Four Corners Gem & Mineral Club Hosts 68th Annual Show – The Durango Herald

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The 68th Annual Four Corners Gem & Mineral Show will be held July 8-10 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. (Courtesy)

The club is also celebrating its 75th anniversary

OK, rock hounds: The Four Corners Gem & Mineral Show is next weekend, so get ready.

Now in its 68th year, the show will take over the La Plata County Fairgrounds, July 8-10, and will have all sorts of rock-related things to keep you busy: there will be more than 60 vendors, classes, kids’ activities and food trucks.

And if the 68th edition isn’t impressive enough, the Jewel Club itself turns 75 this year. Jama Crawford, club member and past president, said the difference in birthdays between the show and the club is because the club had to cancel the show several times due to unforeseen events, such as the Missionary Ridge Fire of 2002 and the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the club now has around 200 member households.

WHAT: 68th Annual Four Corners Gemstone and Mineral Show.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on July 8 and 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 10.

WHERE: La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave.

ADMISSION: Adults $3 per day, children under 12 free with an adult.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.durangorocks.org.

REMARK: The Four Corners Gem & Mineral Club is looking for volunteers to help during the Gem & Mineral Show. To volunteer and for more information, visit https://bit.ly/3Agj8CQ.

One of the things that stands out about this year’s show is the wide range of vendors who will be there, said Cindy Pugsley, chair of the show.

“The highlights of the show, of course, will be the 60 vendors. And I think the main strength is the diversity of vendors that we’ve chosen to come in,” she said. “We have a member here who has a booth that only does cabochons. They spend the year cutting and then carving the shape, then polishing it into a cabochon. And then we have another member who specializes in making leather belts with turquoise and coral set in the belt, and then he also makes silver cuffs, mostly turquoise and silver. People we visited from all over the country come here we have metaphysical crystal people come we have wire wrapper i.e. his parts he specializes in wrapping gemstones . And then we have Native American jewelry coming up – it’s really diverse, I think that’s really the highlight, that’s how diverse it’s going to be.

Pugsley said she and her husband moved to Durango three years ago from suburban Chicago and were happy to find the Jewel Club because of what she brought with her when she moved.

“(My husband’s) grandfather worked for the forest service and he was responsible for Idaho, Montana and northern Colorado. In fact, they would climb a watchtower, spot any smoke, and then report it. But then, as he was doing all this hiking in these lookout towers, he started chasing rocks,” she said. “When he died, he gave his son – my husband’s father – a hundred 5-gallon buckets of rocks he had collected. And when my husband’s father died, we inherited them, and I said, ‘We have to move them across the country.’ And he looked at me like I was crazy, and I said, ‘No, no, no; I really want to do something with these stones.'”

She said she found people at the Four Corners Gem & Mineral Club who were just as excited about the buckets as she was. They showed her how to use the club, which offers education, jewelry-making classes, a tool shop for members to use, and field trips.

The 68th Annual Four Corners Gem & Mineral Show will be held next weekend at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. (Courtesy)

As for the secret to the club’s longevity, Pugsley and Crawford agree it can be attributed to a mixture of reasons why people are drawn to it – particularly those drawn to the geology and those who find themselves drawn by art. appearance of gemstones and minerals.

“There are a lot of rock clubs in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, so I think that’s the area because there are rocks available, but I also think that’s the people’s love for picking up rocks. I meet so many people and they’re like, ‘Oh, I want to join, I’ve got a bunch of rocks outside my mailbox that I picked up,’ Pugsley said. many people go on a hike and come home with a pocket full of nice rocks?… I think it’s the love of rocks – I don’t know about rocks, I think rocks talk to people and it’s just a little gem that they can pick up and whatever. A lot of our members are geologists, I think their love of rocks makes them want to share their knowledge. … This club in particular is very diversified.

“I think the main reason it survived so long is, well, one thing, there’s a human fascination with beautiful stones. It’s very deeply human, humans adorned themselves with stones – say the anthropologists before human speech. So it’s a deeply human activity to adorn ourselves and use stones or shells, something like that. I think it’s partly related to our human nature,” Crawford said. “I also think artists have always liked getting together – and of course there’s a lot of people in our club who are more of a geologist and aren’t looking for stones to make jewelry or anything like that, but they have a fascination for our regional geology. So these two groups – artists and scientists – converge in this space. And it’s a nice mix of what’s going on there.

As for next weekend: Pugsley said the club is looking for volunteers to help with the show. If this sounds like you, visit durangorocks.org for more information and to register.

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