By Antoinette Rahn
Things in the world may have changed a lot since the Dallas Gem and Mineral Society (DGMS) formed in 1956, but many things certainly have stayed the same, such as the passion for geology and community shared by the Society's members.
Looking back at how the group has evolved in that time and pondering what the founding members would think about the group's presence and efforts today, DMGS leadership shared this mindful perspective, "They would be proud of the growth of the club over the years. (We) think they would enjoy the fact that so many people have tried to keep the hobby alive and still relevant in today's technology-heavy culture," reported DMGS Co-Show Chair John Taylor.
During a year that has been anything but conventional, DGMS has taken an exceedingly careful, strategic, and mindful approach to plan and develop what is the "backbone of the club's existence," it's gem and mineral show. The show, with safety protocols and measures, will take place Nov. 21-22, 2020.
Speaking about the club's show, which is now in its 63rd year, Taylor representing the DGMS leadership, said, "It provides us with the ability to maintain a working rock shop rear-round. For the community, it provides a place for (sometimes thousands) of people to gather and share their love of rocks, gems, and minerals with other like minded people."
Among the measures taken by the group to provide a safe and pleasant experience include, creating a floor plan wherein tables are appropriately distanced, relocating the dining offering from the main floor to an area away from fellow attendees, and as provided and arranged with the convention center, there will be multiple sanitizer stations positioned throughout the show floor, plus, masks are mandatory.
Dallas Gem and Mineral Society's 63rd Annual Gem and Mineral Show
Date: Nov. 21-22, 2020
Location: Mesquite Rodeo Exhibition Hall, 1800 Rodeo Drive, Mesquite, Texas
Admission: Adults $8, Veterans, Seniors, and Children Under 12 $5, Free Admission for scouts in uniform
Visit www.dallasgemandmineral.org for more information.
In addition to the show, DGMS fosters a community of experiences, education, collaboration, inspiration, and fun. The group does this through field trips, a fully equipped workshop within the clubhouse, and a wide variety of presentations and demonstrations during regular meetings. Although some of these activites are temporarily on hold, in response to the pandemic, memories of past experiences and hope for the return of such opportunities in the future keep members going.
In terms of field trips, DGMS regularly hosts dig trips to Colorado, West Texas, New
Mexico, Arkansas, and, of course, other local destinations within Texas, Taylor reported. In addition, the group hosts small rock shops about three times a year, held at the clubhouse/shop, and DGMS members represent the group at the InterGem Show.
Education and inspiration are a big part of what goes on in the club workshop, Taylor explained.
"We train new members on how to take a rock from rough to jewelry-quality cabochon," he explained. "We also host classes that teach silversmithing, wire wrapping, faceting, as well as other skills that members want to share with others."
The attitude of sharing knowledge and a passion for rocks, gems, and minerals is not only part of the foundation, but it's part of the club's mission for the future.
"Much of the change (in the last 10 years) has been adding to our web presence through our website and Facebook, encouraging younger (people) to join and volunteer, and trying to get more people interested in the craft, even better if they want to come to teach what they do from our shop."
With 2020 quickly drawing to a close, and a new year rapidly approaching, when asked what three things DGMS is working on as a group (membership is approximately 150) and most excited about, DGMS leadership said: The upcoming show, expanding teaching opportunities by encouraging more members to teach classes, an planning field trips for 2021 and "hoping the world gets itself together, so we can go on them."
For More Information
Clubhouse Address: 10205 Plano Rd., Suite 105, Dallas, TX
Monthly meetings: General society meeting is the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.