Kitchener-Waterloo Gem and Mineral Club
50 Years of Geological Fun and Education
The Kitchener-Waterloo Gem and Mineral Club was formed in 1965.
For fifty years, our club has brought together people
who have an interest in the lapidary arts and in collecting
rocks, minerals, and fossils.
Members are residents of Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph,
and other communities in Waterloo and Wellington Counties, Ontario.
The club meets on a monthly basis, usually
at the Lions Arena, 20 Rittenhouse Road, Kitchener, Ontario.
Meetings include speakers, workshops and the ever-popular monthly
raffle for gems and minerals.
Special events include picnics, pot-luck suppers and field trips.
|June 2016 club picnic|
The club also provides a forum for an exchange of information
and ideas about the hobby. We also promote safe and responsible collecting,
and we work with other federation clubs to secure more collecting areas.
Our club is a member of the Central
Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies (CCFMS).
Visit us on Facebook!
Or on meetup.com!
Or send us e-mail at kwgemandmineralclub (at) gmail.com.
Celestine and Calcite
Niagara Canal Dumps
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Nipissing 404 Mine
- Friday, January 10 2020: Our annual club competition for best specimen, with desserts provided from Vincenzo's.
Categories will be: best fossil, best lapidary or rock art (non-gemstone), best gemstone, best photograph with hobby theme,
best mineral from Ontario, best mineral from Canada (outside Ontario), best mineral from the USA, best mineral outside
Canada and the USA, best thumbnail, best purple specimen, best radioactive specimen, best garden rock, best mineral oddity,
best specimen containing Iron and Sulphur, best specimen collected by a kid under 16. Finally, there will grand prizes
for the best self-collected specimen and best acquired specimen of 2019.
- Friday, February 14 2020: Dirk Steinke from the University of Guelph will speak about "The University of Guelph Santana Fossil Fish Collection", one of the outstanding fossil fish collections of the world.
- Friday, March 13 2020: (tentatively) Micromounting night: we'll provide microscopes so Club members can view tiny specimens and make their own micromounts.
Friday, April 17 2020: Note: not the usual day! (Moved because of Good Friday.)
Stone carver Cindy Presant will discuss the basic geology and characteristics of soapstone, from a functional and artistic perspective. She will then guide participants through a carving workshop to create their own small soapstone carving or pendant.
For more past meetings, see here.
- Friday, January 4 2019: Our annual competition for the
best specimens of the year. Desserts from Vincenzo's! Categories are
- Best Fossil
- Best Lapidary or rock art item (non-gemstone)
- Best Gemstone
- Best Photograph with hobby theme
- Best Mineral from Ontario
- Best Mineral from Canada outside Ontario
- Best Mineral from the USA
- Best Mineral outside Canada and USA
- Best Thumbnail
- Best "Yellow" specimen
- Specimen from most obscure location
- Best Garden Rock
- Best Mineral oddity
- Best "Copper" specimen
- Best Specimen Collected by a Kid Under 16
- Friday, February 1 2019:
Johan Wiklund, Visiting Fellow at Environment Canada, spoke
on paleolimnology and heavy metal pollution.
Paleolimnology is the study of ancient (paleo) lakes (limne). More generally, it involves the study of, or reconstruction of, past lake or lake-adjacent environments by collecting and examining lake sediment cores.
Silent auctions -- we will be auctioning off the collection of retired WLU professor Bob Sharpe, including a nice home-made wooden mineral storage cabinet.
- Friday, March 1 2019: Janet Lee-Sheriff, CEO of Golden Predator Mining, was invited to speak about the 3 Aces Gold Mine in the Yukon. Unfortunately, due to weather problems, she was unable to make it.
- Friday, April 5 2019: Alphabetical mineral identification! Walk around and try to identify 26 mineral specimens from "A" to "Z", as you enjoy some delicious desserts. Fun for everyone, and prizes! Also: silent auctions.
- Friday, May 3 2019: Warren Boyd, gemmologist and geologist, will speak about mining sapphires in Montana.
- Friday, June 7 2019: Club picnic and barbecue at Jeff Shallit's house in Kitchener, starting at 6 PM.
If you do not know where this is, contact Jeff by e-mail.
