of my grandchildren eagerly hunting for
They spent over an hour and loved every minute of their gem hunting adventure.
Always on the lookout for new activities to keep my grandchildren entertained, I came up with the idea of a gem hunt. The first step was to locate a source of gem paydirt. While there are several on-line retailers, I settled on Gold n' Gem Grubbin' (www.goldngemgrubbinstore.com.) They had many excellent reviews and their prices were reasonable compared to others. I purchased one of their Super Gem Bags for $30 plus $18 shipping in January of 2017. It arrived within a week. The bag weighed 23 pounds, half of which was dirt and sand leaving the other half to rocks and gemstones.
The first thing I did was sift out all the fine dirt. Then I washed the remaining rocks and let them dry. This way the children could hunt without getting their hands, faces, clothes and my carpet dirty. Breaking up the largest cystals into smaller pieces ensures each child has a better chance of finding something. I poured all the stones and gems into a large bowl in the middle of a card table, gave them each tweezers for the small gems and a bowl in which to put all their discoveries.
The bag came with a guide showing what each type of gem looked like. They had a lot of fun passing it around and asking their neighbors' opinion on the identity of their latest treasure.
The image above is a small sample of what they found. Starting in the upper left corner: amethyst (purple quartz,) smokey quartz, rose quartz, clear quartz, quartz crystals, obsidian, iron pyrite (fool's gold,) a transparent sea-green crystal we couldn't identify, blue apetite, citron, mica, garnets, ruby (one small reddish-brown pebble that glowed pink under a black light, which is a sure test for ruby,) a dozen small green crystals we assumed were emeralds, pale blue aquamarine, and calcite... just to name a few. None of these are gem grade stones, but that didn't stop the kids from having a ball finding them.
$48 is a little expensive for a one-hour activity, but they had so much fun doing it and showing off their finds to their school mates the next day than I feel it was well worth the price. If you're hard pressed for something new for your children, try giving them a gem hunting adventure. I'm sure they'll love it as much as mine grandchildren did.
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