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After Action Report – Father’s Day

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After Action Report

Father’s Day

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sunday, June 19, 2011 – Father’s Day

spend the day at a rock show.

A city park in Ozark, Missouri, in Christian County, hosted the rock show.

My cousin, Donna is a “rock hound.

My wife, Christy is a “rock hound.”

Me, I’m just an old country boy from Stone County, Missouri, who likes rocks, but, isn’t worthy of the “rock hound” label . . . yet.

The white banner announced in big red letters to motorists and passerby : Gem Fair. There were several vendors from throughout Missouri who came to display their minerals, stones and gems. KCGemDude from Kansas City had some display cases of Ruby, Sapphire and even lesser publicized gems like: Apatite, among the numerous gems.

I was in my “ Father’s Day – holiday “ mode, rather than my usual Joe Reporter mode – I took my trusty camera, but, my wife, Christy, shot most of the photographs of the day. I spent most of the day looking at the gems and minerals.

I’ve always been a people watcher, so I watched people looking at the minerals.

Donna and Ken had their tables set up with displays of Amazonite, Adamite, and Hematite, – to mention just a few of the minerals that come quickly to my mind. Plus, amid the packets of Apache Tears and the small samples of Galena, naturally there was the State of Missouri’s Official Stone – Mozarkite.

Ah, but do you know, the State of Missouri’s Official Fossil ? Suffice to say, Donna and Ken had Missouri’s official fossils on display.

A shopper at the Gem Fair in Ozark Missouri browses the selections. Photo by Christy Warren

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a retired United States Air Force photographer, who shared some of his photography stories from his active duty days and told me how he became interested in rocks and minerals as a child.

Once you retire, it seems that you find yourself surfing the Internet and watching the TV news only to learn that “retirement” is an idea that seems to belong to previous generations as the global economy seems to remain in a nose dive toward oblivion.

Real estate is usually considered a sound investment, but when you see the For Sale signs sprouting up like weeds in the countryside – you wonder if the Real Estate market will recover at some time in the future.

What about jewelry and gems ?

Platinum, gold and silver prices seem to rise faster than temperatures on a July day. People say that gems and jewelry are investments – then, again, people once swore that real estate was a wise investment. Curious fellow that I am, I have been listening and trying to make sense of information that is being released on gemstones and jewelry.

Burmese rubies and jade seem to be extinct on the world market thanks to embargoes and bans. Gems like Tsavorite, Kunzite, Morganite, Alexandrite, and Tourmaline are being talked about as investments, which means I have to research these gemstones because I am from the 1950s and 1960s generations that thinks the word, gemstones, relates to Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Opals and Topaz.

At the Gem Fair in Ozark, I was surprised to see Kunzite and Labadorite – two minerals that I have been hearing a lot about lately. I saw some small Kunzite stones that could be used for pendants or rings.

One artistic vendor had a display tray of Labadorite that he had cut in many different shapes that could be used to wire wrap the stones to make pendants. One of his unique offering is what he smiled and referred to as, “Detroit Agate.” More commonly known as “Fordite.”

Fordite is a unique . . . stone. Apparently, layers of automobile paint from a body shop is allowed to runoff and collect in a designated area. Then, someone who knows how to work with the hardened paint material apparently cuts it into stone shapes. It does produce some beautiful designs that reminded me of picture jasper. I forgot to ask if there is a mineral known as “Chevyite.”

I enjoyed watching people shop at the various vendors. One serious woman shopper walked into the show with her softcover book on rocks and she would look at the specimens and refer to her book. It is interesting to watch boys and girls look at the minerals.

The youth study the minerals like a customer, who takes his or her time to closely examine gems in a jewelry store. The youth study the minerals and go back and forth looking at other minerals. More often, than not, a youth will return to the first mineral and either ask questions or buy the specimen that has caught his or her eye.

The intent that a boy or girl looks at the minerals is remarkable because they seem to block out everything around them as they study the specimen. I wondered how many of these young boys and girls would go on to become future geologists, miners, mining engineers, jewelers, or just continue through the years to enjoy their lifelong hobby of “ rock collecting” ?

The show was a wonderful way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. Several dads spent some of their Father’s Day by shopping with their sons and daughters who browsed intently at the various stones on display on the vendor’s tables.

My wife, Christy loves to look at the stones and minerals – and given enough time, Christy will be browsing through cabachons for natural stones to wire wrap for pendants and earrings.

Christy Warren picks through the cabachons of a Joplin, Missouri vendor at the Gem Fair on Sunday afternoon and by Monday morning she has completed a wire wrap of the free form stone to create a pendant. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Naturally, on Father’s Day, you think of your dad. Several times during the day, I thought about my dad.

Near the end of the show, a smiling young man picks out his specimens of Galena and thrusts a bill in my face. I smile and wrap the Galena for him. As the young man walked away smiling at his Galena specimen, I remembered my grandfather in east Texas.

Joseph Samuel Warren and Elizabeth Warren, of Simpsonville, in Upshur County, Texas, in 1960, made the trip to visit their grandson, Samuel E. Warren Jr., in Stone County, Missouri. When “Mr. Sam” and “Miss Ellie” returned to the flat lands of east Texas, he enjoyed telling neighbors about his trip – and with a smile, “Papa” Warren would add, “The whole time I was in Missouri visiting my grandson I never set foot on solid ground. I kept stepping on the stones of Stone County.”


