On Sept. 24, Bonham’s Fine Jewelry Show in London made a new world record when it auctioned off the 50 carat faceted pink Hope Spinel for a whopping $1.47 million, according to Observer Media. Reportedly, raw spinel stones, which are found in the East and Southeast African countries of Tanzania and Madagascar, have historically been confused as rubies among gem admirers because of their coloring. Based on the record-setting sale, however, there is no confusion about the spinel becoming an increasingly popular mineral in the commercial market.
Following the historic Hope Spinel sale, perhaps gem admirers back in the United States may feel a renewed interest in searching for spinel and other gems. For example, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California is a large scale venue that displays gems, minerals, and more. “We do have spinel crystals on display in our Gem and Mineral Hall including a selection of faceted spinel gems from around the world,” said Alyssa Morgan, Collections Manager, Mineral Sciences at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Alternatively, other areas in California provide an up-close look at an assortment of rocks with shows like the one recently put on by the Sequoia Gem and Mineral Society on Sept. 19-20. The show that was held in San Mateo County is an example of a smaller scale venue, but it was also a show with a lot of heart for educating others. The friendly staff, jewelers, and vendors hosted a multi-room exhibit where gems, minerals, rocks and jewelry were on display along with several hands-on educational activities. Free activities for kids included rock cutting, rock polishing, and taking home a six piece rock collection.
Another great source for finding gem and mineral shows in this state is the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc. Below is a list of October shows. For those wanting to plan farther ahead, the event calendar is scheduled through May 2016 on the CFMS website.
Gem and mineral show calendar
- October 3 – 4: BORON, Calif. hosted by Mojave Mineralogical Society
- October 3 – 4: VISTA, Calif. hosted by Vista Gem & Mineral Society
- October 10: MARIPOSA, Calif. hosted by Mariposa Gem & Mineral Club
- October 10 – 11: ANDERSON, Calif. hosted by Shasta Gem & Mineral Society
- October 10 – 11: GRASS VALLEY, Calif. hosted by Nevada County Gem & Mineral Society
- October 10 – 11: TRONA, Calif. hosted by Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society
- October 11: FALLBROOK, Calif. hosted by Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Facility
- October 17: WEST HILLS, Calif. hosted by Woodland Hills Rock Chippers
- October 17 – 18: PLACERVILLE, Calif. hosted by El Dorado County Mineral & Gem Society
- October 17 -18: WHITTIER, Calif. hosted by Whittier Gem & Mineral Society
- October 24 – 25: LOS ALTOS, Calif. hosted by Peninsula Gem & Geology Society