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The “Semi-Finals” Continue

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Not sure if this will be our last post. We continue our path to retirement, but the urge to keep going keeps us “hanging in there.

For those who love Geology and Gemology as I do, I want to refer you to some incredible, easy to understand, charts that will enhance your learning and make you feel “competent in the subject

Chart to show the many colors of different gemstones. (Thank you Michael Lazarski!)

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Thanx to the International Gem Society: List of Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones

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Thanx to the International Gem Society: Common Gemstone Treatments

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The Geology Page: HOw Crystals Grow

How Do Crystals Form-GeologyPage

From Geology IN: Dangerous and Lethal Minerals:

The World's 10 Most Deadly Minerals


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Fossils in a Box

As of late, I have taken a deeper interest in fossils.  I have been acquiring and placing them in Shadow Boxes.  Very popular!  Today’s focus will be on the ever-popular ammonite.

Popular because they can be found in so many places around the world and in great quantity.

To capture something “ancient” in a way you can display it allows you to have a convenient conversation piece and an attractive addition to your room, office, or customer waiting area.

A customer recently asked me to create one to be a gift for “permanent resident” in a hospital room to help him focus on something other than his health condition.  It allows him to let his imagination flow as he thinks of the thousands of years it took to get to him.

So how were these fossils formed:

Some animals were quickly buried and consequently killed by sinking in mud, being buried in a sand storm, frozen, covered by an earthquake, etc. Sediment, over time, continued to cover them and prevent them from decomposing.  For this discussion, we’ll talk about the sea being a great place for fossils to form, with an abundance of mud and sand to help the process.

Two types of fossils we will deal with are “Body” and “Cast” Fossils.  This next picture shows perfect examples of both.   Notice below the body fossils, there are impressions of where other fossils were, hence casts of fossils.

“Ammonite” refers to the Egyptian God, Amun, and the ram’s horns on his head  The name comes from the shells looking like spiraled ram horns that sat on top the head of Amun. Ammonites are mostly closely related to coleoids, the family that includes squids and octopii.

They are beautiful and make  spectacular ornamental displays, such as seen in the rest of the pictures  below:





















We sell jewelry sets of these beauties for $40 at our shows and at

      Inquiries about these Sets or Window Boxes:



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Citrine. Zitrino. Citrien. Citrinas. Sitrin. Zitrin. Cytryn. Цитрин סיטרין . 黃水晶. Cuarzo. Citrino!

November’s Birthstones are Full of Light!

While Topaz is the traditional birthstone for November, today’s alternate birthstone, CITRINE, is the focus of today’s blog. The official stone of Virgo, It also stands the gift for the 13th wedding anniversary.

Citrine loose stones large and small

Citrine loose stoneBottom line: Citrine is Quartz. What turns it from lustrous white to shades of yellow is traces of iron impurities. It is one of only a few gemstones that is naturally yellow to gold in color.

Because it is hard (7 on Moh’s scale), it’s a perfectly durable stone to be use in jewelry. Citrine pendants, necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and brooches adorn the richest to the poorest of wearers.

Citrine is one of the most desired golden gemstones in the marketplace! Not too expensive and beautiful in any array of shapes and adornments.

Easy to clean, just use soap and water and brush off the trail dust and you are back to the beautiful stone as before!

The nice thing about citrine is that it can be found all over the world. The best deposits are found in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, France, Russia, Spain, Scotland, and a host of African countries and the islands surrounding the continents.


This stone come with lots of lore:

  • In ancient cultures, if you put a citrine on the forehead of an elder, it would increase his psychic power (Wow, I could use that one!)Large Citrine loose stone
  • It is called the lucky “Merchant’s Stone. Put a citrine in the drawer of you cash register and look to great growth in riches)
  • Known by healers to increase self-esteem, promote positive energy that overpowers someone else’s negativity.
  • Especially effective in helping the thyroid, heart, kidney, liver, circulatory and urinary system as well as the immune system.
  • Opens your mind to learning new things, and the ability to think clearly.
  • Help to relieve depression, anger, self-doubt, and mood swings.
  • Generate stability in life and is good for general protection.
  • Helps to overcome addiction and remove toxins.
  • Help to calm and soothe distress and digestion.
  • Helps to calm nightmares and soothes other sleep disturbances.

Of course all of these bits of lore are most effective when the stone is worn next to your skin.

