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Gaithersburg, Maryland Club Show

Last Updated: 18th Mar 2012

The Gem, Lapidary, and Mineral Society of Montgomery County MD ( http://www.glmsmc.com/ ) holds its yearly show in March. While it is certainly not a major show, I thought a few things made it worth writing up for mindat. First is that it is one of the most kid friendly shows I have seen, with demonstrations of cabbing, faceting, flint knapping, micromounting, beading, jewelry making and a kids table where minerals are given away. There are aisles of display cases - often 8-10 by kids. Even the Smithsonian gets in the act and creates a display case for the show. And, of course, there is also a separate dealer area.

One of the display cases is actually a model of an aisle of display cases at a mineral show.

Whole display case of miniatures

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Also on display were a number of cases dedicated to locally collected minerals. While this wouldn't compare to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society's Arizona celebration this past year we do have our local mineral aficionados.

Jon Ertman showed some grossular garnets from the Hunting Hill Quarry, which unfortunately closed to collectors just a few years ago. There are a large number of different species to be found there, if we could only get back in.

Jon's case

Grossular Garnet Thumbnail

Jonathan Harris also has an impressive collection of local minerals.

Full case view

Actinolite and Serpentine from Hunting Hill Quarry, Rockville, Maryland

Beryl from Kemp Mill, Maryland

Chabazite from Manassas, Virginia

There was also a nice selection of minerals from the Franklin Mining area, New Jersey. This is still somewhat local, so is included here. Shown is a small selection of what was on display in George Durland's Franklin, New Jersey case.

As I mentioned, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History always puts up an impressive display case. This year, they features new acquisitions. this is always great, since many never get to see the new pieces.

Smithsonian Cuprites

It is also nice to see the kids getting involved. At this club, there are enough kids that each club meeting is divided into two areas. The adult is where the business meeting is held and talk of the evening is presented. The kids area hosts discussion or lectures aimed at kids. For example, Mike Wise, from the Smithsonian has spoken in the kids area about everyday uses of minerals, while a different speaker was talking to the adults. With so many kids, the club decided long ago to encourage kids to create display cases for the show. Here are a few:

Display Case by Club Kid Member

Display Case by Club Kid Member

Display Case by Club Kid Member

Display Case by Club Kid Member

Display Case by Club Kid Member

There are many demonstrations and things for visitors to try. This sets this club event apart from any other I have gone to. Here are two of the areas mentioned earlier.

Flint Knapping Demonstration Area

Cabbing Demonstration Area

Since there are so many large mineral shows with world class minerals, I decided not to show the world wide minerals we all know and love which were for sale at this event. Instead, here is a small selection of local minerals available at the show.

I know it is a small town show. I know the Mid-Atlantic region is not known for world class minerals. But I hope you enjoyed a small view into one of our local club shows.

Thanks for looking,

Article has been viewed at least 20684 times.


Hi Bob

Thanks for taking the time and sharing for all those Mindaters that cannot possibly attend.
I particularly liked the display case of the mineral aisle - nicely thought concept.
Was that using your new camera too?

Cheers and well done

Keith Compton
19th Mar 2012 7:59am
I actually used my old camera, the Canon Rebel T1i. For now I am going to keep the new one mounted to attempt to keep dust out of the system. Unfortunately there seems to be dust in the system already :-(


Robert Simonoff
20th Mar 2012 12:32am
Great pics and Great coverage Bob !
Nice Job ! ! !

Wayne Corwin
20th Mar 2012 4:17am
Bob, thanks for posting this show. It's been far too long (I used to live in Bethesda), and I never seem to get back for this show anymore. I do really like the small venue shows.

If you ever get up for the Delaware Show, maybe we might cross paths? I also noticed you visited the U Del collection. I was down in October 2009 to see Sharon Fitzgerald and she showed me all she did to rejuvenate the collection. It was a massive undertaking by my accounting, and she did a wonderful job to be sure. A real "rescue" of sorts! Hope the local mineralogy display she was toying with also comes to fruition someday too. They have some very fine local specimens which are no longer on display, but sometimes you can't do it all. She did quite a lot already for this collection, my hat off to her efforts!


Mark Heintzelman
16th Apr 2012 9:06pm
Nice article, good to see the kids being involved and I think its nice to see reports from some of the smaller shows, although I would love to go to one of the more well known shows that would mean a lot of travelling for me, i think the nearest big show is Haywards heath and even that is tiny compared to the likes of Tuscon. we have a small local show every September, I used to go to it ever year but lost interest when it moved from its location in Southampton. it ws much easier to get to then and i liked the venue more, Now its moved out into Lyndhurst in the New forest and unless you have a car its very difficult to get to using public transport and the few times i went i was disappointed in what the dealers had to offer, i saved up £100 and i was prepared to pay £50 for a nice bit of boulder opal, which is hardly a rare mineral but there was none available, not of the quality i was looking for anyway. I ended up getting more fossils than minerals (I got a nice Megalodon tooth and a Carcharodontosaurus saharicus tooth) I might go along this year and do a report to post on Mindat!

Jason Evans
17th Apr 2012 9:49pm

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