Gold, gems, mineral specimens, jewelry, and fun activities. These and other treasures are all being offered at the 16th Annual Mariposa Gem and Mineral Show on Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 10, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Mariposa Fairgrounds.
This show is put on as a fundraiser for the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, which will be open for free with admission to the Gem and Mineral Show.
According to the Mariposa Gem and Mineral Club Chairperson, Meredith Meehan, the show will be bigger and better than ever this year, featuring more than 35 vendors, with a wide variety of items, including gemstone jewelry and rough, breathtaking mineral and rock specimens, fossils, crystals, beads, and mineral-related crafts of all sorts. Geodes, or round hollow rocks, can be purchased and cut on site to reveal the hidden crystals within.
This annual show is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, and most of the items offered for sale can only be found at this show, along with knowledgeable vendors who will explain how to tell the difference between real gold and “fools” gold.
Some great prizes will be offered in a raffle and silent auction, with tacos, hot dogs, and donuts available.
There will also be a Gold Rush miners’ camp, featuring docents in period costume. Various mining tools and equipment will be on display, and the public will be invited to see how the 49ers lived and mined gold. Some lucky observers will get the chance to mine for some gold.
An added feature of this show is the opportunity to hear from several gem and mineral experts. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon, Mike Evans, curator of the Fallbrook Mineral and Gem Museum will lecture on the most popular and beautiful collectible minerals.
At 2 p.m., Michael Santos will talk about rocks from space, and showing how to find and identify meteorites.
On Sunday, at 11 a.m., Joy McClure of the Mariposa Gem and Mineral Club will demonstrate how to use straw and water to cast unique silver and copper jewelry elements, and at 2 p.m., Yosemite National Park staff Geologist Dr. Greg Stock will explain the formation of granite, effects of glaciation, rock fractures and rock falls, and the geology of rock climbing.
Official state mineral collection
Inside the museum, discover California’s geologic diversity by viewing the official mineral collection of the state of California. This collection, which began in 1880, includes over 13,000 objects from California and around the world. See the rare and beautiful Fricot “Nugget,” discovered in the American River in 1864. The 13.8-pound specimen is the largest remaining intact mass of crystalline gold from 19th century California.
Also in the museum, one can experience the gold-mining era by traveling through a mine tunnel, view an assay office, and watch a working scale-model of a stamp mill.
During the show, the museum will hold a special free scavenger hunt, where children can win a prize.
The theme of the show, “Mountains of Minerals,” is a collaboration of the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, the Mining and Mineral Museum Association, and the Mariposa Gem and Mineral Club.
Parking is free, and admission is $3 for adults, and free for children ages 14 and under.
“Whether you’re a rockhound, a lover of California history, young or old, or just looking for some great, inexpensive entertainment, you’ll find it all and more at the 16th Annual Mariposa Gem and Mineral Show,” Meehan said.
Details: (209) 742-7625.