in the current issue of The Opal Express:

"To my AOS friends,
As many of you have probably heard, the big C stage IV is wrestling me about. I'm not going down without a fight but am wise enough to know that I need to put my inventory out there quickly. Inventory such as special specimens of both the Ridge and Yowah and Koroit opals that I tucked into bookshelves, back of drawers, and in special velvet bags for my viewing and fondling pleasure over the years. However, co-pays demanded before treatments make it necessary to sell. I can not think of a more appreciative group of opal lovers who would be insterested."

I hope you will keep Barbara in your prayers, as I know she will be in ours. And if you can help her out by purchasing an opal or two, that would be wonderful.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Announcing the 2010 Faceting Competition!

Details here!

We hope you will join in the fun!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Contest: Guess the number of rocks!

We started this contest at our Halloween Party. Since no one answered correctly, we decided to just keep going until someone wins!

The person who correctly guesses the number of rocks in the photo wins! In the case of a more than one correct guess, the winner will be drawn at random by Diva.

Yes, we know.. you can't see all the rocks! This is our version of guess the number of marbles in the jar. You have to make an educated guess!

You are welcome to discuss the contest here, but please email us your "official" guess to

The prize: $50 gift certificate.

Winner will be announced on the forum and in the newsletter next week.

Image below, or you can enlarge it as your wallpaper

Saturday, October 31, 2009 Halloween Party!

Come on in and join us for the games, contests, discounts, and more! Join the fun here:!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just a Quick Reminder: You are invited to our Halloween Party!!

Just a Quick Reminder: You are invited to our Halloween Party!!

Saturday Oct 31 2009 Drop in anytime between 11 am and 11 pm to join in the fun. There will be games, contests with great prizes, 20% off all rough, and more! Also, we will be announcing a very special contest that day... faceters stay tuned for more! Many of the games and contests are run through our forum. Sign up now by sending us an email with your preferred user name (nickname), and be ready to play:

New Facet Rough posted 10/25! -gorgeous stones, including a 42ct Green Tourmaline! There are still a few of the $5 rocks Dev posted last week left. Remember these specially priced rocks are one per customer per week. Keep an eye on this page for the latest facet rough postings:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ET Gems!

" According to a new study by geologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Maryland, the wealth of some minerals that lie in the rock beneath the Earth's surface may be extraterrestrial in origin."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Finding Aliens (aka another use for your spectroscope!)

Okay, maybe not *your* spectroscope.. but a really really big spectroscope!

And if you haven't discovered the TED talks yet.. take a look around, great stuff out there!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

From GIA eBreif- Name that Inclusion

This is the new G&G brainteaser. I have no clue what it is, but maybe one of our readers does!

Name That Inclusion!

Nature has fashioned an image in this diamond better than any laser could. What is this inclusion? Send your answer to no later than Oct. 19, and one lucky entrant (with the correct answer) will win a free G&G 1-gigabyte flash drive preloaded with the 1934-2008 subject and author indexes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Synthetic Rough Available!

We have bunch of new synthetics available. A couple of new synthetic corundum colors, and a whole boat load of CZ that we are offering for the first time!

Check it out, and get yourself a hunk to play with!

The image above is available as wallpaper:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Old Gold!

(Photo from CNN)

An amazing find by an metal detecting hobbyist! You know.. maybe I should dust off that metal detector out in our garage. Not that we will find a Anglo-Saxon gold hoard in NC, but there just maybe some pirate treasure left on the Outer Banks!

Be sure to check out the other photos.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Hope Diamond - 50 Years at the Smithsonian

Image from the Smithsonian Channel website, showing the Hope under ultraviolet light.

The Smithsonian is has a wonderful page up on the history and science of the Hope Diamond. They are celebrating its 50th anniversary at the museum by having the stone set in a new setting voted on by readers. The new design will be announced September 23 (Wednesday!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wire Wrapping Newbie!

Today I took a wire wrapping class sponsered by the Charlotte Gem and Mineral Club I have never done wire wrapping before and always excited to learn a new craft (because I need another hobby! ha!) Our teacher is Linda Simon, and she did a wonderful job of both helping the beginning students and answering the questions of the verteran wire wrappers. We had a great time and did a design called "stick man."

I know that sometimes all we see are the very best of the best of a craft like wire wrapping and that can be intimitating! So, I am going to share my first attempts here, realizing that they are a bit wobbly and off kilter :) I want to show that some designs are less complicated, and if I can do it, you can do it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Julie the Rockhound

We have a new children's book in stock.

When a young girl finds a shiny quartz crystal, her dad shows her how to dig for minerals, and she becomes Julie the Rockhound.
This book has beautiful color illustrations and learning pages in the back of the book. The perfect gift for the young rockhounds in your life!

