Suburban Gem

Yesterday, I visited the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, a  small, wonderful museum in Elmhurst, outside of Chicago. I went with other mosaic enthusiasts to explore the museum’s gem and mineral collection. Not only did we enjoy viewing the raw and faceted stones, we were captivated by the extensive jade collection and other beautiful carved stone objects.  One of the highlights of the museum is this beautiful gold and gemstone castle.

Castle Lizzadro by Willliam Tolliday (18k gold, faceted diamonds, Brazilian agate slab, amethyst, malachite, azurite, and vanadium specimens)
Carved Chinese jadeite pitcher, early 20th Century



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Treasure

Samples  from my treasure trove
 

Recently, I felt like I struck gold. I was invited by a lapidary (art of cutting and polishing stone) instructor to come raid the scrap buckets of stone at the studio where he teaches. He has been saving the discarded pieces for years, for what, he wasn’t sure.  In the back of his mind he must have known someone would appreciate them as I do.

As I sort the stones by color, texture, size and shape, I’m taking my time to admire their natural beauty as I try to identify them.  In my treasure trove I’ve discovered lapis, jade, obsidian, chrysocolla, copper, quartz, agate, jasper, fossils and so much more. Already, I have numerous projects in mind for my find.