IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Gem & Mineral Society is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies. It was organized in the late 1950s, making it one of the oldest non-profits in Idaho Falls. The society currently has 220 members and meets monthly on the second Monday of each month, with the public invited.
The purpose of the society is to promote the study and education of minerals, lapidary and allied sciences and to foster a spirit of fellowship among the members. As carved on its travertine bench, donated to the city of Idaho Falls in 2014 and located on the greenbelt near the Fur Trader Statue on Memorial Drive, the society’s values center around education, friendships, field trips, new skills and a respect for natural resources.
The society sponsors two public events each year, which encompass and highlight virtually all aspects of the organization: 1. The Gem and Mineral Show held in April at the Idaho Falls Recreation Center and 2. The Members Rock, Gem and Jewelry Sale held this year on Oct. 5 at the Pinecrest Event Center (next to the Fred Meyer store) in Idaho Falls. The larger, two-day April Show draws over 2,500 people and features a number of commercial vendors selling a variety of rocks, gems, minerals and fossils, over 45 special showcases displaying unique handcrafted items, activities for children of all ages and demonstrations of unique skills acquired from membership in the society. The smaller, one day October Members Sale is typically seen by over 500 people and focuses solely on the display and sale of materials collected and handcrafted by members of the society — there are no commercial vendors, special showcases, children activities or demonstrations. The October sale is a means by which the public can not only purchase but learn firsthand how and where members acquired and crafted their items, some of which represent materials found worldwide. In contrast to the larger April show, the October sale offers the public a more intimate opportunity to learn about differences in rocks, gems and minerals and how they can be and are crafted into unique items. Items presented at the sale are not only affordable but seldom seen within the Idaho Falls region.
Attendees at the Ninth Annual Members Rock, Gem and Jewelry Sale will have an opportunity to learn more about the variety of family activities supported by Idaho Falls Gem & Mineral Society. These activities include Learning Days and field trips collecting unique rocks, minerals and fossils. Methods to identify minerals and gemstones are made available to all members, including younger members enrolled in the society’s Junior Rockhound Program. Learning Days utilize the expert knowledge of the society’s members to teach family members how to make silver jewelry, opal triplets and cabochons and learn the arts of beading and wire wrapping.
The Members Sale is Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pinecrest Event Center in Idaho Falls. Attendance is $3, with children 12 and younger getting in free.
For additional information, call Bill Thielbahr at (208) 524-0139 or Sharon Nicklas at (208) 522-7336.