I don’t know about the rest of the United States, but in the Southeast in the foot hills of the Appalachian mountains you can go gem grubbing. The basic idea is you pay someone at a gem grubbing established place a few dollars to look through a bucket of rocks, they have either taken out of the ground or out of a river and you find the sparkly pretty colored ones and you keep them. You throw the rest away.
Over a year ago, my husband and I were visiting the states and we went gem grubbing in Dahlonega, GA. My husband was over-zealous and purchased the thirty dollar bucket to grub through and so we grubbed. We found quite a few neat stones and minerals and for over a year they were just sitting around in one drawer or another, because I don’t have a rock tumbler to polish them up and couldn’t quite think of what to do with them.
Using the idea from my Wait that’s Glass! Don’t Throw it Away! post, I decided to display my grubbed gems.
I used a Classico pasta sauce jar I had cleaned up. I put my gems inside. Then I topped it with a canning lid. Then I got a thin piece of scrap fabric and prettied up the edges with an ancient pair of pinking shears I happened to have. I placed the fabric over the lid, then placed the band over that, and screwed the band on. I now have a way to display those grubbed gems I have been holding onto.
I really like natural elements when decorating and I am also thinking about doing this with sea shells and coral bits since I live practically on the sea-shore. I think the gems look really spectacular inside of the glass.