Gem, Mineral, Fossil, and Jewelry Show brings all generations together

MARION, Ill. (KBSI) – A Megalodon tooth found in South Carolina is just one of the many, many interesting things you can find at the Southern Illinois Earth Science Club Gem, Mineral, Fossil, and Jewelry Show.

This unique find belongs to Laurence Nuelle, a geologist by trade and owner of Fall Creek Rock Shop in Rolla, Mo. 

“I do this, I guess, to afford the things I want to keep myself,” Nuelle said.

Both Nuelle and Robert May, another vendor at this year’s show, said their interest in gems, rocks, and the like began at a young age.

“I was interested when I was in grade school,” Nuelle said. “My mom and dad always took me to the rock club meetings, so it’s just evolved into my job as a geologist and this as a hobby.” 

“I was looking down at my feet when I was little,” May siad. “My pants were falling off, they were so full of rocks.” 

Show Chairman Michael Chontofalsky partook in slightly more dangerous activities to satisfy his interest in the subject. 

“I lived near a quarry, so I was always interested in rocks there,” he said. “Sometimes I’d sneak up the edge, my parents would have been shocked, but I’d crawl up the edge and look down and watch them mining all those rocks and wondering what they were and what they were going to use them for.” 

But all three men say seeing the engagement of the children at this show is special to see, maybe bringing back some childhood memories.

“To see the enthusiasm of the kids when they see it for the first time, you never get tired of that,” Chontofalsky said. “It’s always new in their eyes, so that’s something really nice to see.” bringing back some childhood memories… 

“It kind of grounds you back to when you were little and things were exciting,” May said.

“The enthusiasm of the kids is really special,” Nuelle said.

The show continues Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm at The Pavillion.

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