Mineralfest is the biannual mineral, fossil, and gem show sponsored by the Pennsylvania Earth Sciences Association (PESA).
Emphasis on minerals: Displayed material typically runs 65 to 75 percent mineral specimens, with additional inventory including fossils, gemstones, and jewelry.
A diverse group of dealers and inventory: At the Mineralfest, dealers of high-end specimens can be found set up elbow-to-elbow with collectors paring down their collections. Show organizers have made an effort to include a large number of vendors (about 60) of widely ranging interests - our vendors currently include species collectors, Pennsylvania locality specialists, fluorescent mineral enthusiasts, fossil experts, and avid field collectors. They bring with them a healthy mixture of classic and contemporary material, including some from old-time collections, and some which was field-collected only a few weeks prior.
I don't want people to know about the Mineralfest - I buy a lot of my inventory there.
- one of the indoor dealers at the Franklin show
Soon after organizing, the Pennsylvania Earth Sciences Association began planning a "mineral swap fest" to enable it's members to get together and trade specimens and stories. This was held at Easton's Hackett Park in 1968, and thereafter the club made an effort to have at least one such event per year.
Bulletin announcements for PESA's earliest meet carried the admonition: "NO SELLING," but this regulation was soon relaxed. In the 1960's when field collecting was prominent and mineral dealers sparse, club meets consisted largely of PESA members trading back and forth amongst themselves. Gradually, these events were transformed from swap to sell, from meet to show, reflecting larger trends of a steady reduction in collecting localities, and the increasing commercialization of the hobby.
For the first fifteen years, PESA's meets changed time and location frequently, held indoors on some occasions, under park pavilions on others. In 1983, the meet changed location again as the club held Ye Olde October Mineralfest at Macungie Memorial Park. The show found a stable home in Macungie, which enabled it to lock in permanent dates - the first Saturday in June and the first Saturday in October. The autumn event was always known as the October Mineralfest or Autumn Mineralfest; the spring event was known by various names until it became the Spring Mineralfest in 1993.
Since Ye Olde October Mineralfest in 1983, the Pennsylvania Earth Sciences Association has held 52 events at Macungie Memorial Park. Although it has grown in size over the years, the show still retains a casual atmosphere reminiscent of PESA's earlier gatherings.
Upcoming show dates
Shows are traditionally held on the first Saturdays in June and October.
Because of limited space and low dealer turnover, the show is usually filled to capacity. If you would like to check on table availability or have your name placed on the waiting list, contact Vince at email@example.com.
Should you find that your plans change and you will not be able to attend, please notify Vince as soon as possible.