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Precious stones . . . North Otago Rock and Mineral Club president Jack Lindsay displays some off the gems and rocks that will be at the club's Gemstone Fair on Saturday and Sunday. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Those searching for hidden gems need look no more.

The North Otago Rock and Mineral Club is hosting its annual Gemstone Fair this weekend, with people coming from Canterbury, Southland and Dunedin to attend.

“It’s quite a big affair among the gemstone community,” club president Jack Lindsay said.

There would be an array of rock displays, as well as polished and shaped gems, crystals and fossils, and children’s activities.

Mr Lindsay predicted agate, a volcanic emission, would be popular again, as it was beautifully coloured and had unique lines.

“Agates are the most prolific in this area, and Canterbury,” he said.

“Fossilised woods are another interesting one, and so are other colourful ones, the greenstones – it’s quite fascinating to look at.”

It was expected about 3000 people would visit the fair over the two days and it was always a hit with families.

“Kids are fascinated by that sort of thing.”

He hoped the the fair would attract more members to join the club, which was expanding, and had 50 members at present.

About 15 members went on regular field trips in the district, and Mr Lindsay found some “hokey pokey” rocks on the last trip.

“They polished up to a bright yellow colour. Within it, there was green and bright red colours too.

“The trip before we went to a limestone quarry and dug up wonderful fossils, that you never see around here, and a small few whale bones too.”

Members would join those from the Otago Rock and Mineral Club for a trip to Danseys Pass at the end of the month.

The club recently acquired a lapidary workshop, thanks to Waitaki District Council and Network Waitaki grants, and people could use their artistic flare to polish their rocks.

“A lot of people are quite new to it and don’t realise what they can do – it’s becoming quite popular.”

The club meets on the first Wednesday of the month and holds workshops on Mondays. New members are welcome.

The Gemstone Fair is on tomorrow and Sunday at the Badminton Hall. Entry is by gold-coin donation.