Gem & Mineral Show begins

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Robert Stuart, 10, and Melody Gonzalez, 11, of Houghton dig for copper samples at the Gem & Mineral Show at Houghton Elementary School Friday.

HOUGHTON — Boasting gems, minerals, fossils and plenty of activities, the annual three-day Gem & Mineral Show kicked off Friday at Houghton Elementary School.

The show, which has been held for more than 20 years, is put on by the Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club.

“This is a fundraiser for us, but it also gets people interested in collecting minerals, and we get quite a lot of new members,” said show chairman Norm Gruber.

Most sellers come from the Upper Peninsula, though there are also booths from northeastern Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin, Gruber said.

On average, the show draws about 1,000 people over the three days, Gruber said. Things had been busy Friday afternoon, Gruber said. Saturday usually depends on the weather.

Among the notable booths are a couple who have been coming for many years who make wire-wrapped jewelry and lapidary pieces. Another seller has faceted gems and semi-precious stones.

This year, some newer dealers are specializing in crinoid fossils and geodes, Gruber said.

New this year is a presentation on the science, facts and myths about dinosaurs found in “Jurassic Park.” Saturday’s talk will take place at 3 p.m. One of the sellers of fossils at the show leads the presentation, Gruber said.

There is also a treasure hunt for children in which they can find copper samples with a metal detector.

Robert Stuart, 10, and Melody Gonzalez, 11, of Houghton were among those sifting through cedar bark for treasure Friday afternoon.

“I think it’s cool,” Gonzalez said. “I like rocks.”

The metal detector was Stuart’s favorite part.

“I like searching and then digging through and finding big pieces of copper and iron,” he said.

The show continues 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information go to ccrmc.info.