Rebounding from the big armed robbery last September, the California State Mining and Mineral Museum is back open and will be a big part of this weekend's Mariposa Gem and Mineral Show at the Mariposa Fairgrounds. There is no charge for admission or parking.
Gemstones, rock cutting, panning for gold for the children and lovely jewelry makes for a fun and educational outing for the whole family. The show will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free and the show is free.
Beautiful crystals and gemstones will be on display in both the vendor booths as well as the museums extensive collection. Children can go on a scavenger hunt in the museum, visit the mine tunnel, explore rocks and minerals at the touch table, as well as hear talks and demonstrations about gold rush history, the finds, the tools and the mining methods of the 1849 gold rush days. A wide variety of gemstone jewelry and rough, mineral and rock specimens, fossils, crystals, beads and mineral related crafts will be available from vendors.
Scheduled guest speakers and demonstrations include:
11 a.m., Saturday: Kent England will reveal the world of micro-minerals and how to start a micromount collection.
2 p.m. Saturday: Prospector and owner of Gold Rush Trading Post, Fred Radonic, will demonstrate the basics of using metal detectors for gold prospecting.
11 a.m. Sunday: Artist Gerry Cross will demonstrate how to create beaded jewelry.
2 p.m. Sunday: Larry Martin, from the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera, will give a presentation about Pleistocene fossils from the Fairmead fossil excavation.
There will be silent auctions throughout both days.
Details: Nikki West, (209) 742-4234, Randy Bolt, state museum, (209) 742-7625, camineralmuseum.com.