51st Annual Gem and Mineral Show

Earth is one of the four rocky planets in our solar system. (Interesting note: in 2011, NASA reported finding the first rocky planet outside our solar system.) But other than landscaping and vocabulary (“You rock!” “Do you have rocks in your head?”) many people don’t routinely give rocks much attention.

But the Fort Collins Rockhounds do. Last weekend, this group presented the 51st Annual Gem and Mineral Show at the Larimer County Fairgrounds. We went last year, and my boys were hooked, so we decided to make it an annual event. The show isn’t huge, but for its size, it showcases some amazing gems, rocks, and minerals.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science had a beautiful turquoise display. The US Geological Survey was there with lots of geological information and the biggest sheet of mica I’ve ever seen. The Metro State College Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences gave kids of all ages a crash course in indentifying rocks and minerals. Additionally, fossils, quartz, wind-polished stones from Wyoming (surprise, that wind is good for something), shells, the Tent of Fluorescence (well, that’s what I call it), vendors, and the awesome $1 grab bags meant there was something for every rockhound.

Oh, and I learned the definition of a cabochon: a highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted gem. So there.

The Rockhounds meet once a month and welcome visitors at their meetings. Check their website for details.


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