Exhibits are at the heart of the Denver Gem & Mineral Show, providing local and international community members, groups, and institutions a rare opportunity to showcase their collections and share their stories. On the other side of the coin, exhibits provide visitors with perspectives and points of reference — touchstones for starting, advancing, or curating their own collections.

The nearly 100 competitive and noncompetitive exhibits feature the latest mineral and fossil finds from around the world as well as world-class specimens reflecting the show theme. In 2016, that theme is the Minerals of Africa. And in celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary, the 2017 show theme will be Gold and Silver.

Competitors vie for awards honoring the best of show in a number of categories, including the best specimens in a number of categories, best fossil, and best institutional and individual cases in the show. Among these coveted awards, the Prospector, Junior Prospector, and Club Prospector trophies are awarded to the best personally collected specimens found during the prior twelve months. The prestigious Pearl Trophy is awarded to the best specimen entered into a special competition named for Richard Pearl, noted author of Colorado Gem Trails and Mineral Guide among many other mineral books.

Collectors and museum curators can frequently be found on the show floor to discuss their exhibits and answer visitors’ questions. Look for a schedule in the show program or ask a show committee volunteer how you can “Meet the Curators.” Videos of select curator discussions are available on the show’s YouTube channel.

For information about exhibiting in either 2016 or 2017, contact Larry Havens.