Community News

Gem Club News

The Grafton Show is over for another year. We had a great crowd of people who came into the Gem clubroom at the Showground to see the Show entries and our display. There was a nice selection of members work, from faceted stones to jewellery to mineral specimens. Thanks to everyone who came in and we hope that you all enjoyed the display. Grand Champion was Brian Thomas for his serpentine tiled egg. Champion faceted stone went to Derek Higgins for his square cut yellow cubic circonia; Champion jewellery item went to Kathy Browning with a lovely filigree silver pendant featuring an obsidian cabochon; Champion cabochon went to Barbara Watkins with a round opalised wood cabochon and Champion mineral exhibit went to Lorraine Geary with a lovely malachite specimen. Thank you to all members who took part by putting in their entries. Thanks also to those members who brought in display cases of their collection and work. It was great to see such a wide of variety in their cases. We also had members demonstrating some of the different activities we do in the club.Winners of our raffle were: 1st prize – F Vidler, 2nd prize – J James, 3rd prize P James. Congratulations to you all and thanks to everyone who bought a ticket. So, now we get ready for the Lismore GemFest which will be held on May 19-20. It is one of the biggest gem shows in Australia and is well worth a visit if you are in the area, or even make a day trip to go and see it. Most of the Club members go up for the day and some of us have a stall to sell some of our rocks and jewellery. I will be having a stall because my husband and I have been collecting for a long time and as we now have our collection finished, a couple of years ago my daughter said that we should get rid of the spare ton of rock in the shed. Well, we are now down to 3/4 of a ton. So we will see how we go this time. Most mineral specimens that you see either look like glass, such as quartz, obsidian or agate or look like solid stones such as marble, petrified wood or chert. There are however another group of minerals which are forms of metal. The best know on these are gold, silver and copper. These can be seen mixed in the basic rocks they are found in but can also be found as pure pieces of metal, such as gold nuggets, pure silver and pure copper. Another one that is not as well known is molybdenite. This can be found in flat sheets of pure metal that look like leaves of a book. Molybdenum is used to make tougher steel and to make a high temperature grease for bearings. The club rooms are open for working on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9am to about 3pm and Thursdays from 2pm to about 8pm. If you think that you would like to join us just come along and have a look. Barbara Watkins