News Release Details

Eastern Arizona College to offer two lapidary classes

Story Photo


Eastern Arizona College to offer two lapidary classes

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—EAC’s lapidary classes will once again be in full swing this spring and is will be taught by part-time instructor, Richard Smith. There will be three different Monday classes taught this semester: section #1656 & #1653, from 8-11:50 a.m.; section #1655 & #1652, from 1-4:50 p.m.; and section #1651, from 6:30-9:50 p.m.

“I hope to generate a greater interest in the Gila Valley of the lapidary arts,” said Smith. “And I am also hoping to convince the College to sponsor a Rock and Gem Show at the college in the near future.”

Mr. Smith was a respiratory therapist for 32 years, and during that time, as his need to develop a hobby intensified, he found lapidary and jewelry to serve not only as a great hobby but as a profitable side business as well.

His business is called Hassayampa Jewelery and he uses his own hand-cut stones to create one-of-a-kind pieces out of gold, silver, or copper.

“I would also like to develop a world-class lapidary course at EAC. We have a great start already, as many serious lapidarists live in the Gila Valley,” said Smith. “We have at least one expert at cutting fire-agate, a very difficult gem to cut, and I hope to interest him in giving a seminar on fire-agate cutting and polishing.”

Smith hopes to also bring in experts in other areas of gem cutting to put on seminars at EAC.

“Arizona is a major center for gem-grade minerals. It will be a privilege to guide students to a satisfying life working with gems and minerals for fun and profit!”

For more information about EAC’s lapidary program, you can e-mail Mr. Smith at