Enjoy treasure trove of ancient gems, jewellery

Bankstown Lapidary Club members Beverley Hodder and Eric Thomas with some of their treasures ahead of the Bankstown Gem & Mineral Expo at Arena Sports Club in June.

WITH some considered magical stones by the ancients, gems, rocks and minerals have been a source of fascination since the Stone Age, with lapidarists or artisans who form them into decorative items, still flourishing today.

Operating for more than half a century, the Bankstown Lapidary Club – comprising near 100 members – is a hub of enthusiastic collectors who meet to swap treasures and learn skills from traders and specialists in the field.
Adding extra sparkle to their efforts, the group is gearing up for the Bankstown Gem & Mineral Expo at Arena Sports Club, 140 Rookwood Road, Yagoona.
To be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, 9.30am-5pm and 9.30am-4pm respectively, and described as ‘huge’ by lapidary club president Beverley Hodder, the exhibition will feature rare jewellery, gem stones, opals, healing crystals, mineral specimens from around the world, fossils from the Stone Age, lapidary supplies, carving demos and lucky door prizes, with bistro meals and refreshments also available.
Mrs Hodder explains she was ‘bitten by the bug’ about 15 years ago.
“I always liked looking at pretty stones and saw an ad in Torch about the lapidary club looking for members,” she said.
“Before I knew it, I was cutting stones and doing silverwork; I’ve made quite a few pendants, rings, chains and ornaments but I mostly give them away.”
Meeting at Bankstown Arts Centre, opposite the bowling club, the group gets together at various times of the week.
For further info about the club or the upcoming exhibition, call Mrs Hodder on 9796 7475 or 9642 1267 or find the group on Facebook.