We’re Open!

Welcome to Kelowna Rocks & Gems! We are so excited to say we’re finally open for business after months of preparing. If someone had asked me even a year ago “what do you see yourself doing in the future?”, it definitely wasn’t running my own business, but here we are! We hope to use this platform to talk about all things lapidary – our current projects, tips and tricks, and our rockhounding trips. We hope it can be a fun place for you to learn about who we are and what our business is all about. Hopefully, you may even pick up a helpful tip about operating lapidary equipment, a new spot for rockhounding, or learn about a new type of mineral.

kelowna rocks & gems

We are a small, family-run business. I am joined in my business ventures by my dad, Doug. We have a shared passion for anything rocks, as well as restoring old lapidary equipment to its former glory. We are always working on something, and we hope to use this blog to communicate with the lapidary community, as well as those who are just finding their love of rocks. My dad and I make an excellent team and we are thrilled to be working together.

Doug and Remy Kesslar

The biggest goal of this blog is to make ourselves approachable. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments relating to Kelowna Rocks & Gems, rockhounding in BC, or lapidary work, we are more than happy to help. We hope Kelowna Rocks & Gems can be your one-stop-shop for all things rocks and lapidary!

Why Lapidary?

A little background about ourselves and how we stumbled upon lapidary work. Like most kids, I shoveled anything shiny I could find at local beaches, parks, and gravel driveways into my pockets. I imagine my mother ended up putting a lot of rocks through the washing machine (sorry, mom). I loved rocks so much I had covered my bedroom in them, named them, and found new ones wherever I went. Imagine my excitement when I found out you could do so much more with them.

My parents bought me a rock tumbler when I was in elementary school – you probably know the plastic one I am referring to. I absolutely loved it until I was told it takes several weeks to actually polish a rock in a tumbler. It was much more satisfying to find shiny rocks on the ground. It wasn’t until years later that I would use a tumbler again (check out a couple of our recent tumbler projects below!).

My childhood interests shifted away from rocks, but not too far away. Throughout middle and high school my dream job was to be a paleontologist. And while that dream wasn’t realized, I’m happy to say my current career path is just as exciting. Even though I didn’t end up becoming a paleontologist, I still work with fossils, petrified wood, and dinosaur bones on a regular basis, on top of all the other cool rocks we use for our jewelry. 

We are very lucky in BC to have a mineral-rich landscape. One of the first rockhounding books we ever purchased was “Gem Trails of British Columbia” by Cam Bacon. We learned that within a day’s drive of Kelowna, we could be rockhounding for all sorts of minerals and rocks, such as agate, quartz, geodes, common opal, amethyst, and many others. Our interest continued to expand, and we came upon the Kelowna 1120 Rock Club and the Vernon Lapidary Club.

The club rockhounding trips are well-worth the small membership fee. My dad and I were so excited to be able to join these group and find great material for our personal collection. The clubs gives you access to private claims and other locations. The knowledge we gathered from the club members was priceless, and I consider our joining the clubs a huge catalyst for our business journey. We are still proud members today, and I would recommend to anyone wishing to rockhound to start by joining your local lapidary club!

We are so grateful to be starting this journey. Please contact us if you have any questions!

Rockhounding Field Trip to Inches Creek, near Lumby, BC.