Up here in the north eastern corner of North America, we are geologically blessed with natural wonders. The Bay of Fundy lays claim to the world's highest tides. The vertical tidal range is about 50 feet which means you could be in a boat over water the depth equivalent to a 5 story building and yet 6 hours later, that boat would be on the ocean floor.

The area is rugged, beautiful and a haven for dinosaur fossil fans and rockhounds. If you know where to look, you could find gemstones such as agate (banded agate shown above), amethyst, opal, and jasper. This website lists good locations some of which are harder to get to or require guides and caution. Amethyst Cove for example, has no safe spot to retreat to if you get caught with the incoming tide. The tide moves in very fast - at the pace of a very brisk walk.

Bay of Fundy in early May.Image via Wikipedia

If you look at the map above, somewhere on the right fork of the head of the Bay of Fundy is the tiny town of Parrsboro (picture source). Tourism is its main industry.

Once a year in August, for over forty years, Parrsboro hosts Nova Scotia's Gem and Mineral Show. It's not very big but it's the only one within a short driving distance to Halifax.

So that's where Debbie and I were last week for our kind of rockhounding! Picking up gem supplies for our workshops. One wholesale supplier we visited was Rainbow Minerals from Ottawa. I first met Al, one of the owners several years ago when I was just starting my business. He and his sister Ash proved helpful and friendly over the years. Ash kindly let me take pictures of their booth this time. Know something, Ash? It might help to have paper bags handy because Debbie and I almost hyperventilate every time we see the gemstone displays!

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