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Earth's treasures will shine at gem and mineral show

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ROME, Ga. -- Northwest Georgia's gem and mineral show will shine this weekend as exhibits of special rocks and fossils take center stage at the Forum in Rome.

The annual Valley and Ridge Gem and Mineral Show will be open to the public for three days beginning Friday, and will feature meteorite fragments, gems, stones and fossils from around the globe.

Attendees will have a chance to win hourly giveaways, including a 9-inch copper specimen as the grand prize.

“This will be our biggest show ever, and there will be something for everyone,” said show chairman Jose Santamaria, a member of the Rome Georgia Mineral Society. “The show features gems, crystals, fossils, jewelry, and mineral specimens from all over the world, and we will be giving away many specimens during the show.”

Santamaria promises an exciting show for all ages, "from the serious collector, to the shopper looking for unique gifts and the entire family looking for a fun and educational outing."

During a stroll around the exhibit tables on Thursday, exhibitors began to set out beautiful Native American artwork and jewelry, amethyst geodes and a beautifully crafted onyx chess set.

Susan Williams from Chattanooga, Tennessee attends the show each year with her family, "My amethyst collection has grown each year, and now my children have their own smaller geode collections, too."

The public is invited to bring in their own mineral and fossils for inspection by Mineral Society members.

The gem and mineral show will be held at the Forum located at 301 Tribune Street in Rome, overlooking the Coosa River. Hours on Friday and Saturday are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

(Charles Atkeison reports on aerospace, science and technology. Follow his updates via Twitter @AbsolutSpaceGuy.)