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Explore the Earth and its amazing charms with master geologist and gemstone hunter Houston Wade.
Explore the Earth and its amazing charms with master geologist and gemstone hunter Houston Wade.
69 backers pledged $27,020 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Earth is an interesting place.  Too bad there are so many television shows that obliviously ignore this fact.  Houston Wade aims to change that.  As a master geologist and gemstone hunter, Houston is the discoverer of diamonds, sapphires, rubies, opals, precious metals, and countless other treasures right in our own backyard; America!

You may not have to drive 1,000 vertical feet of switchbacks... But I do.
You may not have to drive 1,000 vertical feet of switchbacks... But I do.

You are about to help Houston embark on a journey of discovery as he takes you on an adventure through the American West searching for treasure never found before.  This Summer we will be filming a television pilot for a new educational program called "Get Your Rocks Off With Houston" where our host teaches the audience how the Earth created it's greatest natural treasures, where to find them, and how to dig them up.

Along the way, Houston and his companions meet the unique, rugged individuals that inhabit the wilderness of the West and explore the long lost mines and forgotten boom towns that built this great nation... Oh, and those locals always know how to party!

A toy excavator full of Colorado diamonds. How quaint.
A toy excavator full of Colorado diamonds. How quaint.

Combine science with history, add a dash of local flavor, and you have the recipe for a new geological revolution in America.

Houston's exploits have become legendary on his blog (http://noospheregeologic.com/blog). Whether it's driving off of cliffs or discovering some of the largest opals ever found, Houston and his crew know how to make a journey worth taking.  His problem rests with the fact that no one is ever filming his death-defying exploits and tubular discoveries.

What we are asking for is the funding to produce a pilot for a new documentary television show about the roots of what it means to be an explorer in the true sense of the word.  America is full of treasure that no one ever bothers to look for.  Getting people excited about science through their innate curiosity and sense of adventure is our goal, and to do that we need to show them how it its done!

A one carat uncut diamond almost makes standing neck deep in 100 years of cow poop worthwhile.
A one carat uncut diamond almost makes standing neck deep in 100 years of cow poop worthwhile.

The idea is to produce a show that each week tackles a new rare gemstone starting with how the Earth burped it up, to how it was discovered, where it was discovered, and why people see it as valuable.  One week it might be diamonds (yes, there are diamonds in America), then the next week you are learning how to look for emeralds.  Then a few weeks later you find yourself an expert on tourmaline, or rarities like bixbite, or black opals. In the process you'll learn about the unique characteristics of each precious stone, how they are extracted, identified, cut and polished, and what ornamental and practical applications they have.  Oh, and we'll party down with some awesome rednecks in tiny hill towns (did I mention that part?); science should be fun, right?. There is always something to explore and we intend to do it--Full throttle!

Stick your fist in a hill full of red ants, come out with a couple grand in peridot!
Stick your fist in a hill full of red ants, come out with a couple grand in peridot!

Graphics for the T-shirt are still being designed, and I will post any image(s) as soon as I have it!  I will probably have several design options available before then end of this plea.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this page and for even the consideration of donating your hard earned dollars to this project.  I am humbled.

I have decided that if there is any money left over after this project is completed that I will donate the excess proceeds back into other Kickstarter projects: http://kickingitforward.org

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk with any project like this is safety. Risks MUST be taken just to get to the remote regions where gemstones are found. The roads washout and give way (again, I drove off a cliff last year. That was terrifying), machinery explodes and injures the user, rocks fall and smash things/people, rednecks like to point their guns in my face... a lot. There is also sometimes explosives involved, raging rivers, searing heat, wildfires, rock climbing with lots of special and heavy geological equipment, dangerous wildlife... The list goes on.

The great thing is that any turmoil that befalls the cast and crew during filming just makes for even better television!

We are setting aside about three weeks this Summer for just filming the documentary. This means that my regular geological work will be put on hold during this time and devoted only to production. As you noticed from the video above, film is not my strong suit, but as luck would have it, I am a professor at the Art Institute of Seattle, and as such, I have as a resource a very talented group of students who are well on their way to becoming experts in digital film, editing, computer animation, and sound engineering. This will keep costs down. The biggest challenge will be getting the cast and crew to the various remote locations. These will be locations that require hundreds of miles of off road driving for several vehicles. You and I both know that gas ain't cheap and neither are repairs to a truck 300 miles from the nearest auto shop.

