Roseville Gem Faire 2017


I went to the Roseville Gem Faire which ran February 3rd, 4th and 5th at the Placer County Fairgrounds. Despite the bad weather it was pretty well attended. The price was $7 but a man in line ahead of me gave me a $2 off coupon, pleasing my inner tightwad.


This kind vendor answered my usual inane questions, “what the heck is this rock…”, so I bought some Michigan native copper from him, my only ‘Faire’ purchase.


The overhead lights went off now and then making my pics a bit dark but otherwise the venue was very nice.



Beads and necklaces were popular and there must have been a million of them in all shapes, materials, colors and prices.


Ubiquitous quartz, SiO2, was everywhere of course, just as it here on the earth’s crust.

This vendor had the biggest quartz crystal I ever saw, about 150 lbs (53 kg) but it was sold ($5k!) before I could get a picture. His display was yuge!



These rose, smoky and rock crystal skulls were striking.

Yet more silicon dioxide below in the form of so called ‘fortification agate’, named that for the plan view effect of a fort formed by the silica gel deposits.


Still more SiO2, quartz crystals mounted to all manner of rifle and handgun cartridges, some pretty rare (.38 S&W-somebody’s been hanging around the shooting range).


Here’s kyanite, also known as disthene, rhaeticite and cyanite, the name comes from the Greek word kuanos, meaning deep blue. Per Wikipedia, it is used “…in refractory and ceramic products, including porcelain plumbing fixtures and dishware. It is also used in electronics, electrical insulators and abrasives.”


I should take better notes because I have no idea what these are. Pretty though.

Below are custom obsidian, leather and antler knives made by Native Americans. Obsidian is a  a naturally formed volcanic glass that extrudes so fast it does not form crystals, thus is not technically a mineral and is considered a liquid. It breaks down after a mere 40,000 years or so. Because it is easily worked and razor sharp, obsidian was extensively used by Indians.



From Chyrsocolla is perhaps more appropriately a mineraloid than a true mineral. Most of the time it is amorphous meaning that it does not have a coherent crystalline structure. However at higher temperatures it does demonstrate a distorted crystal structure that seems to be composed of Si4 O10 sheets. Chrysocolla forms in the oxidation zones of copper rich ore bodies.

Behind is a large ammonite. Ammonites lived for hundreds of millions of years from the Devonian period until the extinction event that also killed off dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous so their fossils are plentiful.

The beautiful fossil ammonites below have had some of their shell material replaced with hydrated silica or ‘opalized’, lending them color and ‘fire’.

Like the ancients of Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages, many people of today believe certain rocks and crystals contain properties that influence human health, psyche, ‘energy’ or ‘vibrations’. Though I do wear nephrite jade, so far it does not seem to have affected my kidneys.



Orthoceras was an ancient mollusk that lived more than 400 million years ago and is another ancestor of our modern-day squid. These are from Morocco.

Like all its living relatives it was almost certainly a predator, probably eating trilobites.


Of course the kids love coprolite, fossilized excrement. And shark’s teeth.



Lepidolite is the pinkish colored variety of mica, a phyllosilicate with a very complex chemical composition: K(Li,Al)3(Si,Al)4O10(F,OH)2. Also called muscovite, mica is translucent to transparent and can be peeled apart; it was once used as window glazing.

Finally, my only purchase, native copper from Michigan, $10. With a specific gravity of 8.9 and a hardness of 2.5-3, copper is one of the few metallic elements to occur in native form, although it is usually found oxidized and mixed with other elements.


Unless noted, all text and images produced by Noncommercial use free with attribution.

2 thoughts on “Roseville Gem Faire 2017

  1. Pingback: My Fossil Collection |

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