No gemstones unturned

Posted On March 28, 2009

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no-gemsstones-unturnedWords by Colleen Anne Chua, 10 
Assumption College-Makati
Photos by Pinggot Zulueta

Gemstone mining is the business of taking precious gems from earth’s crust (which is the first layer of this planet’s land). A hole or tunnel is dug in the ground to take out metals, coal, salt, or other minerals. It sure sounded like hard dirty work.

So imagine my surprise when I did gemstone mining at Sacramento Sam’s in Shangri-La Mall and found it to not only be easy but also fun. One great thing about the store is that it looked exactly like a mining site complete with a big water tank where water flows through a conveyor machine. There are even oak barrels, cactus plants and directional signs.

Kuya Jerry (also called by his friends as “Diva”) first brought me to this oak barrel, where one will find packs of mining rough (or what I thought were ordinary stones). Then, off we went to the panning area where I placed my pack of “stones and soil” on a tray with small holes (a sluice box) and dipped it in the running water (coming from water tank). This will separate the soil and sand from the real gemstones. It was like finding a treasure.

Then, Kuya Jerry gave me a gem chart, which I used to identify the gems. I had amethyst, green calcite and a chunk of mahogany obsidian – and it’s all mine to keep (Yippee!).

It was interesting to learn that gems are not only for accessorizing. Some are power stones because they give you inner peace and tranquility. Some are money stones while others give you luck, good fortune and prosperity. Also, there are gems believed to be protection stones. Bring them for safe travel. Most popular among the stones are the love stones, which help you find true love.  

After that bit of trivia, they taught me how to turn the stones into jewelry I can use. I had a hard time picking which I want to turn into a pendant. I chose the one that fascinated me the most- snowflake obsidian, a power stone. It had the colors of a zebra – black and white. Kuya Jerry helped me wrap the gemstone with a wire. When you wrap it, it has to be really tight, else the gemstone would fall. I also picked a leather string to go with the gemstone pendant. You can even combine 2 or more of your gemstones to make a statement necklace! 

Gemstone mining will not be complete without the after party. Before I left, I danced the Hoe Down. Kuya Jerry explained that miners dance to celebrate their treasure finds. I had a really fun time dancing – skipping and twirling— to the tune of a western/cowboy song!

Phew! It was not so hard after all. And don’t you agree it was one educational and fun experience! Now, I can tell my classmates facts about mining and gemstones, and show off my stylish and chic new pendant!

One Response to “No gemstones unturned”

  1. Pauline Batoctoy

    Hey Colleen!!! This is Pauline,your friend from church. OMG!!!I was searching random stuff in the Internet and stumbled upon this website. I checked it out and saw you picture!!!:D
    I tried adding you in yahoo messenger but you won’t accept. Why?
    Anyways, I miss you na. I don’t see you very often in St. Paul…

    So anyways, bye and keep up the good work!!:)

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