2021 Grassy Creek Mineral and Gem Show!

Grassy Creek Mineral and Gem Show!

The 37th Annual Grassy Creek Mineral and Gem Show is put on by the Parkway Fire and Rescue to raise money for new equipment and new buildings.

This Gem Show has everything! Over 60 US and International dealers with almost any kind of jewelry, gemstone and mineral specimens, fossil, lapidary equipment and more you might want. Each booth is 20 by 40 foot so there are LOTS of items for sale.

Parking and admission are free.

Food is available.

Portajohns are available. Hopefully by the time of the gem show, the new restrooms and shower facilities will be built.

This is an outside event so be prepared for rain.

Gem Show Dates: Sunday, July 25th to Sunday, August 1st, 2021 with some vendors open on Saturday 24th.

Gem Show Hours: 9 to 6 daily with many vendors open earlier and later because they are staying with their booth.

Gem Show Address: 136 Majestic View, Spruce Pine, NC 28777 at the new Parkway Fire and Rescue event grounds. This location is on the hill above the previous location.

Contact: Donna Collis:  collisdonna@yahoo.com 828-765-5519 or Parkway Fire and Rescue at 828-765-2117.

Email: info@grassycreekgemshow.org 
Website: www.grassycreekgemshow.org. Applications and pictures are available on the website.
Grassy Creek Mineral & Gem Show
136 Majestic View, Spruce Pine
PO Box 188 Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Phone: (828) 765-2117, Email: info@grassycreekgemshow.org

The gem show is organized by Donna Collis, who has been involved with the event for over 20 years, and Roger Frye, who has helped plan the show for more than two decades.

Started by the Grassy Creek Fire Department, for the first two years, the gem show took place where KFC and Taco Bell are now located. When Grassy Creek Fire Department merged with Altapass Fire Department to create Parkway Fire and Rescue, show organizers chose to keep the name. The show was later moved to the field across from Parkway Fire and Rescue for three years before moving to its former location at Parkway Fire and Rescue in 1990, where it remained until 2015.

The department purchased the field on Majestic View from Wade Hughes in January 2016 with the intent of making it the home of the new Parkway Fire and Rescue.

Parking and admission to the gem show are free and money raised goes toward new equipment for Parkway Fire and Rescue.

If you would like more info on local Mineral shows and rockhound clubs click on the American Geode News page for up to date listings and links to Gem Show, Mineral Show, and Fossil Show announcements. American Geode updates our rockhound news twice an hour and showcase the top mineral shows and rockhound news in the USA and the World. Also, follow American Geode on Twitter for even more rockhound events, commentary, and laughable quips from American Geode. https://twitter.com/AmericanGeode

Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society rock sale May 29-30, 2021

Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society will be holding a rock sale Saturday May 29, 2021 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM and Sunday Sunday May 30, 2021 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The sale will be at the KGMS clubhouse 2931 Fawver Lane, Knoxville 37914. Please bring checks or cash.

There are over 80 varieties of rough available including Angel Wing, Black Onyx, Bloody Basin Agate, Brenda Agate, Brazilian Agate, Carnelian, Golden Moss Agate, Graveyard Point Agate, Kentucky Agate, multiple varieties of Obsidian, Ohio Flint, Oregon Picture Jasper, Petrified Wood, Red Agate and Jasper, Serpentine, Tennessee Paint Rock, Tiger’s Eye, Rhyolite, Unakite, and Wonderstone.

For more information visit
Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/315143346677089/

If you would like more info on local Mineral shows and rockhound clubs click on the American Geode News page for up to date listings and links to Gem Show, Mineral Show, and Fossil Show announcements. American Geode updates our rockhound news twice an hour and showcase the top mineral shows and rockhound news in the USA and the World. Also, follow American Geode on Twitter for even more rockhound events, commentary, and laughable quips from American Geode. https://twitter.com/AmericanGeode

Graves Mountain, a Rockhound’s Mecca

Graves Mountain

Field Trip to Graves Mountain on Friday, January 29,

This was my first field trip, and outdoors adventure since hernia operation exactly one month earlier, and my first trip to famous Graves Mountain, so I had my gear, tools, and clothes laid out for at least a week prior. I had to take the day off of work too, so this was a special day.

Graves Mountain is the site of an old mining operation, like so many rockhound locales, and in this case Tiffany’s back in the Roaring 20’s was mining for Rutile. Rutile is an industrial semi-precious gemstone used to polish diamonds. Again, like so many mining operations it changed hands, owners, there were lawsuits, etc. and so on. In addition to Rutile, the area was mined for Kyanite for industrial purposes. As of 2021, the site is privately managed, and opened occasionally to clubs and private excursions, so I was able to visit this famous site through my membership with the Georgia Mineral Society.

