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Bridport couple collect Earth's treasures

One treasure of Mother Earth that Charlie enjoys showing visitors dropping by the Bridport shop is a perfectly preserved, genuine dinosaur egg from China.

"It's not a replica," Charlie said, referencing the many 'fakes' of dinosaur and other fossil material being offered to new, unsuspecting collectors.

After being dug up in the Gobi Desert and then transported to its new home in Jago's collection in Bridport, the egg has made a 75-million-year-old and more than 10,000 mile journey.

"This egg has made a very long journey to us," Charlie said. "It ended up along the ancient Silk Road then made a long and winding air and ground trip to the lower 48 U.S. states-and ultimately here to Vermont-via the U.S. Air Force in Alaska."

You can tell Charlie and Sandy are especially proud of their unborn dinosaur forever encased in its rocky tomb.

Also prized in the Jago's collection is a variety of beryl, a mineral mined in New Hampshire. According to Charlie, Beryl is a beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate. It was used in the assembly of the first atomic bomb in 1945.

"We owned the former Beryl Mountain Mineral Shop in South Ackworth, N.H.," Charlie said. "I collected a considerable amount of beryl from that area."

Beryl is the pride of New England, according to Charlie. And what he refers to is New Hampshire's beautiful beryl specimens as well as other New England beryl, such as the famous Rose of Maine beryl gem discovered in 1989-it is the largest beryl gemstone ever discovered; it was uncovered at the Bennett Quarry located in Buckfield, Maine. The Rose of Maine is an orange crystal is 9 inches long and 12 inches and weighs over 50 pounds.

While collecting is their passion, Charlie and Sandy Jago enjoy the fact that their interests have brought them closer together. Perhaps the best lesson the Jagos have learned from the collecting hobby was uttered by the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus in 275 B.C.: "Of all the treasures on this Earth, friends are the most precious."

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