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Edison Gem Show and Glowing Rocks

Posted by Cecile Raley on

On the first weekend in April, my friend Jochen Hintze came to NJ to vend at the Gem and Mineral Show in Edison, NJ.  The show is organized by Marty Zinn, who also hosts the show in Springfield MA (and one in Tucson of course).  The Edison show is a bit smaller but it is growing every year, so it is fun to go nonetheless.  Steve from New Era Gems always vends, and you can normally find another couple of gem dealers that new to the scene.

This year, I made the acquaintance of Neil Garrioch and his daughter.  Neil is an architect by day but also has a geology degree - he told me that geological work paid very poorly so he switched into architecture.  Neil owns "The Unexpected Gem" and is based in Philly.  His gems were indeed unexpected, he had two entire trays with kornerupine - my friend R, who had joined me, bought a few pieces, and I got 4 pairs and 2 singles (3/4 of the material is already sold).  The most rare form of Kornerupine is a dichroice teal blue with traces of green and purple.  Pieces over 1/2 carat are very rare.

Here's a video of me selecting the gems:


Neil also sold me what may be one of the only unheated morganites I ever got (Brazilian), now listed on Etsy, as well as some sphene and the gorgeous diopside scissor cut I put up this weekend.

The Edison gem show also always has an exhibit of fluorescent minerals.  This is because many of the world's fluorescent gems come from the Sterling Hill Mines in Franklin, NJ.  Since the mine is located less than an hour drive from my house, I went there last August to collect a bunch of glowy rocks.  Jochen, who is also a geologist by trade and who was passing through on his way to the Springfield show, went with me and showed me how to hammer the rocks to open them up.  He also showed me which surface characteristics to look for.  I came home with 70 pounds of rock, which is still sitting in a bucket in my bathroom.

This April, we finally had occasion to split apart the rocks a bit more, so we created the giveaway for you.  These rocks contain mainly Willemite, Hardystonite and Calcite, though you may find other glowy stuff in there.  On ebay and other websites, these rocks appear to go for quite a bit of money ($60-600 for very rare minerals).  But I bought mine for $1 a pound since I collected myself, so we're not charging.  If you want more from my bucket after the giveaway, feel free to contact me.  I'd charge shipping though since some of these rocks are heavy.








You might have fun watching this video, in which Jochen explains what you can see in the rocks, and then the next video where they glow in the dark in my bathroom.






Note that you need a shortwave UV light, not a longwave!  So not your regular blacklight. Otherwise, no sparkle.

Enjoy.


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