Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Rock events in Tehachapi

From a child bringing home a pocket full of rocks to the adult on a quest for the illusive rare find, rockhounding is a popular hobby for many, and Tehachapi is no exception.

Started in 1985 by a group of local rock hounds, the Tehachapi Valley Rock and Mineral Society is an active 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to educating members and the local community about geology and lapidary arts. The club meets every fourth Thursday at the Senior Center in Downtown Tehachapi and often features guest speakers on how to find meteorites, the local geology, gems and fossils from the various snakes and reptiles in the area.

TVGMS also has a workshop with various sized rock cutting machines, polishers, jewelry making supplies and instruction in jewelry making. New this year, TVGMS is offering classes in jewelry making at the Tehachapi Art Center, including wire wrapping, soldering and setting stones.

Members have the opportunity to work with local rock found on club field trips to areas like Kramer Junction, North Edwards, Gem Hill and Castle Butte where jasper, Ballarat marble, fossilized palm root and other interesting rocks can be found. Extended overnight trips include the Caddy Mountains, Clear Creek for jadeite and Opals or around Lone Pine for chrysocolla. Other interesting field trips find members touring working mines and visiting museums.

TVGMS extends these educational opportunities to the community by offering scholarships to Tehachapi High School students and mineral kits to elementary and middle schools teaching geology and earth sciences. Upon request club members take rock and fossil displays to classes and give informative talks to students.

The club holds several fundraising events throughout the year with something for all ages. Polished rock, geodes, beautiful minerals, fossils and shark teeth are some of the items for sale and on display, as well as games and prizes for the kids. The Gem and Mineral Show draws venders from all around the state bringing rocks, gems, minerals, beads and hand crafted jewelry for sale.

TVGMS annual raffle gives members and the community an opportunity to win beautiful rocks, jewelry and unique rock items. This year the raffle prizes include a beautiful Amethyst heart, a Jade bowl and handcrafted jewelry. Tickets are on sale and the raffle concludes Aug. 18. Call (661) 972-1117 for more information.

Several upcoming events include the TVGMS/Senior Center Rummage Sale on June 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Along with gently used items to shop for, the club will have a booth with interesting rocks on display, information and prizes for the kids.

The Bear Valley Springs 4th of July Celebration takes place July 4-6. TVGMS will have two booths with polished rock, geodes, shark teeth and other rock items on display and for sale. Prizes for the kids and informational materials will also be available.

The TVGMS Jewelry, Gem and Mineral Show is on Aug. 17-18 at the Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER, 500 E. F St. Vendors from all over the state, as well as TVGMS members, gather to bring a showcase of rocks, geodes, minerals, fossils and handcrafted jewelry to sell. Specialty displays, a raffle and prizes make this an event enjoyable for all ages.