Spectacular Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show Debuts

Prepare to be dazzled by some of the most beautiful gems and minerals you'll ever see - at the first Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show.

"This is the first time that a major museum such as ours has held a show of this magnitude," says Marc Wilson, show organizer and head of the Museum of Natural History's Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. While there are hundreds of small gem and mineral shows every year around the U.S., this one will be "the most prestigious east of the Mississippi," he continues.

The best part is, there'll be something for every taste and every pocketbook. Whether you're a serious collector or a hobbyist, someone looking for a gift large or small, or simply one who appreciates beautiful things, you won't want to miss this event. 

"Our vendors will be selling things that range in price from $1 to $150,000," Wilson says. "If someone is so inclined, he or she can choose a loose stone, have it ground and set, and walk out with a beautiful piece of jewelry."

You'll see diamond and stone cutters demonstrating their skills, hear lectures by prominent lapidary artists whose work has been exhibited in the museum, see the world's largest gemstone and several rocks from Mars and the moon, and meet representatives from leading gem and mineral publications. Special children's activities are bound to spark interest in mineral-collecting as a hobby.

In the planning stages for several years, the Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show is the first of what Wilson hopes will become an annual event. 

"We've already started making plans for next year," he reports. "We're hoping to get a special exhibit in from the Smithsonian for 1999."

The Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show is sponsored jointly by Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Council for Carnegie Museum of Natural History. For more information, tickets and reservations, call 622-3251.  n

 - Kathryn M. Duda

Special Events:


Gala Reception & Preview Party, 7:00Ð9:00 p.m., $75

Be among the first to see and purchase the spectacular gems and minerals on display.


Outdoor Concert, 7:00 p.m., FREE 

After the show, stay and hear Guaracha, one of the area's most popular Latin bands. Presented by the museums' Performing Arts Department.


Pig Roast and Chicken Barbecue, 5:00Ð7:00 p.m., $35

Enjoy a delicious meal and meet other gem and mineral fans, industry professionals and museum staff.

Awards Presentation and Auction, 7:15Ð9:00 p.m., FREE 

Applaud your favorite exhibitors as they receive awards, then bid on gem and mineral specimens that come from the shelves of Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Specimens range in value from $10 to $10,000.

Especially For Kids
These activities are ongoing throughout the show, Fri.ÐSun.:

¥ Browse through a kids-only display area and fill an egg carton with your favorite minerals and gems - and keep them!

¥ Dig for minerals and fossils in a sandbox "quarry." 

¥ Watch professionals grind gemstones and create works of art.

¥ Learn to identify minerals.

¥ Go on a mineral safari.

The Natural History Store stocks field guides for adults and children, as well as books on geology and collecting minerals and gems.

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