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Kingsport Gems and Minerals Show returns to Bays Mountain

Amy Millhorn Leonard • Updated Jul 11, 2019 at 10:30 AM

The Kingsport Gems & Minerals Society will “rock” at its upcoming 16th annual show! To be held in the Discovery Theater at Bays Mountain Nature Center, the show promises great fun with lots of learning experiences in all-things geology for all ages. Although not an official Fun Fest event, the show will once again be held during the festival on July 13 and 14 from noon until 5 p.m. each day. Event admission is free, as is park admission because the show coincides with Fun Fest.

Special activities for kids will include a “Mystery Mine” where for just 50 cents, kids will mine for a special identified rock specimen to keep. Grab bags will be for sale for only $1 each. Kids will be able to find stones and fossils in the “Sandbox” for only 25 cents per dig. Janet Buchanan will have a “Touch and Feel” exhibit table. Mick Whitelaw, Professor of Geosciences at ETSU, will be on hand to help event goers make a fossil cast using dental plaster decorated with red or brown mud paint. A table with free rocks for the taking will be onsite as well as door prizes given away every half hour. For those, you must be present to win.

Longtime society member Lionel Baker will have an amazing display of fluorescent rocks under black lights.

Geodes will be for sale for $3-$7 each and are cracked on site to reveal beautiful crystals inside.

Bob and Rowan Morgan will have agates on display from their recent trip to Minnesota and North and South Dakotas. Jeff Gardner will demonstrate stone faceting and Rowan Morgan will show visitors how to make beautiful jewelry using wire-wrapping. There will be wonderful displays of gemstones and minerals, some specimens for sale.

All proceeds from the 16th Annual Kingsport Gems & Minerals Society Show will be used to fund college scholarships for students and a portion is donated to the ETSU Department of Geosciences.

Longtime society members Bob and Rowan Morgan have loved gems, minerals and jewelry for many years and welcome the chance to share their expertise with show visitors.

“We are excited about this year’s show. There is something for everyone,” Bob says. The Morgans travel to larger gem, mineral and jewelry shows each year in several states. They also teach classes regularly at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Young Harris, Georgia, and at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, North Carolina.

Interested in joining the Kingsport Gems & Minerals Society? Bob Morgan says, “We are looking for new members especially students.” Annual dues for the Kingsport Gems & Minerals Society are $5 for students, $10 for adults or $12 for families.

“Our dues cover liability insurance for member rock hounds as they are looking for rocks on property sites and include membership in the Southeast Federation of Mineralogic Societies, Inc.,” adds Bob.

Membership applications will be available at the show or inquiries can be made on the group’s Facebook page. The society meets the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Eastman Employee Center. At meetings, members show their latest finds and have demonstrations like growing Bismuth crystals. The society also has an annual picnic in June, Christmas party in November and the annual Gems, Minerals & Jewelry Show each November at the Appalachian Fairgrounds. Don’t miss this “facet-nating” show!

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