Show Report Placerville California

California Federation of Mineralogical Societies/El Dorado Gem and
Mineral Society Joint Show

An eventful 1100 mile round trip from 62-72 degree Oceanside up 5,
the inland route north to Placerville, 100-112 degrees in a 4
cylinder Van that overheated! Left that “vehicle” in the pay parking
lot at the Bakersfield Airport and rented from Avis.

We reached Placerville somewhat later than planned but had to set up
two cases that Thursday night as this was a three day show. Due to
the extreme heat wave electricity was at a premium and fans replaced
air conditioning. Consensus was they saved on toilet paper as the
excessive sweating reduced bathroom visits, I can attest to that.

The cases were outstanding in both the judged building as well as
the non judged building. Yes they both filled individual buildings
and there was much to oh and ah over. Wonderful thing happened in the
judged competition, many of the young students from Glendora School
District entered their cases and once again won quite a few awards.
I mentioned a month or so ago that this program was in jeopardy, and
here they win wonderful recognition for their school district, their
instructor and themselves. these are 13-17 year old girls and boys.

Now the show itself, Jack Williams Show Chairman managed to find the
best meld of Dealers and variety of products and materials I have
yet seen, and I include commercial shows in this evaluation. There
were locals and as well those who traveled quite some distance.
diamond Pacific as usual supported Rock and Mineral Clubs with their
presence. There was an excellent display of Fluorescent material and
the youngsters were audibly in awe of them.

There was nothing that was not rock, mineral, lapidary, jewelry

Not a flea market crafty item at all. Anyone who came for our
hobby/business material found what they wanted. Consideration was
given to the number of dealers with same items, beads, fossils,
findings, tools in competition with one another. Dealer selection was
such that there was no unreasonable clash for attention. Very well
done. Business seemed to be brisk.

I did notice, as I have many times before, those dealers who gave
consideration to location of the show, economics of the area and
brought along appropriate materials, were successful. I did see some
that brought along inventory out of sync with the area were not
smiling. It is my opinion, I did not go around asking. I did see one
I have seen and overheard before who then blamed the customers for
not appreciating his work. I don’t think he gets it yet.

For myself, I was shown an unusual fine silver piece, was told where
is was being sold, went over and made several different purchases.
Word of mouth of those who know each other from attending shows, etc.
willingly share I love this aspect, so do the dealers.

Some of the dealers I recognized there were Helen Goga, Wire Artists
Group with her wonderful publication and lovely daughter Becky, Dale
Nichols, Wire Artist, Chris Rose, High Desert Mines, Kenneth Lee the
ingenious tool designer, Corrine Gurry, the Wire Wizard Lady, Joyce
and Hugh, J&J Minerals, I apologize for those I cannot remember at
this time.

There were demonstrators galore, silent auction, gold panning, fun
stuff for youths, Geodes selected and then sliced without further
charge, these wonderful folks, and the club volunteers really deserve
big thanks, they were all set up outside under easy ups, only shelter
from the sun, not the heat. I saw a few misters with fans behind them
directing the mist at those giving their all for the pleasure of
attendees. I must admit to standing in front of the mister several

There were two extremely well attended booths there, first was a 14
plus pound Gold Nugget dug out in recent years at the Original
Sixteen to One Mine. It sat on a purple velvet pillow on open
display and was put into the hands of anyone that cared to hold it.
Believe me I did and yes it was rather heavy. To say the least, it is
a magnificent specimen and an honor to be able to hold. Mike Miller
the mine owner spoke at the CFMS Meeting. His current story is a tale
of beaurocracy gone amok. I am preparing a story on the lunacy of it
all and will upload it in a few days. The mine is offering tours and
more can be obtained from two web sites, <>
or <> Sounds like a great field trip to me.

The second overwhelmed booth was outside under a easy-up and was
Gunther’s Fruit Freezes. This vendor was direct from heaven. They
offered four flavors, strawberry, lemon, orange, and strawberry
banana. This was the closest to the delight of my youth and whenever
I can find the real stuff, Italian Ices. When it came to be Summer,
the Italian bakeries made real fruit Lemon Ices. They were then sold
in pleated paper cups for one and two cents, one to two dollars last
I was in New York. The ones sold in Placerville were three and five
dollars, worth every cent.

