Lots of interests can lead to the pursuit of rocks, minerals, jewelry and lapidary pieces. Develop yours in Mesa.
More people have need for minerals and gems than you might think.
Home decorating projects, an interest in the scientific properties or histories of minerals, a love for beautiful jewelry or a passion for outdoor adventures leads to the pursuit of rocks, minerals, jewelry and lapidary (engraved) pieces.
The 45th annual Flagg Gem and Mineral Show at Mesa Community College from Jan. 6 to 8 offers interactive activities for families; onsite food trucks; informational booths on local lapidary, earth science and mineral organizations; and specimens, equipment, decorative items and historical pieces from local field collectors and dealers.
Chairman Phil Richardson said the show helps to further the mission of the Flagg Mineral Foundation, an organization dedicated to earth science education and the promotion of the hobby of mineral and rock collecting.
“There’s so many different aspects to the hobby. You could be into mining history, or you could be into mineral or fossil collecting, or you could love jewelry or be a lapidary artist,” Richardson said. “We try to show the huge range of the earth sciences.”
Founded by local mining engineer, mineralogist and collector Arthur L. Flagg, the foundation puts on two major events each year, including a mineral symposium in the spring.
The gem and mineral show is the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization and a kickoff to the gem and mineral show season in Arizona.
Richardson said the history of mineral and fossil collecting and displaying in Arizona is tied to the mining industry, and people started showing mineral specimens as early as the 1880s at territorial fairs.
During the gem and mineral show, dealers and field collectors will sell decorator specimens such as amethyst geodes or quartz crystals, rare and more common mineral specimens, mining artifacts, lapidary equipment, artwork and gemstones and jewelry.