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Hinshaw Rock N' Gems: A Cut Above the Rest!

hidden beauty of stones in the lapidary

Merrill Hinshaw (named by Lapidary Journal as one of the top ten stone polishers in the nation) has always loved the outdoors, he enjoyed spending time with his dad and camping as a child and has always been intrigued by rocks. Merrill and his father would hunt arrowheads and collect interesting artifacts. The Hinshaw business came to be a reality after Merrill's father was able to purchase some equipment to cut and polish stones, what had started as a hobby quickly became a trade for Merrill. (below: The Display was created over 50 years ago from when Merrill taught lapidary classes.)

Gem Necklaces


The most impressive fact is that Merrill is all self taught and each piece of jewelry is hand crafted. The unique craftsmanship can take anywhere from a week to a month to create one spectacular piece of jewelry. Merrill's son Matthew and grandson cut and polish the stones
(pictures below) while Merrill's daughter  Kim has always been her fathers shadow and has loved going on rock hunting expeditions with him. It's no surprise that she is a geologist today full of knowledge about each one of the exceptional finds. Janis worked shows with Merrill over the decades and now works inside Hinshaw Rock N' Gems shop, located in French Lick.

Their Favorite memories of collecting were from the Yellowstone River and the Manganese Mine in Wyoming. The beauty of Merrill's creations can be seen below.

The colors and pattern are already there, I just cut them."

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