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Trina's Rock Shop Combines Rockhounding and Lapidary Arts

By S. Mathur

With over 60 rock hunting sites within a fifty-mile radius, the area around Deming NM is known as a Rockhounder's Paradise. But first, what exactly is a rockhound? The Meriam-Webster dictionary gives us the following: 1. specialist in geology and 2. an amateur rock and mineral collector. Trina & Jeff Cornell, Owners of Trina's Rock Shop, combined their love of rocks and the lapidary arts to create a unique store for rock hounds.

They recall that "Trina's Rock Shop was started because of our love of the lapidary arts. We wanted to have a place people felt comfortable and welcome to share their rock hounding and lapidary arts experiences, as well as look at all the items we have to offer." The full service rock shop also specializes in jewelry making and teaching, with classes in Lapidary, Wire-wrapping, and Chain Maille Jewelry.

It can be difficult for beginner rock hounds to identify their finds and to learn how to best preserve and display them. The Cornells have been through that stage: "Being rock hounds ourselves and going to various rock shops over the years, we found that we would get home and although we knew where we had made our purchases, we wouldn't necessarily remember the name of the rock that we had purchased or its cost." Visitors to the shop can get help with identifying their rock finds and much more information.

The store sells rough rock in all sizes, including slabs; new and used lapidary equipment; lapidary supplies and handmade gifts and jewelry. The owners also offer free maps and ideas for places to go rock hunting in the area. The shop offers rock cutting services as well. The Cornells explain what a full service rock shop does: "We cut, polish, and create jewelry with local and non-local rocks and semi-precious gemstones, as well as sell rough rock, rock slabs, and other gift items created by local lapidary artists and silver smiths."

They will cut and polish rockhound finds for the customer to take with them, or ship the rocks to any specified destination. The Cornells also teach rock hounds how to turn their finds "into works of art through our jewelry making classes in cabochon cutting, wire wrapping and chain mail."

One of the immediate goals of the shop is to expand the types of rock and lapidary classes offered. It will also continue to "establish a place where people feel comfortable and welcome to share their rock hounding and lapidary arts experiences," say the Cornells.

Customers include visitors as well as residents, and all appreciate the owners' kindness and willingness to share their knowledge: "This store is fantastic. I recently went to New Mexico to visit some friends and was blown away by their selection. I know that the southwest is known for their "rock hounds" and rock shops. I found this place on the internet and located it easy. I was able to get beautiful stones and jewelry for my family and friends for the holidays. They also had lots of equipment for this hobby."

For more information feel free to check at their website at

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