I had a moderately successful blog before called Sara Ivy (or SaraIvy.Org as I always wrote it). It's pretty much defunct now and the URL re-routes here. But I wanted to pull some of the blog posts from that blog and recycle them here (they will also be under the Recycled label). They are some of my favorite and some of my most viewed posts and this was one of them.

Fun Fact About Essie #438785674: I collect rocks. Not the typical ones you can find on the side of the road, although sometimes those aren't to be discounted. But I collect different types. Quartzsite, AZ is world renowned for being kind of like the Gemstone or Rock capital of the world. A lot of people come here year around, seasonally or for a festival to sell and/or buy rocks. It's really neat. Gem World is only open seasonally fro Oct 1st to April 30th. Then as the lady who helped me they all go home. This lady was from Idaho but she said they were from all over.

Sometimes you can get really rare finds like Peridot, Garnet, Amethyst for good prices. My favorite stone is called Onyx. It is black (like my soul Ha Ha Ha!) and is rumored to have protective properties.

TOP: Desert Rose
BOTTOM: Malachite

I can't tell you why I like collecting them, just that I always have. I once went diving for geodes in a lake in Tennessee and when some guy was helping us move I had them in a shoe box. He picked it up and literally said, "What do you have in here? Rocks?" and I go "Yes." He looked at me like I was just some snot-nosed brat being a smartass but I told him to open it up. He had picked up my box of geodes. Then he was nicer and asked me about collecting. I get the usual questions but it's fun.

There are shelves upon shelves in just this one warehouse and this is one of maybe hundreds in Quartzsite. Any type of stone you can think of, quartz, calcite, obsidian, howlite, ect would be found in here and in very many different forms. For example there is two ways a stone can be. Rough/Raw like the bottom right in the picture above or tumbled/polished like the stones below

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Above are tumbled cats eye that have been color treated, had a hole drilled in them and have been wired together to look like a collection of grapes. They did something similar with other stones to make a bonsai tree but I couldn't get a good picture of that.

Making grapes wasn't all these artists were good for either! Look at that cute little owl. If you followed me during my grand road trip you will have seen some of these pictures on my instagram or twitter. Like the owl, the grapes and the Camel from above. Look at the artistry in these. Someone had to find an extreme large and pretty "rock" then have the patience to carve it like mere wood and then polish it off. Then they sell them for $20. It's remarkable!

RIGHT: Obsidian Arrowheads
LEFT: Misc Mineral Arrowheads

Not to be outdone, the Native Americans are known for the arrowheads they used on the tips of their spears and well, arrows. Most of the ones you can find now are manmade but I'm sure if you go out into the desert you can find some of the naturally occurring ones. Me? I'd rather by a dozen for $3 and call it a day!

I'm still unpacking so there's really not the whole thing here but here's some of my collection:

If you know anything about gemstones then you probably know most of these and even if you don't then you might recognize the names of some.

  1. Raw Yellow Calcite

  2. Raw Amethyst (February's Birthstone)

  3. Raw Rose Quartz

  4. Tumbled Botswanna Agate

  5. Black Onyx Egg

  6. Raw Blue Chalcedony

  7. Tumbled Rose Quartz Skull (Purchased at Gem World in Quartzsite)

  8. Tumbled Turquoise

  9. Tumbled Malachite

  10. Tumbled Onyx

  11. Rose Quartz Point

  12. Tumbled Lapis Lazuli

  13. Tumbled Malachite

  14. White Onyx Egg (I purchased this 3 years ago from a place in Quartzsite but not sure exactly location - I wasn't even aware that white onyx existed until I found this!)

  15. Crystal/Clear Quartz Point (purchased from Gem World)

  16. This is either chrysocolla or chrysophase. They are two different stones (due to the mineral make up) but look ridiculously similar and I have no clue which one it actually is. Bah!

  17. Tumbled Carnelian

  18. Moonstone Point

  19. Bloodstone (or Heliotrope as they are the same thing) Point. This one is solid green. That's hard to find. Usually they are marbled with an orange-red. Hence the name bloodstone.

  20. Smokey Quartz. The flash makes it look yellow-ish but it's actually a grey stone naturally. This one is really clear. Most of the time they are very muddy and not as pretty.

  21. Tumbled Orange Chalcedony

  22. Tumbled Carnelian

I also own a lot of jewelry with gemstones in them. One of my favorite questions to be asked is "Why would you pay for a rock you can dig up yourself for free?" Well, why did you buy a diamond ring? A Diamond is a rock (and probably the most boring of them to be honest. Emeralds, Rubies and Sapphire's are actually more rare then any diamond you or I could afford). But I don't own any land with diamonds in it or believe me, I'd be digging them up for you. Same is true with a lot of the "rocks" that I like. Not only that but certain rocks are only found in certain areas. I'd love to go digging in India or China or Australia or even Mexico for rocks but that's simply not possible. So I let others do the footwork. It's much cheaper. ;)

EDITOR'S NOTE: I didn't really change much about this post. My collection has grown but it is too massive to post, not to mention most of it is packed away in my storage unit still. I have another trip to Arizona planned in September but unfortunately for me, Gemworld will be closed. It's a seasonal store and only open October 1st through April 30th each year. Such a bummer.

Would you ever collect "rocks" or gemstones?
What do you collect?

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