University News

Annual Rock, Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show March 10-11 at Western

February 19, 2018

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL – The 38th annual Geodeland Earth Science Clubs, Inc.'s (GESCI) Rock, Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show will be held Saturday-Sunday, March 10-11 in the Western Illinois University Union Grand Ballroom.

The show is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free, but a free-will donation is used to obtain feature displays for each year's show.

This year's theme is "Digging the Past: Fossils from Around the World," and highlights a program by WIU Assistant Professor of Geology Thomas Hegna.

The special exhibit includes examples of specimens of unusual fossils from the collections of club members and dealers. The GESCI show will include 10 dealers in minerals, fossils, jewelry and equipment. There will be displays of fossils and related minerals, as well as geodes, minerals, artifacts and many other earth science objects. The displays will include items found in our own backyards here in Western Illinois, as well as those that come from around the world.

Demonstrators will be showing wire-wrapping, geode cracking, flint knapping, glass bead making and lampwork, cabochon finishing, glass fusing, pen barrels turned on a lathe, silversmithing, gem tree making, and faceting of gemstones. There will also be a table set up for rock and mineral identification.  

An impressive display of fluorescent minerals will demonstrate the array of brilliant colors that some rocks display under ultraviolet light. There will also be a variety of activities for children, including a spin and win game, a fossil dig, and a hands-on activity for children and adults that includes a table covered with minerals, rocks and fossils that can be picked up and examined.  

The event's registration table will have a map of dealers, and children can pick up two tickets there – one for a free spin at the spin and win game and the other for a free turn at the fossil dig. Additional tickets for the spin and win game can be purchased for 25-cents each or five for $1.

This year's event will again include a silent auction with rocks and minerals.

The GESCI was created in 1980 to organize, promote and conduct a cooperative, education gem and mineral show each year. The first show was held at WIU in 1981. Members of the club participate by donating their time, effort and rock and mineral specimens for sharing their passion with those who attend the event.

For more information, visit or call Jackie Sullivan at (309) 313-2826 or J.C. and Donna Moore at (309) 231-1952 or (309) 231-2116.

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing