Retail Rocks

Film Boxes Offer New Possibiliites

Film Boxes Suspend Specimens for easier eye enjoyment

We have recently discovered film boxes and think they offer a great way to display many otherwise small specimens. the simple design allows the natural beauty of the rock to show and make show pieces of items that otherwise might be too small to command attention.

We have added the above half dozen to our inventory at Plantiques. We hope you will stop in a see what you think of this new presentation format.

Natural Stone Bracelets

Natural Stone Bracelets

Last year, Joan and I started to sell some jewelry at shows, particularly after I bought a display stand. While in Tucson I picked up a smaller two rod stand that will work much better in a limited space such as we are using at Plantiques during the lockdown and its aftermath, The bottom rod has 3 each of 5 different chip bracelets, amethyst, peridot, rose quartz, citrine and sodalite, all considered to be chakra colors. These are $6 each.

The top rod holds three different bracelets, a moonstone chakra, a tourmaline chakra and a mixed square stone style. The round stone varieties are $8 each, the square stone $12.

Moss Agate Free Forms

Montana Moss Agate is a second sister to her Lake Superior namesake and yet she has a beauty of her own. Recently I cut and polished a number of Montana Agates. They tend to have a lot of cracks which adds to the challenge of bringing out the beauty that is there, The above six pieces have been added to the counter at Plantiques. Modestly priced from $5 to $12 these should be snapped up…or at least I hope so.

Dendritic Sandstone

Dendritic Sandstone from Utah

“Dendrites are branched or tree-like inclusions, usually of manganese or iron oxides, that are caused by irreversible aggregation of small particles forming large clusters.

In other words, the metals in the dirt stain the rock. In this case Quartzite, in a random pattern (Chaos & fractal geometry) like water pressed between two panes of glass. This pattern is a stain that is formed when the seams are split open and the dendritic pattern becomes visible.

-from brochure by Zion Prospector Adventures LLC

I picked up a half dozen examples when I was in Tucson and expected them to be quick sellers on the rock show circuit. Sold one recently at Plantiques and this is the replacement one for that inventory. Only a few to be had so if you are in the area when Plantiques is open, stop on in.

Petosky Stone

Petosky stones are to Michiganers a little like Lake Superior Agates are to Minnesotans, a state favorite. Actually a coral from long ago these popular stones are found on the shores of Lake Michigan and polished to maximize their natual beauty.

We sold one of the three on-site at Plantiques and will be adding this particular stone today to maintain at least a little choice. I wish we had a lot more of these.

Opalite Skulls Capture Imagination

Spooky Opalite Skulls

These Opalite Skulls keep selling for us. The translucent opalite gives an otherworldly quality to these, ideal for haloween or day of the dead or just scary. Part of Joanies Rocks Carved Critters line up of interesting rock carvings.

These last two are being added to the Plantiques Stock as they have sold out their last one last week.

Joanies Rocks During Covid-19

The rock season didn’t get off to a rocky season it got off to no season, Despite a great March buying trip to Tucson, the rock world has died the covid19 death of non-assembly.

No shows, and little desire to do a lot of mixing. The solution for Joanies Rocks will be to eventually conduct appointment only sales from home, (meaning backyard and garage, Joanie insists not the house – and masks required) But not for a while yet.

The backyard is beginning to take shape but is a ways from completed and will probably be in perpetual evolution for some time. Earl is incorporating many of his rocks into his backyards landscape to show the possibilities and as a market place for better accent rocks strategically placed for show and sale. The early focus this year has been on the elevated garden beds, which are beginning to take shape. Now his attention is shifting to get the rockier aspects of business underway in the new normal.

The first step has been to get a representative sample of the inventory on display at Plantiques. The Plantique Garden Center at 5152 Hiwatha is perhaps the city of Minneapolis’s least easy to find nook in the wall locally owned gift and garden oasis. I challenge you to find a more out of the way shop, but the journey is well worth the effort.

A huge hole in the street immediately outside the storefront main entrance should not frighten you away. parking can be a bit awkward, but the streets are safe and the neighborhood friendly.

Hours can be irregular, but lately Samantha is there every Thurdsay, Friday and Saturday from 10 to 3.

