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Wed, Sept. 18

Cache of cabochons and more at Gem & Mineral Show

Trib Photo/Briana Lonas<BR>
Vendors turn on their lights and arrange their wares moments after the doors open on Friday during the Prescott Gem and Mineral Club Show and Sale at Tim’s Toyota Center.

Trib Photo/Briana Lonas<BR> Vendors turn on their lights and arrange their wares moments after the doors open on Friday during the Prescott Gem and Mineral Club Show and Sale at Tim’s Toyota Center.

There may not be anything more irresistible than a glittering chunk of Russian quartz or a smooth and enticing citrine that promotes warming and protective qualities.

The 11th annual Prescott Gem and Mineral Club at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley featured thousands of "reach out and touch" displays as well as many kept safely under glass during the weekend blitz dedicated for rock hounds and anyone with an interest in the earth's unique treasures.

Dozens of juried vendors displayed their precious stones, artwork, jewelry and crystals that provided dazzling and educational components to one of northern Arizona's largest gem shows.

Vendors also set out polished spheres, beautiful jewelry designs, collectible crystals, copper, petrified woods, and everything one needs to begin in the lapidary arts.

"We always come here, this is awesome. This year we brought my nephew," said Seth Griffin. He explained that he regularly attends the gem and mineral club's shows. Griffin makes jewelry and enjoys gathering new ideas as well as materials for his hobby.

Greg Capatch manned his booth full of collectible crystals and said he and his wife attend at least 12 shows a year. His business specializes in unique, splashed copper designs to include ornate crystals that Capatch sells to many specialty markets in Sedona.

Rick Krueger filled his vendor space with cabochons, or polished gems, including such stunning items as moldavite, celestite and lepidolite.

Abdul Gardezy traveled from Chandler to offer his wares of brilliant jewelry designs boasting diamonds, rubies, black pearls, amethyst and sapphires.

"Every year, we get better at this," said Prescott Gem and Mineral Club Co-Chair Maggi Lieber. The club is 13 years old with about 250 active members, she said.

With each event the club hosts, more people are attracted to what the club has to offer and it's not unusual for new people to sign up for memberships at these shows. It's a great club for kids, too, Lieber said.

She explained that youth are encouraged to join the club as part of the Future Rock Hounds of America program called the "Pebble Pups." This program is designed to educate young children regarding rock hounding, the lapidary arts and mineral and fossil collection to name a few.

The club meets the first Saturday of each month at the Prescott Valley Moose Lodge. Guests are always welcome and individuals from the quad-cities area are invited to join, she said. For more information, visit the Website at prescottgemmineral.org.

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