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Set In Stone

Smyrna educator and explorer Janet Rau turned a lifelong fascination into a thriving hobby.

Janet Rau has always collected rocks.  Safely nestled in a jewelry box are quartz she found at the top of Mount Albert in Colorado when she was 8-years old.  They are stored alongside a piece of the volcanoes in Iceland, shale from outside her cabin in South Dakota, barnacled pottery from the Harbor of Caesarea-Maritima, and a collection of gembones – agatized dinosaur bones.

Janet, whose degree is in history with a minor in archeology, is especially fond of “the collecting and exploring – like, what did our world look like to create the things that now we have, right? It's just such an interesting process.”  

Silversmithing is a more recent pursuit, introduced to her as a form of art therapy while serving as a full-time caregiver.  With the right tools (“My dad always used to say, “Don’t let your tools hold you back.””), an encyclopedic knowledge of stones, and relationships with lapidary artists all over the world, Janet created a small business charmingly named by her students: Rau Rocks.

I started making jewelry mainly so that I could carry my rocks around with me,” Janet says, and she is equally enthusiastic about custom work that allows others to do the same.  She’s created heirloom pieces and helped commemorate special occasions, and at the heart of every piece is knowing the stone’s story.  “It's so amazingly interesting, how we use resources, how we look at things in environmentally appropriate ways.” 

Rau Rocks is available for commissions / Online shop at raurocks.com / Follow Rau Rocks on Instagram at @raurocks

I started making jewelry mainly so that I could carry my rocks around with me.”

  • Australian Variscite in Sterling Pendant
  • Janet Rau