IF YOU GO

What: Farmington Gem and Mineral Show

When: Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. in Farmington

Where: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

More info: Call 505-330-7318.

FARMINGTON — These rocks tell stories.

For people around the country, collecting rocks, gems, minerals, precious metals and fossils are a hobby, a passion and an obsession. They buy and sell the items at shows around the country, and now they have come to Farmington.

Mona Lisa Snodgrass holds a piece of fluorite at her booth, El Chivo Viejo, on Friday during the Gem and Mineral Show at the Farmington Civic Center.
Mona Lisa Snodgrass holds a piece of fluorite at her booth, El Chivo Viejo, on Friday during the Gem and Mineral Show at the Farmington Civic Center. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)

Through Sunday, the San Juan County Gem and Mineral Society is hosting 26 vendors at the Farmington Civic Center for the Gem and Mineral Show, now in its 27th year.

"This is my fifth year doing the show," said Mickie Calvert, the show's chairperson. "It's just exciting getting young kids interested in what rocks are all about. It's a lifetime hobby, really. This is a really good hobby for anybody of any age."

James Searcy, of Black Hat Trading in Deming, said he likes going out to the field and gathering stones, minerals and fossils that catch his eye. He takes a sack of marbles with him and places one marble down each time he takes a rock with him.

"When you've lost all your marbles, you're a 'rockhounder,'" Searcy said. "I never met a rock I didn't love."

This is first show of the summer for Barry Mercer, of Barry Mercer Minerals in Mount Ida, Ark. He said he is enjoying the civic center's remodel, which was completed in April.

"It's a lot more hospitable," he said. "There's softer floors and better lighting."

Gem and mineral enthusiasts browse the booths at the Gem and Mineral Show on Friday at the Farmington Civic Center. The show concludes on Sunday.
Gem and mineral enthusiasts browse the booths at the Gem and Mineral Show on Friday at the Farmington Civic Center. The show concludes on Sunday. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)

Mercer said the most rewarding parts of attending gem and mineral shows around the country are seeing children and families take an interest in rock collecting and getting to interact with other vendors.

"There's a lot of learning going on," he said. "You get to cross paths with the vendors. It's like a family reunion almost."

Jay and Amy Penn, of El Chivo Viejo Minerals and Lapidary in Albuquerque, said this was their first time selling at the gem and mineral show in Farmington.

"We've been showing for five to six years, and we do six to eight shows a year," Jay Penn said. "I hope we'll break even, but we wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun."

Greg Yee covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and gyee@daily-times.com. Follow him @GYeeDT on Twitter.