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Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society rock solid at fair


Last updated 8/20/2017 at Noon

Meg Berry's first-place winner in mixed display, work done by exhibitor.

FALLBROOK – Although Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society (FGMS) suspends regular monthly meetings during July and August, summertime was not an idle time for this active educational non-profit.

Anyone attending the San Diego County Fair who toured the Hall of Gems and Minerals in the Mission Tower Building saw lots of FGMS member participation in the gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry exhibits, as well as the society’s vendor booth offering a wide range of earth science items for sale.

Over 70 member volunteers supported the booth’s operation, an effort that began in January with purchasing inventory at the famous Tucson gem and mineral shows, followed by numerous “work parties” to process purchased items, create unique handcrafted jewelry, and process donated materials at the group’s building located at 123 W. Alvarado Street in downtown Fallbrook.

Teams came together to set up, stock and man the booth for the duration of the fair – a total of 26 days. Those who visited the booth could easily see that this fundraising effort – the group's largest of the year – was thoroughly enjoyed by FGMS members, who especially liked giving out free rocks to all children. It proved to be another successful year as the treasurer announced greater sales than 2016, with proceeds going towards paying off the mortgage and supporting FGMS’ free museum and free children’s programs.

Eleven FGMS members displayed a wide variety of items in the competitive exhibits of mineral specimens, faceted gemstones, lapidary work, fossils, jewelry and educational exhibits. More than 30 entries from FGMS members dazzled visitors with color, design and variety – from amateur, advanced, master and professional levels – offering something for everyone to marvel at and enjoy.

Many FGMS members came home from the fair with awards. The list of winners follows.

Meline Giannini's first-place winner in lapidary work/carving, “Surf’s Up” aquaprase.

First place (7 total)

  • Meg Berry (3): mixed display, all work done by exhibitor; lapidary work/carving, “Green Power” tourmaline; 1 faceted gemstone, topaz.
  • Erik Rose (1): 1 mineral, San Diego County, morganite with tourmaline and cleavelandite
  • Meline Giannini (1): lapidary work/carving, “Surf’s Up” aquaprase
  • Hugh Lawrence (2): petrified wood, single piece; petrified wood, full case
Second place (9)
  • Meg Berry (5): lapidary work/carving, “Blue Illusion” quartz with dumortiante; 3 natural faceted gemstones, pyrope garnet; 1 faceted gemstone, zoisite; 1 faceted gemstone displaying optical phenomenon color change sapphire; 1 faceted gemstone >25 carats, topaz25 carats, topaz
  • Erik Rose (1): 5 minerals from 1 mine, Little 3 Mine
  • Meline Giannini (1): lapidary work/carving, “Fun Fish” sunstone
  • Michelle Shearer (2): lapidary work/cabochon from worldwide, leopard rhodolite; wire wrapped jewelry, “Grape Jelly” apatite
Third place (4)
  • Erik Rose (1): 1 self-collected mineral, garnet
  • Joyce O’Connell (1): lapidary work/carving, “Athena Aqua-Owly”
  • Michelle Shearer (1): wire wrapped jewelry, “Coiled Heart”
  • Jeanette Selby (1): 1 mineral, not from San Diego, fluorite
Educational Exhibit Award of Merit (3)
  • Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society (1): “Tribute to Bryant Harris”, created by Michael Evans, FGMS Curator and Gina Palculich, FGMS Assistant Curator
  • Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society Lapidary Students (1): “Salute to Meg Berry”, created by Meline Giannini and Joyce O’Connell
  • Jeanette Selby (1): “Mineral Girls” drawings
Special Awards: 2
  • Erik Rose (2): Josephine Scripps Memorial Award and Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society Award/Best Mineral from San Diego County (1 mineral from San Diego County, “morganite with tourmaline and cleavelandite)
Anyone interested in learning about the activities of Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society can contact the office at (760)728-1130 or visit The office, museum and gift shop are open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meetings resume Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 with a member “Share and Sell” event, beginning at 7 p.m. at the FGMS building, 123 W. Alvarado Street, across from the large public parking lot.


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