What: 29th annual Rock and Gem Show
Who: El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society
Where: El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville
When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days
Tickets: $4 for adults and children 12 and under are free. If an adult donates a child-size wearable coat, $1 is subtracted from admission. $5 for parking
Information: Call 530-676-2472 or visit rockandgem.org
Gold is not the only metal that holds value and is collectible. Copper is also a sought-after commodity and visitors to the 29th annual Rock and Gem Show can learn how inflation has increased the value of a penny for a thought.
The show, sponsored by the El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society, is on Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21 at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, and is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
The theme for this year is “All That Glitters.”
Cool resident Michael Graham will have some of his copper pieces in his gem and mineral collection at the show. He started gathering the metal when he started his Native American jewelry business many years ago.
“Turquoise and some of the other stones I work with have copper,” said Graham, 56. “That’s what gives that nice blue-green color.”
Graham, a member of the El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society has a rare turquoise crystal in his collection.
“There’s only one place in the country in Virginia where you can find turquoise crystals,” he said.
Copper can be found linked with other substances.
“There’s copper mixed with aluminum and some other minerals. It makes that blue-green color. Anywhere you find turquoise, you’ll find copper,” Graham said.
Another member of the local society also has an extensive collection.
Clay Williams, 60, an east Sacramento resident, has been collecting copper since he was 7 years old.
“My grandfather and his partner owned a cooper mine near Santa Fe, N.M.,” said Williams.
His collection has won awards at shows and will dazzle the visitors to the mineral and gem show.
“I usually display two cases. If I brought all of my collections, it would require more than one person to carry them. Each case is about 60 to 70 pounds with cooper in them,” Williams said.
In recent years, most of his copper specimens have come from Southern California.
“The oldest cooper I have belonged to my grandmother’s father. It dates back to the early 1900s, maybe late 1800s,” Williams said.
Bob Graton, president of the El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society, said there are 130 active members in the society and half are expected to display their collections.
“There will be demonstrators and exhibit cases,” Graton said. “We will have a variety of vendors.”
There will be special copper exhibits, where people can learn about copper minerals and the importance copper played in El Dorado County’s early mining years.
Forty case displays will give people a chance to view an amazing variety of gem, mineral, jewelry and lapidary collections.
More than 40 dealers are expected to be at the show to display worldwide minerals, gems, jewelry, beads and findings, fossils, petrified wood, meteorites, opals, gold, carvings, lapidary material, supplies, equipment, educational kits and books, Graton said.
There will be free lapidary and jewelry demonstrations.
Graton noted that people may want to check out the geodes with free geode cutting, the grab bags, the silent auction and bargain rocks.
Tickets are $4 for adults with children 12 and under admitted free. If an adult donates a child-size wearable coat, $1 is deducted from the admission. Parking is $5.
Food and refreshments will be served by the society’s members.
For more information call 530-676-2472 or visit rockandgem.org.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.