BRISTOL — The Bristol Gem & Mineral Show proved a rocking good time for hundreds of visitors Saturday.
“It’s cool to see all these different crystals and old stones and fossils and what I liked best — the jewelry made from some of them,” said Cindy Bitterman, a Newington resident who said she’s been coming to the show for years.
Many dealers from across the region gathered at the Beals Senior-Community Center to show off their wares and to explain to the curious what it was all about.
“I learned that some of the rocks are worth a hundred dollars,” said James Michel, an 9-year-old from Southington. He said he plans to dig through “a bunch of pebbles” beside a creek near his home to see what he can find.
The show, a 42-year tradition, which continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., has two rooms featuring dealers and displays as well as free activities for youngsters.
Display cases on the stage of the lunch room area are chock full of all sorts of minerals that range from a chunk of chalcocite from the old Bristol copper mine to garnets found in Roxbury.
A case full of fossils has an array of remnants from ages long past, capturing in stone everything from an ancient pine cone to a shark tooth from Morocco.
Sheila Sullivan, who lives in Poughkeepsie, said she picked up a couple of necklaces “made of some kind of shimmering green” that she pronounced perfect for a Halloween costume she’s putting together. She wouldn’t say what, though, because “it has to be a surprise.”
Admission to the show is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and free for children 12 and under who are with an adult.
Organized in 1972, the Bristol Gem and Mineral Club aims to foster interest in the earth and geological sciences, minerals and the lapidary arts.
Members include mineral collectors, jewelry makers, gem cutters and nature enthusiasts. Anyone interested in rocks, gems and minerals is welcome to join.
Find out more about the club at bristolgem.org. It meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the dining room of the senior center, 240 Stafford Ave.
The Bristol Press October 18, 2014
By STEVE COLLINS, STAFF WRITER
AVERAGE JOE wrote on Oct 19, 2014 3:04 AM:
” The show gets better and better every year, and this year its the best I’ve ever seen. It’s worth going to, if only to see some of the exquisite wonders of nature – like you’re at a Natural History Museum, and there are many educational aspects too, if you’re so inclined. Scouts in uniform are admitted free and can work on the geology badge there. “