The Payson Rimstones’ Annual Gem and Mineral Show promises to educate and entertain. Better yet, guests will probably go home with something.
“Even people that don’t usually go to something like this end up with something in their hands,” said show organizer and Rimstones club member Margaret Jones.
For two days, Saturday, Nov. 16 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Nov. 17 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the Mazatzal Casino’s old bingo hall, vendors will have rocks, minerals and fossils to show off and sell.
For a nominal entrance fee of $2 (kids under 12 are free), guests can wander about and learn, touch and feel all types of rough and finished rocks.
Vendors will also have jewelry and other goods.
“It’s a great place to get Christmas gifts,” said Jones.
But the Rimstones mostly hold the show to educate and support Rim Country students who plan on furthering their education in science or mathematics.
“All proceeds from the entrance fee to the silent auction go towards scholarships and materials for area libraries,” said Jones.
Each year, she said, the Rimstones grant scholarships, according to education interest and need, from $500 to $3,000 to graduating seniors planning on studying sciences or math.
She said the club also purchases books and magazines for the elementary schools, Payson and Pine libraries.
During the year, the club goes into third-grade classrooms to show and teach the difference between rocks.
“We come to third-grade classes and we give a demonstration about the different types of rocks, so the children can see metamorphic vs. sedimentary rocks,” said Jones, “Then we give them an egg carton with 10 different types of rocks to start their rock collection.”
In keeping with the educational mission of the club, they will have an educational corner at the show.
“We will have a college professor, who comes from GCC (Gila Community College); she gives expertise on different types of rocks,” said Jones.
Mostly, the show is a lot of fun for the adults as well as the children.
Jones said she enjoys watching the adults’ reaction at the spin-the-wheel-get-a-rock table.
“Adults like it too because it’s a spinning wheel,” she said.
At another table, the Rimstones will show how some rocks become fluorescent to phosphorescent under certain light.
“You put them under a particular wave length light, it has to do with their electron make up,” she said.
The kids, though, seem to like the sandstone painting the best.
“We get pieces of sandstone from Snowflake — the gentleman donates it for kids to paint on,” Jones said. “One year, we had a couple of children that came and did not want to stop painting on sandstone. Some of the children are very artistic —and they get to take it home with them.”
Jones got excited about the Gold Prospectors of America from Show Low.
She said they usually set up in the middle of the room, have a gold nugget that they auction off, and teach people about to go out to prospect.
“They will set up kind of in the middle of everything and have a lot of demonstrating,” said Jones. “They show how an actual person who would go out to prospect — such as how to pan. The kids get a kick out of that.”
Jones said the rocks and minerals people will see and touch are good quality.
The Casino offers free drinks, said Jones, soda, coffee and tea. Around the corner from the event, The Grill always has something good to eat.
People often return year after year, she said.
“It’s a good, community event,” said Jones.
For more information on the show or scholarships, please contact Margaret Jones at email@example.com.