Written by Gail L. Karwoski
Illustrated by Lisa Downey
Signed by the author
-For ages 5 to 9
-Paper Back
-8.5 x 10 inches
-16 pages

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ratters of Lightening Ridge by Richard Holmes

Devin and the author, Richard Holmes

Over the weekend, Dev and I attended a small show put together to support the Charlotte Gem and Mineral Club. At the show, we were fortunate enough to meet Richard Holmes, the author of The Ratters of Lightening Ridge, and Bryan Cook, his illustrator. Richard was kind enough to show some of the gorgeous opals that he has cut. They are just stunning. In facet, I had a hard time concentrating on the conversation, I was too mesmerized by the opal in Richard's pendant. (See picture above)

His book, The Ratters of Lightening Ridge, is a fictional novel that draws on the author's life for inspiration. Ratters is not only an entertaining story, it is chocked full of information about opal and opal mining. It is also a great way to learn Aussie vocabulary for opals! The expressive line drawings by Bryan Cook lend a great charm to the book.
What is a ratter? From the book:
Ratting comes in many forms. A miner rats on a friend. A neighbor rats on his neighbor's claim by mining into it. People come in secret by day or by bight and gouge out opal ratting a friends claim. A miner rats on his partner. Maybe a miner finds opal and never lets his investment partner know, or just shorts him with the hunk opal and none of the good stuff. A miner can be out of money and have to sell his good opal to someone who says it is cracked and worth nothing. There is no end of the ways people dream up ratting for valuable opal when it come into their possession.

The book is available here. (This would make a great gift for any rockhound!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back from William Holland

Dev and I went to William Holland Lapidary School for the last week in August. We had a great time as always. We try to pick this week because the Spruce Pine NC Rock Show is the weekend before and the Grassy Creek Show is the weekend after. I took faceting 1 and Dev took advanced opal cutting. I got all of one rock cut and that was actually a marble. I refer to it as a non-copper bearing, "Paraiba" type marble...sounds so much better that way. Dev cut some beautiful opals! See below:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

4th of July Celebration!

We are having a 4th of July celebration to thank our wonderful customers for their support!



Lots of Rock chat!

Special Discounts!

Check out the main page: for more details

Friday, June 05, 2009

Get'm While Their Hot! BATTWings!

No.. they aren't deep fried crispy wings of a bat.. they are the new laps from the maker of the BATT™ Lap. They have two sections allowing for prepolish and polish on the same lap..saving you time and money! Check them out here!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Faceted Quartz Box by the Van Pelts

Made by Harold and Erica Van Pelt Lapidary (photos from 2007 Tucson show)
Two-part faceted quartz box with dendrites in quartz top, and 18 karat gold frame and hinge

Monday, May 18, 2009

Edward Erickson Gem Sculpter and Faceter

Another display from Tucson 2007.

Information displayed said:
Edward "Bud" Grant Erickson sculpted, hand-cut, faceted and polished all the "Super Gems" in this exhibit.

the boules were grown under *** by Dr. Milan Kakas at the Union Carl*** in Wasbegal Washington, specifically for Mr. Erickson's work.

Over a 38-year career Bud lead state of the art solids state *** associated electro-optic development.

***can read this word from photo, I should have gotten a better close up of it!

New Rocks Posted 5/18/09

Thursday, May 14, 2009

French Fried Tourmaline

What happens when tourmaline gets just a tad too warm...

(BTW this is a great blog, check out the rest of it while you are there.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pearls in the news...

best quote: “Squeeze the goo like a pimple and the pearls pop out,” says Montfort-Jones.

oooo just what every woman wants to wear around her neck :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Opals..

An opal display by True Blue Opals at the Tucson Show:
Painted Ladies and Boulder Opal
Belemnite fossils (same family as modern squid)
Pineapple (Pseudomorph of Opal after Ikaite) These are just too cool...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mike & Mary Jaworski Mineral Collection

This display is from the Tucson 2007 show is part of Mike and Mary Jaworski's Mineral Collection. Try not to drool on your keyboard...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trip to Meteor Crater, AZ

While we were in Tucson, Dev and I took a side trip to the Grand Canyon, and Sedona. We stopped by the Meteorcrator. It was pretty darn cool. You can learn more about it here:

And yes, that white stuff is snow. We had snow at the Grand Canyon, too.

These are the attack ostriches that grabbed Devin feed cup and made a run for it. No, they don't roam the crater, they were at the ostrich farm out side of Tucson on the way back. One of the best parts of the whole trip If you are heading that way, check it out:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009's First Annual America Rocks Marathon

Hey sneak preview for you all...gonna have an online party on the weekend of the 4th of July. We are calling it's First Annual America Rocks Marathon. Gonna have online games and prizes, rough going up every hour, what ever else we can think of to do. More info to come! New Facet Rough 4/26/2009