Jewelry by Christy


Gold Price Org

Wikipedia – Gold

Austin Gold Prices


Run To Gold. Com

Wikipedia – Platinum


Wikipedia – Silver

Silver Price


Gemological Institute of America

Gems. Com

Wikipedia – Gemstone

Burmese Ruby Ban

Jade Ban

Blog – The Daily Jewel

Wikipedia = Tsavorite

Wikipedia – Spodumene – Kunzite

Wikipedia – Beryl – Morganite

Wikipedia – Chrysoberyl – Alexandrite

Wikipedia – Tourmaline

Jewelry by Christy – Hobby Evolves Into A Business

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Hobby Evolves Into A Business

Jewelry by Christy

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Diamond In The Rough - Literally - This glass model of a diamond purchased at The Crater Of Diamonds State Park Gift Shop in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is used against the backdrop of Cathedral Brazilian Amethyst to create "a diamond in the rough" effect for the photograph. Christy Warren uses natural stones to create pendants and earrings for sale on Jewelry by Christy in her Etsy shop to provide "Distinctive Jewelry @ Affordable Prices." Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

My wife, Christy Warren is one of those creative people in life who picks up a rock and turns it into a unique pendant. She learned how to wire wrap natural stones and then had me research how to set up a business on Etsy, thus, her shop, Jewelry by Christy was born.

The Boss - Christy Warren of Jewelry by Christy

Christy is one of those people, who demands quality. She is a Leo, so if the stone is for jewelry – that poor stone had better be beautiful before she begins to select cabachons to wire wrap in sterling silver or gold fill wire. When she shops for cabachons to wire wrap, Christy examines each stone as if she is searching for an overlooked crown jewel.

Mom And Pop Operation

  It would be nice to have one of those penthouse offices in a business skyscraper in a major metropolitan American city, but we are a “Mom and Pop operation” and her design and manufacture area is usually the kitchen table.

The Boss Is Out Of The Office Temporarily - When Christy's fingers get tired from wire wrapping stones she usually takes a break and watches Mike on Jewelry Extravaganza on the Gem Shopping Network. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

For people who like “official titles,” Christy is the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, designer and manufacturer of Jewelry by Christy. I, Samuel E. Warren Jr, am, the senior vice president of advertising and director of Jewelry by Christy information technology systems – I shoot the photos for her Etsy site and then upload them to the site.

Christy concentrates on turning natural stones into pendants and earrings and I concentrate on shooting the photos. I’m also director of shipping, so if you order a pendant or earring from Jewelry by Christy on Etsy, I will pack it and ship it to you.

Christy Warren Rock Hound On Call

Christy is a “rock hound” at heart. A few years ago, My cousin, Donna, invited Christy and I to go to Mount Ida, Arkansas to “dig quartz crystal.” Donna and Christy were like 1800s gold miners because they dug into the earth and they kept at it until they had the quartz that they wanted. Me, I dug up a couple of cool pieces and I was easily satisfied – I’m easy to please – usually. Nonetheless, Donna and Christy dug away at that poor Arkansas mountain like a couple of bulldozers. They did dig up some beautiful specimens of quartz crystal.

Christy’s rock garden came into being thanks to her over supply of quartz, which included pieces of milky quartz. The large pieces went into the house and the milky quartz found it’s way to her rock garden outside.

Missouri Geode Safari

Donna had been interested in going to northern Missouri to “dig for geodes.” Donna asked Christy and before I could say, “Stone County,” Christy had her canteen and five pound white rock bucket and was standing by the car door. The enthusiasm that Donna and Christy exert in digging for stones is like watching treasure hunters diligently bore into the earth in search of diamonds, rubies and sapphires. It is no cliché to say, “They leave no stone unturned.”

Naturally, the beautiful geode specimens went in the house; and the geodes that didn’t make the grade? You guessed it. The less impressive geodes ended up in her rock garden. Who says rocks don’t grow? Her rock garden seems to keep expanding.

Donna, Christy and I even crossed the border into Keokuk, Iowa and dug into a creek bed to find some baseball-sized geodes. We even went “digging for diamonds,” – that too is another “rock hound adventure,” but I’ll save that story for a future article.

Joplin, Missouri cabachons

If Christy can “dig” her own materials out of the earth; she will – without hesitation. But, if she has to shop for cabachons, then, the supplier has to be able to assure her that the cabachon is quality. Most of the cabachons that she currently has in her inventory came from a supplier in Joplin, Missouri.

Our Rock Book - We use National Audubon Society Field Gudie To Rocks And Minerals is used to identify stones that are not quickly recognized. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Thanks to Donna and Christy, I have earned a new appreciation for “rocks.” When I have specific questions about stones, I go to our big book : National Audubon Society Field Guide To Rocks And Minerals, which we purchased on a trip to Fantastic Caverns, near Springfield, Missouri.

 Checkout Jewelry by Christy for natural jewelry

Checkout the Jewelry by Christy shop on Etsy, if you are shopping for a natural stone to wear as a pendant or earrings then, please, make an Internet visit to us, to see Christy’s creations with your own two eyes.

Christy sometimes relaxes by making afghans. So, from time to time, you should find some of her afghans for sale in her Jewelry by Christy shop. If you have any questions about any of the items, please, do not hesitate to email her at:

Visit Jewelry by Christy by copying and pasting the address in your browser :


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