Emergency room visits are about as regular as stops at the mechanics, but we are a tough group of unique, rugged individuals. We always soldier on regardless of the peril, or broken bones, or hatchets to the shin, or flesh scraped from the finger tips when a cliff gives way; just so that we can accomplish what no one else ever has. This is the pioneer spirit our documentary is meant to embody.

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    A mention of thanks in the credits.

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    Mention in the credits with a special thanks and a commemorative postcard of the cast thanking you for your contribution.

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    A signed photograph of the cast. A commemorative post card of the cast thanking you for your contribution, and a mention in the credits with a special thanks.

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    For the cost of a nice dinner you will get the special thanks in the credits, the postcard, the signed photo, and a digital download of the show! Not too shabby!

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    Special thanks in the credits, a postcard of thanks, a signed photo by the cast, and a T-shirt that reads "I Got My Rocks Off With Houston"

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    A signed DVD by cast and crew of the production. A mention of thanks in the credits. A commemorative postcard of thanks.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The DVD, photo, postcard, thankful credit, T-shirt, and a rare valuable champaign topaz in native rhyolite (uncut, in it's natural state as it is originally found) dug during filming.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The DVD, photo, postcard, thankful credit, T-shirt, and a rare valuable red beryl. The crystals will be so tiny (if you're lucky a millimeter across), but extremely rare, like in the top ten rarest gemstones on the planet rare and all dug during filming.

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    Pledge $427 or more About $427

    The second largest, second-most valuable rare stone we find during filming, plus the T-shirt, signed photo and DVD, a mention in the credits, and the postcard.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and a 4.56ct seafoam green Columbian emerald. 18.05x8.24x5.8 pear cut stone. Gorgeous!

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    Pledge $475 or more About $475

    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and a 1.97ct deep forest green Columbian emerald. 14.5x6.31x3.86. It does have a microscopic chip on the very tip that will hide when set, this is a world class colored stone.

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    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and a 5.07ct Green Nigerian tourmaline. 13.6x7.5x5.3 scissor cut stone. World Class tourmaline.

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    Pledge $527 or more About $527

    The largest, most valuable rare stone we find during filming, plus the T-shirt, signed photo and DVD, a mention in the credits, and the postcard

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and an 8.68ct seafoam green Columbian emerald. 15.74x9.54x7.22 octagon cut stone. Huge emerald!

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    A signed DVD of the show, Signed photo of the cast, the T-shirt, and a listing as a producer in the credits. A commemorative post card of thanks for your contribution.

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    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and a 21.49ct boulder opal from Yowah, Australia. A world class cabochon measuring 25.2c17.5x6.1mm this stone is amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Replacement minerals in fossilized wood give it a space alien quality rarely seen on this planet.

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    Pledge $2,300 or more About $2,300

    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and a 1.17ct yellow natural, untreated diamond. The stone is a round brilliant cut and has a clarity of VS2. An excellent choice for a solitaire

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    Pledge $2,700 or more About $2,700

    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and a 12.6 carat single sided precious opal from Allan's Rise in Coober Pedy, Australia. A big, notable opal with magnificent iridescence, it measures 22.4x15.9x5.2mm. A fantastic world-class opal!

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    Pledge $4,500 or more About $4,500

    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and a 16.2ct double-sided precious opal from Allan's Rise in Coober Pedy, Australia. This stone is huuuuuge for a precious opal, measures 23.1x18x5.7mm. Put this in a pendant and get stares and comments for the rest of your life.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    A signed photo and DVD, listing as an executive producer in the credits. A commemorative post card of extra super special thanks. The opportunity to be a guest star in this current production or a future production of "Get Your Rocks Off With Houston!" Do you want to go camping with the most rad people you'll ever meet? Maybe take some diamonds, opals, rubies, or sapphires back with you? Possibly be on TV? Here's your chance!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The mention in the credits, a postcard, signed DVD, T-shirt, and an executive producer credit as well as the crown jewel of my collection; an 8.53ct Brazilian Alexandrite as detailed here: http://noospheregeologic.com/blog/2013/01/28/the-rare-gem-series-alexandrite/

    This stone is one of probably 100 in existence this size and this clear. Worth a lot. I mean, a lot. If you donate this much to my project, you are going to get a stone that would make any gemologist or jeweler on the planet jealous. Comes with a lab certificate.

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Funding period

- (30 days)