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The theme of this year's show is "The Wonderful World of Agates."
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Annual Rock, Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show March 11-12 at Western

March 2, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – The 37th annual Geodeland Earth Science Club Inc.'s (GESCI) Rock, Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show will be held Saturday-Sunday, March 11-12 in the University Union Grand Ballroom at Western Illinois University.

The show is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

This year's theme is "The Wonderful World of Agates." A featured display will include several cases of agates from throughout the world, including agates from Morocco, Union Road Agates, Lake Superior Agates, polyhedroid agates and others. There will also be various member and club displays featuring different agates from throughout the country and the world.

Members and clubs will feature exhibits throughout the show. Admission and parking are free, but a free will donation will be used for obtaining feature displays each year.

Each child entering the show will receive two tickets, one for a free turn to dig a fossil that he or she may have identified and can take home, and one for a free spin at the spin and win game. Additional spins can be purchased for 25 cents or five for $1.

There is also a touch-and-feel exhibit in the junior area, where young people can learn more about rocks and minerals. The Touch and Feel Collection is a hands-on activity for children and adults. The table is covered with minerals, rocks and fossils that can be picked up an examined. Each specimen has a card with information about it and kids can learn about each piece, arrange them by color, hardness, mineral class or simply by which they like best. Show volunteers can answer questions they have about the pieces, as well.

There will also be demonstrations of techniques associated with the hobby, including Flintkapping, by Tim Murphy; Glass Fusing, by Linda Dillon; Cabochons, by Richard Dillon; Geode Cracking, by The Geode Gallery; Wirewrapping, by Doris Keane; Glass Beadmaking, by Julie Whitlatch; Faceting, by Tom Whitlatch; Silver Jewelry, by Patsy McCleary; Paper Quilling on stone, by Carol Harp - The Quirky Quiller; Silversmithing, by John Franklin - The Jewelry Forge; Pen Turning, by Mary Boesdorfer - Written In Wood; and mineral identification by Wayne Frankie.

A feature of the show each year is the fluorescent display, a tent of fluorescent minerals that light up when exposed to the long, short and medium waves of the ultra-violet spectrum.

This year's show will also feature 10 dealers selling various rocks, minerals, beads, jewelry, fluorescent minerals, carvings, fossils and many other items associated with the rock and mineral hobby.

This year's speakers and programs, in the Union's Capitol Room, will include:

Saturday, March 11

• 11 a.m. – DVD "The Story of Silica" – Learn how Lake Superior Agates have formed beginning with the formation of the universe.

• 1 p.m. – Paige Elsea, a geology student at Western, will speak about "The Domincan Amber Lagerstatten."

• 3 p.m. – DVD "Geodes, More Than Just a Rock," by University of Iowa Adjunct Associate Professor Raymond Anderson.

• 4:30 p.m. – DVD "The Beautiful and Mysterious Thundereggs," by Doug Moore, program coordinator for the Heart of Wisconsin Gem and Mineral Society.

Sunday, March 12
• 11 a.m. – DVD "A World Within Our World," which looks at historical theories about what lies beneath the earth's crust.

• Noon – DVD "Bounty of the Black Hills – Fairburn Agates," by Roger Clark, who has studied and written three books about agates.

• 1:30 p.m. – DVD "Journey to the Center of the Earth" – attendees will be encouraged to watch this "bad" geology movie, keep track of inconsistencies and present them at the end of the film for prizes.

The WIU Geology Museum, on the lower level of Tillman Hall, will also be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Visitors are encouraged to check out the T-Rex skull replica, and various other displays. Admission is free, but donations are welcome to cover museum expenses.

The GESCI was created in 1980 to organize and promote a gem and mineral show each year. The first show was held in 1981 at Western. GESCI was organized with seven western Illinois and eastern Iowa clubs.

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