45th annual Gem & Mineral Show & Swap rocks out this weekend in Madrid
Friday, August 26, 2011 - 11:51 am

MADRID – The St. Lawrence County Rock & Mineral Club announces that their 45th annual Gem & Mineral Show & Swap will return to Madrid again this year at the Municipal Park and Community Center, on the banks of the Grasse River Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27 & 28.

This show offers something for everyone: handcrafted jewelry made with semi-precious stones for the jewelry lover, gemstone beads, jewelry making supplies, and free lessons for the crafter, museum quality crystals, fossils, and mineral specimens for the nature lover and art collector,

It also offers handcrafted gift items, tumbled stones and grab bags for the kids, mineral collecting trips at some of St. Lawrence County’s famous rock-hunting sites for the serious or novice rockhound, fun and fellowship for rockhounds from all over the Northeast, and a different type of shopping experience for the general public.

Dozens of collectors from several Northeastern states and Southeastern Canadian provinces will set up camp on Friday evening.

Most will be offering part of their collections for sale to the public on Saturday and Sunday, as well as trading specimens with other vendors.

Several educational exhibits will be on display in the Community Building. Tickets will be sold for a chance to win a large Brazilian amethyst cathedral. The winning ticket will be drawn on Sunday afternoon.

A fluorescent mineral hunt for kids will take place after dark on Friday evening. Kids, age 11 or less, will first be treated to a Powerpoint presentation on fluorescent minerals, and then be able to borrow a portable black light to search for samples. They will be able to keep some of the minerals that they find. There is no charge for this activity.

A special feature this year will be free wire-wrapping lessons. Dave Millis, from Pennsylvania, has been a vendor at the show for several years. He is well known for his gem trees and wire-wrapped jewelry. He has offered to give free demonstrations to anyone who wants to learn his craft on both days of the show. All lessons are free, but there will be a charge for materials.

Returning this year is a very popular display of geodes and a geode cracker. Geodes are hollow rocks that contain crystals. They were formed millions of years ago by natural processes. Some contain white quartz crystals; others contain amethyst. The customer may purchase a geode, then be the first person in the history of the earth to see the crystals inside as it is split in half in front of them. The customer gets to keep both halves.

The food concession will be open Friday evening, as well as Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, and snow cones. Saturday night supper will be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Following supper on Saturday will be an auction of donated mineral specimens and other items of interest to rockhounds. It features auctioneer extraordinaire and man of many hats, Schuyler Alverson.

Anyone interested in camping, swapping and/or selling gems, jewelry, rocks, minerals, fossils, etc, may reserve a space for $15 per day. (Camping is available for vendors and club members only.)

Tailgating is $10 per day. Collecting at the nearby Power’s Farm, famous location for black tourmaline crystals, is $5 per day.

There is no charge for the public to attend the show; everyone is welcome.

For more information, check the club’s website at StLawrenceCountyMineralClub.org. Or contact Bob Taillon at 322-4034. E-mail address is [email protected]. mailto:[email protected].