The Ventura Gem Show: 58th Annual Gem, Mineral, Jewelry Arts and Fossil Show

The 58th Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society (VGMS) takes place March 7 and 8 (10:00 AM–5:00 PM, Saturday; 10:00 AM–4:00 PM, Sunday) at the Ventura County Fairgrounds (10 W. Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA).  The show is open to the public and admission is free, although the Fairgrounds charges a parking fee if using the Fairgrounds lot.

There’s gold in them thar hills, and you can learn how to pan for it at the 58th Annual Show of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society.  At one booth, expert prospectors will guide you through the steps of gold panning, and you can purchase “pay dirt” to pan for real gold in your own backyard.  You’ll also see displays that include meteorites, handcrafted jewelry, and “Auggie”, the California State Dinosaur.

With a focus on kids and education, on gemstone cutting and jewelry-making, and on rocks and fossils, the Ventura Gem Show has been a fun family event for 58 years.  During our pre-show dinner on Friday, March 6, we will present a $1,000 Scholarship to geology student Sandra Jensen of Santa Barbara City College.  The next day on entering the show, kids will be given a free polished stone at our Welcome Booth, where we also will have free rock samples and educational packets for teachers.  At the Kids Booth, children will enjoy activities offering an assortment of rocky prizes.  A display nearby will offer information about the society’s two-room museum in Ojai, where teachers, home-schoolers, and other youth groups can arrange tours by appointment.

This free show will feature 60 displays of gems, minerals, meteorites, fossils, and award-winning handcrafted jewelry.  Among these will be educational exhibits of fossils collected locally in and around Ventura County, as well as a display of our State Rock, Mineral, Fossil, and Gemstone (including a gold nugget and Ice Age saber-tooth cat).  Still other displays will show how stones collected locally have been crafted into jewelry.  Demonstrations throughout the show will give visitors up-close looks at artists pursuing their skills, including gemstone cutting, silver work and jewelry making, beading, and other arts.  Raffle prizes include fine jewelry, a $100 bill, mineral and fossil specimens, and more.  Also part of the festivities are hourly silent auctions for rocks, minerals, and fossils, as well as a white elephant sale, plant sale, and over 15 dealers selling beads, opals, jade, gemstones, crystals, fossils, jewelry and jewelry-making supplies, and gift items. It’s a Ventura tradition the whole family can enjoy!

VGMS was founded in 1944 to encourage interest in rocks, minerals, fossils, jewelry-making, and related areas through education, activities, and exhibitions such as this annual show, which is open to the community.  The society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational organization and welcomes individual and family members.  VGMS hosts monthly talks on earth science topics and lapidary arts, makes presentations to area schools, and conducts field trips for members and guests that often involve collecting rocks, minerals, and fossils in southern California and neighboring states. 

The show is the society’s major fund-raising event helping to underwrite educational activities, including the annual college scholarship.  For further details, call VGMS President Nancy Brace-Thompson (805-312-8467), email us at [email protected], or visit our web site at www.vgms.org.

The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc., is a nonprofit educational organization.

The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc.


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