BETHEL — Did you know Maine’s state mineral is tourmaline?

The most common gem species of tourmaline found in Maine is Elbaite, which can have a variety of colors of green, pink, red, blue, colorless and watermelon (pink surrounded by green).

Elbaite, first discovered in 1820 at Mount Mica in Paris, is found in the pegmatites of Oxford, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Cumberland counties.

These and more facts about popular minerals in Maine will be shared at the 49th annual Western Maine Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show put on by the Oxford County Mineral and Gem Association at Telstar High School gymnasium.

The show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 10; and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 11.

Display cases will be filled with everything from specimens from local mines to items from across the country and around the world. Vendors will offer a variety of items such as mineral specimens, gemstones, beaded and faceted jewelry and collectibles.

The grand door prize drawing will be a morganite necklace donated by Norman Davis of Mountain Minerals of Newry. This stone is a piece from “The Rose of Maine,” an exceptionally large pinkish crystal of gem quality morganite beryl from the Bennett Quarry in Buckfield.

Returning this year will be the spinning wheel and gold panning and cabbing (polishing stones for jewelry) demonstrations. There will also be hourly door prizes. Lunch provided by Gilead Fire Department will be available for purchase.

Admission is $2 for adults and children 12 and older. Children under 12 admitted free. For more information, call Hugh Chapman at 836-2987.


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