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Geodeland Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show Celebrates 40th Show March 7-8

February 24, 2020

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MACOMB, IL -- The Geodeland Earth Science Clubs, Inc. (GESCI) will host its 40th annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, March 7 and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 8 in the Western Illinois University Union Grand Ballroom. Parking and admission are free.

The theme of the show this year is "Metallic Minerals," and the 40th anniversary of the Geodeland Shows is called the Ruby Jubilee. There will be a featured display in the fluorescent mineral booth highlighting rubies that glow under long wave black light.

The GESCI Show will include 11 dealers in minerals, fossils, jewelry and equipment. There will be displays of geodes, minerals, fossils and many other earth science objects. 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, pen barrels turned on a lathe, stone carving, sphere making, wood burning, paper quilling and gemstone faceting.

Wayne Frankie, formerly from the Illinois State Geological Survey, will be set up to identify rocks and minerals, as well as show different rocks and minerals and talk to kids and adults about them. For those with rock or mineral specimens they would like to have identified, this is the chance to find out what it is.
The special exhibit includes examples of metallic minerals and associates. There will also be a replica of a T-Rex skull.

An impressive display of fluorescent minerals will demonstrate the array of brilliant colors that some rocks display under ultraviolet light. There will be activities specifically focused on kids – both to entertain them and inform them about the world around us. These will include the spin and win game, the fossil dig and a touch and feel display where the kids can actually touch the rocks and minerals without being told, "Do not touch."

Printed programs will be available at the registration table, where attendees can also sign up to win door prizes. The program includes a floor map, showing where specific dealers are located. Kids will also receive two tickets at the registration table – one for a free spin at the spin and win game and the other ticket is for a free turn at the fossil dig. Each young person participating in the fossil dig gets to take home a free fossil.

Admission to the show is free, though there are some donation containers to help get different special displays at the show each year.

A highlight with the show will be the tours of the Geology Museum in Tillman Hall, just south of Murray Street. Tours will be given from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The museum features a replica of a T-Rex skull, a life size Ophthalmosaurus and a life size reconstruction of a Tully Monster.

There are also displays in the lower hallway leading to the museum, including a one million carat crocodile quartz from Brazil, a display of geodes, examples of inclusions in concretions from the Mazon Creek Area and pegmatite minerals.

Programs will be given both Saturday and Sunday. Sandy Fuller from Minnesota will speak about fluorescent minerals both days. Saturday, a program called "Your Rock Collection – Legacy or Nightmare," will be presented. In addition, there will be some programs from the Dallas Mineral Symposium on copper, silver and other minerals.

GESCI was created in 1980 to organize, promote and conduct a cooperative educational Gem and Mineral Show each year. The first show was held in 1981 at Western Illinois University. WIU has been the venue for all 40 shows. GESCI was organized with seven western Illinois and eastern Iowa clubs as members. Over the years, several clubs have disbanded or left the group and others have joined leaving the current membership at six central and western Illinois clubs and one club from Iowa.

In addition to the activities of their home clubs, the clubs and their members participate by donating their time, efforts and rock, mineral and fossil specimens for the purpose of sharing their passion and joy with those who attend the GESCI show. This show takes advantage of the cooperation among the member clubs and WIU to present an award-winning combination that has benefited the people of west central Illinois by providing a free source of education and entertainment unsurpassed in a community the size of Macomb.

The group's website is; they also have a Facebook page. The local West Central Illinois Rock and Mineral Club also has a website at

The contact for the local club, or for more information about the Geodeland Show, is Jackie Sullivan at (309) 313-2826, and J.C. or Donna Moore at (309) 231-1952 or (309) 231-2116.

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