The Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society’s 61st Annual Show is scheduled for Feb. 22-23 at the Trade Mart on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for students. Scouts and Scout leaders in uniform get $2 admission. Children 5 and younger get in free. Hourly door prizes will be drawn for adults and students.
MGMS Show Chair Carol Ishee of Pelahatchie said, “We have something for all ages and a variety of interests. It’s family oriented. It’s fun and educational.”
The show features museum displays and hands-on crafts and learning activities for children. Gem tree making allows children to use their creativity. The “touch and see” table gives all visitors an opportunity to examine a large collection of Mississippi rocks and minerals as well as specimens from around the country.
More than 25 vendors from around the country will sell fossils, gems and jewelry for those who want to take home a piece of the past or shop for sparkle. Vendors range from the Petrified Forest from Flora to the Geode Gallery of Davenport, Iowa, and Stones and Bones of Franklin, North Carolina. The large market offers for sale fossils, gems, geodes and minerals ranging from tiny fish fossils to cathedral amethyst. A broad range of jewelry, from fine jewelry to children’s trinkets, are offered. Lapidary enthusiasts and jewelry artisans can find gems, beads, cabs, slabs, stones, specimens, carvings, books and tools.
Jewelry artists will demonstrate techniques in beading, wire wrapping, gem faceting, cabochon making and other stone work throughout the show.
Flint knapping enthusiasts will show how primitive peoples created arrows, bow drills and other tools. Jesse McFarland of Brandon and Terry Comfort of Carthage are among the flint knappers who will demonstrate how to make arrows and other lithic tools.
The Artifact Shack from Sylvarena, Mississippi, near Bay Springs, will return for the fourth year at the show. Owner Jeff McCraw has spent a lifetime collecting Native American artifacts and fossils. Visitors can inspect close-up his Ice Age fossil collection which includes a mastodon molar and tusk, bones of the giant ground sloth, a bison skull and others.
People with an interest in archaeology, geology and paleontology will have an opportunity to talk with professionals and students in those disciplines. Educational displays will include fossils from the collection of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, artifacts collected by members of the Mississippi Archaeological Association, and Native American tools from MGMS members’ collections. Special exhibits are provided by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi.
For more information, call MGMS Show Chair Carol Ishee at 601-497-2938 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society, founded in 1957, promotes knowledge and enjoyment of activities related to the earth sciences. MGMS members include amateurs and professionals with a wide range of earth science and artistic interests. To learn more about the gem and mineral show, or about MGMS membership, visit the web site at www.missgems.org.
Photos of the 2019 Show are attached for your consideration.
Clinton resident Joy Rushing, at left, background, in green vest, supervises student volunteer Wesley Holman of Jackson and visitors making gem trees during the 2019 Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society Show.
Buddy Shotts of Lucedale, at left, demonstrates gem faceting, and Donnie Chandler of Clinton, at right, polishes a stone cabochon to make a pendant during the 2019 MGMS Show.