Three years ago Chris Tyreman bought his son Judah a rock tumbler. Since then, their home in Radisson, Sask., has slowly turned into a geology library with a collection of more than 1,500 rocks, gems and fossils.

The ultimate goal for Judah Tyreman, 12, is to open a museum in the community 65 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon and name it to honour the memory of another rock collector — Stewart Sesula.

Doing so, Judah said, would be a fitting tribute to Sesula, who died in November.

"His collection was amazing," Judah said.

Sesula, who was a quadriplegic, lived on a farm south of Saskatoon.

Judah has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the museum.

Before he met Sesula, Judah was gradually adding to his collection through purchases on eBay using money earned by  mowing lawns.

Gem collector Judah Tyreman

Judah Tyreman, along with his sister Avi, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $27,000 for a gem and mineral museum in Radisson, Sask. (Submitted by Chris Tyreman)

During one of his online hunts for stones, Judah came across Sesula's website. Sesula's farm was not that far from Radisson so Judah, his sister Avi and their dad paid a visit.

"There were so many rocks and minerals, they were in his garage and he even had a tub full outside," Judah recalled.

Sadly, not long after their friendship started Sesula contracted pneumonia and died. Their connection was such, however, that Sesula's vast collection was left to Judah and his sister.

Now, with help from Avi and their father, Judah spends every free moment working on display cases for the best pieces of the collection.

"I don't want Stewart's collection to just disappear in a closet," he said. "I want a permanent display."

He noted the Sesula Mineral and Gem Museum will be a place where people can interact with the artifacts as well as look at the collections.

gem museum collection

In addition to collecting genuine rocks, gems and fossils, Judah creates replica pieces. These are replica megalodon teeth. Judah plans on having replica fossils in his museum so people can touch them and get a better sense of them. He says his copies look and feel just like real ones. (Submitted by Chris Tyreman)