Gems on ice at rock and min­eral show

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RICHARD MAYS

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.

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