Ishpeming, Michigan – August 2, 2014 – The Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club held it’s 39th Annual Gem and Mineral Show today at the Ishpeming Elks Lodge. Working demonstrations throughout the day and displays drew crowds of young and old alike.
It’s the club’s 61st anniversary this year and many members were on hand at the show to run displays and demonstrations, as well as answer questions. Club president Charlie Richardson was grateful for the beautiful weather and said the event is one of the big draws in the Midwest for rock hounds along with next week’s show in Houghton.
Club member Bob Clark was helping with the silent auction today and he mentioned that the items on display came from dozens of vendors, local and from all over the world. There were many beautiful jewelry items on display at the show and even some “dino bones”. Visitors to the show participated in the silent auction, viewed micro mounted crystals, and even created their own custom jewelry.
Ernie Johnson, who organized the show, talked with me about agates and the two best places on Lake Superior to find them (Grand Marais and the Copper Country). He also introduced me to a lifetime member of the Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club, Olive Sain, who is 97 years old. Olive was working at a well-lit table identifying specimens. She said some of the specimens at the show came from India and Pakistan.
Another member of the club, Joyce Smith, showed me the table they had set up just for kids. “The rock show of course draws everybody,” Smith said, “but we’re interested in getting the kids involved so we set up a table just for them.” Kids could pick up an egg carton and fill it with specimens to start their own identified collection. The club even held a drawing for one lucky child to win a rock tumbler. What a great way to start someone’s collection!