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The Family That Mines Together...

We don't often get to see gemstones in the rough, but when Laurie came in with the rough gems she collected with her Dad, we knew it would be a unique project!

About 13 years ago, my dad mentioned that he was going mining on the way back from bringing my youngest sibling to college. He came home back with lots of amazing rocks and gems. Soon after, I accompanied him and got my own stash of rocks and gems. This began a tradition of traveling around the country to mine different gems and camp out under the stars. We’ve been to Georgia, Arkansas, Montana, Idaho, and every place in between! It became more than just about the rocks though. It became a chance to make the best memories, a chance for him to pass on wisdom, and for us to make a tighter bond. We always worked visiting some cool places on our road trips, like New Orleans and Yellowstone National Park.

Our last big trip was the summer before I got married - eight years ago. Now that I’m married with three kids, getting away for two weeks is a little bit difficult! It is also bittersweet because, since that time, my dad has been losing the ability to walk. While he’s undergone multiple tests and doctor visits, no one knows the cause, so no one knows how to stop or reverse it. We talk about going on another trip “one day” and I will make it happen for him, but it will certainly look different than our previous gem mining trips.

I wanted to make a jewelry piece that would help me remember my dad and our trips together. I showed a bunch of gems to Stacey and after some discussion with the gem cutter, we settled on using an emerald (my birthstone) and finding someone that could cab it. We decided on a ring to make, one that used the green from the emerald and some brown from the chocolate diamonds (it was easier and cheaper to get these than cut my smoky quartz) with leaves to make it look earthy and ethereal. I LOVE it! The detail in the leaves is incredible, the sparkle and shine is attractive, and best of all, it reminds me of all the wonderful memories with my dad. It is certainly an heirloom piece I can pass on to my daughters. I will have to make another one :)

P.S. My dad thinks that the ring is beautiful as well!

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