GEM FANS: Just a few of the many people who throng to the Lismore Gem Fest.
GEM FANS: Just a few of the many people who throng to the Lismore Gem Fest. The Northern Star Archives

Gemfest set to dazzle thousands

IF ALL things sparkly draw your attention, this weekend's 23rd annual Lismore Gemfest might be on your agenda.

The annual event, held by the Lismore Gem and Lapidary Club and sponsored by The Northern Star, draws many people to the region, all for the love of precious stones and minerals, said committee member Jenny Vryenhoek.

"Our Gemfest is probably one of the biggest in Australia. The only other one that would come close would be Gemboree," she said.

The annual event usually sees 5000-6000 people in attendance, she said.

There will be about 130 stall holders selling gold, jewellery, precious gems, opals, rare fossils, crystals, dealers and lapidary equipment, plus fossicking on the grounds for the kids (and adults).

There will also be gems on display from the home club in the members' pavilion.

It was an interest in sapphires in particular that led Mrs Vryenhoek to become part of the Lismore Gem and Lapidary Club.

"My husband and I have always had an interest in sapphires, I love sapphires," she said.

"We took ourselves off to Inverell in 2006-2007 and just pottered around and found places you could go and do your own fossicking."