Gem dig kits give people throughout the world the opportunity to delight in discoveries at home. Yes, there’s nothing better than finding a special rock or treasure while hiking, strolling a beach, or even on a dig site. But everyone can’t go everywhere and find everything. To share this thrill of a special find, Felicia Davies developed Treasure Buckets Company, LLC.
Growing up on a small farm in Randolph, Ohio, she said, “I always hunted for treasures. I’d walk through the fields and look for flint. But what really hooked me into rockhounding was when my family took a trip to North Carolina looking for amethyst. I was absolutely hooked.”
To this day, noticing items found during a stroll through the woods or neighboring fields is something Davies and her husband, Jimmie, still enjoy. During the pandemic, it struck her how they were able to look for these wonderful things on their farm, yet so many other people throughout the world couldn’t do the same because they weren’t able to travel.
Davies said she thought, “Why not bring my passion to children, and children at heart, with our treasure-hunting kit?” Her goal was to allow everyone to embark on their own treasure hunts regardless of where they lived. To make this dream a reality, Treasure Buckets Company was born.
Something Special For Every Occasion
“The very first (collection) was the Krystal Kettle,” she said. “It was the gem mining bucket.”
Davies’ goal is to provide everything required to not only find fascinating gems but to learn something along the way. Whether it’s a bucket or a kit, each one features high-quality gemstones, along with a myriad of smaller pieces. The primary difference between the two is the full kit provides a drop cloth to keep the work site clean, a sifter shovel, and bags to sort the multiple finds, making it perfect for the first-time home treasure hunter.
“People get really excited about bright colors,” Davies explained. This is why she chooses stones from over two dozen possibilities ranging from blue apatite, amethyst, bloodstone, and even emeralds.
To better understand what treasures are found, she includes a gem chart to identify the specific ones, along with an educational sheet to discover how they were formed and subsequently named. Besides the bucket filled with rough gemstones, she offers a collection with polished stones for those who prefer these finished items, particularly if they don’t have a home rock tumbler. And for those looking primarily for gemstones to add to their collections, separate stones, both rough and polished, are also available.
“It’s neat to see how much joy a rock can bring to someone,” she said, and she’s always impressed at holding these natural wonders formed millions of years ago. While the first bucket was a success, variety is the spice of life, including in the world of treasure hunting, which is why she created additional buckets for nearly every interest.
“I love prehistoric animals and everything to do with that,” she noted, which inspired the Fossil Finds Fossil Hunting and Gem Mining collections in either a bucket or a complete fossil hunting kit. In each bucket, is a premium fossil, plus lots of smaller fossil finds and shark teeth, as well as rough gemstones.
And because everyone loves the beach, Davies put together Beach Buckets with shells, shark teeth, and beautiful pieces of sea glass. As with the other options, it’s possible to buy only the bucket itself, or for those just starting, the kit supplies everything you need.
For those that relish a surprise, the Treasure Buckets Company also offers special Mystery Buckets with a little bit of everything. No two buckets are ever identical. If someone desires a particular theme or special types of rocks, fossils or shells, Davies said they are happy to put together custom-made Treasure Buckets.
One of the best aspects of these collections is providing an experience, not just things. Besides finding treasures, Davies knows how much kids love putting together craft projects, which inspired her to create the Craft Canteen Buckets. In these limited edition collections, she includes six hands-on, seasonally themed projects in each bucket.
For the Young and Young at Heart
Gearing the treasure buckets to explorers of all ages, Davies noticed that many of her customers are delving into this endeavor later in life. She strives to bring the fascination of finding these special natural objects to those who already love searching out hidden gems and to people who are just starting.
She pointed out an enthusiastic and brand-new rockhound in his 70s. “He’s learning along with getting into this hobby,” she said. “We speak on the phone regularly and discuss rocks and fossils.”
She also loves how these buckets delight children. Nothing makes her happier than watching kids’ expressions when they discover the colorful gemstones or fossils they might only see in a book. Having tangible items in their hands makes this learning experience a joy and it’s likely to be the beginning of a lifelong interest.
It’s one thing to have an excellent idea, but it takes a savvy business mind to implement it effectively. Fortunately, a strong entrepreneurial streak courses through Davies’ veins.
“For many generations, we’ve been a family of business starters,” she said. Over 50 years ago, her grandfather started the Randolph Tool Company which is the leading manufacturer of industrial blades for the tubing and textile industries and sells to over 62 countries worldwide. Continuing the tradition, Davies serves as a vice president in her family’s long-held company.
Growing from deep Midwestern roots, Davies is equally proud that Treasure Buckets Company is a woman-owned company serving local and international customers on the retail level, as well as increasing the number of wholesale accounts to distribute the buckets to shops throughout the country. Closer to home, Hartville Hardware, the flagship store to find everything from practical tools, housewares and farm products carries Treasure Buckets as part of their wide selection of unique gifts.
“It’s been a really amazing journey so far,” she said.
What began as a way for people to relieve the monotony of staying close to home is now the perfect gift for rockhounding aficionados of all ages. Rather than simply giving a run-of-the-mill gift, Treasure Buckets provides an experience.
Davies understands the excitement of catching a glimmer of a colorful gem or the edge of a fossil. This is what drives her to create memorable collections so everyone to share the same thrill of the treasure hunt.
This story about gem dig kits for at-home fun previously appeared in Rock & Gem magazine. Click here to subscribe. Story by Amy Grisak. Sponsored by Treasure Buckets, LLC.