Quartz, Topaz, Emerald, and Fairy Crosses!!

Quartz, Topaz, Emerald, and Fairy Crosses!!

I went rock hunting with my brother and niece recently. We found lots of great rocks and I thought I’d share a few of them. First is a nice piece of quartz (I like to call them pencil quartz but this would be a BIG pencil!). The rusty color is internal to the rock, which is pretty cool! I think I’ll try to polish it a bit, but don’t really plan on changing it much. I like the way it looks!

Quartz

 

The second find of the day was a great piece of topaz. The topaz we find is usually clear or maybe has just a touch of blue in it. As you may have read in previous gemstone posts, topaz’s blue color can come from heat and exposure to radiation. North Georgia ‘s mountains have a lot of granite (which may contain trace radioactive elements). I think I’ll play around with a smaller piece of topaz and a butane torch to see if I can get color enhancement. If so, maybe I’ll try it on this piece. At 168.4 carats, I don’t want to damage it.

 

The last find I want to share is this great piece of moonstone (I think). I love the orange colors and I believe it will make a great cabochon. I’ll cut a slab or two off it and see if I can get it to shine. I’ll post pictures and let you know how it works out.

In addition to the ones I found, I ordered a bag of chiastolite fairy crosses and staurolite fairy crosses (these came from Fannin County Georgia). If you recall from The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian, the elf Findecano was trapped in a chiastolite fairy cross, so I had to get me at least one. And Aidan found a bunch of staurolite fairy crosses before Maggie found Findecano’s prison. Given how important fairy crosses are to the books, I just had to have some.

Quartz

The last picture I wanted to share with you is this emerald. I found this one a while back and want to take it to my friend for him to examine and cut for me. This one is about 16 carats, but it has a great green color and I hope he’ll be able to create a beautiful stone from it!

I’ll be heading out for another rock hunting excursion soon. If I find some noteworthy specimens, I’ll be sure to post pictures. In the meantime, check out the blog for other gemstone posts and subscribe so you don’t miss any updates. Connect with me on social media, too! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest! I look forward to meeting new friends!!

My Collection – Gemstones and More Gemstones!!

After digging through a box the other day, I decided I finally needed to organize my collection of rocks garnered from my many trips to the North Georgia Mountains. I was surprised and excited when I went through my plastic bags and grouped the stones together. I didn’t realize all the cool stones I had!

Let’s start with hematite. If you recall a previous post on hematite, this stone looks like a dark gray lump, but, once tumbled, turns into a beautiful silver color. The cool thing about hematite is that when rubbed against sandpaper, it leaves a red streak (hence the name hematite, which comes from the Greek root word for blood). Hematite is one of my favorite stones!

Hematite Collection

Hematite Collection

Quartz is a great stone, too! It comes in many colors and I haven’t found one I didn’t like. In my collection, I have clear, rose, lemon (yellow), smoky, and the cool pencil quartz. I had clear quartz cut into round brilliant cut stones and they are gorgeous!

Round-Brilliant-3-Carats-Web

Round Brilliant Cut 3 Carats

 

Faceted Gemstones Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

Round Brilliant Cut Quartz Pair

The stones below are quartz as I found them. I will start with the pencil quartz. It is a misleading name, as some of the crystals are much larger than a pencil!

Pencil-quartz-Jan-2016

Pencil Quartz Collection

I think some of these would look great just hanging from a chain, but a couple of them are too big for anything except maybe a paperweight! Below is a picture of one of the large crystals.

Large-Pencil-Quartz-Jan-2016

Large Pencil Quartz

 

Clear and lemon quartz are beautiful stones, too. I think I might send my gem cutter a couple of the lemon quartz to see what he can do with them. I expect they will be gorgeous! Here are some of each.

Clear-Quartz-Jan-2016

Clear Quartz Collection

 

Lemon Quartz Collection

Lemon Quartz Collection

Aventurine is another quartz stone and usually has bits of mica or other minerals that give it a shimmering appearance. Here is my collection of aventurine.

Aventurine Collection

Aventurine Collection

 

Amethysts and citrines are other forms of quartz. I have a nice collection of each and I have some large amethysts. Which are your favorites?

Amethyst Collection

Amethyst Collection

 

The two large amethysts are shown on the scale below. Using the conversion of 5 carats per gram, the first stone is 630 carats and the second is 575 carats!

Collection 630 Carat Amethyst

630 Carat Amethyst

 

Collection 575 Carat

575 Carat Amethyst

Both of these stones are too fractured to cut into gemstones, but I love the deep purple color of them.

The citrines are a golden version of amethyst. I like the lighter color ones, but the darker ones (second picture) are the ones I might send to the gem cutter to see if he can get anything out of them.

Citrine Collection

Citrine Collection

 

Collection Citrine Dark Tips

Citrine Dark Tips

I have a large number of emeralds, too. One of my all-time favorite stones, these are rough and ready to tumble. I might have a few that are suitable for gem cutting.

Emerald Collection

Emerald Collection

Collection Emeralds to Facet

Emeralds to Facet?

If you recall from The Gemstone Chronicles Book Two: The Amethyst, Laura used a moonstone to turn her friends and family invisible during a battle. Now, I haven’t tried invisibility with these moonstones, but I like them!

Moonstone Collection

Moonstone Collection

I find lots of garnets. The garnets are a deep red and its hard to show the color in a photo. I did manage to capture one, though. What do you think of them?

Garnet Collection

Garnet Collection

 

Collection Garnet Red

Garnet

Lastly, I wanted to share my collection of rubies and sapphires. Now, I don’t believe any of these are gem quality stones, but I like them anyway. I think when I start cabbing (making cabochons) in the near future, I will do a few of these just to see how they turn out. Stay tuned for them!

Rubies and Sapphires Collection

Rubies and Sapphires Collection

 

Collection Rubies and Sapphires 2

Rubies and Sapphires

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I have more, but these are the favorites of my collection. What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment, subscribe to the blog, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, or connect with me on social media. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, or Tumblr!

Gemstones Again!! Faceted Emerald, Quartz, and Citrine!

Gemstones again! I haven’t done a gemstone post in a while (partially because I haven’t been gemstone hunting due to other commitments – like marketing The Gemstone Chronicles), but I now have some very cool stones to showcase! Before I get to the final versions of the gemstones, though, I wanted to show you what the stones looked like when I found them.

The first stone is an emerald. I sent this one over to my gem cutter friend because it had a great green color when illuminated by a strong light. And, the natural shape was pretty cool!

Gemstones Again Emerald

I know the picture doesn’t show the green color. It was difficult to capture…

The second stone I want to show you is a quartz crystal. I found this one and it was extremely clear. Now, I believe the stone is beautiful in its natural state. What do you think?

 

Gemstones Again Quartz

The final stone is a citrine. For those not familiar with citrines, they are the same stone as an amethyst, but with different impurities to give them a yellowish-orange color.

How did the gemstones turn out? I think they are amazing! Here is the finished emerald. While not as green as Lana’s emerald from posts past, or what I envision the Emerald from the Elven Bow in Book Three: The Emerald, it is a great stone!

Gemstones Again Emerald-Cut-Emerald-6.5-Carats-Web

If you recall from my Rubies and Diamonds post, I asked my gem cutter friend Gene to facet two round brilliant cut quartz stones. They are 1.25 carats each. Here is a picture of them!

Gemstones Again Faceted Gemstones Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

 

To match these, I asked Gene to cut the quartz rough above in a brilliant cut, as well. I think he did a fantastic job! I can see this as a pendant or perhaps a really big ring!

Gemstones Again Round-Brilliant-3-Carats-Web

 

The last stone is the citrine. I have a bunch of citrines, but they are usually so fractured inside that they aren’t really suitable for faceting. The stone above seemed very clear and, as it turned out, it was!

Gemstones Again Citrine-Princess-Cut-1.7-Carats-Web

Apologizes again for the pictures as they really don’t show the beauty of the stones, but, as you can see, this Princess Cut weighed in at 1.7 carats and is a great yellow color!

I have to go through the stones I found this past weekend and see if I can find a few more to send to Gene! I also plan to start creating cabochons after the holidays, so stayed as I post progress on them!

What do you think of the finished stones? How do you think they should be mounted? Gold or Silver settings? Pendants or rings? Let me know how you would mount them?

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You can connect with me on social media, too, and let me know what your thoughts about the stones are. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, Tumblr, or just send me an email to bill@williamlstuart.com!

Happy Holidays!!

Oconee County Fall Festival – Book Signing Fun!!

The Gemstone Chronicles is headed to Watkinsville, GA on Oct. 17th for the Oconee County Fall Festival! I will be there (with the lovely and adorable Lana) signing books, meeting new friends, fans, and hopefully celebrating a UGA win over Missouri later that night. Below is a picture of an older UGA mascot, UGA VI!

Oconee County Fall Festival UGA

UGA VI

Where is Watkinsville, GA you might ask? It is about 10 miles south of Athens, GA (home of the UGA Bulldogs) and the county seat of Oconee County. This year’s Fall Festival is expected to draw a crowd of more than 20,000 visitors, with over 200 vendors in attendance (including me)! This makes it the largest arts and crafts event in the area!

I will be there with all 4 books in The Gemstone Chronicles series and will have some swag to go along with the books. As I usually do at signings, I will you give a gemstone when you buy a book. So, if you buy the IndieBRAG Medallion honored book,  The Carnelian, I will give you a tumbled carnelian.

 

Oconee County THE-GEMSTONE-CHRONICLES-BRAG-for-Web

Here is an example of the carnelians I will be handing out with each book sold.

Carnelians-for-Oconee County -Web

 

The Amethyst will get you a tumbled amethyst.

 

Oconee County The Gemstone Chronicles The Amethyst Cover

Here are the amethysts I plan on handing out with each purchase.

 

Amethysts for Oconee County

The rubies and emeralds are in the tumbler. They won’t be smooth and shiny like the stones above. In fact, they will be in their natural rough stage. I put them in the tumbler to clean them up a little bit. After that, hey will be recognizable for what they are.

Plan on coming over to Watkinsville, GA for the Oconee County Fall Festival and enjoy the food, arts and crafts, and pick up your copies of The Gemstone Chronicles. Then, go cheer on the Dawgs as they play the Missouri Tigers between the hedges! I promise to try to send some pictures out via Instagram (which is new to me)!

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See you on October 17th!

 

Promos, Book Sales, and an Audiobook!!

I have been posting information about my promos and marketing efforts and promised I would provide some updates on results. I mentioned in an earlier post about two opportunities that I decided to try. Here are the results!

Promos Carnelian Cover

ebookdiscovery: I submitted my first book to ebookdiscovery.com and it was featured in their Read & Review Club ezine on July 14th. They limited the downloads to 50. The goal of this promotion was to get the book into readers’ hands and generate some reviews. I have received a few new reviews (now up to 25 for The Carnelian with a 4.3 average Star rating on Amazon), and I am waiting on the stats to see how many copies were downloaded and perhaps where the reviews were posted.

My second promotional effort was at ereadernewstdoday.com. I ran a special price of $0.99 for the first two weeks of August to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of The Carnelian and ran a promo at ENT for August 7th. The results were quite nice! For the month of August on Amazon, I sold a total of 84 books, which is about 4 times my normal sales. Most of them were The Carnelian during the special price, but I sold the others at full price. A very big thank you to all you readers out there who bought the books!! Below is the breakdown of my August Amazon sales:

  •  The Carnelian – 67 downloads
  • The Amethyst – 7 downloads
  • The Emerald –  6 downloads
  • The Ruby – 4 downloads

The buzz generated in August has carried over into September, too! As of September 4, I have sold additional copies of both The Amethyst and The Emerald.

ENT was a great promo for me, and I will use them again in the future!

Another opportunity for me will be Book Barbarian. This service focuses on fantasy and science fiction books, and my promo will run on September 10, 2015. The Carnelian will be on sale for that one day for $1.49 (half price), so we will see how well it does! I will provide an update after the promotion runs.

And some exciting news to share, too! I decided to explore audiobooks (as I mentioned in my post about what I have gleaned from the Atlanta Writers Club) and have found a producer for The Carnelian! I will have the first 15 minute segment by September 7th and should have the entire book by mid-October. Stay tuned for more updates!

Finally, if you recall from my shameless self promotion post, I have evidence that at least 2 people saw the magnet sign on the back of my truck and bought books because of it! I thought that was very cool!!

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Gemstone Hunting Secrets – The Process Revealed!!

Gemstone hunting! One of my absolute favorite pastimes and one that led to the writing of The Gemstone Chronicles. I have talked about it in previous posts and even posted some pictures from the trips. Today, though, I want to walk you through the steps I go through when I pursue this hobby of mine! Yes, my gemstone hunting secrets revealed!

All of the pictures were taken by me on Sunday, March 15 at my favorite spot, Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ in Cleveland, GA. If you have read any of my previous posts on this topic, you already know some of this, but let me summarize for new readers. Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ is part of a commercial gold mine in the North Georgia Mountains. The property was part of the Loud Mine and continues to produce gold today.

For gold prospectors and gem enthusiasts, it is a great place to go for a fun (and sometimes profitable) visit. The site offers buckets and a covered sluice for sifting through the dirt to uncover treasures. They also offer mining at the creek – which is my favorite part. Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ puts dirt dug from the mine pit next to the creek that runs through the property. Diggers can then fill buckets with dirt from the pile, take it to the creek, and sift through it. Whatever you find, you get to take home!

When we arrived (we being my brother John, his daughter Simone, and me) on Sunday morning, we had a fresh pile of dirt to dig through. However, it was wet and heavy dirt from recent rains, and it made for some heavy buckets!

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Dirt Pile

Our process is to fill 5 gallon buckets with dirt from the pile and lug the buckets down to the creek. Trust me when I say that after 4 hours of toting buckets of dirt, you will be pretty tired! Here are my 4 buckets ready to be screened.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Buckets of Dirt

I like to stack my screening boxes on top of one of the buckets and fill from another bucket. Why? Because I can let the dirt sift through the screens and sift out larger rocks. This way, by the time I get to the last bucket, I have some sifted dirt I can put into my sluice box. More on that in a minute. First, I wanted to show how the boxes look when full of dirt and placed in the creek to begin the washing process.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Screening boxes

I try to let the creek do most of the work in the process. I tilt the boxes up on each other to get good water flow through the dirt. Most of the dirt simply washes away and leaves a box full of rocks. In the box below, I found a pretty sizable ruby. It’s always a bonus to find something so easily!

 

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Screen Box with Ruby Outlined

As I mentioned above, I like to work through all the buckets and then dump the sifted dirt into my sluice box. It isn’t necessary to sift it first, but with the sluice box, it makes it easier to run dirt through. Below is a picture of the sluice box in the creek. If there is any gold in the dirt, it will either catch on the black mat or get caught in the green carpet.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Sluice Box

Once the dirt is run through the sluice, I rinse the carpet off in a bucket and then dump the contents of the bucket into my gold pan. I didn’t find any gold on this day, but I have found a few flakes before. It’s a bonus when you find the gold!

So, what did I find during my first gemstone hunting trip of the year? I found a few nice rocks, but the take wasn’t as good as some trips. Nevertheless, any day of gemstone hunting is a great day! Here are the results. The first picture is some of the gemstones I found.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets March 15 gemstones

From the upper left moving clockwise, we have rubies, garnets, quartz, citrine, and aventurine. Remember the ruby in the picture above, well, here is another view. The scale is set for grams, so doing the conversion, the stone is about 35 carats. Unfortunately, I don’t think this one would be a candidate for faceting, so it isn’t worth much. I still like it, though.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Big Ruby

There you have the process we use to hunt for gemstones. I did find a smaller ruby (about 20 carats) that I plan on sending to my gem cutter to see if it is a good stone. When a stone is cut, you lose about 75% in the cutting process, but, if the stone is a good one, I could end up with a 5 carat ruby. Not bad for $15 visit!

What do you think about our process? It really isn’t secret, but it is tons of fun! Any suggestions on making it more efficient? If you hunt gemstones, what do you do and where do you go? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.  can also be reached by email at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to meeting you!

 

Faceted Gemstones – Newest Additions!!

Regular readers of my blog (or my books) know that I’m a big fan of gemstones. I love faceted gemstones, cabochons, and tumbled stones. My books, The Gemstone Chronicles series, use the magical and mystical properties of gemstones as the basis of the magic the characters discover. I frequently go gemstone hunting at my favorite spot in the North Georgia Mountains, Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’, in Cleveland, GA. My two rock tumblers run almost all of the time, smoothing out the rough edges and polishing the stones I’ve found to a brilliant luster. Occasionally, though, I find a special stone that can be cut and faceted. Shown below is the first stone I ever had cut (an emerald)!

 

Faceted Gemstones Lana's emerald

Lana’s emerald

 

A 2.25 carat stone, it appraised nicely, and is still loose. Lana hasn’t decided on a setting yet. The stone is gorgeous, and since it was my first find, it is extra special!

My brother John found the peridot shown in the photo below. I had it cut for Lana. It weighed in at about 2.5 carats and I had it set in a sterling silver ring for her birthday. Beautiful!!

 

Faceted Gemstones

Lana’s peridot ring

 

Now, I have two new additions to the faceted gemstones family! I was hunting and found this rough ruby and sent it over to my faceting friend and he worked his magic. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the rough.

After cutting and polishing, here is the final faceted stone. Not huge by any means, but still weighing in at 1.3 carats, it is a great little stone!

 

Faceted Gemstones Ruby

Faceted Ruby

 

Note the description in the picture says sapphire, which is true. Recall that red sapphires are rubies! Gene cut the stone in a Cushion Cut, and it turned out beautifully!

I also sent over a piece of clear quartz that was stunning as a rough piece. Gene cut me two round brilliant cut stones about 1.25 carats each. I wanted to see how the quartz would turn out in a traditional diamond cut. I think they turned out great! What do you think?

 

Faceted Gemstones Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

 

What do you think about my faceted gemstones! I have some garnets that might facet well, but I have to get them cleaned up and see what they look like. A nice sapphire (blue not red) or a piece of aquamarine to have cut might be nice, but no such luck yet. I guess I just have to keep on looking!

Which of my faceted gemstones is your favorite? What setting would you use for the emerald or the ruby? Do you think the quartz brilliant cuts look like diamonds? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Calhoun Mine – One of Georgia’s Richest Gold Mines

In a couple of earlier posts, I mentioned the Georgia Gold Rush and named a few of the better known gold mines. Three of the more well-known gold mines were the Loud Mine, the Consolidated Mine, and the Calhoun Mine. Today’s post will be more about the Calhoun Mine.

According to Wikipedia, the land the Calhoun Mine is located on 239 acres originally owned by Robert Ober. After a couple of intermediary sales, John C. Calhoun, South Carolina senator and the 7th Vice President of the United States, purchased the land. Below is John C.’s picture and he is an intense looking kind of guy!

Calhoun Mine John C Calhoun

Calhoun purchased the land for $6000 dollars (approximately $167,000 in today’s dollars).  He began working the mine and it yielded much gold. Calhoun sent his son-in-law, Thomas Clemson, to run the mine. The deposit was rich and, according to an 1856 letter from Thomas Clemson to his brother-in-law, was still yielding significant quantities 30 year after the initial discovery.  Part of the money used to found Clemson University came from the Calhoun Mine and specimens from the mine are on display in the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta.

Calhoun Mine Thomas Clemson

Thomas Clemson

The Calhoun Mine passed from the Calhoun family in 1879 and, in 1939, a vein was found by Graham Dugas – one of the more colorful characters in Dahlonega’s Gold Rush history. The vein played out and the Calhoun Mine ceased operations. It is now privately owned and listed on the National Register of Historical Places and became a National Historic Landmark in 1973.

Calhoun Mine Historical Marker

Calhoun Gold Mine Historical Marker

I plan on taking a drive up to the area of the Calhoun Mine very soon and taking some pictures. If I can find out who owns the land now, I’ll see if they will let me go on the property and take a look around! It would be awesome to see where the gold came out of the ground!

In my books, The Gemstone Chronicles, Beebop owned land in the North Georgia Mountains. His land included an old mine and he prospected more for gemstones than gold, but who knows, maybe Beebop was on to something. Maybe there still is gold in those hills!! John C Calhoun certainly found some at the Calhoun Mine!

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Are there any gold mines where you live? If so, let me know about them! As always, feedback and shares are welcome. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +! I enjoy meeting new friends!

Rubies and Diamonds (OK, the diamonds are quartz)!!

Everyone who reads this blog or who has read The Gemstone Chronicles knows that I, like the character of Beebop from the books, love to hunt gemstones. Rubies and diamonds and sapphires, oh my! I try to go about once per month and see what I can find. A few weeks ago, I went and had a great day finding rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and a great piece of clear quartz. I went with my brother John, and we made a significant dent in the dirt pile! Here is what it looked like when we arrived.

Dirt Pile Before Rubies and Diamonds

And this is what it looked like when we left. Like I said, a significant dent.

Robies and Diamonds After Dirt Pile

But, I don’t want to talk about the dirt pile or what we found overall. What I wanted to show you today is what I did with some of the stones I found. Below are a couple of pictures of ruby rough that I sent to my gem cutting friend (whom John and I refer to as “He Who Cuts Stones”).

bis and Diamonds small Ruby RoughThis is the small piece of ruby rough that I sent. I didn’t weigh it before I sent it for cutting, but He Who Cuts Stones was able to make a nice little faceted ruby (picture to come later).

This is the second piece I sent to be evaluated for faceting. I didn’t think it would yield anything that was gem quality, and I was right. I think it might make a great cabochon, though!

Rubies and Diamonds Ruby Rough

As promised, here is the picture of the faceted stone made from the small ruby rough. I think it is a beautiful little ruby!

Rubies and Diamonds Ruby facetNote that the description in the picture says this is a sapphire. Rubies and sapphires are both corundum. The red variety of corundum is the ruby. All other colors are sapphires. The cut is similar to an emerald cut, and I think this stone is gorgeous and, at 1.3 carats, is a very nice stone. Not as big as the Ruby from Book Four:The Ruby, but still beautiful!

I also sent an extremely clear piece of quartz that I found to Gene. I asked him to cut a couple of brilliant cut pieces between one and one and a half carats, but I wasn’t sure what how they would turn out. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised! This is the piece of quartz after the pieces were cut.

Rubies and Diamonds Quartz roughI know it isn’t the best picture. The stone was about twice that large before it was cut. There is still a good-sized piece of quartz, and I could probably get a few more cut pieces from it. What I did get, though, was beautiful!

Rubies and Diamonds Quartz FacetedThe picture doesn’t do the stones justice, but I think they will make a great pair of earrings for the lovely and adorable Lana! They are round brilliant cuts and, as the picture shows, 1.25 carats each. They look like diamonds!

It is results like this that make gemstone hunting worthwhile for me. I want to learn how to cut the facets, but that is a topic for another post.

What is your favorite hobby? What do y’all think about the stones? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Pirate Treasure!!!! (and a visit to Saint Augustine)

Avast ye maties! There be pirate treasure in Saint Augustine, Florida!! And here is a picture of a real Jolly Roger!!

Real Pirate Flag Pirate Treasure!!

 

I’m talking about the Pirate Museum in Saint Augustine, Florida and I took a few days off, loaded up the lovely and adorable Nana and the grandchildren (the real Aidan and Maggie who were the inspiration for their namesakes in The Gemstone Chronicles), and visited the oldest continually occupied city in the United States. We saw the Fountain of Youth (and took a really big drink), the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, and many other sites (posts on those sites to follow later).

What did we find at the Pirate Museum? The flag picture above for one thing. It’s one of only three real Jolly Rogers in existence. We also found out about many different pirates like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Calico Jack Rackham (and his two female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read), and Black Bart Roberts.

Many of the pirates had a code of conduct that forbade gambling, fighting aboard ship (with others of the crew), women aboard ship, requiring each sailor to ensure his cutlass, piece, and pistols cleaned and ready to use at any time, and other rules. Some of the penalties for violation of the rules were death or marooning. Pirates were a tough bunch!

But, we went to see pirate treasure and we found treasure aplenty! Take a look at some of what we saw!!

Pirate Treasure - Plates

These are dishes from around 1692. They are in amazing shape!

Boarding Axe Pirate Treasure

The above picture is a boarding axe! Can you imagine a screaming pirate clambering over the gunwales of your ship wielding one of these??

Pistols Pirate Treasure

Elegant but deadly, these pistols would have been kept cleaned and ready to use.

One of the coolest displays are some of the treasures from the Atocha, a Spanish ship that sank off the Florida coast in 1622. Imagine finding a silver bar like this one!

Atocha Silver Bar Pirate Treasure

There were about 1000 of these bars listed on the manifest of the Atocha. They were part of the treasure valued at $450 million!

 

Atocha Treasures Pirate Treasure

Here is a tiny fraction of some of the artifacts that were found from the Atocha. Although it is hard to see in the picture, there is a silver mermaid in the lower left hand corner. It is a beautiful piece of work!

Gold ingot Pirate Treasure

Yes, that is a gold bar from the Atocha! There were 125 of these bars on the ship. What a tremendous feeling it must have been to uncover these!!

Now, to be fair, the pirates didn’t attack Atocha. She wrecked during a storm near Key West. It’s still a very cool addition to the Pirate Museum! If you want to know more about the Atocha and the tragic story behind the search, visit Mel Fisher’s website!

This was my first visit to Saint Augustine and I was very impressed with the history of the area. If you want to visit history, great beaches (remember to read The Gemstone Chronicles while you are soaking up the sun), and maybe find a pirate treasure, try the Saint Augustine area!!

If you’ve visited Saint Augustine, let me a comment and let me know how you liked it. Let us know what your favorite attraction was and what you wished you had seen. And, if you happen to be reading The Gemstone Chronicles, send me a picture of you reading it!!

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