"My grandfather would carry a bucket in the sand hills of Nebraska, and I would pick up rocks. Kids love rocks," explains Marvin Dahmen.
He's just one of many vendors at Tri State Gem and Mineral Show in Joplin. The collectors buy rocks and minerals and also buy items to make jewelry. Marvin has a big long name of what he does.
"A 'Lapidway' is someone who involves themselves in cutting and polishing semi precious gem stones," explains Dahmen.
He says there are tricks to picking out a perfect rock.
"Color, hardness, harder gemstones take a better polish," sates Dahmen.
Don't ask him about diamonds, because he's not a fan.
"I'm not crazy about diamonds. They make great saw blades, great grinding wheels. Make wonderful sandpaper, they make awful gemstones," states Dahmen.
He says women make a big deal about diamonds and he says they're not that rare.
"Most women want diamonds because of this marketing scheme that brainwashed American people to think they're rare and valuable," says Dahmen.
Tracy Gribben is one of the rare women who would agree that diamonds are overrated. Her husband made her ring out of garnet, and she says it means more than a store bought ring.
"There's not another one like it. So, I know I have the only one," says Tracy Gribben, Loves Unique Jewelry.