BETHEL — The Oxford County Mineral and Gem Association will host its 52nd annual Western Maine Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show here July 13 and 14.

The gem show is being held at Crescent Park Elementary School due to renovations at Telstar Middle/High School, said Dennis Gross, show organizer and treasurer for the Oxford County Mineral and Gem Association. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 13, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14.

Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children. Fourteen dealers from around the United States will be setting up shop inside the school, offering a variety of gems, minerals and jewelry.

Gross said one activity their gem show offers that other shows don’t is the opportunity for people to participate in “field trips.”

“We have a guy out of Dixfield that will be doing a gold panning demonstration,” Gross said. “He’s a member of the Gold Prospectors Association of America.”

There will also be a demonstration on cabbing, which is the grinding and polishing of stones for jewelry.


Silent auctions will be held each day, and a spinning wheel will be available for kids to spin for the chance to win a prize, Gross said.

A display by the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum will be set up, Gross added. The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is currently being constructed in Bethel.

Gross said they will “draw door prizes hourly” and at the end of the gem show, a grand door prize will be drawn.

“The grand prize this year is a 28-inch selenite crystal,” Gross said. “It’s a prize that has to be picked up at the show because of how big it is.”

The selenite crystal was found in the Glass Caves area in Riley, New Mexico, according to a pamphlet released by the Oxford County Mineral and Gem Association. The crystal was donated by Duane and Nancy Leavitt of Buckfield.

Gross said the turnout is usually “very good” and he expects it will be this year also.

“We get people from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York,” Gross said. “A lot of people show up because they want to see what we have to offer compared to other shows. We’ve been doing this for 52 years. There’s not many groups that have been doing this longer than we have.”

For more information, call Gross at 665-2759.

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