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8:13 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Meet Your Neighbors: The Stones keep hobby flourishing with rock work<BR>

Walk through the front gate to the home of George and Charlene Stone and you will find an instant tip off to their hobby.

Jasper, onyx, agate and pastelite adorn some 600 patio pavers surrounding their home.

The patio pavers, arranged in a checkerboard pattern, each measures 12 inches by 12 inches and is 2 inches thick.

Lapidary is the Stones' pastime.

Their back yard is filled with buckets containing the aforementioned rocks, plus petrified wood, paisley, dinosaur bone and septarian nodules.

George Stone estimates he has 4,000 pounds of petrified wood and 5,000 pounds of other rocks.

"I've collected rocks all my life and found out what to do with them after we got to Kingman 11 years ago," George said.

"They'd just piled up.

I first got into gemstone and later lapidary."

He likes to go rock hounding at Burro Creek near Wikieup and at Goff, Calif.

But with his present stocks of rocks he may never have to go again, George said.

George was born in Norwalk, Conn., Charlene in Danbury, Conn.

They have been married 20 years.

The Stones lived in Duncan, Okla., for nine years before moving to Kingman in 1990.

George said he was on his way home from church one night when God spoke to him and told him to move to Kingman, Ariz.

He had no idea where Kingman was and had to look at a map to find it.

"We had gotten too comfortable in Duncan," George said.

"We had a new church going up, a new house and I was starting a golf cart business.

When I asked the Lord, 'Why Kingman?' he said, "Because I'm the king and you're one of my men."

The Stones began taking courses in silversmithing and lapidary at Mohave Community College after setting in Kingman.

The Stones have acquired two cutoff saws, one of 16 inches and the other 24 inches, and three trim saws measuring 6, 8 and 10 inches over the years with which they cut their rocks.

They also have buffers, polishers and tumblers.

Belt buckles, bolo ties and necklaces are among the items they enjoy making.

"I work with volcanic glass like obsidian, silver sheen and Apache tears," George said.

"But I also have a 15-ounce meteorite I found about six years ago up in Gold Basin that I've polished the face of."

Petrified wood, turquoise and onyx are other rocks he most enjoys working with.

He has shaped a piece of honey onyx, which resembles honey into which milk has been poured, into a replica of Arizona that is two inches square.

It took about two hours to cut the piece from a larger slab, shape and polish it, George said.

Agate is the hardest rock for him to work with as it measures about 7 on the Mohs scale of 10 for hardness, George said.

Onyx measures about 5.5 and is easy to work with.

Charlene has made dioramas, three-dimensional outdoor scenes, for the last five years.

Her works include prospecting, camping and railroad scenes.

"It fascinates me to take a bunch of rocks, put them together and make them look like a picture," Charlene said.

George has worked for the last 10 years as a welder and concrete finisher at Horizon Precast in Kingman.

The couple has a 7-year-old granddaughter, Sandy Mullins, living with them.

They also have two dogs and four cats for companionship.

Neighbors is a feature that appears each Monday in the Kingman Daily Miner.

If you have an interesting story you'd like to share, contact Terry Organ at 753-6397 ext.

225.