Rock hounds and gem hunters are gathering this weekend for the annual Sudbury Gem and Mineral Show.

In addition to the minerals, gems, beads and jewellery for sale and on display, the show offers two identification booths where visitors can have rocks and gems identified.

"If you have granny's jewellery in the draw, bring it out (for identification)," said Ruth Debicki, one of the organizers of the show.

Ruth Debicki

Ruth Debicki of the Sudbury Rock and Lapidary Society holds a polariscope, a device used to identify gems (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Debicki said that one year the gemologist was approached by a woman proudly wearing a new engagement ring. The gem turned out to be not a diamond, but a cubic zirconia. 

"People call diamonds ice," said Debicki. "If you feel them in your hand they feel cold. That's because they suck the heat out of your hand quickly."

By measuring that thermal conductivity, a diamond tester can quickly determine whether or not a diamond is genuine.


Various gems will be available for sale at the Gem and Mineral show (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

In addition to gem and mineral identification, the mineral show will feature various demonstrations, including flint knapping which is the art of making arrowheads, stained glass work, metal detecting and wire-wrap jewellery.

A silent auction will give visitors the chance to bid on various minerals.

Several museum, university and private collections will also be on display. 

The show runs Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Carmichael Arena. 

Event organizer Ruth Debicki describes some of the activities: