Great South Gems & Minerals

April 14, 2014

Rock Collecting in Georgia

Filed under: General Rock Collection — tdunevent @ 6:36 am

Great South Gems & Minerals will be holding an open-house on Saturday, April 26, 2013 and Ray Hill will be giving a demonstration and class on rock collecting in Georgia.  This event is open to the public and anyone interested in rock collecting, lapidary work, fossils, or other interest in the rock collecting field will have a great time at this open-house.

For many years Ray has traveled nearly all of Georgia and has become very knowledgeable rock collecting locations throughout the state.  Ray has collected agate, quartz crystals, jasper, kyanite, pyrophyllite, limonite, goethite, fossil crinoid stems, trilobites, brachiopods fossils, turritella fossils, large clam shell fossils, and others rocks, minerals, and fossils in Georgia, and has studied the geography of the state.

March 26, 2014


Filed under: General Rock Collection — tdunevent @ 8:21 am

Pronounced “nice”, this is an excellent specimen of the process referred to as Gneiss. Many years ago at one of our local rock club meetings we had a professor from the University of Georgia speak to us about “Gneiss” rocks. He explained that as “birds of a feather flock together”, the process Gneiss is one in of which like minerals go through a metamorphic process and come together in layers or bands. I thought that was a pretty good explanation.

Wikipedia states that Gneiss rocks are “common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks.” This process takes place deep within the earth where time, heat, and pressure causes minerals of a type to come together.

Gneiss is coarser than schist and has distinct banding. This banding has alternating layers that are composed of different minerals. The minerals that compose gneiss are the same as granite. Feldspar is the most important mineral that makes up gneiss along with mica and quartz. Granite is commonly used by man as paving and building stone. Ray and his grand-son Spencer collected this material recently.

Great South Gems and Minerals – Gneiss Granite

February 12, 2013

Rutilated Quartz Points

Filed under: General Rock Collection — tdunevent @ 7:36 pm

We just received a shipment of beautiful rutilated quartz crystal points from Brazil.. Each of the crystals have been cut with a flat base to where the crystal will stand up, all of them have been polished. Some of the best rutilated quartz crystals we have ever had. This batch of crystals are mostly clear to smoky with golden color radiating rutile fibers inside them. Rutile is a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide. Rutile has among the highest refractive indices of any known mineral and also exhibits high dispersion. Natural rutile may contain up to 10% iron. Rutile derives its name from the Latin word rutilus, red, in reference to the deep red color observed in some specimens when viewed by transmitted light.

Rutilated quartz is prized by rock collectors, the metaphysical crowd, and is used as gemstones. Cabochons cut for a good quality rutilated quartz sell for upwards of $20.00 per carat.

February 20, 2012

Rock Collecting at Preston, Georgia

Filed under: General Rock Collection — briangsb @ 1:44 pm

Spencer, my 8-year old grandson, Ramona Beshear, my scientist rock-buddy and I went down to between Preston and Buena Vista, Georgia yesterday on a rock collecting trip.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day.  The weather was perfect.  Ramona and I had been to this location a couple of time, back some years ago.  The collecting area is on a dirt road named Slaughter Road out in the country.  Spencer didn’t do a lot of collecting but had a ball going up and down the red clay banks, counting how many deer tracks he could find, throwing rocks and sticks and in general acting like an 8-year old boy.  He stated on the way back home “Pawpaw, that was the best trip ever!”

Ramona and I both have about as much of the material from this location as we need and mainly went there looking for fossil root casts and goethite pieces with sea-shell imprints in them.  These are not plentiful at this location but they are there.  I found one nice fist-size specimen of goethite that has shell imprints, called trace fossils.  The imprints this specimen are of a thumb-nail size seashell, an imprint of a gastropod type shell and an imprint of a cephalopod.  This was the prize of the day.

Ramona and I both found lots of fossil root cast that ranged from half inch to over one inch in diameter and from one-inch long to about three inches long.  These fossils are composed of a dark brown limonite, with sand grains bonded to the outer surface.  It’s my guess that the fossils found here are at least cretaceous age, or about 100myo.  The root cast were formed when a tree died and rotted away.  The roots in the sandy soil would have deteriorated away, leaving a mold-like cavity where the roots had been, and then the iron rich sediment would have seeped into the cavity, taking the shape of the cavity where the root had been and then hardening into the limonite stone.

