My personal favorite Gem companies are:
#1. Gaumers of Red Bluff I was told about from one of the men from the gem club. I wish I could “work” there! The store has a perfect layout.
#2. Pretty Rock is an online store from which I just ordered a Gem scale for only $20.00, it can weigh down to .o1g min. and 500g max. it hasn’t come in yet, but when it does, I can be really precise in my S.G. tests.
#3. Rock & Gem Magazine I borrowed a copy from the gem club & it is such a good one that I think I’ll subscribe! it cost about $20 per year $30 for two years, at one issue a month.
#4. Mineralab from which I (through amateur geologist) got my deluxe hardness kit. It has much professional high-tec equipment.
But I would never have found out about any of these were it for the Shasta Gem and Mineral Society*
*the Gem club
Both Diamond & Graphite (the “lead” in pencils) are made of pure Carbon. So why are they so different in both cleavage, hardness, and density? This can be explained by the Internal Atomic Structure. Minerals are made up of atoms (microscopic particles) bonded together in a regular geometrical pattern. In the photos, I used Zomes©(We got the Zomes© on Dad’s birthday years ago) for examples. Now, lets pretend the little white balls are carbon atoms, and the “sticks” are the bonds. Now photo #1 is diamond, each atom is very strongly bonded to four others (the high hardness), above and below forming a compact structure (the low cleavage and high density). Photo #2 is graphite, each atom is bonded to only three others,(the low hardness) making thin plates of hexagons. Each plate being very widely bonded together (low density), the plates easily slip over each other (high cleavage).
Landscape Jasper is just beautiful! it looks like one of those Chinese landscape paintings. It is a perfect stone for imagination, (I once cabbed some picture jasper & gave it to dad for Fathers Day; he says it looks like an old Japanese warrior, and I say it looks like a gnarled beast).
The first photo shows a slab I got at the last gem show I think shows Noah’s flood, the lower part already covered with water flowing out from the chasm on the left. In the background, a volcano is erupting (shown in detail in the second photo).
In the third photo second from top is some landscape jasper I cabbed from the slab above it, under it is two other small pieces of landscape jasper, and under that some trinidad jasper.
Jasper is a form of Chalcedony, Chalcedony includes Jasper, Agate, Carnelian, Onyx,, Sard, and Sardonyx (yes, a mix of Sard and Onyx) in turn, Chalcedony is a type of Quartz.
One more statement, I always relate picture jasper with Gaumers of Red Bluff.