Visiting a Gem and Mineral Show

Have you ever been to a gem and mineral show?  There is probably one local to your area.  There is one somewhere every weekend.   Here are some tips for enjoying your visit.

Mineral Show Table

Flickr photo by Craig Elliot

Where Do I Find Gem and Mineral Show Information?

If you live in central Canada a great place to start is the Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies (CCFMS), it is a non-profit federation of rock, mineral and lapidary clubs for hobbyists in central Canada.  Learn about events and mineral clubs.
Canada’s largest gem and mineral show is the Bancroft Gemboree in Ontario.
In Toronto there are three gem shows each year. Check TorontoGemShow.com for a show coming soon!
At a gem show you might find attractions such as:
  • Pan for Gold!
  • Get expert mineral identification with an expert from the Royal Ontario Museum.
  • Expert gemstone identification from an expert from the Canadian Gemmological Association.
  • Listen to rockhound talks with geologists from Natural Resource Canada.
  • Take a guided Mineral Collecting Field Trip with a professional geologist. Get all your questions answered.
  • Watch the faceting of gemstones.
  • Watch Artists carving before your eyes.
  • Children’s activities

Perhaps you live near a branch of the gemmological association for your country and could attend a meeting or conference.  The Canadian Gemmological Association welcomes you to a monthly meeting to hear discussions on a variety of gem and jewellery topics. If you can’t wait to go to a show or a meeting you could visit a museum.  Most museums have a gem and mineral collection in their natural history departments.  The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto has an excellent collection in their Natural History Galleries.

Teck Cominco Suite of Earth Sciences Galleries

Photo by J McKercher

At a gem and mineral show there are many things to buy such as specimens, jewellery and beads.  You can also visit the show and treat it as a museum.  The vendors are all passionate about gems and minerals and will share their knowledge with you.

Abbotsford Mineral Show

Flickr photo by Craig Elliot

What should I do at the gem show?

  • Give yourself lots of time.
  • Ask questions.
  • Go with a list.
  • Enjoy yourself!

Your Input(Join our poll or scroll down and leave a comment)

I plan to introduce different gemstones alphabetically.  I will start with “A” (Ammolite) and see where it leads me.  Leave a comment and let me know if you have a favourite gemstone that starts with the letter “F”.  Take the poll (Emerald is winning)!  Can you name a reference to a gemstone in a song, movie or book?

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About Jen McKercher

Jennifer McKercher teaches gemmology at the Canadian Gemmological Association. A passion for gemstones drives Jen to learn as much as she can about the wonders of gemstones and how they enhance our lives.

Posted on July 21, 2011, in Gemmology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi Sheba,
    Thank you so much. I am trying to publish every Wednesday. Next time you visit take the poll. I wish visitors could see the gemstones entered in the “Other” category when they click to see the results. So far in the “Other” category someone voted for tsavorite garnet (which I think is beautiful) and one voted for poudretteite ( which I have never seen). Only seven crystals were ever discovered in the 1960s in St. Hilaire, Quebec and they were not registered as a new species until 1986. The only other reported source is the Mogok region in northern Myanmar. Cheers, Jen

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