Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gem and Mineral Show Door Prizes!

Visitors to the 26th Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Show on Labor Day Weekend in Silver City will be asked to fill out a brief survey when they arrive. The survey, which takes only a moment, automatically enters the visitor free of charge in a drawing to win one of three fabulous door prizes. Winners will be drawn at the close of the show, and notified by telephone or email.

Among the door prizes is a lovely slab of mineral called Selenite from Mexico that was purchased at the Quartsite show by club members Lee Stockman and Judy Allen. It is approximately 12 x 14 inches and includes a display stand. Gypsum is another name for this mineral, but the colorless, transparent form is called Selenite, from the Greek, meaning "moon stone".

Thanks to a generous donation from Kevin Cook and Sylveen Robinson-Cook, owners of the Royal Scepter Gem and Minerals in Silver City; another door prize is a unique Swan Valley Copper enameled bowl. The artists, Roger and Jerry Watson, have perfected the ancient technique of cooper enameling creating deep color tones and a beautiful porcelain surface with solid copper welded edges and filigree designs.

Rockhounds at all levels of experience will appreciate a door prize that consists of two excellent publications: the New Mexico Geological Society publication Geology of the Gila Wilderness - Silver City Area and the New Mexico Geologic Highway Map.

The survey provides important information that helps plan future shows by demonstrating the diverse demographics of visitors. It provides information that is used to direct advertising efforts and to support the request for funds from the Lodgers Tax. It is also useful in attracting and retaining high quality show vendors.

In the last survey almost 35% of show visitors came from outside of Grant County, encompassing over 20 different States. A telephone survey of local motels indicated full occupancy during the show weekend. Some visitors indicated that they stayed for multiple days. Although the Show was their primary reason for the visit, visits were extended to enjoy the other area amenities.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gem and Mineral Show Field Trips

The Grant County Rolling Stones (no affiliation with Jagger and Richards) are once again hosting their popular Annual Gem and Mineral Show at the Silver City Recreation Center on Labor Day Weekend.

Although people come from far and near to buy and sell mineral specimens, jewelry and other mineral related items, some people may not know that an exciting part of the show includes the field trips offered each of the three days. They depart from the Recreation Center parking lot at 9:00 Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning.

The trips are set up to take rock hounds to nearby locations to look for and collect local rocks and minerals for display or working into pieces of jewelry. In the past, the Rolling Stones have visited sites near Georgetown, Ft. Bayard, Fierro, and they always offer a trip to the club's own claim on Bear Mountain to look for geodes and the famous banded fortification agate. This year, in addition to the Bear Mountain claim, the trips include Saddlerock Canyon and Turkey Creek Road.

The Friday trip to Bear Mountain is a short ways out of town, and most of the material found is well-suited for jewlery-quality cabochons. Fossils are also found in the area, but not everyone goes away with one of those prizes.

On Saturday, Saddlerock Canyon in the Burro Mouuntains has a lush, unique little drainage where dark gray limestone nodules occur with golden iron sulfide crystals embedded inside. They can be cut and polished into impressive cabochons. The area also offers occasional fossils, including ammonites, and many people have carried out some curious yard rocks.

On Monday, the club will visit fluorite mines along dramatic Turkey Creek Road outside Gila where rock hounds might find green or purple fluorite crystals or banded massive fluorite that makes colorful specimens or can be tumbled or cabbed.

A high clearance vehicle is recommended for all three trips, but people can usually find someone to ride with if they are reluctant to drive. Rain can cause a trip to be cancelled, but it's best to show up if you think there's any doubt. Most trips are over by lunchtime, but the Turkey Creek Road trip is farther than the others, and it's always a good idea to bring snacks or a lunch and plenty of water. A rock hammer, small shovel, and bag or bucket are suggested for each trip. You may email for more information.

In addition to the field trips, the Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Show includes an eye-popping selection of things to admire and buy, an on-going silent auction, the wheel of fortune, door prizes, and educational mineral displays. It takes place on Labor Day weekend. Sept. 5-7. Hours: Sat. & Sun.10am-5pm, Mon. 10am-4pm. Location: Silver City Recreation Center, 11th and Gold Streets, Silver City, NM. Admission is free.

by Kyle Meredith

Membership grows!

The Club continues to grow with more new members each year. As of this month, according to Club Treasurer Marcia Fisch, we have 218 members, with a total of 138 families. This includes 30 who are Life Members.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July club meeting

Last night's club meeting began with a wonderful potluck, followed by an action packed meeting. As the show approaches, there were many items of business raised by the show committee members. Everything is on track for a bigger and better-than-ever Labor Day Gem and Mineral Show. Members signed up for an assortment of tasks such as set-up and take-down, greeting visitors, delivering posters and brochures, and helping with our vendor dinner. Everyone's help is needed, so members who are still without show jobs should consult their July Beacon for needs and contact information. The meeting closed with a great presentation on rock tumbling by our own expert, Ginger Coombs.