Not really a topic. Just saying hello to you all. I’m Greg. I’m retired. I love and work with any type of rock or mineral, making display items. I seriously began getting into rocks (though, like you, I’ve collected odd specimens all my life) with colored gemstones and have a very interesting collection. I’m getting a refractometer for Christmas as I have a big bag of unidentified stones that I’d like to change status of. I also cut and work with/finish jaspers & agates and sell rough material (there’s as many or more non-transparent rock specimens with colors/patterns that will blow your mind). Unfortunately, here in N.E. PA, alI have we have underfoot (and even more unfortunately it’s JUST underground) is a mountain of slate. Occasionally, and much more rarely I’ve found fossils in the shale… Anyway, I’m interested in any knowledge I can gain and in just talking about any type of stone. Nice to meet you all.
I am new to the forum as well. But like you, I’ve interested in rockhounding for a long time. I started cabbing some of my finds about 8 years ago and teaching myself faceting for about 9 months. The courses through IGS are a great way to learn more about gemology, especially identification and value of what you find. They are a good way to go from “this is a pretty green rock!” To “This is a North Carolina emerald!”
Have fun, and welcome