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2012 Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Show

Last Updated: 1st Sep 2012

By Keith A. Peregrine

The 2012 Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club Show
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Held at the Ishpeming Elks Club

The 37th annual Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Show began with threatening skies, but ended up with a brilliant, sunny day. Along with the local Renaissance Festival, the Ishpeming Club show drew a large crowd of young, middle, and elderly people interested in rocks, minerals, jewelry and art.

Most vendors had a wide variety of minerals for sale.

A Mineral Dealer

Not everything was simply mineral sales. Many vendors provided jewelry utilizing rocks and minerals as the focus of their work.

Mineral Jewelry Dealer

One vendor focused on historical items from the rich mining past of the Michigan Iron and Copper Countries.

Historical Vendor

One of my favorite parts of any rock and mineral show are the silent auctions. Here is a great opportunity to obtain local specimens at very low prices.

Silent Auction

Education has an important role in any show. One such display focused on petrified wood.

Petrified Wood Display

For those preferring fresh air, bright sunshine, and plenty of elbow room, the outdoor sales area provided more vendor space.

Outdoor Vendor

Great copper and silver pieces could be acquired from the back of this pickup.

Great Copper, Halfbreed, and Silver

This vendor provided a nice assortment of Iron Country minerals including micaceous hematite, goethite, and specularite hematite, all locally collected.

Iron Country Vendor

Samples of goethite reveal banding in three directions.

Small Goethite
Larger Goethite

Mirror-like surface of micaceous hematite. Thin yet strong plates of hematite resemble plates of mica.

"Micaceous" Hematite
Another "Micaceous" Hematite

One vendor stand resembled an old time sales booth out of a suitcase. Although quite small, their produce was just as fascinating and valuable as others for it consisted of the highly sought after 'greenstone', Pumpellyite-Mg var. Chlorastrolite. Most were pea-sized and polished ready for mounting in any jewelry. Although small, these attracted certain buyers one of whom I overheard mention that she came to the show just for the 'greenstones'.

For those interested in out-of-this-world items, this vendor had on hand a nice collection of meteorites.

Out of This World

These vendors informed me of a long use method of cleaning copper pieces: Use a tumbler! Not only is the matrix removed, but the copper is polished at the same time. While the look of the copper is made rather rounded, for those looking for simple, bright pieces, tumbling does a nice job of cleaning.

Another Copper Vendor

Sometimes an eclectic assortment of items draws a lot of interest.

Vendor in Eclectic Items

The 37th Annual Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club show was another great success. One of the highlights occurred in the evening when a geologist, Andy Ware, from Kennecot Eagle Minerals Company gave a talk on the Deposit Geology & Mineralogy of the Eagle Ni-Cu Mine, Marquette County, MI. He provided a great update on mine development, ore body geometry, and most interesting, a selection of core samples.

The show is only on Saturday. However, the Ishpeming club sponsors a dig on Fridays. This year they led a group to the Republic Mine. Incidentally, there was considerable talk about the dig this year. Apparently, a pile of rock began to burn. The fire was serious enough that the club needed to call the local fire department to put it out.

Another dig is provided on Sunday where access to the Lindberg Quarry is accessed through club leadership. This is a very popular dig where one can collect the very beautiful and colorful Kona Dolomite.

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