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Review: BC Gem Show - Minerals of the Pacific Rim 2007
Written April 16, 2007




British Columbia Lapidary Society
BC Gem Show Minerals of the Pacific Rim

Ag-Rec Building, Central Fraser Valley Fairgrounds
32470 - Haida Drive
Abbotsford, British Columbia
April 13, 14, 15, 2007
Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 10-6
$6 Adults, $2 kids (6-17), under 6 is free.
Admittance to the show is free on Friday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
to all school students accompanied by a teacher and chaperoning
Ample parking is available for free


For those of us in the Seattle area, this show isn't particularly local but it does come highly recommended. I've been visiting the local shows for the past several years and have seen this one appear in the schedule but somehow just never managed to make it - with the logistics of a Canada trip and plenty of show competition nearby I just never got there, till now. When I was at the North Seattle Lapidary show a month ago chatting with a club member I praised their show for being devoted to rock hounding. He said, if you love rock hounding then you HAVE to go to the Abbotsford show. On his recommend I got myself here and I was not disappointed.

This is my kind of show - totally devoted to the rock hound. It is actually an annual show presented under the umbrella of the BC Lapidary Society but supported my many clubs across British Columbia. It is billed as the largest gem and rock show in Canada. The show takes place in the Ag-Rec building of the fairgrounds which is spacious - you could fit most of a football field in here... and they fill it up. There's something for everyone - lots of rocks (of course), minerals, gems, crystals, fossils, jewelry, beads, OVER 100 (!) displays, and more and more and more. I had scheduled 3 hours for myself and it wasn't enough.

I was particularly impressed by the display cases showing collections from the many clubs that support this event. There are educational displays, fluorescent displays and mineral identification displays too. There were 30+ vendors and for me it was nice because they were all new to me. I don't think any of them were Seattle or U.S. based organizations. Consequently the mineralogical focus of the show was delightfully different than I am used to - notably the abundance of jade (nephrite), impressive variations on fluorite and something I hadn't really noticed before - Ammolite, an iridescent Ammonite fossil found in Alberta.

There are several areas set aside with demonstrations - micromounting, bead making, faceting, carving, wax molding, jewelry making, wire wrapping, working with glass, and cab making. When you're tired of being on your feet you can sit in the "audiovisual presentation" area. When I dropped in, there was a show on how to get better results from you tumbler. There's also a large, comfortable cafeteria upstairs with a variety of food and snacks.

There's stuff especially for the kids - a creative work shop where they can create a critter out of rocks and decorations, "spin and win" and grab bags.

Definitely worth the trip !

The organization: British Columbia Lapidary Society

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Last modified: 01/17/11