Dig into Butte’s rich mining history and hunt for treasures at the Butte Mineral and Gem Club‘s annual show, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 15-16 at the Butte Civic Center.
Dubbed “the Richest Hill on Earth,” Butte was one of the largest producing copper districts in the world. Its mining heritage can be traced back to the discovery of gold in 1864, and while Butte’s gold-rush was short-lived, other riches were discovered, including zinc, silver and copper.
The Butte Mineral and Gem Club offers a doorway to the geological and mineralogical treasures of southwest Montana. Fun for rock-hounds of all ages and experience, the club’s annual show features 15 dealers of treasures including gems and minerals, fossils and petrified wood, arrowheads, rough-cutting material, jewelry, carvings, spheres, and unique and unusual items you won’t find anywhere else.
Twenty top-class exhibits offer visitors educational tidbits and dazzling examples of minerals, gems, fossils and other drudged-up treasures. A silent auction gives guests a chance to obtain some fabulous findings at bargain prices.
The copper mines around Butte have produced a variety of different mineral specimens as by-products of copper mining. Plan to spend an extra day or two and explore the World Museum of Mining, with Hellroaring Gulch, a faithful rendition of a 19th Century mining town, and underground tours of an actual mine. And be sure to visit the Mineral Museum on the campus of Montana Tech. Thousands of local minerals are on display, including a 27.5-ounce gold nugget found just south of Butte.
Admission to the Mineral and Gem show is just $3, or free for kids under 12 with a paying adult. For details, call 406-490-5828.