Gems and minerals from around the world on display at Franklin show

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:12

    FRANKLIN - Exotic gems from Turkey and Pakistan rubbed elbows with local fluorescent minerals April 24 and 25 at the 32nd Annual NJESA Gem & Mineral Show at the Robert Littell Community Center here. Visitors from around the state attended to view the different gems and minerals for sale, use a binocular microscope to view micromounted "mini" specimens and check out historical displays of fossils, local mining ore and even antique miners' watch fobs. "We put on the show to encourage appreciation of the minerals [and] so that people can see the different minerals and colors," said Joe Kaiser, president of the New Jersey Earth Science Association and member of the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society. The NJESA, which is made up of six New Jersey mineral clubs, co-sponsored the show with the FOMS and the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, located in Ogdensburg. The show was made up of displays from club delegates as well as outside dealers. Last year, about 2,600 people attended the show, according to Kaiser. On hand to assist were the Future Business Leaders of America, a club of high school volunteers from Wallkill Valley Regional High School, as well as Franklin Boy Scout Troop 90, who provided food to hungry attendees. "It's a family event today," said Linda Westervelt, of Flemington, who attended the show with her husband David, and children Laurie and Daniel. Daniel Westervelt was busy looking through a binocular microscope at micromounted mineral specimens provided by Franklyn and Lavina "Vinie" Ellis, of Howell Township. "We've been doing this for quite a few years," said Franklyn. He and his wife, members of the Leidy Microscopic Society, have attended NJESA shows since the first one. A micromount is a small mineral in crystal suitably mounted to be protected, preserved and studied, said Franklyn, president of the Monmouth Mineral and Gem Club and NJESA vice president. "At this size, the crystals are more perfect," said Lavina. Outside, rain threatened to close the show down early on its last day. Under a canopy, Ruta Raudys of Linden continued to exhibit her Lithuanian amber paintings. "I'm a diehard," said Raudys. "I'll stay till they kick me out." Raudys purchases her wares from a Lithuanian artist and sells them in her Grateful Dead Lithuanian store in Englishtown. This combination is not as odd as it might seem n the Grateful Dead support the Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, said Raudys. The show was dedicated to the "mineral collector: past, present and future," and the dealers attending offered a wide variety of minerals and gems from around world, including fluorescent Franklinite, giant amethysts, and meteorites. For more information on local minerals, visit the Sterling Hill Mining Museum's Web site at, or the Franklin Mineral Museum's Web site at