I like to think of myself as a cultured person. I can (usually) tell a Manet painting from a Monet painting at 50 paces. I love concerts and plays. I have favorite and unfavorite composers. (Gershwin good, Ives not.) But when I was a kid, I collected... ROCKS.

Cayucos Gem and Mineral Show

Sure, some of the rocks given to me were labelled "minerals" (to me at that time, a fancy term for "rock") and semi-precious "gems" (a fancy term for "pretty rock".) Sure, my "collection" (=rock pile) from those days disappeared. (Actually, "dumped by my parents when I was away visiting a relative" is a more accurate term.) To this day, I still look for interesting rocks when walking my dog or out in nature.  

All this is a lead up to the very nice gem and mineral show held in Cayucos. For former rock collectors like me, modern gem and mineral collectors, and / or people that like jewelry made with interesting stones, this is the place to go. This is also a great place to take kids and let them learn more about nature and see things they would never see otherwise. (Kids are encourage to attend the show.) The minerals available range form the well known (turquoise, rose quarz, hematite etc.) to the ones you probably have never heard of.

This is also a great place if you have an interesting rock that you would like to know more about. Last time I was there, I showed up with what I fondly imagined to be part of a meteorite that I found when walking my dog. I will say this for me - it took three experts to look it over to figure out that it was really iron slag from a steel mill, and not a valuable meteorite. I gave it to the daughter of a friend who was at the show at the same time, to help encourage her on to this great hobby - just as a collector did this for me when I was a kid.