The kids rock: Jr. Geologists with the Nevada County Gem & Mineral society show off their collections, knowledge |

The kids rock: Jr. Geologists with the Nevada County Gem & Mineral society show off their collections, knowledge

Submitted to The Union
From left to right, Desmond DeHollander, big brother Dylan, Adrian Ellis, Cole Kraywinkel, kids’ club leader Beverly Glenn, Keely Kraywinkel and Bonnibel Shady.
Provided photo

The Jr. Geologists of the Nevada County Gem & Mineral Society led the club meeting on March 3. Six junior members, ages 5-10 years old, presented their project that they had been working on for six months.

The Jr. Geologists have been busy determining their favorite rocks and researching them. They learned the three cycles in geology that describe transitions through geologic time among the three main rock types: sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. They learned that a rock is three or more minerals. These kids love rocks — they want to learn more and more about rocks, minerals and fossils. They have been having fun all the while learning and making new friends.

Building a collection is the most important part of their hobby — and the collections will grow larger and better over time. Their best specimens were arranged into a spectacular display at their first exhibit. At the meeting each kid set up their collection and spoke about the contents of their exhibit case which included an inside-top LED light with a remote control.

Meet the Jr. Geologists

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Kole Krayinkel’s favorite rocks are amethyst and yellow calcite — he has collected golden calcite too. In his exhibit case hangs an amethyst sphere and on the right side sits a large slice of amethyst with agate and crystals. Kole has included tiger-eye and leopard jasper specimens. Kole is very organized with his presentation. He has information secured on top of his exhibit case, so he is able to present while facing club members.

Bonnibel Shady’s favorite rock is rose quartz. Her exhibit case included a beautiful blue silk background with a big pink rose quartz heart in the foreground. She also had a pink sphere and goblets of pink sand with nicely polished rose quartz rocks mingled among the sand. Bonnibel created a manual complete with multi-color pages with photos of rose quarts and the rock cycle diagram bound with a beautiful ribbon — the club members were highly impressed.

Adrian Ellis’s favorite rock is diamond. In his exhibit case he included diamond dust, a rough diamond and multiple Herkimer diamonds. He backed his exhibit case with black paper for contrast. He included a collage of rocks, the rock cycle chart, and a diagram of volcano activity. In addition, some specimens were neatly spaced apart — including big geodes and agate. Adrian went to Back Country Rock Store in Auburn and ordered his diamonds himself.

Desmod Dehollander’s favorite rock is tourmaline. His narrator (his big brother) explained from carefully written note cards how tourmalines are formed, the hardness of the rock, and that it comes in many different colors. Liquids cool to form crystals. Their family’s favorite piece is a green tourmaline with quartz on top. At the very tip of the quartz is an ancient water bubble that moves from side to side when you rotate the rock.

Dylan DeHollander’s favorite rock is aquamarine. He explained aqua marina is the Latin word and means sea water. The color varies from light blue to green. He continued on in detail how aquamarine is formed in the Hexagonal crystal system. Dylan explained how aquamarine is believed to be the treasure of mermaids, is thought to protect against ship wrecks and ward off sea sickness. He has pictures of aquamarines and the rock cycle, plus some polished aquamarines. Dylan was very professional presenting this information using his note cards.

Keely Kraywinkel’s favorite is also rose quartz. She has a large rose quartz polished heart standing upright on a clear stand. Small carnelian hearts are attached to the very back with detailed information next to them. A rose quartz detailed narrative with photo is visible in the front plus an index card-size color pictorial chart of the rock cycle is nearby. She’s included a geo and specimens of laborite, amethyst and amazonite. She took extensive time to carefully write explicit details about rose quartz inside her case at each end. Keely was the first one to begin presenting her collection – she has no fear.

After the student presentations there was ‘show & shine’ time, during which members came up to examine each exhibit case closely and complement each kid on all their hard work. You could see how proud the kids were as they stood beside their exhibit case answering questions – as true budding geologists.

Kid’s club

Beverly Glenn has been leading the kids’ club of the Gem & Mineral society. She’s hoping to plant a seed for the kids to develop and expand their hobby into a life-long passion, maybe even a career. She enjoys seeing each kid blossom as they have learned more and more about their favorite rocks. Meetings are a busy time with a new topic each month — including laborite flashes and the magnification of druzy crystals’ glittering effect of tiny crystals coming into a giant-size view with the kids’ new lighted loupe. April’s meeting’s topic will be about florescent minerals and how certain minerals glow under a UV light.


The Nevada County Gem & Mineral Society meets the first Tuesday of each month. The kids’ club meets 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with parents staying to assist the kids. Right afterwards at 7 p.m. the adults meet. The club meets at the Golden Empire Grange, 11363 Grange Court, ½ mile from the corner of La Barr Meadows Road and McKnight Road.

The Nevada County Gem & Mineral Society has an annual show every year at the Nevada County fairgrounds. Throughout the year many members spend time coordinating vendors, organizing food and prizes, and polishing rocks. This year’s upcoming show will be on Oct. 10 and 11.

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