Now with THAT kind of positive press, run right out and buy some citrine. We just “happen” to have some with incredible value and prices!

Just let us know what you would like and we will enthusiastically respond! We can make any kind of jewelry you like.

Special until 31 December 2015. These loose stones generally sell from $10.00 a carat to $25.00 a carat or more.

Your price during this promotion is $5.00 a carat.

Citrine loose stones



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September Beauty: Sapphires

Lone Star SapphireThe Lone Star Sapphire, after which our company is named, is nearly 10,000 carats. It was discovered in 1989 in North Carolina. As it is much bigger than the closest Sapphire, it is “out in front.” Hence the name Lone Star.

​Sapphire, in Greek, means “Precious Stone”!  And so they are.  The bluer the better and more valuable.  Other colors, called “Fancy Sapphires”, include green, pink, violet, gray, black, and yellow, and are not quite as valuable (everything being relative). Star Sapphires round out the beauty showing off asterisms, which are imperfections that cause the beautiful six and twelve ray stars. Some have double asterisms in the same stone!

As the September birthstone, Sapphires have been associated with sincerity, constancy, insight, and truth.

Those who wear the stone are considered to be protected from thyroid problems, ear aches, speech impediments, blood problems, eye problems,  headaches, and nosebleeds.

Fascinating Sapphire Lore:

Sapphire’s main power encourages loyalty, truth, wisdom, and clear-thinking.

In the Bible, one of the twelve stones of fire embedded into the Breastplate of Aaron included a sapphire.

In Rome and Greece, people of prominence thought Sapphire could protect them from evil.

Star of India Sapphire
The Star of India – the largest Star Sapphire in the world.

Did you know? In the middle ages, a man would give his wife a sapphire necklace.  And if it got darker, she had been unfaithful.  I wonder how many wives lost their lives over that one!  The stone, then, became a stone of honesty and fidelity.

Interesting fact:  The term sapphire, used in the Bible, may have really been Lapis Lazuli.  Kinda makes sense since that’s the stone mentioned around Mount Sinai.

The Science Side of Sapphire

Sapphire is Corundum, a type of Aluminum Oxide. Depending on trace elements like iron, chromium, copper, titanium and magnesium, one or more which may get incorporated into this gem during the early stages of its formation, the Sapphire gets a variety of hues. Chromium imparts a pink or red tint to corundum, the former known as pink Sapphire and the latter known as Ruby.​ One of the four Precious Gemstones, Sapphire is the hardest substance​ next to diamond​ and its brilliant blue huPrince William and Kate Middleton Engagemente and ​hardness of 9 out of 10, making it an ideal ​gemstone for jewelry. The most famous of which is Kate Middleton‘s (the Duchess of Cambridge) blue sapphire ring,​ (formerly Princess Diana‘s ring)​ which Prince William gave her when​ they were betrothed.​

Some of our stock of Sapphires is pictured below, and includes stones small enough to replace what may be lost from your ring. Check out this Sapphire Buyer’s Guide to help you in your search.

LSG Loose Sapphires LSG Replacement Sapphire Stock - beyond blue LSG Replacement Sapphire Stock LSG Sapphire Stock

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Gemstone and Jewelry Educational Resources

We receive a lot of questions about gemstones and jewelry like, “How are gemstones formed?” and “What’s my birthstone, and what does it mean?

To help with this, we’ve created a series of resource pages for your viewing pleasure. We have plans to add more information, and we want to make sure it’s useful to you. Please check out our resource pages and satisfy your hunger for knowledge.

If you’re still hungry for more, please send us your questions! Where needed, we’ll update existing pages, or create a new one to share the information with others.

And don’t forget to check out our big Rose Quartz sale, going on all September long!

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Rose Quartz: The “Love Stone”

Rose quartz has, through history, been known as the “Love Stone” or the “Stone of Unconditional Love.” An old legend tells of Cupid and Eros bringing rose quartz to Earth to arouse love in people. The love of self and inner peace, the foundation to loving others, became the reputation from wearing this beautiful pink stone. It is said to calm depression and ward off evil.

It is also believed to rejuvenate the skin of those who wear it. The properties of quartz allowed the belief of any who washed their face in water-soaked with Rose Quartz will keep the skin looking younger. Wearing or carrying a heart-shaped Rose Quartz pendant or charm is thought to attract love.

