Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cash & Treasures visits Rockpick Legend Co.

On Saturday, November 10, the host and crew of Travel Channel's Cash & Treasures filmed an episode about Utah topaz at our store! It was a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work, too. They started around 10 in the morning and worked until 5 at night. We answered a lot of questions, took direction on camera, stood around while they filmed segments, arranged displays, re-arranged displays, made new displays, oh, and gathered props.

We were pleasantly surprised by how friendly the group from Cash & Treasures were, not only to us, but to our friends and customers. Kirsten Gum was just as nice off camera as she is on camera. The camera men, Luke Saver and Brian Cardello, showed the kids their equipment and posed for pictures. Some of us got closely acquainted with audio man Aron Prigg as he wired us with microphones--he was very nice about it. And last, but not least, Carl Schick, the producer, was patient with our screw-ups, open to our non-experienced TV producing suggestions, and just plain fun to work with. By the time they were done we felt like they were old friends.

They started by shooting opening segments outside the store. When they came inside, they had Rick sort and appraise the topaz they found while collecting the day before with Mike Unruh, well-known topaz expert. Later in the day we had the pleasure of visiting with Mike.

After Rick appraised the topaz, he helped Kirsten wash the topaz in an ultrasonic cleaner. My favorite line of the day was when Kirsten asked Rick if she could use his toothbrush. Of course she wanted the one he was using to wash topaz, but it was a great line, anyway.

After the topaz was clean, Alston showed Kirsten (and crew) how to cut topaz on a lapidary saw. Kirsten seemed especially impressed that Alston was not afraid of putting his fingers right up to the blade. Alston showed her he could touch the blade while it was spinning without getting cut. With a little coaxing, Kirsten tried it and sighed a sigh of relief when all her fingers were still intact. This works because a rock saw blade cuts by grinding--it's not really "cutting" at all.

Next Constance helped Kirsten make jewelry with her topaz and our findings kit (modified to suit Kirsten and crew). There was a little problem getting the bell cap around the topaz for the pendant, so Alston trimmed the topaz--twice. Once that was taken care of, Kirsten got her topaz pendant and earrings.

Kirsten had several nice display pieces, so Zeke and Frederick showed her how to display them with acrylic stands and mineral tack. They all seemed to enjoy a lengthy conversation about displaying topaz, their favorite gems, and where they like to go rock hounding. While I'm sure this conversation will be cut out of the final show, I wish you could hear it. It was very cute all the way around.

The filming wrapped up with a final appraisal from Rick. Cleaning, mounting and making jewelry didn't really change the value of the topaz, but it definitely made it nicer to look at!
Thank you Kirsten, Carl, Luke, Brian, and Aron for an education in making a TV show, a fun (but hard) day, and being so great to work with! We're looking forward to seeing the episode sometime next spring, and we hope you'll visit us again!

Anita Dalrymple

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