My future Mother-in-Law, Mrs. V, used to take her sons to this rock shop when they were kids. Thanks to good storage they still happened to have these rock collections as adults, which I, the eternal rockhound, gratefully inherited.
I always wondered about this mysterious rock shop. Mrs. V, discovered that the place still happened to be open after all these years and she invited me on a little road trip adventure to see what we might find. The shop was founded by George E. Burnham, who was passionate about geology. When he passed away in 2008, two of the people that had been running Burminco for many years bought it and continue to run it the same way George did.
The Burminco Rock Shop is actually a little house situated on a very cute street in Monrovia, which I had never been to but was quite the charming town. As you walk up the path there are these tall, trash can sized, bins of huge pieces of raw rocks and minerals. When you get to the door, you’re required to not just buzz the buzzer, but ring the bell. This young snowboarder looking guy opens the door and welcomes us to this freezing cold space, that’s somewhat cave-like. There are glass cabinets along the walls with really pretty specimens of all sorts of stuff- Pyrite, Kyanite, Malachite. The rest of the shop is basically bins and bins of raw rocks and minerals.
What Will I Find Here?
Mind you, this is not a “woo-woo” rock shop. You are not going to find anything here with the name “lemurian” or “nirvana”. One of the things this place does is supply rocks and minerals to schools for educational purposes, so it’s all very geological and not so much metaphysical. Although upon checkout, I did notice a copy of Love is in the Earth by Melody.
When you walk in, they hand you an egg carton, just like George did for Mrs. V’s kids so many years ago, and you start collecting specimens. Anything you take comes with a little tag telling you what it is and where it came from. I got a little carried away but I came away with some great pieces of Obsidian, Lepidolite, Opal, Danburite and a lot more, all for really great prices. Mrs. V generously bought me a huge piece of green fluorite to swoon for.
Some things to note- they don’t accept credit cards, so bring exact cash or checks. Also, their hours are few, so check the website or call in advance to make sure they are going to be open. Most importantly, bring a jacket, I don’t think they’ve turned on the heater since 1959.
My thanks to Mrs. V for taking her kids on great adventures to Burminco and then being willing to share that experience with me as well, it was so much fun!
For further information about Burminco:
http://www.burminco.com/ or call (626) 358-4478