The bumper sticker quote: "Never judge a book by it's cover," is an actual real-life situation, one which we here at the shop find ourselves burdened with much too often.
As you can imagine, a small business that almost exclusively sells rocks and crystals will attract all kinds of zany characters; especially up here in NorCal. In an area somewhat known for its surrounding geology and unique crystal finds, it can feel like everyone and their mother has something to try to sell to you. Everyday it seems a new flock of unique people come through our doors, and every day these people pull the same passive aggressive bullshit. I am talking about local rock hounds of course, and their hopeless and eternal quest to sell every fucking lame ass piece of sand they find in their parents backyard.
Now, a lot of people don't know this, but Geology Rocks! has been open for about three years now! (crazy right?) And in that time we have developed certain protocols and procedures for those who decide they want to lessen the load that is their terrible rock collection. For a while, our procedure was to just identify and buy or sell at leisure, or just in the moment people bring stuff in. Consequently, more and more people started to show up. And because of the sheer amount of D.I.Y. crystal collectors, we elected that the best way to go about mineral identification and private purchases was to set up these meetings strictly by appointment only.
But because I'm not like a total dick, if people bring in like one or two items, I'll identify them!
So I'm straight chillin at the shop one day right? Kinda just going about my normal business stuff when this couple pulls up and walks in.
I don't really know how to explain it, but you can always kinda tell when someone is going to try to sell you something. I could see it almost as soon as they got out of their car! It feels like they're acting towards you, or trying to get on your good side as a means of helping their case. Likely these people have rehearsed and gone over what they want to say hundreds of times in their heads, and there's a slight nervousness in the air as they anticipate their plan of action going awry.
These were a few of those people.
They looked around a bit, I mean I guess. Everybody takes a short, seemingly obligatory gander at the shelves. Just as brief as anyone who came here strictly for business does, and finally opens with: "Is your boss around?"
At first I found it kind of rude that he didn't come strictly for MY company and riveting conversation. Alas, I remembered this is still a business, so I buried my feelings deep down and continued on with my normal spheal. The conversation then went on as I had expected. I thoroughly explained to him that this business is primarily hands-off, in terms of the owner and his day to day influence. And that if he wanted to set up an appointment (see above) that I could explain to him the process. And then, as if God were toying with me and sending me to the same hell-forsaken punishment that is dealing with the general public, he then goes on to say: " Well, I got myself right here one of those famous California diamonds, can I just show it to you now?"
In my mind I was like: good GOD dude. I juST TOLD YOU WE DONT DO THAT
What I said out loud in my super convincing retail voice was something like: That's amazing, I've never seen one! Do you have it??
And so.. he proceeds.. to pull out....
A motherfucking regular ass piece of Agate.
The cliches continue on after that. He asks if I am completely sure, If there's any tests I could do, If we had a diamond tester or a radiation gun.
(btw who tf would have a radiation gun?)
So I finally cave and run a few tests for him. Usually I don't but if we're being honest it wasn't all that busy, and I was bored. I showed him the Botroidyal structure on the outside of the stone, and explained to him how crystal structures can help with crystal identification. I then did a scratch test and a few other things. At the end of it all the final conclusion we came to was that he did not have a diamond, and that I definitely knew what I was doing.
I guess, after the whole ordeal, I had established some kind of trusting relationship with the owner of this lame crystal. Although he was noticeably disappointed, there was a slight sparkle in his eye when he looked at me and said that there was something really REALLY cool he wanted to show me. I was skeptical at first, but still bored. So I told him to bring that sucker in...
Wrapped in cloth
Looking like a little baby jesus
amazing specimen I have ever seen!
It was an Opal, but not like, a regular Opal.. ohhh no.. this thing was the size of my arm!
A beautiful display of vibrant dancing colors laid out in front of me, with wood grain like a dad's car from the 70's.
I spent probably half an hour just staring at this hunk of beauty this stranger had just brought in randomly. This thing was easily the best Opal specimen I had seen in my life.
I gave the guy one piece of advice, Don't sell it, don't give it away, and keep it forever. Not only will he likely never come into contact with another specimen that amazing, I honestly don't think that I will either. One of my personal greatest regrets was never getting a picture (or a price) of the specimen itself. I was too mesmerized by what I was holding.
But I do have to say, I didn't leave that conversation completely full of regret. I maintain the hope that they will one day come back with the fantastic Opal, and maybe give it to me. (not likely) The one thing that I took away from the whole experience was to: