Don't Lose Your Marvels - Callie Endicott

I once saw this on a sign:  “You only get old when you’ve lost your marvels.”  By that reckoning, I’ve known people who were old at 17 and young kids in their 90s.  By the way, I want to stay in the second crowd.  My problem tends to be a whole lot of marvels. 
From my tumbler.
This is the first tumble.
It takes 3 more weeks
with progressively finer grit to be shiny
Ocean Jasper, Fluorite, Smoky & Rose Quartz

Non-gem-quality emeralds & rubies
Sapphires in other colors
I love rocks and have far too many hanging around the house.  I've even got a rock  tumbler.  It’s incredible how many different kinds of rocks and gems there are.  Luckily, I’ve never considered rubies and emeralds to be necessary, so that leaves me free to love all sorts of less expensive and still gorgeous stones.  Did I say no rubies or emeralds?  Let’s say I don’t need to have gem quality stones to be happy.  I’ve found some non-gem quality stones that suit me well. 

I also have a collection of sapphires in their less popular hues.  Did you know that sapphires come in every shade of the rainbow except ruby-colored?  And the reason there aren’t any ruby-colored sapphires is because if a sapphire is found in that color, it’s called a…ruby.  That info became part of my marvels; it's the same stone, different names.  Most rubies fluoresce, but so do lab-created ones and some rhinestones.  (I had brief images of amazing riches after I got some jewelry findings home from a yard sale and found two loose rhinestones that flashed gorgeous color under a black light, but I’m also realistic--they were rhinestones).


Most of these are cabs, though I'm not planning on making them into jewelry

Another marvel I discovered in recent years is marbles.  

The color came out different
with this photo
I went to a marble show out of casual interest and was stunned.  I used to think a fancy marble was a cat’s eye versus a plain glass one.  Then some enterprising toy companies started making a few other varieties.  Those are beautiful, but still factory produced.   At a special shop, I also learned that some people buy slag glass (factory leftovers) to make marbles.  That sounded nice, but time-consuming for what is basically still mostly plain glass. 

A marble with a lab-created opal
floating in it

This marble had some 
fluorescing material added to the glass.
I put a black light on it for the photo

Now I’ve learned that sophisticated marble-makers generally use a special glass similar to the kind used in baking dishes.  There are swirls and sparkles and amazing designs.  

These look far more "ethereal" in person

You can look into some marbles and would be convinced they are two or three times as deep as they possibly can be--there’s nothing like optical illusion to bend your brain.  On the other hand, maybe they are that deep and the interior actually is bigger than the exterior.  That’s true of most people, isn’t it?
Couldn't capture the depth, but this one
looks far bigger on the inside than outside

Same marble as above
but without the black light

Rocks and marbles are only two of my marvels.  What kind of marvels do you have?  I’m always looking for a few extras!

Mostly standard marbles
 The one on the top right
came from a building that burned
in Paradise, California

Harlequin (Paperback):
Harlequin (eBook):
Amazon (Kindle):

Amazon (Paperback):

In Finally A Family, Logan
gets interested in
on rocks
Can't remember what this one is called
But it was so attractive, I had to share it


  1. I love the sapphires! Actually, I love all the pictures. Will all rocks shine if they are tumbled enough?

    1. They're supposed to, but sometimes you find a rock that just won't take a shine - or that's what the experts at the rock shop tell me. I've been concentrating on doing the first tumble and will go on to the next before long (I've picked up a lot of rocks!)

    2. I should amend my answer above. I don't think ALL rocks will, especially not without special equipment. I had a piece of lepidolite, which is softer and has difficult qualities for polishing. I had it done by an expert and it came out with a satin finish. Rocks have to be hard enough and have certain other qualities--I'm going on what I remember from the experts. My favorites are agate and jasper for the tumbler. I've also put in obsidian and other glass (softer than jasper and agate). You have to put rocks of similar hardness into a tumbler or the softer ones get beaten up. I've probably lost a few (opalized rocks, for example) by misjudging them.

    3. Thank you. That is interesting stuff--and I've always just thought of rocks :-) Now I want to learn more.

    4. Me too, until six or seven years ago. Someone I knew at a jewelry store would see me come in and say, I've got a new rock for you to see, then he'd show me a shipment of pendants...peanut wood (petrified wood), larimar, rhodonite, chrysoprase, prehenite (a favorite of mine), kyanite, non-gem quality tanzanite, pietersite, etc., etc. I got more and more curious and found another marvel to enjoy.

  2. Such beautiful ‘marvels’, Callie, and I love that expression. Do you think you’ll ever make some of those stones into jewellery?

    1. I keep thinking about learning wire-wrapping. I've seen some pieces that are "marvel"ous. In college I had the opportunity to take a class on sterling silver casting, but decided not to do it because I couldn't afford the cost of the silver. I still regret it. But wire-wrapping would be a nice alternative. The cabs from the picture are in the little collection I keep just to look at the polished rocks. You can buy pre-formed settings for cabs, but I haven't done that yet either. I have a lot of marvels along with writing to keep me busy!

  3. I love your marvels and have them all over my house, too, but I've never cut and polished stones myself. I admire you for that! Is that large stone with the points half citrine and half celestine? Very intriguing. Thanks for this post.

    1. I'd love to learn how to cut and polish the stones, too. Tumbling is as far as I've gotten so far. The equipment is pretty expensive for the rest, but I keep thinking about it.
      I bought the rock with all the crystals at a rock show and they gave it a special name when it forms together like that. I need to check with the sellers--my memory is that it's calcite and aragonite. But the blue does look like celestine as well. So I have a good excuse to visit the local rock shop...again.

  4. I love your marvels. I keep looking at one and thinking it's my favorite, and then I see another and it's even more beautiful. The marbles do look bigger on the inside, and I can see why people gazed at a crystal ball. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I didn't get some of the most expensive ones marbles at the two shows I've now visited, but I couldn't believe the depth they had. There's a shop I sometimes visit (now that I'm into marveling at marbles) and have to practice resistance. At the end of the day, I sometimes just go over to my curio and look for a while. It's good to go to bed marveling.

  5. These are beautiful. I would want to display all of them on window sills to catch the sunlight.

    1. Sadly, I don't have any good windows for that. I have some in a lighted curio and that helps.


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