Rock Hounds Find Gem of a Deal

The 24th Annual Gemstone & Jewelry Show takes place January 24-26 at the Tyler Rose Garden Center in Tyler. Presented by East Texas Gem and Mineral Society (ETGMS), the three-day event takes visitors on an expedition sure to thrill aspiring or experienced archeologists, paleontologists, geologists, lapidary artists, or even average rock hounds.

The show features demonstrations and vendors with gemstones, jewelry, minerals, fossils, and much more. There are amethysts and rose quartz and geodes with crystal surprises inside. There’s a colorful fluorescent mineral display, lapidary materials, flint knapping, wire wrapping, and the popular rock food table.

The rock food table is a 35-year collection of natural rocks that look like food. A long table displays hundreds of items that delight and entertain viewers and fool some into trying to take a bite from time to time.

One of the show coordinators, Kinney Polve, says each year they get a variety of visitors with a wide range of interests.

"Some come for the artifacts. Some can relate to fossils forming millions of years ago. Some are into paleontology and want to know more about who was here. Some are interested in how the earth was formed and the different layers. Then others just like pretty rocks."

Polve says on the first day of the show they invite area schools to bring students in to learn about lapidary arts (cutting and polishing stone) and see a wide selection of gems and minerals not common to the area.

"The kids get to see fossil displays and demonstrations of panning for gold and they learn about a lot of things they won’t see in a classroom setting."

The event also has a silent auction table, door prizes, raffles, and other activities.

Tyler Rose Garden Center is located at 420 South Rose Park Drive. The show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children and students. For Friday education tours, teachers and school administrators can call (903) 978-0268 to schedule. For general public information, call (903) 316-2967 and visit www.etgms.com.

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