SVGMS Gem & Mineral Show - Display Info

A lot of good information was presented on this topic at the June 2015 Meeting - it’s collected here for ongoing use.

Scott Gregory presented information about presentation cases for the annual Gem & Mineral Show coming up in September.

He had a sample display case, and gave everyone a
handout guide.

He said that this is a club tradition which sparks interest with the public to perhaps join the club or pursue an interest in rock collecting and related pursuits.

In years past, 20 to 30 cases were shown, so we’d like to get back to that number.

The club owns cases for members to borrow to prepare exhibits for the show.

The exhibits are to support the club’s efforts to educate our attendees about the diverse world of rocks and minerals. You can be certain that if it’s of interest to you, many of our attendees will find it interesting as well.

Some points Scott made were:
  • Some cases currently have thin, fragile glass covers. If a member wishes to replace this with Lexan/Plexiglas, the club will reimburse the cost. This would be safer for the public (and your exhibit materials!)
  • Less is more
  • Use painted wooden blocks, Styrofoam blocks covered in felt, etc., to mount & display the materials
  • Do not crowd the box
  • Be sure to LABEL all specimens with your best information as to the name of the material and location it was found (if known)
  • Use photos or short info sheets for valuable specimens rather than having the actual item

It’s a good idea to organize your display by creating a theme - possible examples include:
  • What’s a rock and what’s a mineral?
  • Exhibit the stages in making jewelry or cabochons
  • Fossils you’ve collected or acquired
  • Minerals you’ve collected from club field trips
  • Minerals found in Virginia
  • It’s limited only by your imagination and interests

Display cases can be picked up from the rock shop at the August and September meetings, or during the rock shop sessions in July and August. First come, first served!

For planning purposes, the interior of these cases is approximately 24” x 30”. There are two “styles” available. One is about 5” in the front and 10” in the rear; the other is about 4” in the front and 8” in the rear. If you are planning to exhibit smaller materials, you would want the shorter case so your items are relatively closer to the top.

This is a link to the
handout Scott prepared for the June meeting. Sage advice from a long-time display veteran - Thanks Scott!

Here is a link to a document prepared by a Florida club explaining to their members ways to prepare show displays - great tips! Take a look here:

There is an excellent article on the AFMS site that covers many aspects of setting up a great display. The site is
here. It links to an article called “Display Showmanship for Prize Winning Exhibits” by Jessie Chittenden from the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc. It’s also linked to on our web site here, in case the original source becomes disconnected.

In addition, several threads in the Lapidary/Gemstone Community Forum - Setting Up For Shows contain some excellent advice, information and pictures. The top page of the forum is here, and these discussions are of particular interest:

Competition case in AFMS Show

Labels In AFMS Competition
My 2012 Ventura Fair Agate Display - the first few pictures show some of the planning for the display

A gallery of pictures from other shows and sources to act as samples to help you contemplate how to set up your display is
here. Get busy, the show will be here before you know it!

A separate page you can bookmark for the document downloads described above can be found

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Due to popular request, a detailed Bill of Materials to add enhanced lighting to the club’s display cases has been prepared. It is available for download here.