Hunting Rocks & Gems in Lexington

Rock gem

Septarian rocks from Morocco

We’re Rock Hounds. There’s no hiding it. One look around our house will confirm that – there’s piles of rocks everywhere.

The front door sports river stones from Vermont and Wyoming. The porch railings are festooned with crinoids and slate found on the farm. Limestone slabs line our flowerbeds. And every table in the house features a rock cluster; Icelandic lava, petrified wood, chunks of crystals, obsidian and amethyst. If I stick a hand in the pocket of any jacket there’ll be a pebble I’ve picked up somewhere.

So the Rock & Gem Show in Lexington was a perfect Sunday diversion for us.

rock gem

The Rock & Gem Show was held at a hotel convention hall and featured dozens of vendors and a couple of local rock clubs. Rows of exotic stones, all carefully labeled, were displayed on long tables. Some stones were rough, others polished, and everything was for sale.

Now I’m not the least bit educated on rock collecting. I can correctly identify a few types of stones, can make a lucky guess at others, and I’m mostly ignorant about the majority.

But there’s some serious collectors out there who will happily spend long hours conversing on topics like druzy quartz, ultraviolet wave lengths, and advanced lapidary techniques.

 

What catches my eye are rocks with unusual colors and textures. Okay, the pretty ones. Or the weird ones like this rock that looked like a cinnamon roll…

 

There was a special room that showcased fluorescent rocks. Under normal light they looked like any old stone I might kick up from the field. But under black light the most vivid colors sprang out. I chatted with the collector, a gentleman from the Lexington Rock Club, and he pointed out the fluorescent stones he picked up on the side of the road. Man, what an eye! Wish I could spot them that easy.

One thing we were hunting for at this show was Kentucky Agate. Found only in Estill County in the form of geodes, this agate has unmistakable bands of deep black and vibrant red. We first came across this stone at the Mountain Mushroom Festival in Irvine and I immediately fell in love with the unusual colors of Kentucky Agate.

rock gem

Kentucky Agate

Tim has made jewelry out of Kentucky Agate before and it sold right away. He was happy to find some polished cabochons of the right size at this show, and will be turning these into pendants soon.

All in all, we had a gem of a time at the Rock Show. If you ever come across one of these shows, it’s worth the small entry fee to be dazzled by all the sparkling stones. Druzy!