REEDSPORT — The Lower Umpqua Gem and Lapidary Society hosted its annual Gem and Mineral Show over the weekend where hundreds of visitors from around Oregon gathered to celebrate their love of gems and rocks.
The show, which was held at the Reedsport Community Center, featured more than 20 displays of various rocks, minerals, agates, fossils, petrified wood and gems.
Faceter Karl Granzow works on a stone during the annual Lower Umpqua Gem and Lapidary Society Show at the Reedsport Community Building.
Bill Hendrickson, the president of the Lower Umpqua Gem and Lapidary Society, said the show is a fun way to get children excited and interested in learning about rocks.
“It’s educational for everyone,” he said. “For the kids, we have a treasure hunt for them to do where they can look around the displays and answers some questions on a worksheet we handed them.”
Once completed, the kids got the opportunity to pick out a free thunder-egg rock that was collected and washed up by its club members.
“My grandson loves rocks,” said attendee Linda Thurber. “It was great walking around to each display with him and learning about the different rocks and the states that they come from.”
For more than 12 years, Hendrickson said the club has promoted the lapidary arts throughout the Oregon Coast and Reedsport area sharing with community members its knowledge of rock-related crafts.
This year the show also featured about 10 rock and gem dealers, some from as far as Spokane, Wash. Folks were able to purchase rocks and add to their collections by choosing from either the number of dealers on hand or from the club itself.
Attendees were also encouraged to vote on their favorite display for the annual “People’s Choice” award. Hendrickson said the show takes about six months to plan and that each member does a great job working together to help make it a success.
This July, Hendrickson, who has been president for 15 years, added he will be stepping down as president and handing over the position to club member Troy Siefer. He will continue working with the club as one of its co-chairman.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “We’re a great club and this is a great show.”
For those interested in becoming a member or learning more about the Lower Umpqua Gem and Lapidary Society, visit its Facebook page or call Siefer at 541-420-9905.