The Ventura Gem Show

After a year-long pause due to the pandemic, the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society (VGMS) is back! Our 59th Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show takes place March 5 & 6 (10:00 AM–5:00 PM, Saturday; 10:00 AM–4:00 PM, Sunday) at the Ventura County Fairgrounds (10 W. Harbor Blvd, Ventura).  The show is open to the public and admission is free, although the Fairgrounds charges a parking fee if using the Fairgrounds lot.

The Ventura Gem Show has been a fun family event for 59 years with its focus on kids and education, gemstone cutting and jewelry-making, and rocks and fossils. At the show, we’ll announce the recipient of our $1,000 Scholarship Award, given annually to a local college student. 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 nearby display offers info about the society’s two-room museum in Ojai, where teachers, home-schoolers, and other youth groups can arrange tours by appointment.

Here in California, there’s gold in them thar hills (try Lake Piru!), and you can learn how to pan for it at the Show.  At one booth, expert prospectors will guide you through basic steps of gold panning, and you can purchase “pay dirt” to pan for real gold nuggets and flakes at the show or in your own backyard. In addition, this free show will feature 60 displays of gems, minerals, fossils, and award-winning handcrafted jewelry. These include 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 and “Auggie”, the California State Dinosaur). Still other displays will show how stones collected locally have been crafted into jewelry. Demonstrations throughout the show give visitors up-close looks at artists pursuing their skills, including gemstone cutting, silver work and jewelry making, beading, and other arts and crafts made from nature.  Raffle prizes include fine jewelry, carved stones, a $100 bill, mineral and fossil specimens, and more. Festivities include hourly silent auctions for rocks, minerals, and fossils, as well as a “Second Hand Treasures” white elephant sale, plant sale, and 15 dealers selling beads, opals, jade, gemstones, crystals, fossils, jewelry and jewelry-making supplies, and gift items. It’s a 59-year 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 jewelry 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 Ventura Gem Show is the society’s major fund-raising event helping to underwrite educational activities, including the annual college scholarship and school visits and donations. For further details, call (805) 312-8467, email [email protected], or visit our web site at www.vgms.org.

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

Federal Nonprofit Tax ID Number 95-6056075.


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