The directions that Juergen Poppelreuter, one of the trip leaders, provided were perfect. I actually arrived 20 minutes before assigned arrival, and I was not the first! People were excited!

After the safety talk, we embarked on the march to the pits. There is a main, very large pit, the primary pit, and then another pit, that I believe is split in two, that is higher up the mountain. The march is not too difficult but for future rockhounds, I suggest backpack, sturdy garden wagon, or if no wagon, then some kind of trolley because, whichever pit you choose, the walk from the parking lot is about 15 minutes.

The minerals you are hunting for are primarily rutile, kyanite, lazulite, pyrophyllite, and iridescent hematite. From socially distanced conversations with the other rockhound, the iridescent hematite and rutile were arguably the most desirable, and the rutile the most elusive.

Something that is essential to bring with you is a camera, a real camera if you can pack one because the landscape, the mountain-scape is impressive. Before I got to the pit I took many photos of the landscape as we were luck to have a bright and sunny day. As this site is private and off-limits otherwise, I took full advantage of the chance to photograph this famous rockhound locale.

The style of rockhound here is primarily sifting through the overflow and fallen boulders and surface hunting. The walls are almost impenetrable without power tools, and signs mark the clear risk of being near the wall and below the cliffs. So you move from area to area cracking open larger pieces in search of minerals, and you also keep a close eye on the ground for any crystals or minerals that have washed or eroded out, or perhaps fallen out of someone else’s loot.

Personally, I believe you can only spend a day in one area, in order to substantially mine, rockhound, and collect. The are is simply bigger than a football field. I spent my day in the primary, main pit.

I was able to find some great blue kyanite, some very heavily oxidized kyanite that I will work to clean up, and one decent example of the iridescent hematite. There is a lot of quartz if you are interested in quartz! Quartz is the Georgia State Mineral, and it is very plentiful at Graves Mountain.

If you tumble rocks, the quartz and quartz composite pieces that are all over would supply you with plenty of tumbling material. I did not opt for quartz as my residence is full of it inside, outside, and we have quartz a plenty near us as we live in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

A rule that I strive to always follow when rockhounding, is collect, mine, and gather a lifetime’s supply for yourself. No matter what assurance you give yourself that you will come back to a locale one day, it seems like life easily gets in the way, and you regret not collecting more. So, when you go to Graves Mountain, bring plenty of tote bags, boxes, your cart or trolley, and make sure the shocks on your car are in good order.

The tools required are pretty standard, sledge hammers, crowbars, picks, bags, water, sunscreen, and snacks. While you can go to and from your car, as I described earlier, it is not the easiest walk, and could be 1/8th of a mile or so, so plan on spending the day, with breaks, and be prepared. Last point on preparation, there are no bathrooms or facilities of any sort, so plan accordingly.

I have been cleaning up my kyanite, and it is a much more vibrant shade of blue than I expected. The dark kyanite is cool, but I do not see it cleaning up as well. I am happy with my iridescent, but I wish I was bringing home a coffee table sized specimen. I did not find any rutile, but in passing conversation with other rockhounds there that day, some smallish crystals were found.

So, like all rockhounding trips, even if you do not find a specimen worthy of contacting the people at National Geographic, the day was full of fresh air, exercise, fellowship, and adventure. I look forward to my next visit to Graves Mountain, to one of the other pits! More pictures from Graves Mountain, and other rockhounding tips, tricks, advice, and locations can be found on my blog if you Google “American Geode Blog.”

The Unexpected Joy of Rock Tumbling

In August 2020 I was presented with the opportunity to move temporarily from New York to a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia. While very reluctant to leave New York, under the COVID limitations, and my work being 100% online, I thought why not accept this once in a lifetime opportunity.

We drove to Georgia with a stop first in Chester, Massachusetts where I had the chance to rockhound near the old emery mines of Chester. That is the topic of another writing. Then, we got to North Georgia, and I was in rockhound paradise. I wasted little time to start hiking, exploring, and rockhounding along the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Cleveland, Georgia.

The Georgia State Mineral is Quartz, and there is plenty of it around. The cabin is also situated near a stream, full of rocks and stones, and possibly artifacts too. So, for weeks I was rockhounding and collecting fine quartz specimens, and panning for gold and gemstones in the creek. It was a great way to spend each weekend.

Then I suffered some pain one day, and went to the doctor who informed me that I had a hernia and it required surgery! After repeated, “you’ve got to be kidding me, I accepted the planned surgery, and also started to plan on what I would do while recovering indoors, resting and relaxing. That is when I thought why not try rock tumbling? I have a creek nearby, a lifetime supply of rocks and stones, so while I can not be our working on my mineral collection, let some work be done FOR ME, by a new rock tumbler!

