Sacramento State’s annual Geology Club Rock Auction
A rolling stone gathers no moss, but put a lot of stones together and you’ll gather a crowd of people.
Sacramento State’s annual Geology Club Rock Auction is at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the Alumni Center. More than 150 rock and mineral samples will be up for grabs, from small gemstones up to large pieces that can be used to decorate the garden.Most of the rocks and minerals are displayed on 10 tables for a silent auction, but a dozen or so of the “special stones” are saved for a live auction.
This year’s live auction items include a cherry quartz pillar that stands about 12 inches high, and a chalcedony geode with delicate layers of blue, yellow and orange.The highlight of the auction is an amethyst geode that stands about 3 feet tall. The cut piece features an interior of dazzling violet crystal.
“That size is pretty rare,” says Professor Kevin Cornwell, faculty advisor to the student Geology Club. “The fact that they managed to cut that without breaking it is also pretty rare.”
This year’s auctioneers include Geology Department Chair Tim Horner and Professor Lisa Hammersley. The special guest auctioneer is Good Day Sacramento’s Courtney Dempsey, who will auction off the traditional “green and gold” item.
While the auction draws a number of rock and mineral enthusiasts, it also attracts people just looking for unique decorative items.
“People who are trying to buy something as a gift for those who are hard to buy for – this is the place,” says Geology Club member Jessica Bean.
Small to medium-size gemstones can be turned into pendants or home decorations, and even larger rocks have their fans.
“We have a garden rock table, too, for people who just want a nice, unusual rock they can put outside,” says Bean. “That was a really popular table last year.”
The club relies partly on donations for the success of its auction, and will accept pieces up to the last minute.
Funds raised support the Geology Club’s activities, such as field trips, which can be quite involved. A trip to the Rainbow Basin near Barstow last summer drew 35 people for the 10-day excursion. Local middle schools also benefit from the auction in the form of Rock Boxes.
“We collect minerals and rock samples to give to middle schools so they can have their students look through the rocks and start learning the basics of geology,” says Bean.