Friday, September 13 2019: Our annual "welcome back" meeting.
Bring specimens you collected during your summer collecting trips. Note our new meeting date and location!
Lions Arena, 20 Rittenhouse Road, Kitchener.
Our main speaker is Kevin Kidd speaking on "Beecher's Trilobite Beds -- Home of the Best Preserved Trilobites on Earth".
Trilobites at this location are preserved in pyrite and still have the legs, antennae, gills, etc. preserved as well.
Soft tissue preservation is fossils is rare, and there are very few sites in the world where the soft parts of Paleozoic fossils are preserved. Last summer, Kevin had the opportunity to visit and collect at one of the most famous of these rare sites -- Beecher's Trilobite Beds. This talk will explain the science behind the fossilization and will have plenty of pictures and examples of fossil trilobites that you have to see to believe.
Kevin Kidd is the President & Treasurer of the Scarborough Club, Newsletter Editor for the Kawartha Club, and the organizer of the Bowmanville collecting trips. He also happens to be somewhat of a local fossil expert. He has been actively buying, trading, collecting, preparing, discussing, writing about and displaying fossils for a dozen or so years. Kevin's main focuses are fossil shark teeth from around the world and of course, all the local Ontario fossils but if something else unusual catches his eye......
You are invited to bring a sample of your fossil collection to display on the fossil table. Please include a label to identify the name of the fossil, its location and your name.
- Friday, October 11, 2019: Mike Lothrop will give a talk on "The Art of Flint Knapping", including the different types of flint/obsidian and where it is found locally. Simultaneously, he will be demonstrating the knapping technique. If all goes well, by the end of the meeting he will have `knapped' an arrowhead to give away to the most attentive person. In addition, please bring any arrowheads or other flint artifacts. Mike might know the story behind them.
Also: silent auctions.
- Friday, November 8 2019: Michael Dehn, former student of Peter Russell,
and VP Exploration & Director, Jourdan Resources, spoke about
"Industrial Minerals in Québec, with the focus on Lithium, Titanium, Vanadium, Phosphorus, and Iron".
Michael brought samples to show, including spodumene crystals, some of which he donated for our raffles and/or auctions.
Also, a mini-talk by Aimee Partlow on "Blue John", a kind of fluorite from England.
- Friday, December 13 2019: Our annual holiday auction, with silent and live auctions, and pop and pizza provided by the
Club. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with pizza served at about 7 PM. Please bring a dessert or finger food.
The Pebble Pups is a kids club created by the KW Gem & Mineral Club aimed at younger kids, aged 7 to 12 years old. We meet the first Saturday of every month between September and June, usually
at The Rock Spa (396 Victoria Street North, Kitchener, Ontario)
from 10:15 AM to 11:15 AM.
The Pebble Pups program is packed with games, hands-on activities, and speaker presentations that get the young kids thinking and inspired about the earth sciences. Over the years that the Pebble Pups program has been operating we have averaged approximately six to nine kids per month. On several occasions the Pebble Pups had a high of sixteen kids at one time! We try to entertain and educate the Pebble Pups through numerous activities, and thus far I think my favourite activity to do with the kids (and one that they get most excited about) is playing ROCKO! The other activity that we get a high turnout for is when the kids make their own mineral box to store personal collections.
The Pebble Pups is always looking for in-kind donations in the form of rocks, minerals, fossils, games, and/or books related to the earth science field. The kids are captivated by actually holding a physical specimen in their hands and especially one that they could take home to keep. The more colorful and unique looking the better! The Pebble Pups is always open for KW members to solicit new members. It is very exciting when we get an e-mail or phone inquiry regarding the Pebble Pups because we know that the 'word' is out on the street and more kids are curious to find out about it. It is definitely worthwhile getting e-mails from parents, whose children have moved on from the Pebble Pups due to age limits, that say that their child(ren) had a blast and will cherish their time with the Pebble Pups!
For more information about the kids' club, contact
News and Future Events
last updated November 30 2019
Provided as a public service. Details not guaranteed.
Always check with show venue before heading
out on a long car trip.
- Saturday, February 22, 2020: Club field trip to visit the Santana Fossil Fish collection at the University
of Guelph. Limited number of spaces. Sign up at January or February Club meeting.
