The Moab Rock Club's spin wheel is a draw for children who attend the group's annual Rock, Gem and Mineral Show at the Old Spanish Trail Arena. [Moab Sun News file photo]

Rockhounds, rejoice!

The Moab Rock Club’s annual Rock, Gem and Mineral Show is returning next week for its 56th event, and club president Jerry Hansen is expecting more than 35 vendors from across the West to show up.

“We have a very supportive group of vendors that keeps coming back year after year,” he said.

The show is expected to draw as many as 4,000 people – or as few as 1,500 – to the Old Spanish Trail Arena between Friday, Oct. 9, and Sunday, Oct. 11, depending on what the weather is like.

“If it’s cold, it pushes them inside, and they might even come to us,” Hansen said.

Both local and regional vendors, including Stone Carver Ken Kolb of Moab and Blue Crystal Mines of La Sal, will have a strong presence at the show, which will feature everything from “raw” rocks that attendees can cut themselves, to beads, jewelry, turquoise and gold.

Some of the most unique products on display are made from agatized dinosaur bones, which have been remineralized over the ages with agate, jasper, opal and other compounds. Kolb has worked on his craft for more than 35 years, creating jewelry, art and collectors’ specimens from agatized dinosaur bones that he bought at local rock shops. According to a disclaimer on his website,, Kolb does not collect bones from federal or state lands.

Hansen said that buyers also come to check out Blue Crystal Mines’ products.

“They’re known nationwide – and probably worldwide – for their quality,” he said.

Blue Crystal Mines owner William Harrison often takes his wares to some of the world’s biggest rock and gem shows in Colorado and Arizona, although he appreciates the opportunity to stick closer to home.

“I really like it because it’s close, and I get to meet local people and show my products to them,” Harrison said. “It’s kind of cool to be out there mixing with local rockhounds.”

This year, Harrison will be selling colorful round balls of pure azurite that he calls “Rocky Mountain blueberries,” as well as malachite, a green material that’s found throughout much of the surrounding area.

Apart from the vendors’ displays, Hansen said that attendees will be able to register for the chance to win door prizes, or try their luck at the club’s spin wheel, which offers other geological prizes. Hansen said the club will donate half of the proceeds from its spin wheel demos and door prizes to a still-undetermined local organization that helps children.

In addition to the show, the club will be hosting field trips on Saturday, Oct. 10, and Sunday, Oct. 11, to two popular rockhounding sites north of Moab in search of elusive Yellow Cat redwood and agates, among other things. While there’s a possibility that participants may see dinosaur fossils, Hansen said the club is conscientious about reminding people that it is illegal to remove paleontological resources from public lands.

For many participants, Hansen said the show marks their initiation to rockhounding.

“We get a lot of folks for whom this is their first rock show,” he said. “A lot of them have never been on a field trip … It’s nice to know that we’re introducing a lot of people to this.”

Both trips will depart from the Old Spanish Trail Arena at 9 a.m. sharp; anyone who is interested in attending should plan on arriving ahead of time in order to sign trip waiver forms.

Hansen recommends that field trip attendees should travel in high-clearance vehicles; if they don’t have one at their disposal, he said they can ride with someone else who does.

The show itself will run from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. on Oct. 9 and 10, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 11.

Moab Rock Club hosts 56th annual rock, gem and mineral show from Oct. 9-11

What: Moab Rock Club’s 56th Annual Rock, Gem and Mineral Show

When: Friday, Oct. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 11

Where: Old Spanish Trail Arena, 3641 S. U.S. Highway 191

Cost: Admission is free

For more information about the Rock, Gem and Mineral Show, email

I really like it because it’s close, and I get to meet local people and show my products to them … It’s kind of cool to be out there mixing with local rockhounds.