So, I started to shop around, and researched and read reviews of various tumblers. There are two types of tumblers, the small kiddy ones and then the larger PVC Piping for the Barrel industrial types. There is a price difference between them of course, but the time is the same. If you have a small rock tumbler, or a large rock tumbler, each project takes a month. So, my thinking was, I have a lifetime supply of rocks right now, and I would like to try larger rocks, around size of my fist, so I will opt for the larger tumbler.

I ordered one large tumbler off the internet that is very popular on eBay, Amazon, and other online marketplaces. I was large, with a 20 lb. barrel. It arrived however, and it requires assembly. The problem with this one, and I would guess this is not uncommon, is that each piece must fit together PERFECTLY and EXACTLY right. On mine there was a steel peg that was just a few millimeters too long and it would not allow the motor to attached straight. I did not have a metal saw and would not want to pretend I could fix it either. The problem, I believe, with this popular large rock tumbler is that, since you have to construct it yourself, each piece must for perfectly together, and if it does not, you do not have any spare or extra parts. So, I can not recommend the large tumblers that require self-assembly. Even if all the pieces did fit, I am not sure I trust myself to know what needs to be fully tightened, what needs to be lubricated, and what to expect for maintenance. I returned that tumbler for a refund.

The next tumbler I bought was from a small business that mostly sells through their website. I was also a 20 lb. barrel, so suitable for larger stones. When it arrived, I was delighted to see if consisted of a base with the motor in place, and the base had two horizontal rods that would rotate. Then it had a large 20 lb. barrel made of steel with a lid. That was it!  You fill the barrel with stones, water, and the grit, secure the lid, place it on the rods and plug it in. The rods start working and the barrel starts rolling. The tumbler also had explicit directions on the manual, and written on the tumbler itself. It does require lubrication every single day, and the bolts need to be tightened monthly. That has proven very easy to accommodate. Once a day I check on it, unplug it, add the lubrication, and then plug it back in.

For the stones I have chosen, it’s been a mixture of quartz and schist from the creek, and I am tumbling stones 2-3 inches across. You change the grit every 7 days, for a total of 4 weeks. Each stage has finer and finer grit to achieve a polished look. I have been delighted to see the stones at every stage. Probably the first stage completion, the rough grit to bring out the potential of what looked otherwise like very uninteresting rocks, was the most exciting. The quartz is looking brilliant too. This is also a fantastic way to improve, polish, and have fun with the minerals you collect that are not natural display specimens. If something had a fine point, or was a beautiful crystal, or mixture of minerals on matrix, I would clean it to display it. But every other sort of interesting rock you pick up, that is not so interesting when you get home and clean up your loot, are PERFECT for rock tumbling.

As I write this, I am just beginning stage 4, week 4, the polishing stage. Below are photos of how it started, and how this rock tumbling project is coming along. I am also in week 4 of recovery from my hernia surgery, and hopeful to be more active in February.

If you have the place for a rock tumbler, they can be noisy, and the time to check on it once a day, and also keep it running 24 hours a day, it’s a great complement to your rockhounding hobby. If you have rocks from past excursions, that are not on display, tumble them! If you have stones that are not as shiny or pretty as you wish, tumble them!

I love rock tumbling, and even when I am better, I plan to keep tumbling various stones from my collection, and consider how much you can tumble during the winter months, when you are not going out anyway!

If anyone has specific questions about the rock tumblers I tested and researched, or the tumbler I use, please contact me through “Contact Us” on www.americangeode.com.

I have been posting videos of the rockhounding adventures in Georgia, and the discoveries can be found by searching in YouTube for “Crystal Discovery at NEW and UNUSUAL North Georgia Site.”

Indian Trail Trees or Trail Marker Trees

Indian Trail Tree

Indian Trail Trees or Indian Trail Marker Trees were not what American Geode was hunting in the woods of North Georgia. We did find a very interesting tree however, and we believe it is an Indian Trail Tree or Indian Trail Marker Tree.

It does point in the direction of a fresh water stream that we had discovered earlier so it’s a neat “street sign” that would point one to water, which would be matter of life or death in these unforgiving woods of North Georgia.

We welcome your thoughts though, please email American Geode directly with your insight. http://www.americangeode.com

Indian Trail Tree
Indian Trail Tree
Indian Trail Tree
Indian Trail Tree
Indian Trail Tree
Indian Trail Tree
Indian Trail Tree
Indian Trail Tree