It takes a lot of work to create beautiful jewelry. First of all, rocks need to be located and we do our best to locate unique and beautiful ones. We begin by going to mines where we know the rocks will be located, whether it is a turquoise mine, an opal mine or some other stone. Nevada and other surrounding states have so many beautiful rocks and we try hard to find them there. Sometimes they are in the mines, and sometimes they are in areas no where near the mines. Our goal is just to find them. It is even better if we have good weather when doing our hunting, but sometimes the weather is not very cooperative either with high heat or strong winds. We do have a limit – we do not mine in snow or ice. However, not all beautiful stones are located in the western United States and that could be a problem, other than others from around the world have done the mining for us. In those cases, we select from their collections the stones we want to use. This can be both tedious and expensive, but it is fun.
Selecting the Rocks
After we have filled our bags with raw rocks, they then need to be cut. This requires more decisions of which ones to cut first. The question comes about type of stone, color, size, shape, design or pattern of the rock. There are always plenty of stones possible to cut, but not enough time or space to cut them all at once. So we have to try to fill in the needs of stone types we are low in inventory first. What type of stones are people looking for at any particular time of year? What about birthstones? What month is it a particular stone going to be completed? Then comes the size. Do we make it large or small? Do we make a pendant, a ring, a bolo, a belt buckle or a hat band? Can we make a matching ensemble? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
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