University News

Geodeland Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show March 12-13 at WIU

March 4, 2022

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- The Geodeland Earth Science Clubs, Inc. (GESCI) will host its 41st annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, March 12, and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 13 in the Western Illinois University Union Grand Ballroom. Parking and admission are free.

The theme of this year's show is "Red Minerals and Illinois Fossils." There will be a featured display in the center of the Grand Ballroom.

The GESCI Show will include 10 dealers in minerals, fossils, jewelry and equipment. There will be displays of geodes, minerals, fossils, 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 beads and gem tree making.

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 kids can actually touch the rocks and minerals without being told, "Do not touch."

Printed programs, including a floor map, will be available at the registration table, where visitors can sign up for door prizes. 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 containers where you can donate to help get special displays at the show each year.

Programs will be given in the University Union's Capitol Room both Saturday and Sunday during the show.
Based on WIU protocols, masks are required to attend.

Brief History of GESCI

The Geodeland Earth Science Clubs, Inc. (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 WIU, which has been the venue for all 41 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.

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, as well as a Facebook page.

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

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