I first met the owner of the mine and lapidary at the 2017 Tucson Gem Show. Most of his stones were rough, rather than polished, but what caught my eye was his beautifully polished Selenite which came in a variety of shapes and colors. I asked him to tell me about his business and he proudly told me that he had built the business up from nothing 20 years ago and his sons will inherit it when he is ready to retire. We talked together about the importance of buying directly from the miners rather than middlemen, whenever possible.
In 2022, he greeted me as “sister!” and when I asked him about a certain mineral, he only had larger pieces available. When I said I needed smaller sizes, he told me it would be no problem and grabbed a hammer. A few minutes later, I had the sizes I needed.