I have always been an avid rock hound, an amateur geologist and 'that girl' who always has rocks in her pockets. I started collecting rocks and fossils as soon as I learned to walk and that obsession seemed to become more refined with age. As I got older my need to find different and more exciting types of rocks grew quickly.
Somewhere around 2016 I met my best friend Eddie and that's where the real adventures began! He was as rock-crazy as I was and equally obsessive. We began reading geological reports and learning about the formations of crystals and where we could find them ourselves. It wasn't long before we had a truck full of tools, a map full of pins and backwoods gear packed up for our first adventure. Together we have traveled all over Canada and have successfully collected several types and hundreds of pounds of crystals, rocks and fossils. We have met some amazing people along the way. We have seen some of the most beautiful places Canada has to offer while doing something that sincerely fills our lives with adventure and joy.
It has now come to a point that our family vacations and even day trips revolve around geological reports that we have read and new rocks we want to find.
A few years ago I was started to worry about the structural integrity of my house because there were so many rocks, so it seemed like the right time to list a few for sale. I was living in Edmonton, I owned a landscape company and I had several friends in the meditation and yoga circles. It wasn't long before I had a wait list of people asking when our next rock trip was.
In 2020 my family and I decided to sell our house and move back home to Northern Ontario to be closer to family (also there are so many great rocks to be found up here 😉). I thought it would be best to list my crystals online so I could continue to sell rocks, crystals and fossils to my clients out west but also potentially make new clients all over the world.
There is so more to it than finding rocks and selling them. There is the research, travel, locating worthy spots, digging and smashing, packing, cleaning, finite cleaning, finishing, staging, photographing, listing and finally posting. Below I've laid out our typical process for getting a raw crystal from the Earth and onto a shelf in your home.
From Earth to Shop: The Process
The first step is reading loads of geological reports and determining which areas should contain occurrences of the rocks we are looking for, packing up our gear and traveling to the predetermined area.
Once we locate an area that has potential for crystals, we turn over moss and rocks or in some cases rock pick into a cliff face (not safe … do not recommend). We carefully wrap the rocks in blankets and newspaper and take them back home to be cleaned and processed.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Each specimen has to be cleaned, sorted and processed. The first phase is a toothbrush and a bucket of water. We clean off any mud or dirt to expose the crystals and determine what will happen to them next (this is my favorite part… like Christmas presents that are all crystals!).
Some of the crystals are heavy with iron (the orange residue that won’t easily come off with just water or scrubbing). These crystals are moved to a vat of Iron-Out solution and remain there for a few days. Once or twice a day we remove them, scrub them and change the solution.
If that doesn’t work, we move to one of the next steps.
If the specimen is not going to be damaged by this process, we soak them in Muriatic Acid. **This step is very dangerous and I would not recommend trying at home. The acid will usually eat the unwanted calcite or mineral that is interfering with the primary crystals we are trying to expose. This requires knowledge of the rock structure and the length of time to leave it in the acid varies (so has to be checked every 20 minutes or so).
If that still doesn’t work we either throw it in the garden as an outdoor decoration or we pull out the Dremel and masonry bits. Sometimes the invasive mineral is really stubborn and requires precision drill and buff work to remove which could sometimes take hours.
Once all if that is complete, we decide if we have to use a diamond blade to cut some of the host rock off to make it stand and display properly or if any cracks or chips need to be glued. To maintain structural integrity when there is a crack we apply a tiny bit of Crazy Glue. The glue dries clear and is strong enough to keep the specimen from breaking apart where the crack is.
Lastly, we photograph, weigh and create a listing for each of the specimens so we can share our finds with all of you.