A Gemstone Extravaganza


A lucky strike thunder egg. Photo taken in Mitchell, OR and provided by Jason Jakubos.

Anna McKenna, Staff Writer

You may have heard of stopping and smelling the roses, but have you ever stopped to admire the rocks? If so the Oregon Umpqua Gem and Mineral Show “From Rocks to Gems” might make you feel like you’re in an abstract rock hound’s fantasy. If the words “rocks to gems” don’t help you catch on, the Umpqua Gem and Mineral show is a non-profit show that promotes geology, rock hounding, and lapidary arts.

The Gem and Mineral Show is an event showcased by the Umpqua Gem and Mineral club, who will be celebrating their 49th annual show this year. The show is an admission-free event that the whole family should find more than delighting. The purpose of their organization and event is to advocate for the importance and interest in geology by raising funds to distribute books about new lapidary art, geology, and rock hounding to all schools in Douglas County.

The Gem and Mineral fun will be coming to Roseburg Oregon’s Douglas Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The event is perfectly placed on a May weekend: Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th. The event will run from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and 10 AM to 4 PM on Sunday. Activities will kick off on Saturday and then will begin where they left off at on Sunday. The theme of the Umpqua Gem and Mineral show is “Rock to gems” as each year the club likes to do change the theme to something different.

I wanted to know what brings everyone out and gets him or her interested in this rock extravaganza event? I reached out Jason Jakubos of the Umpqua Gem and Mineral Club who is a well-informed rock hobbyist, has been the show’s chair twice, served for three years as the club’s president, and will be a vendor at the 49th annual show. According to Jakubos, “Being a rock hound and a lapidary artist, I enjoy looking at the displays that people are putting out some of their best materials and work. I really enjoy talking to people about rocks. Also, we have demonstrators that will show you how they do what they do, from silversmithing, faceting, wire wrapping and more.”

As the admission is free, so are plenty of the activities. There will also be food concessions provided by IdleYld Lodge. If you’re looking forward to buying a gem to call your own, you’re in luck. The show will include rock and gem dealers, demonstrators teaching you how they do what they do, and a museum of displays of rocks to gems. There will also be multiple prizes worthy raffles & auctions. There will be assortment of more kid-friendly activities including: three rock hunts on SAT, and two on SUN, rock painting with “Michael’s,” wheel of fortune, dart toss, and a kiddie area that will keep your children more than a little entertained.

The gem and mineral show cannot wait to see when you decide to venture out to their important 49th annual show. The Master Gardener’s show is also being held at the fairgrounds on Saturday, so you can hit up two shows in one day! This is the perfect year to get a taste of the rock mineral showcase fun! Come on out to the Douglas County Fairgrounds the 4th and the 5th of May, you’ll be left amazed by the shapes and colors of crystals reflecting in your awestruck eyes.