Part of the fun of going to the Tucson Gem Show is discovering what comes back home with you. We had no craft projects in mind when we went this year, and that made me kind of sad because last year we went there with a mission to find and decorate animal skulls. We had a large space above our kitchen cabinets that was sitting empty for years, and we had a vision to embellish the space with what greets us in the kitchen now:
We had fun hunting down the skulls and then finding just the right stones to decorate them with according to the four seasons:
We thought about buying more skulls again this year, but we’re not crazy people who hang up dead animals everywhere, so we decided against it. And, yes, I see it to. We really need to paint the inside of those cabinets white. Sorry about that. We really don’t see that wood when standing on the ground. I had to get up on a ladder to take those pictures. Alas, I digress. So let me tell what we did buy this year! Rocks! We bought lots and lots of Rocks!
Do you wanna play a game? Can you find where in the box we found these amazing stones? At 4 for $10, we couldn’t resist. (The answer will be at the bottom of the page.)
There’s something for everyone here. Moreover, there’s an endless supply of things no one ever needs, such as this rock on a stick that I decided to buy because I liked that it was shaped like a star:
The stone is called kyanite and it’s a fascinating piece of rock. According to Wikipedia, Kyanite is strongly anisotropic, meaning that its hardness varies depending on its crystallographic direction. I know very little about rocks, and I found it interesting to learn that a steel needle will easily scratch a kyanite crystal parallel to its long axis, but it’s impervious to being scratched by a steel needle perpendicular to the long axis. How cool is that tid-bit of information? Also, I liked that it was blue.
Another little something-something that came home with me was this transparent piece of selenite:
Again, I had no idea what it was when I bought it for all of $3, so I Googled it when I got home. According to Wikipedia, the name derives through Middle English selenite from Latin selenites, ultimately from Greek selēnítēs líthos (σεληνίτης λίθος, lit. ’moon stone’). It got this name because people historically believed the mineral waxed and waned with the cycles of the Moon. I confess that I have no idea what that means. How would a rock wax and wane with the Moon? Man, the people in the Middle Ages sure had some weird ideas about things. Venturing beyond Wikipedia for more information quickly sent me down a New Age rabbit hole, though. Apparently, selenite is a powerful healing crystal with an angelic resonance according to multiple websites, including this one that recommends I clean my selenite under moonlight. It says I’m supposed to place the selenite crystal on the earth and leave it overnight as a sort of Moon bath. Okay. Maybe I’ll do that sometime. Or maybe not. Most likely not.
The Tucson Gem Show is full of hipsy-gypsy type stuff, which is one of the reasons I like going there. It’s fun to believe in the power of crystals, at least for a day. It’s also fun to know that there was another version of Earth before we were here. Fossils of all shapes and sizes are to be found there, and it’s fun to come home with a handful of small specimens:
Trilobites are so cool. They were among the most successful of all early animals, existing in oceans for almost 270 million years, dating back 521 million years ago. Nautilus are also very cool, and I like it that they are still with us. Their shell spiral leads many to believe it exhibits the “golden ratio,” but some authorities believe it does not. Regardless, I adore the way the spiral looks to the eyes. Finally, Orthoceras make neat-looking fossils with their elongated shape and distinctive lines. They lived 370 million years ago.
It’s a little too easy to spend a couple of dollars here, a couple of dollars there, and come home with an assortment of pyramids and other random things:
That last image is a small chunk of meteorite. A freaking meteorite. That thing isn’t from this Earth. We own a little piece of outer space. And that, my friends, puts everything into perspective. We are all just a small piece of a much larger world.
ps….here’s the answer to the game:
2 thoughts on “Gem Show Finds”
Need to go to that show, looks like fun. Love your decorating job on the skulls. My brother in northern Minnesota is a trapper. You two would have some unique collaborations no doubt. Finished my review of your new book , thank you for the opportunity, it was a great read!
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Hey, thanx!! Also, I’ve never met a bonafide fide trapper before. That sounds like a job straight from the 1700s! I bet your brother is a time traveler. Is your whole family? What era are you from? Hahaha