A gem of a show features agates

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The 56th Annual Arlington Gem and Mineral Club at Grapevine Convention Center featured gemstones of all types and shapes.

But for president Carl Wells, one gem stole the show.

It wasn’t a diamond, emerald, ruby or sapphire.

It was the agate.

To Wells, “it’s one of the most precious common stones.”

Agate, which is formed by mineral deposits and is part of the quartz family, occurs in a variety of colors, shapes and patterns.

Wells said West Texas, including the Big Bend and Marfa regions, is famous for its wide variety of agates.

“Some of the most beautiful agates come from there,” he said.

Randall Lantz, show coordinator, said more than 20 dealers showed jewelry, fossils, rocks, gems, glasswork and beads at the weekend show. Other features were demonstrations of jewelry making, stone and gem cutting, gem identification, educational displays and the Kids Korner.

“What makes this special is that it has been going on for 56 years,” Lantz said.

He said the club, which has more than 200 members, is dedicated to encouraging the study of earth sciences, lapidary arts and other related fields, and to sharing knowledge and skills with others.

“The sharing of knowledge and skills is just phenomenal,” Lantz said. “It’s just a wonderful group of people. We have members from all walks of life from our kids program to college students to aerospace engineers.”

Lantz, a geologist, said they are not “all about the rocks.”

“We teach everything from taking your first stone and polishing it to faceting it,” Lantz said. “We can show you how to take that stone and make it a piece of jewelry by creating a setting.”

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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