I found this polished core sample and Cabochons in an old and dusty thrift shop in Republic, WA.
They are a mix of pyrite, hematite, and maybe iron. From a local mine near Republic. I'm going to play around with the cabochons and make some sweet necklaces.
Besides being a thrift store, in the back were old chairs and couches pushed together forming a hangout area for some old dudes. Probably one of them cut the cabochons that I bought! They were sitting with their big cowboy hats talking about the gold nuggets and dust that can still be found up the street in a little creek...."But some one owns the land and that might be a problem", one of the men drawled out. Discussions on the price of sapphires also filled the room. I had the feeling that these guys were in that back corner day in and day out. They probably had grown up together in Republic. Raised kids together. Worked in the mines and logging companies following their fathers footsteps. I had a feeling that the town had dried up.
Not much different than the bodegas in Brooklyn really. The neighborhood I live in is mainly Puerto Rican. Bodegas are the small convenience stores in every street corner. Unenployment is high. Often, a group of guys will be hanging out in the back of the store. For most of the day. And many of my neighbors have lived here for 40+ years. Each succeeding generation taking over their parents apartment. Or moving down the street.
But, most importantly. Everyone loves a hangout.