Rose Quartz beads date back to around 7000 BC in Mesopotamia (Iraq). The Assyrians, around 800-600 BC, and the Romans were first to use this stone. The Romans used it for making seals as a sign of ownership. They also considered it a strong healing stone. Egyptians believed the pink stone prevented aging.

Rose Quartz has traditionally been given to newborn babies to help in their transition from the spirit world to the physical realm, gently integrating the two and helping with adjustment. This stone is also said to help mend broken hearts or aid in easing emotional trauma.

Now looking to the scientific properties, you can understand why: with a hardness of 7, Rose Quartz is long-lasting and durable. Specimens found are usually very large with occasional terminating crystal faces, prisms, and six-sided pyramids. Over time, Rose Quartz crystals are prone to fading and are best kept away from prolonged sunlight.

A Symbol of unconditional and everlasting love, “Rose quartz is great for families, assisting in keeping all family members in ease with each other. It’s also said that it helps ease pregnancy and childbirth. On the other end of life experiences, it is said that rose quartz is beneficial to ease the transition when it’s the soul’s time to leave a dying body, helping surround the person in unconditional love and pillow them with gentleness. Rose quartz is also helpful for those left grieving, as its emotional healing powers offer great comfort.” (Origin

Additionally, Rose Quartz is an alternate for Garnet as January’s birthstone.

So, if you thought buying a gift of rose quartz is boring, or”too common”, you may want to re-think, considering all the meanings that are attached.

Here are some images of Rose Quartz items from our catalog. We’ll be posting several for sale over the next few days.

Rose Quartz Collexb.

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Legends and Symbolism of Lapis Lazuli (reprinted from

Lapis Lazuli Symbolism

by Fara Braid

The beautiful blue stone lapis lazuli has been highly prized for thousands of years. Scholars believe many early historical references to sapphire may actual refer to samples of lapis lazuli. Jewelry made from this lazurite rich semi-precious rock has been found in prehistoric tombs in Asia, Africa, and Europe.  Not surprisingly, lapis lazuli symbolism goes back for millennia.

“Lapis lazuli (Sar-e-Sasang deposit, Hindu Kush mountains, Afghanistan)” by James St. John is licensed under CC By 2.0

Lapis lazuli legends are among the oldest in the world. The myth of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, and her descent and return from the underworld may date from as early as 4000 BCE. Inanna entered the underworld bearing the insignias of her rank, including a lapis lazuli necklace and rod. “In ancient Sumer,” writes Scott Cunningham in hisEncyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic, “lapis lazuli has timeless associations” with royalty and deities. The stone was said to contain “the soul of the deity, who would ‘rejoice in its owner.’”

In ancient Egypt, pharaohs favored lapis lazuli, and judges wore emblems of Maat, the goddess of truth, made from the stone.

Many ancient civilizations prized lapis lazuli. To them, the stone had religious significance and reflected the high status of their rulers.  The Egyptian Pharaoh Osorkon II (874-850 BCE) wore this pendant made from solid gold and lapis lazuli.  The inscription on the stone is the pharaoh’s cartouche, or royal name inscribed within an oval shape.  “Pendant of Osorkon II, Paris, Museé de Louvre, August 2012” by Jan is licensed under CC By-ND 2.0

Lapis lazuli was not only mentioned in ancient myths, it was also used to mark documents. Cylinder seals carved from the soft stone were used to impress official seals, signatures, or religious inscriptions on wet clay. These cylinders were rolled across the clay and could create very detailed impressions with both text and images. The seals could be worn as necklaces, too. Lapis lazuli legends could very well have been sealed or marked with lapis lazuli!

“Cylinder Seal with Standing Figures and Inscriptions” from the Walters Art Museum is licensed under CC By-SA 3.0

The name “lapis lazuli” means “blue stone.” The stone is also popularly called “lapis” for short. The gorgeous blue color of lapis lazuli has attracted the attention of artists for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used it to create blue cosmetics. In the Renaissance, painters ground the stone to make ultramarine, a blue pigment used for skies and seas.

Michelangelo used lapis lazuli powder for the blue colors in his frescoes for the Sistine Chapel.  “Sistine Chapel” by Bryan Allison is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0

Today, some people associate lapis lazuli with wisdom, love, and healing and claim it nurtures and promotes psychic ability. (Although I have met one “psychic” lady so laden with lapis around her neck that Inanna herself would have fallen at her feet, weeping).