My deep thanks to the Host Club The El Dorado Gem and Mineral
Society, for the excellent show, the great humor despite the heat,
and to the CFMS for its sponsorship. The show’s opening ceremonies
included a shoot-out by the Outlaw Sheriffs, an unexpected surprise
for all. A great weekend was had by all.

Teresa Masters

This sounds like something that really shouldn’t be missed. If you
could please post the as to how I could find out about
this show for next year, that would be great - we are so close but
missed it! Thanks for the Allison Vezeau

 I did notice, as I have many times before, those dealers who gave
consideration to location of the show, economics of the area and
brought along appropriate materials, were successful. I did see
some that brought along inventory out of sync with the area were
not smiling. 

Teresa, were you a dealer at the show or an attendee? The reason I
ask is the I am still trying to understand the drivers of shows. I
did my last show in San Diego last June. I was never able to
understand the “appropriated materials” I should bring, or could
bring. As I was not successful in the show circuit, I dropped out.
This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the shows, I just couldn’t afford

The reason I ask if you were a dealer or an attendee, is that
depending on your interest there, the show could have a wildly
different definition of “a good show”. For the Buyers, a lot of
dealers with few customers could be a great show, while for the
Dealers, few customers with a lot of competition, would be a

A friend of mine did the Placerville Federation show this year. He
did the Placervile club show and did very well. The Federation show
was not very good for him. As both shows were at the same location,
something other than “the economics of the area and bringing along
appropriate materials” must apply here. This is what I was never
able to figure out and make the adjustments for. This is why I don’t
do shows anymore.

Ron Mills, I know you did the Passo Robles Federation show last
year, and I gathered from your earlier post that you were going to
do the Placerville show this last weekend, so if you did this last
show, how was it? What are your thoughts on the show circuit now?

Don Rogers

Dear Don. The Federation show this year in Placerville was heavily
impacted by the weather. Indeed, the entire state was affected. Many
who might have attended were reluctant to travel. Furthermore,
inspite of there having been a newly installed air conditioning
system in the exhibition hall, the doors were left wide open
throughout the show thus offsetting the effect of the system. Those
who came with campers and trailers and needed hook ups were dismayed
to discover that the electrical circuits would not support their air
conditioning systems. The temperature reached one hundred degrees
each day of the show. We stopped for lunch in Sacramento on the way
to the show and the temperature was 112 !

Teresa’s comments about appropriate merchandise was to the point. It
seems to me that every show that I have ever done had some people in
it who were trying to sell chingaderos that had absolutely nothing
to do with lapidary or jewelry. Sometimes these were just misguided
individuals and other times it was because of internal politics ( a
show official’s relative, etc. etc. ) The federation show had a
napper who bombed out completely and I also noticed that one booth
was taken up by a person who did plastic sign engraving ( Sic ! )
Otherwise the dealers were appropriate with their product mix,
although my wife made the comment that the bead selection was bad,
overpriced and low in quality.

We did very well considering the circumstances. We covered all our
expenses and made a modest profit. We were very gratified to meet
several Orchidians and we sent them home with some killer deals. As
for club shows, I would strongly suggest that you investigate any
that you may be considering. The success of each show is largely at
the mercy of the person who is the show chairman. If that person is
not energetic, personable, imaginative and reasonable forget it !!!
Putting together a successful show is a very big task and requires
a massive effort just as dealers must make a massive effort to
prepare for a show. The reality is that some shows are a total waste
of time and others are exemplary affairs Basically, if you are
considering getting into a show it seems to me that there are three
categories to consider: 1. Indoor or outdoor 2. Club 3. Commercial.

Outdoor shows are at the mercy of the weather, club shows are at the
mercy of the leadership and commercial shows may be very expensive.
In any event, you should attend any venue that you may be
considering and analyze it objectively. Talk to the dealers and
observe whether people are buying and what they are buying. Some of
the dealers will be forthright and some of them will ( you
shouldn’t have any trouble spotting the hot air types…)

Doing a show and doing it successfully is a VERY big effort ! If you
were to factor in the value of your time you might want to
reconsider doing one at all. On the other hand, most full time
dealers will do shows peridically if for no other reason than to
expand their clientele and stay abreast of trends.
Corragio ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.