July 12th, 2024

Minerals and gems in spotlight

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on March 27, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Sean Herdman picks up a type of quartz rock during the Rock N' Gem Show over the weekend at the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre.

An array of rocks and minerals were on display during the Silver Cove’s CanGems Rock and Gem Show at the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre over the past weekend.

“The focus of the Rock N’ Gem show is to showcase minerals and fossils, different crystals, gems from around the world,” said Marcel Jensen-Allard, road show manager for CanadaGems Shows.

“We go and we collect things from around the world or get them shipped to us. We develop relationships with the minds, get direct from the supplier, and then bring from around the world so that we can showcase what different things we have. So that it shows that there’s more variation to rocks and minerals than the stuff that you find in a ravine, your backyard, the wash rock that gets put on the side of your house and just gravel.”

The show fills up to 40,000 feet of exhibition space with their rocks and minerals alone compared to many other similar shows that are just vendors.

“There isn’t really other travelling rock and gem shows that showcase the size that we do,” said Jensen-Allard.

A unique part of the show were the natural lights from the Ice River Complex in B.C.

“In there, there have been numerous different micro minerals and other minerals that have been discovered that have never been discovered in North America,” he said.

Allard-Jensen thought erythrite, cuprite and malachite from the Congo were new to him because he had never heard of those minerals until he started with the company.

“We try to make sure that we have an even amount of everything that we have so that there is a good selection of minerals from each region of the world,” he said.

“There’s always lots of options from all over the world,” said Cat Gilbert ,who was at the show with her three daughters.

“I love that and local stuff. So like Alberta rocks and gems.”

Gilbert is a fan of turquoise, ammonite and all the fossils.

She first became a fan of rocks just when she was little when she used to bring rocks back from the park.

“The ones that you find in the gravel or on the beach because it’s fun,” she said.

Sean Herdman is a rock collector.

“Mostly I’m into crystal clusters,” he said.

“That’s kind of what I look for, different types of quartzes.”

His love of rocks slowly turned into crystals.

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