Who answers „stonefinder“ at the age of five when asked, what would you like to be when you grow up? The answers will rather be policeman or hairdresser. Not for the family Steiner. They live of stone finding now in the third generation.
It all started when the oldest worked in his youth as a shepherd and started also to look for stones. Then he sold the stones to tourists passing by. His son was one day lost at the age of three. And the people looking for him found him sitting in front of a rock with a hammer. This was a clear career aspiration. But it was not alway easy. Climbing to the top of the mountains without shoes, because in former times one walked barefoot from easter until All Hallows. You were also told if you could not walk up the huge steps you could not come along any more. Hard times!
But today you suffer also hard times. Stone finding needs a lot of endurance. Some need 100 tours up the mountains before they find their first stone. Or you need to move 2000 wheelbarrows of rubble before you discover stones.
And then when you finally found a promising stone you have to carefully free e.g. the emerald. When should you stop? How many are hidden inside? We learned that sometimes the stonefinder works on an old stone which has been in display for years only to discover that on the backside 83 emeralds were hidden.
Also the stone cutting needs patience. It lasts hours to cut the facets. We were invited to watch the cutting and saw the stone starting to glow after facet for facet was prepared.
We could tell you a lot of stories we heard at our visit. But find out yourself. The huge family has founded the stone museum and you can meet them at their private exhibition. There you find all kind of stones and jewelry and you can surch yourself in a small area in front of the house.
So, who wants to become a stone finder?