Treasures galore at Gemfest
THERE were plenty of treasures at Lismore’s Gemfest on Saturday, and Casino youngsters Kyle and Aleriah Earl were on a mission to find them.
But they did it the old-fashioned way – using sieves at the popular fossicking area.
“I’m just going through and picking out all the colourful stones,” Kyle, 12, said.
“I even found a little bit of opal in here, that’s my favourite.”
His sister Aleriah, 10, found pieces of amethyst and crystal, as well as ‘a really nice green one’.
“I collect them,” she said.
“We’re allowed to keep what we find.
“I’ve got a bit box of them at home, and I’m going to add all of these ones to the collection.”
The fossicking was run by members of the Lismore Gem and Lapidary Club.
It’s a hit with kids of all ages – and their parents – with the lawn covered with people enjoying the sunshine while they carefully looked through piles of stones.
But the fossicking wasn’t the only drawcard of the two-day Gemfest.
Thousands of people flocked to the Lismore Showgrounds to hunt for other precious stones, crystals, beads and much more.
There were lots of bargains to be found, but also some expensive rocks for those with a bit of extra cash.
A 16kg lapis rock, worth $3500, sat alongside garnet crystals selling for just $1 each.
One stall-holder proudly displayed a stunning biocolour tourmaline crystal which was found in Afghanistan. Its price tag? Just $3000.
But that pales in comparison to opal cutter Col Edwards’ Sunburst pendant, which is worth about $88,000 and was described as the jewel in Gemfest’s crown.
Children were fascinated with the array of fossils that were on display, many of which were millions of years old, and the ‘dinosaur poo’ and dinosaur bone specimens.
And there were crystals from all corners of the world, including some from China, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Peru.
This was the 20th year of Gemfest, and organisers say it just keeps on getting bigger, better and more popular.
From its humble beginnings in 1990, the event has become the largest gem, crystal, jewellery and fossil show in regional Australia, attracting people from all over the country.