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A sample dinosaur head which may be at the Macomb show. (Courtesy Photo)
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Dinosaurs are coming to Macomb. (Courtesy Photo)
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Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show March 10-11

March 1, 2012

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MACOMB, IL - -The 32nd annual Geodeland Earth Science Club's Inc. (GESCI) Gem, Mineral and Fossil show will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, March 10 and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 11 in Western Illinois University's Union Grand Ballroom. Admission and parking are free.

The show is themed "Bicentennial of the 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquakes" and will highlight the area's history, fault zone and geology. Minerals from Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee -- states that encompass the fault zone -- will be on display. Also set for display is "Lincoln in Gemstone Intarsia," a portrait of Abraham Lincoln made out of gemstones, agates, jades and other minerals. The portrait was completed in 1963 by Joseph and Betty Phetteplace.

This year's dinosaur exhibit will feature a T-Rex skull, a cast of a dinosaur footprint, dinosaur bones, full-color models and replicas.

The weekend show will include rocks, gems, fossils, minerals and artifacts. Dealers in minerals, fossils, jewelry and equipment will be exhibiting items found anywhere from western Illinois to worldwide. Demonstrators will be presenting skills, including shell graving, fossil preparation, egg and rock painting, scrimshaw, geode cracking, glass bead making, lampworking, faceting gemstones and more.

The show also will include earth science displays; educational programs; lapidary demonstrations; fluorescent displays; door prizes and a silent auction; rock, mineral, fossil and artifact identification; and activities for children.

Visitors can take free informal tours of WIU's Geology Museum in Tillman Hall from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday (March 10).

The gem show will have a series of workshops and programs on Saturday and Sunday. Presenters include Dean Stone, a GESCI officer and former Macomb resident; Raymond Anderson, an adjunct associate professor of geoscience at the University of Iowa, who was a geologist with the Iowa Geological and Water Survey for more than 40 years; and Robert Bauer, principal engineering geologist for the quaternary and engineering geology section of the Illinois Geological Survey.

The schedule is:

Saturday (March 10)
11 a.m.- "Spirits of the Ice Forest," from the series "Walking with Dinosaurs," originally broadcast on BBC (DVD);
12:30 p.m.- "The History and Geology of the Legendary New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812," presented by Anderson;
2:30 p.m.-"Death of a Dynasty," from the series "Walking with Dinosaurs" (DVD); and
4 p.m.- "Illinois Fluorite Story," by Stone (DVD).

Sunday (March 11)
11 a.m.- "Death of a Dynasty," from the series "Walking with Dinosaurs" (DVD);
12 p.m.- "New Madrid Fault Zone," by Bauer;
2 p.m.- "Geodes, More than just a Rock," by Anderson.

For more information about the show, contact show chair Regina Kapta, phone (217) 433-9585 or email

Posted By: Sarah Tomkinson (
Office of University Relations