What to Buy the Dog-Sitter – Earthy Souvenirs Make the Perfect Gifts

2012 July 18
by Pikes Peak Rock Staff

earthy souvenirsSo you’re going away on vacation and you can’t figure out what to buy for that kind neighbor who offered to water your garden?  Perhaps your best friend is walking your dog for the week or your nephew is house-sitting.  There is always somebody back home who really deserves an extra token of your appreciation, which usually means you’re picking up a bag full of t-shirts along the way.  But is a t-shirt really the most thoughtful “thank you” gift?

Depending on where you take your vacation, you can usually find a great selection of earthy souvenirs that will be much more memorable than a t-shirt.  Not only are these souvenirs more eco-friendly, they are just as appealing to men as they are to women.  More than just coffee table items, many of them come with their own mystical healing qualities – that is, if you believe in that stuff.  Unique rocks and minerals are also great conversation pieces, but they are something that most people won’t buy for themselves.

Here are just a few of the bestselling “earthy souvenirs” available this season –

Break-At-Home Geodes – If you’ve never heard of a break-at-home-geode, then this is something to consider for that young person on your list.  These natural geodes are usually sold in sets, which includes a bag of rough-textured rocks and instructions for breaking them open.  Why would someone want to break open rocks at home, you may ask?  Geodes aren’t just any rocks; they are layered inside with crystals like amethyst or rings of fiery agate.  Each geode contains either calcite or quartz crystals, and once opened can be proudly displayed in a rock collection.

Brazilian Agate Bookends – You may have heard about the metaphysical properties of Brazilian agate, but it is also a popular stone for crafting sculptural objects like bookends and candleholders.  These unique gifts can be found in natural earth-tones like red and orange or hand-colored in bright hues of green, blue and purple.  In addition to being a beautiful way to hold books in place, agate has a strong connection to the earth.  Exposure to the mineral has a grounding effect on people and its cleansing aura lends balance to a person’s physical, intellectual and emotional life.

Ammonite Fossils – What makes a better gift for that special person than a 350 million year old marine cephalopod?  These unique looking fossils resemble the ancient Nautilus and make excellent centerpieces.  They are available in many different shapes and sizes, but some of the larger ammonite fossils are semi-polished and look more like a free-standing sculpture.  An ideal décor piece for the mantle or coffee table, ammonites are surprisingly affordable.  They make the perfect gift for that person who has everything!

Chrysanthemum stones – It’s hard to describe these unusual black stones to someone who has never seen one, but they are one of the most notable new trends among collectors.  Made up of limestone, dolomite, gypsum-bearing clay and crystal formations like calcite and feldspar, these specimens originate from Hunan China.  What makes chrysanthemum stones so popular?  They feature a pattern of crystals that resembles a blooming chrysanthemum against a matte black backdrop, but the effect is totally natural.  They also are believed to have metaphysical healing properties that bring a child-like joy into the life of the beholder, while encouraging them to “bloom” into their purpose in life.

Selenite Candle Holders – Until you’ve walked into a dark room that is lit only by selenite candle holders, you may never realize just how beautiful they really are.  Moroccan selenite comes in a glowing orange hue or “snowball white” and it has a way of radiating the aura of candlelight through translucent stone.  Selenite can look a lot like quartz when polished, which really brings out the luminosity of the mineral, but most of the candle holders and lamps are made from rough or unpolished selenite.  Small enough to fit in your travel bag, these 3” candle holders are just the right size to hold a tea-light candle.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift or souvenir that will be remembered for years to come, skip the t-shirts this year and look for some of these unique and earthy collectors’ items.

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