The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Deborah Burken
contributing writer 

Jewelry, Gem and Mineral Show

Tehachapi Valley Gem and Mineral Society


August 13, 2022

Photo provided

You could win these Amethyst cathedrals.

While you're out and about at the Tehachapi Mountain Festival be sure to stop by the Tehachapi Valley Gem and Mineral Society's Jewelry, Gem and Mineral Show at the Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER. There will be lots to see and do for all ages.

Vendors will be showing and selling beautiful showcase minerals, fossils, polished rocks, beads and handcrafted jewelry. This might be just the place to pick up a unique Christmas or birthday gift for that "hard to shop for" friend or relative. The Tehachapi Valley Gem and Mineral Society will have the always popular spinning wheel with many unique prizes, such as fossilized shark's teeth and ammonites, beautiful minerals and polished rocks. How cool would it be to cut open a hollow rock that has never seen the light of day? This could be your opportunity – TVGMS will have geodes for sale and a rock saw running to cut them open! If you haven't purchased your raffle ticket for the gorgeous Amethyst cathedrals, the show will be your final opportunity to do so. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on Sunday, Aug. 21. You do not need to be present to win (but it would be fun!)

Tehachapi Valley Gem and Mineral Society was started by a group of rockhounds in 1985 and several of those founding members are still part of the current group. Though the membership changes from year to year, TVGMS has a long-standing commitment to educating the public about geology, mineralogy, paleontology and the lapidary arts. Each month, we strive for a couple of field trips; usually one for newbies to help them become familiar with the wonderful geology in our local area and another perhaps more distant or overnight trip. Our local trips are usually to the desert areas near Kramer Junction, North Edwards, Gem Hill and Castle Butte where we find a variety of jasper, travertine, fossilized palmroot and lots of other interesting rocks. A tour of Rio Tinto's Borax Mine and the Antelope Valley Indian Museum is always a club favorite. Some of the farther field trips have taken us to Clear Creek searching for jadeite and garnets, Ballarat for gorgeous marble and to a ghost town near Lone Pine searching through tailings for chrysocolla.

In our quest to educate in the area of lapidary, the club has a fully functional workshop with machinery and tools to explore the rocks you find on your rockhounding expeditions. We've just completed an update to our workshop and have new programs starting soon. Orientation and instruction are given to operate the various machinery and utilize the tools safely. Large rock saws cut slabs, and grinding and sanding machines polish them to high shine. If you prefer to exhibit your rockhounding finds in a piece of jewelry, we offer classes in silversmithing and setting stones. Our classes are very small and therefore provide lots of individual instruction.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity and are proud of our contributions to schools and scholarships to area youth. Each year we give scholarships to several deserving high school students from Greater Tehachapi. We also give rock and mineral teaching kits to elementary and middle school classrooms teaching Geology and Earth Science, and upon request we send knowledgeable members with fabulous displays of rocks and fossils to give lectures and demonstrations to students and various community groups. We take our mission to educate seriously!

If all this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, join TVGMS for its regular meetings the fourth Thursday of each month at Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER at 7 p.m. Some meetings we have knowledgeable guest speakers or show educational videos. Come out, dig some rocks and get involved!

Be sure to include a visit to the Jewelry, Gem and Mineral Show during this year's Mountain Festival on Aug. 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER (the corner of 500 E. F St. in downtown Tehachapi). See you there!


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