MINOCQUA - The Gem and Mineral show celebrated its 50th year in Minocqua this weekend. While all the vendors there are passionate about their product, one in particular seems to hold his in high regard.
"Basically it's what I thrive on," said Bill Schoenfuss.
Bill Schoenfuss is passionate about his business.
"It keeps me alive," said Schoenfuss. "It keeps me going because of the information I get to pass onto others."
While also passing on his passion for Wisconsin Moonstone.
"It's a beautiful, blue moonstone," said Schoenfuss. "It's awesome raw and polished."
Schoenfuss says the stone is exclusive to one area.
"The only place in the world it does come from is Wausau," said Schoenfuss.
Which makes gathering the material easy for him.
"This is eight miles from my house, gas money's easy," said Schoenfuss.
Plus, he's been building up his stock for a while.
"50 years ago I was collecting Wisconsin Moonstone," said Schoenfuss. "I've been collecting it ever since."
Now, the gems are pulling their weight.
"All my friends said 'What are you going to do with all your rocks your whole life?' I said 'That's my retirement fund' and this year I retired and so now all I do is Wisconsin Moonstone."
But beyond the rock cutting and jewelry making, Schoenfuss wants to carve out the stone's place within the state.
"Being the only place in the world that you can get it and the only true blue, we feel that it's a prime candidate to be Wisconsin's state gemstone," said Schoenfuss.
Getting the official title is a work in progress, but Schoenfuss will continue to share his knowledge, even beyond Wisconsin's borders, in the meantime.
"Come buy Wisconsin Moonstone if you get a chance, you'll love it," said Schoenfuss.
Schoenfuss owns Bill's Moonstone and Crystals in Wausau. He also has a petition going to get the stone labeled as the state's gemstone.
For more information on his product or the petition, visit the Facebook page linked below.
Bill's Moonstone and Crystals Facebook Page