EVERYONE enjoys a bit of bling in life, especially those who go searching for precious gems.
Jenny Vryenhoek and her husband decided to take a drive around the Glen Innes/Inverell region some years ago and discovered sapphires.
They later joined the Lismore Gem and Lapidary Club to further their knowledge of stones worth looking for and how to process them.
"One of my early finds was a large sapphire at Glen Innes. I put it into a ring," Jenny says.
"My husband and I developed an interest in fossicking for sapphires.
"We have workshops at the club.
"You can bring your stones and we teach how to cut and polish.
"We've got some retired professional people, and they impart their knowledge."
On May 19 and 20, the club will hold its 28th Lismore Gemfest, an impressive event believed to be the biggest event of its kind in Australia,
There will be close to 150 stalls selling everything from rough and cut gems to jewellery.
Exhibitors come from all parts of the country and range from amateurs to the most experienced professionals.
Everything from rough stone for cutting, through to finished jewellery in all price ranges, along with mineral specimens, fossils, gold nuggets and meteorites will be on display.
There are gem-sieving activities for children, demonstrations of jewellery-making and other craft activities.
Free parking is available in the Lismore Showground, and visitors from outside the local area can enjoy special deals for camping on site.
Jenny says Gemfest attracts a crowd of 5000 to 6000 enthusiasts.
The Gemfest takes place at the Lismore Showground, Alexandra Parade, North Lismore.
It's open on Saturday, May 19, from 9am-5pm, and Sunday, May 20, from 9am-3pm. Cost $5 adult, $1 child.
Phone Bruce Copper on 6688 8280 for details, or email email@example.com.