The goethite found at this location is very plentiful.  It is scattered in the ditches, road-way and banks for a mile or two up and down the dirt road.  Seasoned rock collectors go to this locations and look for goethite specimens that have areas with mirror-like, glassy, surfaces, much like the botryoidal hematite specimens coming from Morocco.
The real glassy material is not plentiful but it is there.  Seems like every time it rains here, there is more of the material exposed along this road way.

Goethite, pronounced “ger-tite”, is a principal ore of iron, along with limonite, hematite, and magnetite.  It has the same chemical formula as limonite, which can be bright yellow.  Yellow limonite is called ochre, which has been used as a pigment for paint and cosmetics throughout history.

I know I got more enjoyment from this trip than did my two companions, although Ramona and Spencer also had a great time.  It’s a true pleasure to be with others on a collecting trip when they are thrilled to be there!

October 4, 2011


Filed under: General Rock Collection — briangsb @ 10:31 am

We just completed installing Google’s language conversion to our popular web site.  Now folks can surf our web site in their native tongue. The languages are:  Spanish, Italian, Korean, Japanese, German, Chinese (Traditional), Portuguese, and French.  This is going to make the Great South web site more accessible to folks that read and write these languages.  This should also increase out international orders.

Great South Gems & Minerals, Inc.


Filed under: General Rock Collection — briangsb @ 10:30 am

We just got a shipment of rough gemstones, all about 1-1/2″ to 2″.   A good mix for 12 different stones.  Tigereye, red jasper, picture jasper, rose quartz, amazonite, amethyst, apatite, desert jasper, Girisol opal, green opal, labradorite, petrified wood, septarian, and yellow jasper.  This material is great for rock tumbling and for lapidary work.  Will be a popular item as Christmas gifts.  Great South Gems & Minerals, Inc.


Filed under: General Rock Collection — briangsb @ 10:29 am

We’ve just ran an ad in “Rock & Gem Magazine” for a rock tumbling kit that includes Lortone Rock Tumbler, all four stages of tumbling and polishing grit, and two pounds of semi-precious gemstones.  This will be one of our Christmas Sale items.  Kids of all ages are going to love this item.   Great South Gems & Minerals, Inc.

July 15, 2011

Rock collecting sites and articles

Rock collecting sites and articles on the subject of rock collecting now available to rockhounds, free.  Great South Gems & Minerals has decided to share 32 or Ray’s articles on rock collecting sites and information for rock collectors on their web site… FREE.  These articles will also appear in Ray’s new book: "Rock Collecting Trails and Tales". 
Now you can access all of these articles at:    

Great South Gems & Minerals, Inc.

June 10, 2011

Take a child rock collecting

Filed under: General Rock Collection — Tags: , — josegsblog2250 @ 7:32 am

TAKE A CHILD ROCK COLLECTING:  Last weekend, my grandson, Spencer, who is seven years old, had a sleep over here with MeeMa and me.  He and I got up early Sunday morning, had our cereal, and then drove over to a small town near where we live, to a place where I knew we could collect some pink feldspar.  For nearly two hours we walked up and down a rail-road track bed, picking up pink feldspar that was mixed in with the granite gravel.  Spencer is a very bright boy that loves going out doing something like this, especially with him PawPaw.  We picked up a five-gallon bucket full of the pink feldspar.  We then put pennies on the train track and let a freight train run over them to flatten them out.  My grandson thought this was way cool.

Spencer also walked up one side of the train road bed for a way and back down the other side picking up rail road spikes that were laying in the gravel where they had come loose.  Spencer said, “Wow.  Wait ’til Dad sees what I found!”

After we left the train track area, we found a McD’s and had a sausage and biscuit and a cold drink.  When we got back to the house, Spencer said “PawPaw this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done!  You’re the best PawPaw in the world!”  And, I thought “Yes, this is so cool”, being able to share this with my grandson.  I know that in years to come my grandson will remember the day when he and his grandpaw went and picked up rocks on the train track, flattened out pennies with the train running over them, and, his picking up rail road spikes.  I know it will be a fond memory!

The moral is: Take time to spend with the kids.  Take a child out rock collecting.   They’ll remember it, and you, down the road.

Ray Hill, Great South Gems & Minerals, Inc., Ellenwood, GA

May 26, 2011

BLUE BARITE shipment just in

Filed under: General Rock Collection — Tags: , , — josegsblog2250 @ 6:32 am

BLUE BARITE shipment just in. A fellow rockhound in Oklahoma has found a location of some good looking blue barite crystals that he collects. We just received a couple of flats of this material. Nice color and crystal formations.

Blue Barite

See photos of these beauties at: M202_blue_barite_crystals.html

Great South Gems & Minerals, Inc.,
Ellenwood, GA

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