Joanies rocks have on display some Labradorite, Malachite, Dendritic Sandstone, Face wands, lapis lazuli, a wide variety of hand-carved soapstone critters, including frogs, dogs, and skulls. An angel or two as well. Some Raw Amethyst from Canada, Geodes from Iowa, Rose Quartz from the Black Hills, and Petrified Wood from the Baisch Dinosaur Digs near Glendive Montant are also on display along with several trays of tumbled stones and crystals including pyrite cubes, orange selenite, bumblebee jasper, Petoskey Stones, carved hearts, Botswana Agates, Wordstones and more.

In the near future Joanies rocks will be adding some all natural stone bracelets to the display.

Eventually, we may open up the backyard adn garage for an open house or perhaps a spring and fall rock weekend. We are kind of hoping some of the shows return but also a bit aprenensive as to whether or not we want to be doing them.

pots, seeds, more..

Agate Days 2020 Cancelled

Received the official news today along with a refund check for our table fees from the Carlton Conty Gem & Mineral Club. This would have been our third time there which is also the 3rd anniversary of our first ever show. I suspect the entire year is over in terms of show, although I know a few will persist.

The good folks who put on this show annually must really be disappointed, it has become a statewide attraction and a lot of fun. As a small dealer, I will always appreciate the opportunity events like this offer me a chance to grow my little business and knowledge. A great learning as well as business event to which I look forward to next July 17 & 18, 2021

Until then, Joanies Rocks will pursue other ways of making our wares available and acquiring new inventory.

One such venue is Plantique Garden Center 5152 Hiwataha Ave, the hardest to find such store in Minneapolis. There Joanies Rocks has some nice selections that otherwise would have been on the show circuit.

Plantiques hours can be quirky, but they are usually open Thursday, Friday & Saturday’s from 10-3. A major public works project has completely blocked the street in front of the store but street parking is available on either side. Safe friendly neighborhood.

We will eventually take orders off the website, and anyone so inclined is invited to contact us by email.

Cinnabar Page Added to Joanies Rocks Website

Joanies Rocks added a new page to its “Retail Rocks” tab on its main website. /retail-rocks/cinnabar-a-mercury-ore-with-allure/

Cinnabar or HgS, Mercury Sulfide is the principal source of Mercury and has been widely used over the centuries. When crushed the fine powder was used to create vermillion pigment which was widely used in many different cultures. Its distinctive red color have attracted creative minds in many ways including its use in cosmetics and lipsticks, and rouges. However, such use has largely stopped due to recognition of the severe toxic nature of the Mercury which affects the nerves among other bodily tissues.

Most cinnabar is found in masses, and seldom as pure crystals.

Cinnabar Mass – Image found on Pinterest

Due to its toxic nature, it is seldom used in metaphysical healing practices except by experienced practitioners. Most people are warned away. However, when found in rare crystal format, it can be used carefully as the crystals are usually safely ensconced in a matrix rock which can be handled.

The most common way people hear of and see cinnabar is in the form known as China Red Lacquer. Even today you can find newer pieces from China that appear to be Cinnabar but are not true cinnabar. However, older items most definitely can and do contain mercury and exist in antique shops and museums around the world.

Folklore associates the stone with the production of wealth and has earned the nickname “the Merchants Stone.” Believers feel the stone helps draw prosperity to its owner and is also said to be a powerful tool to trigger mystic vision and help boost communication and brilliant thinking.

It is said to be useful in bringing all the chakras into line and can alleviate dread and bitterness.

Despite the toxic issue, it is a popular stone, especially if you can find crystals due to its color and perhaps even because of the implied danger.

The key thing to remember is to avoid handling the material with your bare skin, and especially avoid heating it, as heat can release mercury vapor. With proper precautions, it is a nice addition to any mineral collectors accumulations.

Earl’s father acquired a number of cinnabar crystals several decades ago from China. From that initial group, less than a dozen crystal items remain, although most have two or more crystals on each piece of matrix.

Cinnabar Crystal A
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal B
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal C
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal D
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal E
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal F
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal G
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal H
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal I
Cinnabar Crystal
Cinnabar Crystal J

Samples A-D are $100 each, and all of the rest are $80 each postpaid anywhere in the US. If interested, email enetwal@gmail.com and advise of your choice or choices. I will let you know if the item is still available and will suggest payment options. We tend to prefer Paypal as it offers both parties protection.