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Swap stories and gems at the 9th annual Rock, gem and jewelry sale next Saturday

Living the Wild Life

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Photos: Bill Schiess |

The Ninth Annual Members Rock, Gem and Jewelry Sale will take place next Saturday, October 5, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Pinecrest Event Center in Idaho Falls. The sale is for members of the Idaho Falls Gem and Mineral Society to sell rocks they have collected, jewelry they have made and finished free-formed stones designed for wire-wrapping.

“We will have about 50 tables set up for members of the club to display what they have been doing all year and to allow the public to purchase these items,” Terry Ryan, president of the club, said. “It is a place where our members can really show off what they have been doing.”

There will be a $3 admission charge for visitors, but children under 12 years of age will be admitted free at 560 East Anderson next to Fred Meyer.

For guests interested in rocks there will be rough slabs and polished rocks, gemstones, mineral specimens, fossils and jewelry-making supplies, including some saws. This is also the place for rockhounds, who are looking for a special rock to finish, to find it from some of the club members that spend the winter in Arizona.

Many of the tables will feature hand-made and finished rock jewelry by some of the top lapidary craftsmen in the nation, while other tables will feature slabs of rock that come from Idaho and neighboring states.

“Most of what I will be selling will be slabs for people interested in making their own items,” said Tony Turley from Rexburg. “I will have bags that contain three to four slabs that will be priced from $10 to $25, depending on the size and quality of the material.”

Those looking for unique jewelry and other craft items will find other types of artisan creations.

“Along with our rocks, my wife and I will be selling jewelry made from copper and leather,” Bill Whittington from Sugar City said. “We will also be displaying some of my wife’s paintings.”

Beading, wire-wrapping and knapping supplies, along with finished items will be on display for sale.

One of my favorite activities at these sales are the story-telling and rock hounding conversations we engage in with the sellers, collectors and visitors. We are always looking for a place to collect rocks. Since most of the semi-precious Idaho gems comes from “central Idaho,” we are looking for a specific creek or ridge where they may be found.

Often times we are looking for a name to “no-tellum” creek, not realizing that pockets of desired rock are no larger than a vehicle. Remember, rock stories are sometimes like fish tales: some are unbelievable. But visiting with experienced rockhounds can be very enlightening and enjoyable.

There will be a lot of treasures to be found at the rock sale as you search through the beautiful displays, but you may not get a chance to purchase or even see some of the best the table-keepers have. Things like a fist full of green and white seam agates or a 14-pound chunk of green moss agate. They came from recent trips to “no-tellum” ridge in “central Idaho.” You will have to find them for yourself, but attendance to the rock sale is a good place to start.