Rockhounds gather for annual Gemstone Junction

Apr 14 2012 - 11:05pm

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ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner
Dee Coulam, of Hyrum, works on shaping a ruby at the Golden Spike Gem & Mineral Society’s Gemstone Junction on Saturday at the Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden.
ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner
Dee Coulam, of Hyrum, works on shaping a ruby at the Golden Spike Gem & Mineral Society’s Gemstone Junction on Saturday at the Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden.

OGDEN -- Creating fossils the natural way takes millions of years.

Timothy Seeber can do it in about 400 hours.

Seeber, or Mr. Bones as he likes to be called, showed off his skills and products Saturday at the Golden Spike Gem & Mineral Society's 61st annual Gemstone Junction at the Golden Spike Events Center.

Seeber, who has degrees in teaching and science, hand carves life-sized dinosaur fossils that are so realistic, many showgoers thought they were seeing the real deal.

Seeber lives in Boulder, Colo., and does work for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He said sculpting one fossil replica takes about 400 hours of work, but he doesn't mind the labor-intensive effort.

"I love what I do," he said. "I'm able to combine my teaching background, my science background and my insanity into something very unique."

Several thousand people attended the show to see colorful collections of rocks and minerals, hand-made jewelry, gemstones, gold and fossils.

"We've been doing this an awful long time now," said show chairwoman Cindy Aeschlimann. "But it seems to get bigger and better every year."

Aeschlimann said more than 1,200 schoolchildren came through on Friday, the opening day, to see all of the wonders.

"We're trying to get kids involved so they can be exposed to something new and maybe find a new hobby and stay out of trouble," she said.

The show also featured equipment, supplies, exhibits, demonstrations, food and a silent auction.

More than 25 dealers from Utah and all over the Mountain West set up shop at the three-day show.

Nathan Andersen, of K&E Treasury in West Jordan, said he has been coming to the show for seven years.

Andersen's company collects and sells items from all over the world. On Saturday, he had items for sale from Mexico and Morocco.

"It's fun to show people what you've got and see a genuine interest when they see something unique," he said. "There are a lot of things at this show that you'll have a hard time seeing anywhere else."

The Gemstone Junction will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Golden Spike Event Center at the Weber County Fairground, 1000 N. 1200 West, Ogden.

For more information, visit www.goldenspikegem.org.

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