Monday, August 10, 2009

Gem of a show coming to Parrsboro

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Sat. Aug 8 - 4:46 AM

Nova Scotia gemstones have been attracting the attention of vistors for hundreds of years.( Fotolia)

The Bay of Fundy’s exquisite violet and purple amethyst caught the eye of explorer Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts over 400 years ago.
The founder of Canada’s first permanent settlement at Port Royal and the man responsible for colonizing Acadia took a large chunk of the gemstone back to France.
The wily Sieur de Monts knew very well which side of his bread contained the butter.
A Parisian jeweller snipped the rock into glittering jewels and the gifts were presented to King Henry IV. Sieur de Monts thereby ensured his bread stayed buttered and he retained the lucrative fur trade monopoly in the new world.
"We know for sure the amethyst came from the Minas Basin, but there is some discussion about exactly which community can lay claim to it," laughed Carol Corbett, education co-ordinator for Fundy Geological Museum.
It’s not known what became of the gifts Sieur de Monts gave the king. The French Revolution not only rid the country of its monarchy, but more than a few of the royal family’s jewels disappeared.
"People still love to get amethyst jewelry and they love to look at the collection in this museum," said Ms. Corbett.
The museum is preparing for the 44th annual Nova Scotia Gem and Mineral Show coming up at the Parrsboro Lions Arena from Aug 14-16.

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