Gems on ice at rock and mineral show
Winter is not the best time for taking gloves and mittens off. Who wants to expose comfortably warm hands directly to the icy cold?
Quite a few do, as it turns out. Trying to bore embedded crystals and rocks from a big block of ice using body heat has proved a popular challenge at past Palmerston North Rock and Mineral Club shows.
The biennial two-day show at the Ferguson St Community Leisure Centre will provide another opportunity for frozen fingers, as children attempted to melt out stones locked in the ice using their digits as drills.
Veronica Moxon, editor of club magazine Rock Out, said another popular feature of the show in past years had been the dark room that showed off fluorescent rocks under black and UV light.
‘‘Everyone is fascinated by it and it’ll be much bigger this time.
‘‘Two years ago it was in a space the size of a dunny. This year, it’ll be the size of a whole bathroom, or bigger, with special lighting. It takes some setting up.’’
Moxon said rockhounds were people of all ages and backgrounds who had a passion for rocks, gems and crystals. The oldest member of the club was in his 90s, she said.
Along with dioramas of min- eral find sites, there will be displays of crystals, fossils, minerals, gemstones, jewellery and also rock and gemstone carvings.
‘‘The public love getting involved. Kids can come in and have rocks that they’ve found identified.’’
The show includes demonstrations of cutting and shaping gems as well as rocks, into cabuchons, or non-faceted shapes, while club members would be there to answer questions about their pastime.
‘‘We’ll have a glass cutter and lead-light repairer, a psychic artist, items for sale, and the chance for a ‘people’s choice’ vote on the best display.’’
In other years, Moxon said there had been members’ displays of antiques and curios that were unrelated to rocks, but which added interest to the show. She expected there would be similar eye-catching off-the-ball moments at this year’s expo.
In house refreshments will be available courtesy of the Palmerston North Heartlands Lions Club, with the ‘rock show’ open at the Leisure Centre from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, July 8, and 9am to 4pm on Sunday, July 9, with entry a gold coin koha.
Children attempt to release treasures on ice by using the heat of their hands.