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Gem & Mineral Society brings back Roundup

DEMING – The return of the Rockhound Roundup this past weekend was met with excitement and, by all appearances, a return to normalcy. Following a year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic, 120 vendors – new and returning – shared their rock collecting work and handmade jewelry with collectors and the curious who attended the four-day event which began on Thursday and wrapped up Sunday afternoon. The event was held at the Southwestern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 4100 Raymond Reed Blvd. in the Industrial Park.

John (only name given) was leaving through the Roundup gate clutching a huge slab he scored from an outside vendor at the fairgrounds.

The northern Nevada native said he has been coming to the Roundup since 1988. “I moved to Benson (Arizona) and it’s been easier for me to get here the past four years,” he said.

John considers his rock collecting a hobby and not a business. “I enjoy working with rock. I cut them and look for the brilliant colors inside the slabs. I will do one show a year in Arizona after I find the rocks I want to cut during the summer.”

John (only name given) walked out of the rock show on Saturday with the prized slab he wanted.  He said he will cut the slab and find the calcite pockets that will produce brilliant colors.

Rumaldo Nuñez saw brisk business at his outdoor tables. He is the owner of Nuñez Minerals out of El Paso, and he works mostly with rock and product out of Mexico.

“I come from a family of miners,” Nuñez said. “My father was a miner who opened his rock business and I followed by opening my own rock collecting business.”

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