Rock & Gem Show Returns to Paso Robles Event Center April 21 & 22

Get ready to “Discover the Magic of Jasper” as members of the Santa Lucia Rockhounds host the 27th Annual Rock & Gem Show. The event promises hours of fun exploration and activities for all ages at the Paso Robles Event Center on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Vendors, exhibitors, and shoppers mingle at the Rock & Gem Show.

“This year’s event will call special attention to jasper, an opaque type of quartz found both locally and all over the world,” said Tina Clark, Rockhounds treasurer and co-show organizer.

Just what is jasper? Essentially, it’s an opaque variety of Chalcedony. In a recent Rockhounds newsletter, Barbara Bilyeu wrote, “the amazing colors and the ease with which jasper can be carved and polished make it a true favorite with lapidaries and artists. Here on the Central Coast we are fortunate to have a wealth of beautiful, colorful specimens of brecciated jasper.” It can be found in the Santa Lucias and the Coastal Ranges including San Simeon Creek and Stone Canyon, according to Bilyeu.

The two-day event will showcase exhibits, dealers, and demonstrators sharing displays and information about rocks, minerals, fossils, artisan-crafted jewelry, and lapidary materials. More than 35 dealers are set to participate this year, according to Clark. Attendees will delight in a variety of activities including sphere making, geode-cracking, faceting, drawing, and gold panning.

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Courtesy photo
The Rock Docs answer questions at the Santa Lucia Rockhounds annual Rock & Gem Show.

Richard Wade returns with his Dinosaur Presentation, happening both days at 1 p.m. as does the always-popular Kids’ Treasure Hunt. In addition, all kids will receive a free gift just for attending.

New this year – one guest per hour will be selected to help with rock cutting and polishing demonstrations. Those with questions on personal rock collections are encouraged to bring a rock or mineral to the show and ask the “Rock Docs” for help with identification. There will also be diamond testing available for those curious about the authenticity of a stone.

“This show is an opportunity for kids and adults to see how something is made, from raw to finished product,” Clark said. “Talk with collectors, see equipment up close, and learn what it takes to turn rocks into beautiful pieces of jewelry or displays. Our participants have a true passion and they want to pass their knowledge on to others. We encourage everyone to take time to come out, talk with the presenters, and cast a vote for their favorite display case.”

Admission cost is $5 per adult; free admission for active military personnel and kids under 16. For more information about the Rock & Mineral Show or becoming a Santa Lucia Rockhounds member, see slrockhounds.org.