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Help me find pretty rocks. That's all.
August 1, 2012 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy pretty rocks and crystals in Los Angeles?

I seem to recall going to various stores in my youth where you could buy pretty, polished rocks or little crystals fairly inexpensively. I now find myself wanting some stones, but I can't seem to find anyone to sell them to me! I'm looking for things like tiger eye, various types of quartz, amethyst, malachite, fool's gold, etc. Just pretty rocks. They don't need to have any real or purported healing properties or energies or emanations or vibrational whatever. They should just be shiny/sparkly, prettily colored, smallish (around 1"-2") and inexpensive (I'm thinking like $1 per rock? Is that unreasonable?)

Is there anywhere in Los Angeles (preferably West LA) I can buy such things? I'd really prefer to shop in person, but if you know of a great online source, please share that too.
posted by kitty teeth to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena generally has a couple of vendors that sell rocks and other natural history type things. I've bought everything from sea shells to fossils to geodes there.
posted by anansi at 2:46 PM on August 1, 2012


The California Science Center has a gift shop, which I just called. They have quartz, amethyst, hematite and "a bunch of other really cool polished stones," said the woman who answered the call.
posted by xingcat at 2:47 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jewel Tunnel Imports is an LA-based wholesaler of mineralogical specimens. They usually don't sell direct-to-consumer (except ocassionally by special arrangement with mineralogy clubs and geology programs), but the people who work there are very nice and could probably recommend retail stores in your area.

There's also a list of resources (including some commercial vendors) on the links page of the Mineralogical Society of Southern California homepage.
posted by jlh at 3:05 PM on August 1, 2012


The California Science Center is probably the best bet, but it might be worth calling The Worlds Best Nature Store in Santa Monica to see what range they carry. I walk past that place all the time, and they have fossils and geodes and so on the windows. The website suggests they carry what you need.
posted by Joh at 3:06 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and here's another list of shops in the LA area. When googling, "rock shop" is a good search phrase to keep in mind. If all you want are a few tumble-polished stones then California Science Center is probably sufficient, but a real rock and mineral shop is going to have much better selection than any little giftshop.
posted by jlh at 3:10 PM on August 1, 2012


A lot of bead and make-your-own-jewelry places seem to have cool polished stones and crystals as well, although I have no specific LA recommendations.
posted by rtha at 3:59 PM on August 1, 2012


Soothe Your Soul in Redondo Beach has a good selection of small, inexpensive rocks.
posted by corey flood at 5:00 PM on August 1, 2012


Joh: "it might be worth calling The Worlds Best Nature Store in Santa Monica to see what range they carry. I walk past that place all the time, and they have fossils and geodes and so on the windows. The website suggests they carry what you need"

I came to suggest this place, too. It's a neat store.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:47 PM on August 1, 2012


Search the word 'lapidary' in Los Angeles or by your zip code.
posted by X4ster at 9:33 PM on August 1, 2012


Thank you to all for the responses! They were all helpful, but I ended up getting pretty much exactly what I wanted from the California Science Center (and the Natural History Museum, which is right next door). Many thanks to xingcat for actually calling them for me!
posted by kitty teeth at 4:51 PM on August 18, 2012


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