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: