The big rock show

Sometimes I go out of town. Today I visited the annual show of the Mineral and Gem Society of Castro Valley, held down in Newark this year. For me, coming from the geological side of things, it’s dazzling kind of place.

mineral show

The hall was full of families, because there’s something for everybody at a show like this: raw materials and tools for the hobbyist, jewelry for those who wear accessories, fossils for the nerds, shiny pebbles for the young ones, specimens for the mineral collectors. They had a complete cave bear skeleton on display. Boulders and slabs of jade. Crystal spheres. And far-out stuff like the ultraviolet mineral collectors’ hall.

fluorescent minerals

All the light in this photo is fluorescence, including the scorpion on the left. These are from the collection of Lee McIlvaine, of San Leandro. I got a cool keychain blacklight for five bucks. You never know what you’ll find in the field.

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