THE Bendigo Gem Club held its annual exhibition at the weekend, attracting stallholders from across the country.
More than 500 people attended the two-day exhibition that showcased a range of gemstones, fossils, minerals, opals and jewellery-making supplies.
Bendigo Gem Club member Kate Mildren said this year’s festival was bigger than previous years.
“This exhibition has gone on for more than 20 years and this year we had more stallholders than ever before,” she said.
“We had traders come from South Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.”
The event was the group’s major fundraiser for the year, with all money raised going back into the running of the club.
Mrs Mildren said the aim of the exhibition was to help people find what they were looking for.
“There are some specimens here that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world,” she said.
Mrs Mildren said the best thing about gemstones was finding something unusual and making it special.
“You have a rock and then you polish it and can then make a hand crafted piece of jewellery from it,” she said.
“Jewellery making is popular. I think people admire good quality, unique pieces of jewellery.”