Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gem and Minerals shine at St. Joe's by Michelle Libby

The Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society held their annual mineral and gem show at
Saint Joseph’s College last weekend. The goal was to increase membership and visibility for the vendors and rock-hounds in attendance. The event is their largest fundraiser.

The Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to all education and cultural aspects of geology, mineralogy, lapidary arts and related subjects.
“For about $30 you can get into (panning for gold),” said Martin. Every time he goes out to look for gold he finds some, he said. “There’s no better way to spend a 90 degree day than sitting in a swift moving stream looking for gold,” he added.

At this event, vendors sold finished, polished minerals and gems. Some sold grab bags of rocks and bundles of stones, others sold rare stones found around the world. Touching was not always encouraged. 

The society meets once a month in Portland and in the summer months they take field trips to areas rich in, well, riches. Some of the areas are only accessible to society members because they have insurance, said Coral Hume who has been into gem hunting for five years and encouraged her husband, Rob, to get involved as well.

The Hume’s had two stations set up, one was a wheel of fortune game. When the wheel stopped whatever color it was on determined the prize. There were crystals, earrings and bundles of specimens up for grabs. Rob Hume had two “digs” set up in plastic swimming pools, where children could sift though the sand to find polished stones.

“We’re here for the kids. It’s our yearly fundraiser,” said Coral.   

A family membership costs $17 for a couple and their children under age 18. FMI, visit

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