About

Stephen Shucart is currently Associate Professor of English at Akita Prefectural University  on the Sea of Japan. Previously he was co-owner of Triplegem Lapidary in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has been traveling since 1972. His other website is The Triplegem Gallery

He has been involved with buying and selling turquoise and lapis lazuli since the late 1960s, when he was a jeweler selling his wares on the streets of San Francisco. In 1972, he first traveled overland to Asia, stopping in Mashhad, Iran to purchase black spider-web matrix turquoise mined near Nishapur, and after a year living in Afghanistan, traveled to Nepal and purchased kilos of old Tibetan turquoise beads in Kathmandu. In the 1970s he bought treasury-grade lapis lazuli from the government of Afghanistan. During the 1980s he was a gemologist and lapidary, co-owner, with Dharma Dan Rollins, of Triple Gem Lapidary in Boudhanath, Nepal. One of their specialties was to recut broken Tibetan turquoise beads into cabochons. Their other speciality was Treasury-grade lapis lazuli, purchased from Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Mujahideen. Central Asian carpets and textiles were also collected and traded during that period.

The 1990s saw only three trips back to Nepal from a new home base in Japan, but, starting with a 2002 trip to Afghanistan, he as been back on the road ever since. Four trips to Afghanistan, two pilgrimages to Mount Kailash in Western Tibet, two trips to Ladakh, a trip along the Silk Road ruins in Xinjiang and down the KKH to Hunza, Gilgit, Chitral, and Peshawar, a 21-day horseback trek through the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia, more silk road tripping to Samarkand, Bokhara, and Khiva, Many trips through Southeast Asia -Thailand, Cambodia, Laos – a trip to Sri Lankha, a walking safari through South Africa’s Kruger National Park, wandering the Pre-Incan ruins of Peru, almost annual returns to Nepal, and family vacations to Belize, Bali, and Viet Nam round out some of the recent travels.

The focus of this blog is two-fold; first, to document a personal collection going back over 40 years so that his children will know what they have inherited if, perchance, his rickety bus misses a hairpin turn in the Himalayas. Second, to give advice and suggestions for anyone who is interested in the bargains available in the bazaars of Asia, plus a chance convey tall tales and adventures from a lifetime in Asia…sort of the 21st Century equivalent of an early 20th century retired Wild West outlaw regaling his grandchildren will stories of his epic adventures back in the good ol’ days, riding with Jesse James, gambling in Dodge City,  being run out of town by Wild Bill Hickok, getting drunk in Tombstone, and dodging Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall gang .

Happy Trails!

9 Comments on “About

  1. Hi Steve, Great site! I’ve lost your email addresses, so can you please get in contact?

    • Hey Keith,

      I just sat down to play with some more Okinawa photos. I sent you an email, but, just in case my address for you is out of date, here’s my email:

      triplegem(at)mac(dot)com

  2. What a fascinating life story you have! I’m glad I stumbled across your site. You are closely tied to two of my absolute favorite regions. I spent a few months in Dehradun, and it was so far up at the northern edge of India that there was a strong Nepali and Tibetan presence there, and it’s been a dream of mine now to visit Nepal sometime. I’ve also been to Akita. Kakunodate was such a gorgeous place during cherry blossom season that I found myself returning back for a second time only shortly after I left!

  3. Hi Steve, I am working on U City reunion. Could you please send me contact info? Sue Inger Bakalor

    • Hi Sue, strange to find you trying to contact me through my private website rather than through my university, since that’s my most readily available contact. But, sure, my main email is :

      triplegem[at]mac[dot]com

      Which reunion? The 2018 – 50th? I’ll probably be on a horse trek in Kazakistan that summer, and with a dangerous maniac running the USA I doubt if I’ll even visit my grandkids until his fascist ilk have been kick out. The kids’ll have to visit me in Thailand for the next few years…

      Cheers,

      Steve

      • Yes for 2018. They are having their first meeting in January and asked me to update contact info for the class. They had no info for you in 2008. Do you have a mailing address as well?

      • Really? All you have to do is search for my name. I’m all over the place, been online for over 20 years. As for my mailing address, not in public. Email the “[dot]mac” address above and I’ll reply.
        Happy Trails,
        Steve

  4. Hey Stephen,
    I’m going to be in Kathmandu in a few months, for a few months and I’d like to meet some other folks to ride with while I’m there… do you have/would you be comfortable sharing some contact info for any Shiva’s Slaves?
    Thanks a bunch,
    Jake

    • Hi Jake,
      Best go see the guys at Smoking Joe’s Speed Shop in Thamel–you can see them in the post “Nepal 2017 – Part 1”– They rent bikes, even a Harley, and they were on the last Slave’s Run. If you’re looking to buy an old Enfield or other bike, they’ll probably know about that, too. I’m sure they’ll know the current scene. Be aware, though, in a couple of months it will be the middle of the monsoon, so if you want to ride you’ll probably need rain gear through September.
      Happy Trails,
      Steve

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