The interesting hobby of "rock-hounding" is collecting material of the earth's surface such as rocks, minerals and gemstones. Some people mainly rock-hound for the beauty that rock and minerals provide. This hobby can be as simple as finding pretty rocks to set on a shelf or they can be cut, polished, and made into beautiful pieces of jewelry like Larry and Pam Jackson of Chino Valley do.
Although Larry and Pam have been rock-hounds for many years, they really got into it after moving to this area.
"When we moved here we started the Prescott Gem and Mineral Club, and at our first meeting we had 24 people, now there are over 200 members," said Pam.
"We go all over Arizona rock hounding in a 100 mile radius you can find just about anything. We have found Obsidian, Jasper, Quartz, Agate, and Turquoise," Larry added.
Larry has taken classes on how to cut and polish stones and on how to make basic jewelry, but he is self taught on faceting gems. He creates necklaces, earrings, Bo-Lo ties, rings, and broaches.
"I spend approximately four to five hours a day in my work room, and I prefer working with gold over silver and making each piece of jewelry from scratch," said Larry.
Both Larry and Pam make jewelry items, but they also enjoy the camaraderie with other members of the Rock and Gem club.
"Anyone who is a Gem Club member has the advantage of other club members teaching them such things as wire wrapping and cutting and polishing stones. Even though I know how to cut and polish stones my favorite thing is wearing them," Pam said grinning.
The rock and gem club is for adults and children alike and only costs $18 a year for a family to join.
"Our children's rock hounding (Jr. Rock Hounds) is for ages 6 to 16 and is run along the lines of the scouts where the kids earn patches for different things," Pam explained.
The Gem club will be having its annual show and sale on August 2,3,and 4 from 9a.m. to 5 p.m., at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
"The show has something for everyone from rocks, gems, jewelry, fossils, equipment and more, and people can also join our club while at the show," said Larry.