Hickory – The Catawba Valley Gem and Mineral Club will hold their forty-eighth annual gem, mineral, fossil, and jewelry show on March 23, 24, and 25, 2018 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. The convention center is located at 1960 13th Ave Drive SE, in Hickory, NC. Hours are 9am till 6pm on Friday, 9am till 6pm on Saturday, and 10am till 5pm on Sunday.

Chaperoned school, boy or girl scouts, 4 H, church youth, day care, retirement home groups, law enforcement officers and military in uniform will be admitted free anytime during this 3 day event. Admission is $5 which is good for all three days. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

The 2018 show theme, “Treasures in Our Back Yard, Gems and Minerals of the Catawba Valley” will be highlighted with displayed discoveries of several club members and other well-known collectors in the Catawba Valley area. Focal displays will include emeralds, rutile, hiddenite, quartz, amethyst, etc. Plans also call for presentations about gem and mineral collecting in the area by well-known rock hounds and experts in the field on Saturday, March 24.

The show is being dedicated to deceased club members, Jake Canipe, Ken Arnold, and Danny Jones.

Many other educational displays and presentations will be in operation during regular show hours. Some of the areas will include fossils, Indian artifacts, wire-wrapping, cabochoning, faceting, and other lapidary arts. In addition to the focal Catawba Valley gem and mineral displays, other glass-enclosed displays will feature high quality specimens from many United States locations and other countries.

Two education areas will be in operation on Friday, March 23. As many as 12 small group presentations by club members, geology specialists, gemologists, etc. highlight areas such as minerals, fossils, Indian artifacts, and gems. Public, private, and home school groups are invited to attend the educational activities on Friday, March 23, to enjoy these different presentations that align with their geology curriculum. School groups will need to pre-register with the club to attend. A second educational area will house hands on display where attendees are encouraged to handle labeled specimens and to study them with the aid of a magnifying lens. Club members will be on hand to assist in comparing texture, luster, and other properties of minerals and to answer questions.

Other educational demonstrations include the lapidary arts and a display using black lights will allow visitors to see fluorescent minerals. A special limited-touch area will provide an educational experience with fossils such as shark’s teeth. Younger children will enjoy searching for free specimens a mini mine. Participants are invited to bring gem and mineral samples for identification at a booth in the education area staffed by a geologist. Over twenty vendors will be on hand to sell during the show. Some vendors provide jewelry benchwork such as stone mounting and wire-wrapping.

A special area will be in place where Boy Scouts may complete most requirements for two merit badges on Saturday or Sunday, March 24 from 9:30-4:00pm and on March 25 from 11 to 3pm. Scouts wishing to complete requirements should have reviewed the requirements before coming to the show, so they are prepared to complete these requirements. Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth groups are also encouraged to attend.

Drawings for regular door prizes will be held every hour. A grand door prize of significant value is given at the end of the show. Special door prizes will be given school and youth groups. The club will be selling grab bags containing minerals and fossils for $1 each. Geodes will also be available.

The Catawba Valley Gem and Mineral Club also has an education committee that will provide programs related to gems, minerals, and fossils in local schools and for various youth groups. An educational exhibit is also available for display in schools for a period of one to two weeks at no charge. Information concerning these services will be available at the gem and mineral show or from Dr. George Max, education chairperson. His phone number is (828) 328-9107.

The web page for the club is www.cvgmc.com/SpecialEvents.html. For additional information concerning the show, contact Dean Russell, show chairman, at [email protected] or Dr. Warren Hollar, club educational liaison, at [email protected].