- February 29--March 1 2020: Kawartha Rock and Fossil Club presents the Peterborough Gem and Mineral Show, Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road, Peterborough, Ontario. 10 AM to 5 PM, both days. Admission is $4.00, Children under 12 free.
Minerals, Fossils, Rocks, Crystals, Meteorites, Gemstones, Equipment, Books, Faceted stones, Gemstone Jewellery, Beads and much more. A large display area is featured with mineral and fossil displays from members of the Kawartha Club and prominent Ontario collectors. Also a large display of mining memorabilia and the Kawartha Club's Annual Best Collected Specimen Competition. Each day there will be silent auctions.
For more information contact: Robert Beckett. 705-740-4530, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
- April 4-5 2020: The Brantford Lapidary and Mineral Society presents the 48th Annual Paris Gem and Mineral Show. 10 AM to 5 PM, both days, Paris Fairgrounds, 139 Silver Street, Paris, Ontario. Featuring Minerals of Ontario. Adults $6, Kids 12 and under free. Free parking, wheelchair accessible, food truck.
For more information, contact Show Chair Allan Hietapakka, 519 732 9825, or e-mail email@example.com .
- May 9 2020: Our K-W Club Gem and Mineral show, 10 AM to 4 PM, at the Lions Arena,
20 Rittenhouse Road, Kitchener, Ontario. Giveaways for kids, dealers, and displays.
Everyone is welcome!
How to Contact Us
Kitchener-Waterloo Gem and Mineral Club
c/o Stephanie Martin
2 Herlan Ave.
Kitchener, ON N2G 4K3
- Co-Presidents: Stan Jones (519) 658-4394; firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Partlow (519) 836-6515; email@example.com
Treasurer & Membership: Stephanie Martin (226) 868-4367; firstname.lastname@example.org
Publicity: Donna Hollander (519) 571-1418; email@example.com
Librarian: Clare Fuller, (519) 584-7055; firstname.lastname@example.org .
Field Trip Chair: Robert Land, (519) 835-7147; email@example.com .
Newsletter Editor: Jeffrey Shallit (519) 743-8754; firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Setup: Stanley Lui (519) 497-9710; email@example.com
- Club Show Co-Ordinator: Peter Berwaldt, (519) 766-2444; firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids' Club Coordinator: Robert Maric (519) 503-1722; email@example.com
Annual Show and Sale
Each year our club organizes an annual show, which is open to the public.
Our show provides an opportunities for people to buy, sell and exchange rocks,
minerals, fossils, gemstones, lapidary material and equipment.
The show is held on the second Saturday in May from 10 AM to 4 PM .
Admission is free.
Anyone (including dealers, swappers, clubs, and artists) may participate in
the show. Dealers are not permitted to advertise their business.
The cost for a 6-foot table is currently $30.
To reserve space or to obtain more information, please contact
Peter Berwaldt at the coordinates above.
|Club Field Trip to Cobalt|
Field trips are arranged about twice a year.
Past trips have included
held together with the CCMFS.
- Bancroft for apatite, biotite, and titanite;
- Cobalt for silver and cobalt arsenides;
- Arkona for fossil corals and brachiopods;
- Herkimer, New York, for quartz crystals;
- the Guelph Quarry for sphalerite; and
- the Dundas Quarry for sphalerite, calcite, fluorite, galena, and celestine.
Yearly Live Auction
Each year in December our club holds a live auction for gems, minerals, fossils,
meteorites, and lapidary items. The public is invited.
Each year our club has a competition for the best self-collected
specimen and the best specimen acquired elsewhere (the "Silver Pick" award).
Winners are voted on by members and the winner gets a trophy.
Our annual membership fees are $20
for an individual and $25 for a family. New members are welcome any time.
The Rockblast is published monthly and is currently edited by
Jeffrey Shallit. Members receive the newsletter electronically or
by Canada Post. Our newsletter outlines activities
and includes interesting articles related to lapidary and the rock and
mineral collecting hobby.
We currently exchange newsletters with other clubs.
For some past issues,
see the Rockblast archive.
Our club is sponsored by GemSelect,
a German-Thai company specializing in gemstones in Chanthaburi, Thailand.
Thanks to GemSelect for their support!
Members Only Area