THE BENDIGO Gem Club will have a ruby celebration next year when it marks its 40th anniversary.
In 1967, the club held its first stone-cutting workshop in View Street and since then has moved to its own premises in Galvin Street, where it now holds work
shops a couple of times a week.
Last weekend the club held its annual Gemarama show at the Kangaroo Flat YMCA.
Visitors were able to watch demonstrations of lapidary and jewellery techniques, including faceting and cabochon.
Faceting is the process of polishing and cutting stones with flat surfaces, as is usual with diamonds.
Each of the geometrical flat surfaces is called a facet.
The other common way of cutting and polishing gems is cabochon, where the stone is given one flat and one curved or domed top.
This is how opal or turquoise are often cut.
Other demonstrations included silversmithing techniques and glass-bead making, the club's publicity officer, Lela Bell, said.
"Silver wrapping is a technique for mounting a precious stone in a pendant or brooch without putting a hole through the stone," she explained.
Handmade jewellery was for sale at the show and there were displays of cut and polished stones, semi-precious gems and exotic Baltic Amber.
The gem show was held every September to help fund the maintenance of the club and display the work of its members, Ms Bell said.
"I'm very happy with the turnout and we've had a lot of people
interested in joining," she said.