Hello again rock-heads:
On Sunday, I returned to the Sacramento Mineral Society’s 75th Annual Gem Show. After not seeing people on Saturday (I had several other things going on — I will probably write about one of them in the next few days), I returned on Sunday to see people in high spirits — vendors, customers and club members. The floor was not packed, but people came to spend some money. This seems to be a turn-around from the last couple of years. Does this mean we have an uptick in the rock-hound consumer confidence index? Did we have the vendors with the mix of things people wanted to buy? Hard to say, but as I mingled shopped and photographed, the feedback was positive. Vendors made money and people went home with nice new prizes.
At the silent auction, business was a bit slower than on Friday, but for those who came up, there were deals to be had: labradorite, agate, jasper, thundereggs, geodes, jade, fluorite, sheen obsidian, vesuvianite… slabs, rough, specimens… I even acquired what I’m pretty sure is a fulgurite. Toward the end of the afternoon, the already cheap prices dropped further. Rock bottom prices (bad pun intended) were available and taken advantage of
The “take” on the auction was a bit over $1200, clearing the $1000 needed to award the scholarship to a Sac State geology student in his junior year. The student was actually unable to be there, as he was on a field trip. Many thanks to our many customers who made this scholarship possible (some spend in excess of $100, returning again and again as new treasures went out onto the table).
At 4PM, the fun was over (not really), and it was time for the real work to begin — clean-up.
Rarely have I seen such chaos move so smoothly. As the vendors packed up, and it was clear that they had done this once or twice before, club members lent a hand, assembled the club’s property (many folding tables, power cords and display cases, as well as left-over rock and various other goodies) and generally performed a thorough cleaning. It was not necessary to have ADD to be there, but it probably would have helped. By 7PM, it was hard to believe there had been a show with about forty vendors, a score of club members, and hundreds of customers. We were all intact, tired, but in good spirits. Vendor vehicles were riding low, though higher when they’d arrived; customers’ and club members’ vehicles were lower than they’d arrived….
Hope to see you next year.
Hello rock-heads, and happy 11.11.11….
Today I attended and worked at the first day of the 75th Annual Gem Show for the Sacramento Mineral Society. As in previous years, it is being held at the Scottish Rite Center at 6151 “H” St., Sacramento, CA (very near CSUS aka Sac State).
The show boasts dealers of slabs, specimens, beads and jewelery making supplies (findings). The club also provides the ever-popular prize wheel for juniors, geode cutting, hourly and daily raffles, a grand prize raffle, educational materials and a silent auction. The auction raises funds for an annual scholarship for a CSUS student majoring in Geology or Earth Science. I worked this table, helping Joy who is always a gas (I will avoid the obvious pun). And, of course, I also made a few purchases toward this worthy cause (some of which are shown in the gallery below):
(Joy helping a customer)
(Thunderegg slice with Montana-like agate)
(Blue lace agate)
(Colorful “Onyx” i.e. calcite, not actual onyx)
Sharing the stage on which auction takes place, is the skeleton of a Siberian cave bear (approximately 50,000-70,000 years old). It is on display courtesy of Applegate Lapidary, and is the last time this skeleton will be shown to the public.
(I will also get a side-view when I return on Sunday).
As a lapidary, I tend to visit the slab/rough dealers. A few of the dealers carried some slabs, but it is not their primary focus. Garth Duncan, proprietor of Gems of an Idea, however, carries slabs galore. With at least 20 linear feet of table space, largely occupied by tubs of slabs, one can purchase an astonishing array of jaspers, agates, jade, tiger eye, rhodonite, and some mystery rocks. Among other purchases from Garth, I was unable to resist some very unusual old-stock a slice of possible Botswana agate, a heel cut of Dryhead agate,Stone Canyon jasper in deep orange colors and a piece of tiger eye embedded in some (Graveyard Point-like plume agate):
Further scrutinizing what dealers have to offer, I succumbed to the sweet siren song of some gemmy Utah dinosaur bone (“gembone”) from Tom’s Rocks:
Of course, any gem show is incomplete without visiting the jade dealers. We are lucky enough to have Mike and Joan Burkleo of Friends of Jade come to our show most years. Not only do they sell suiseki, slicks and cobbles, but also carved and crafted jade items. Of these, my favorite (and completely out of my price range) are the jade knives, displayed illuminated to show their translucence:
Perhaps one day…
Since I was working, I was unable to get photos of all the dealers. Some I could not get due to lighting issues or not wanting to interfere with customers. In any case, I will try again on Sunday. These fine folks include sellers of magnificent crystal specimens, a mind-boggling array of meteorites and other fine materials. To finish, here are some more assorted photos I did get:
Gil Gonzalez, benitoite dealer/club member:
Joy Shopping at Garth’s booth:
Carrie helping a lucky winner at the prize wheel:
Bobbie working the raffle booth:
Green River Formation fossils atApplegate lapidary (owners of the cave bear):
Well, that is all for now. I have other plans for tomorrow, but I will be returning on Sunday.