It’s been 4 years since our first outing to one of the best gem and mineral shows/events in the world. Most people will think of Tuscon, Denver, Munich etc. when they think of the best shows in the world, but can you go out and dig for some very rare, location specific minerals in large quantities at any of those shows? Well Gem-o-Rama you can! Pink halite and blue halite, hanksite, sulphohalite, thenardite and more are all for the taking after you pay your $15 fee. You just have to get ridiculously dirty and world class specimens are at your fingertips.
Let me explain. For 75 years the Trona Gem & Mineral society has been putting on their annual show in Trona, Ca, about 25 miles east of Ridgecrest, Ca. I don’t know exactly when they started, but during the 2 day event you can going of field trips on the lake bed to collect the above mentioned minerals pink halite, hank site, etc. You can view more information about the weekend event at their site http://www1.iwvisp.com/tronagemclub/GEM-O-RAMA.htm
Trona is known for Searles Lake, technically a dry lake but there is a lake there, which produces sodium and potassium and other minerals in large quantities. It is a natural sink surrounded by mountains and desert hills. Over the millennia the runoff from those mountain ranges pooled into the area accumulating the sodium and potassium minerals. It’s really a one of a kinda place with wonderful history of the 20 Mule Teams, San Pedro port, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Here is a great read from Desert Magazine circa 1942 on the then history of Searles Lake http://mojavedesert.net/johnsearles/ .
Even as I write this blog i’m getting butterflies thinking of the fantastic specimens we’ve collected there over the years, the great deals on minerals from the show vendors and the memories with my wife and kids getting dirty, miserable and ecstatic all at the same time. My only regret this year they won’t make it because they are still in Japan.
Almost forgot, the goods… pink halite, hanksite and sulphohalite!
See ya there!