Rocks and gems in the spotlight at Exhibition

·3 min read

Something about gems, crystals, and minerals draws us to them. Whether that be the appealing appearance or something within, either way, there is no denying these treasures of the earth are enticing tokens to behold.

The Rock N Gem show opened to the public Wednesday morning with opportunities for the public to purchase a wide variety of gemstones, crystals, minerals, fossils, and more at the Lethbridge Exhibition.

Melissa Robak, one of the business owners of Silver Cove, shared the beginnings of the start of her and her husband’s business and how their passion grew.

“Chris always loved minerals, and when we were able to combine the two, we really grew and created an appreciation in the rest of the world for the minerals that we were so passionate about and we really enjoyed. And so, the two of them sort of blended well, and we have just expanded from there. We really just started at a six-foot table at a farmers’ market,” she said.

The show runs daily starting at 10 a.m. and closes Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. There are approximately 350 tables set up with a wide sort of items from all over the world. Chris Robak, of Silver Cove, said although the stones are from all over the world, there is a diverse selection of stones from Canada.

“The gems and minerals show encompasses rocks, minerals, gemstones, crystals, fossils from all over the world. Not only does it encompass crystals and gems from all over the world, but probably has the most diverse Canadian gemstones and minerals you’ll find anywhere. We have actually specialized in buying Canadian minerals from British Columbia, so we actually got four full sections of Canadian products,” he said.

The admission fee is $2 per person, and all the money from admissions will be donated to the food bank. Chris expressed the benefits and purpose individuals have at these kinds of events.

“Some people are in it for the benefits. Some people are in it for the collector’s side of things. Collecting mineral specimens because a lot of people don’t realize it, but so many of these minerals and precious gemstones contain a value, and they go up in value. Rather people are in it for the crafting benefits of it, like they sell craft at farmer's market or they do a lot of their own jewelry at home. Some are from the metaphysical crowd that loves it for the healing properties,” he said.

One of the items that can be found that this year’s Rock N Gem show is a mammoth tusk discovered by gold miners in the Yukon.

Robak said where the show was first staged in Lacombe and tours have gone across the country since.

“In Lacombe, Alberta is where it started. Took over a little mall, just exploded from there. wWent to Calgary, then to Edmonton, went to Medicine Hat, and now it goes all the way to Ottawa and Niagara Falls. Goes to Victoria to Ottawa,” he said.

Before the show opened, Immanuel Christian Elementary School had the opportunity to have two classes tour around, with children being shown all the different types of stones.

“For one thing, it is wonderful thing for them to see rocks and minerals from all different places in the world in one location. And they do a great job in allowing us to take a look and explore, and that is something we study in grade three as well, and we just get to see it first-hand,” said teacher Immanuel Christian Elementary School Jackie Postman.

Steffanie Costigan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald