Editor's Note: This is the latest installment of the rockhounding travels of Thomas Farley, as he gathers materials for a book about rockhounding in the southwestern United States.
Rolf and Mary Luetcke are back in business, after a five year hiatus. The couple's store was open as a rock, gift, jewelry and art store for over 23 years in southeast Arizona. The shop, Sunshine Gallery and Gifts, is located only three miles from Benson, Arizona on Highway 80 on the way to Tombstone.
Being in the mineral business for almost fifty years, stock on hand is in a few thousand flats of minerals and piles of outside material for collectors and cutters alike. The store also houses a number of museum displays of natural history items, which are not for sale and a small black light room with colorful minerals under UV lights.
In our correspondence Mr. Luetcke shared a bit about how his interest developed and grew. In part he wrote, (I) ended up pretty much learning all I now know just by doing. Got pretty good at it and then about ten years later, (we) started the rock shop. Just kept soaking up knowledge like a sponge and I guess after about 50 years, (I) know a thing or two about minerals.
To read more of the correspondence, visit Thomas Farley's site: https://southwestrockhounding.com/blog/
Sunshine Gallery and Gifts address: 1313 North Highway 80 St. David, Arizona 85630. Telephone Number: 520 586-4560