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Rock solid gem of a club

PIPPA O'ROURKE
Last updated 11:14 20/05/2011
Gems
Ben Watson/North Shore Times

SEEING IS BELIEVING: Harold Buckton with a lamp he made at the North Shore Gem and Mineral Club using 144 different pieces of semi-precious gem stones.

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There is something special about cutting a rock open for the first time.

You don't know what's going to be inside, North Shore Gem and Mineral Club vice-president Harold Buckton says.

Mr Buckton has been a member of the club, which started in 1965, for more than 40 years.

It has 140 members and holds a workshop in Glenfield once a week where people can learn to cut and polish raw stones and gems they have discovered.

The club also offers jade and bone carving classes and organises regular trips, Mr Buckton says.

"It's a great family hobby, mums and dads can take the kids out to the bush and beaches looking for stones," he says.

New Zealand has the best carnelian in the world. The brownish-red mineral has been carved by the Chinese for thousands of years, Mr Buckton says.

He says jasper and petrified wood can be found on the Shore in Castor Bay and Northcote.

Tomorrow and Sunday the North Shore club is hosting a Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show.

They are encouraging people to bring along their rocks, gems and fossils to be identified and watch faceting demonstrations.

The show is on from 9am to 4pm at the Milford Senior Citizens Hall, 141 Kitchener Rd.

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- North Shore Times

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