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54th annual Gem and Mineral Show sparks passion in visitors (video)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Oct. 20, 2013 at 5:20 a.m.
Updated Oct. 21, 2013 at 5:21 a.m.

Jaime Valdivia, of Victoria, looks at different rocks and minerals for sale with his son, Luke Valdivia, 4, at the Gem Show at the Victoria Community Center. "I have a rock collection. It's awesome," Luke said.

DID YOU KNOW?

More than 2,000 people attend the Gem and Mineral Show in Victoria annually.

Vendors must live more than 50 miles outside of Victoria to show their merchandise.

The event features handmade jewelry, fine diamonds and gemstones, wall art, stones, beads and fossils from around the world.

The Victoria Gem and Mineral Society meets at the Victoria Art League the first Friday of every month at 6:30 p.m.

MORE INFO: victoriagemandmineral.com

Peering through a glass encasement of international rocks at the 54th annual Gem and Mineral Show on Sunday, Aaron Points thought of his grandmother, Dell.

The 16-year-old Sweet Home resident can't remember a time in his life when rocks, gems and fossils weren't his greatest passion.

And he owes that passion to Dell, who introduced her grandson to rockhounding as soon as he was old enough to walk.

"When I was little, I would stay with her when my parents were working, and she would take me out on her gravel road to look for rocks," Aaron said. "I just thought is was the most awesomest thing. I would wait every day to go to her house so we could go out on the gravel road."

Aaron joined the Victoria Gem and Mineral Society last year - the host organization of the Gem and Mineral Show - which solidified his decision to attend college for a career in geology.

"It's more than a hobby now. It's more like an addiction," Aaron said. "I really want to become a geologist and go out in the field and do what I love."

Aaron's parents, Dawn and Jeff Points, support their son's aspirations for Earth science.

They never considered rocks an enjoyable activity until Aaron displayed an interest.

"We could see for many years that he had a passion for this. He wants to learn more and more, and we know it will bring him happiness," Dawn Points said.

His father agreed.

"He's gotten so into it that it's sparked a fire in him that will take him to college. He's serious and wants to go further," his father said, mentioning Aaron wants to attend Sul Ross State University in Alpine for a bachelor of science in geology.

Aaron said he appreciates his parents' encouragement and support for geology and his role with the Victoria Gem and Mineral Society, especially when the family doesn't have much money.

"My parents do so much for me. And we don't have, like, any money," Aaron said. "But they'll still strive to work a couple of extra hours so they can help me get a book I want or drive me here to the Gem and Mineral Show so I can be a part of the rock club."

Aaron attended the event Saturday and Sunday at the Victoria Community Center and took home a crate of new rocks for his collection at home.

"I have hundreds at home," he said. "But it's kind of an uplifting thing, a spiritual thing, for me."

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