In the English and French royal courts of the 18th century, a kind of elaborate and symbolic “gem language” was used to convey messages not psychically but discreetly. (“Flower language” was also used at this time and is still used today). Bracelets, brooches, rings, etc., were set with gems, the first letters of which conveyed a motto or sentiment. Lapis lazuli could stand for “good luck” or “love me,” depending on its usage and setting (and probably on who was sitting next to you).

“Lapis Earrings” by Naomi King is licensed under CC By 2.0


Reprinted with permission from IGS

Original article available here

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Rockhound Stories That Rival Fish Tales – Episode 2

Red Jasper flourishes in Southern Arizona near the Mexican Border and west of Fort Huachuca, a very old Calvary Post, famous for the Buffalo Soldiers and housing Geronimo after his surrender. It was in the attached town, Sierra Vista, where I went to high school.

Rough Red Japer


A friend and I were incurable rockhounds, spending just about every weekend looking for the perfect gems to cut and polish. Red Jasper was always boring to me since it was everywhere. Now, nearly 70 later, I realize its inherent beauty and popularity in the world.

But my buddy convinced me we needed to go hike around Washington Camp, a played-out gold mine, where the stone was plentiful. The first thing that I remember was putting blasting caps in cow patties and watching them explode over the pasture. Do not try this at home! If you would like to know more about blasting cap dangers, follow this link to a 1957 video of the dangers of blasting caps.

Cow patty
An honest-to-goodness Arizona desert cow patty, ripe for exploding.

We often thought of doing that at school, but somehow we never got around to it. Some of the area was very flat but there were lots of hills off to the side. On this day when we were plaguing the countryside with our pranks, we came across a herd of wild pigs (javelina). We started throwing rocks and generally annoying them. For some reason, they didn’t appear to take too kindly to our gestures of “good humor” and started to chase us. If you are really interested, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum even has a recording of what they snort like!


​Fortunately for us, there was a nearby tree that could hold our weight. Did you know how ugly and fierce a javelina can look when he is mad at you. OK, now that I have built up your suspense (can’t you just feel it?), the good news is that we preserved our lives that day…and the pigs just lost interest in us and moved on to another snack.

We collected that day nearly 100 lbs of red jasper. It was almost as plentiful as the cow patties. We did make it up to Washington Camp and discovered lots of other fun minerals. All in all, a perfect day for a teenager.

Rough Red Jasper
photo from azrockhound85902


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Rockhound Stories That Rival Fish Tales – Episode 1

Before leaving my boy-hood stories, I want to share more stupid things my friend and I did that could have prematurely ended our lives.

Southern Arizona is well-known for a wealth of gypsum (Selenite) that grow in a rose formation (Desert Rose).

desert rose 1 (roger Weller)
Desert Rose

We used to drive from Fort Huachuca to Saint David, turn west, and drive the dusty road to a place just below the Apache Gun Powder Plant.

Sandy cliffs with tunnels running through them to provide a home for Desert Rose…and rattlesnakes.

None of our rattler friends had this many rattles


We never carried guns, but we always had a knife that would skin the Rattlesnakes.

We took great pride in poking sticks into the tunnels, listen for that rattling sound, and fish the snakes out into the open where a heavy rock awaited to crush its head.

Then we would save the skin and rattles. We didn’t even cook the meat nor make rattlesnake steaks.

Oh yes, and then we would turn our attention to the massive and beautiful roses that were among the sandy cliffs. We loved our desert roses but had more fun bragging at school about our rattlesnake exploits.

St david Road2
One of the exact sites we went to.

Technical Stuff:

The Roses seem to occur in paleosols (ancient soil horizons) that formed along these lakes and are related to a high water table that occurred at a time during the development of the soils (USDA, 2003). It appears that groundwater (the water table) concentrated the calcium sulfate, which was common in the lake sediments, and these concentrates crystallized into the mineral gypsum. These crystals continued to grow in the pore space between the clay and sand particles and in the process incorporated some of the particles into the crystals. Desert Roses seem to take on the color of the clay/sand particles—in this case a pink to light reddish orange.


Apache 1
Apache powder plant

Little did we know that the Apache Power Company was later discovered to have polluted the ground and the surrounding ground water. The EPA is now evaluating the area.

Apache Powder plant logo
Apache Powder plant logo

Rock Hound Stories that Rival Fish Tales!

Next: Hiking with the Javelina among the Jasper beds.
​…and then: Striking up a friendship with the white-nosed Coatimundi