A rock and gem show is a collection of stalls that professional gemologists and rockhounds alike set up to sell their goods. And it's not just about selling. There are many pieces that are just on display. I like this because you can have an interesting and exciting experience without having to buy anything.
I've seen ammonites twice as big as my head, an amethyst geode big enough for two kids to sit in, whole clusters of fossilized dinosaur eggs, and petrified wood bar tables. These can also be used as a kind of natural advertisement as well. For example, an ammonite specialist might put out his biggest ammonites on display to steer buyers to his stall.
I bought a large piece of malachite at the Abbotsford Gem and Mineral Show. It was a very good price and quite beautiful, and I believe that was a very good find indeed!
You also went "rockhounding" on two weekends. What exactly is rockhounding?
In my opinion, rockhounding is when people with a love for fossils, minerals, rocks and gemstones go to their local riverbank to try their luck at finding something! Sometimes you find the odd piece of petrified wood or agate, but sometimes rocks catch your eye simply because they are beautiful.
Did you find anything special in your rockhounding trips?
Do you consider yourself a gemologist or a geologist?
I'd say a geologist because my range of interests goes beyond gemstones. I love fossils, minerals and just plain old rocks!
Now that you have quite an expanded collection, can you tell us your favourite piece? What do you wish to collect next?
I really like my malachite; my tektites are interesting and so are my petrified woods. I would like to maybe try and collect an ammonite from a gem show, but I would like to find a fossil on a rockhounding trip too!