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Pictures from 2024 Mineral Show

Don't take life for 'granite' – join the Connecticut Valley Mineral Club for a rock-solid mineral show. We have some exciting things planned!

We will have many fun activities for kids and the entire family. Prize bags for children with lots of goodies! Door prizes, many different vendors with lots of variety to offer. You can even crack your own Geode! The director of the Springfield Science Museum will be there interacting with everyone, answering questions and sharing her knowledge. Visit Clair at the mineral identification table, bring a specimen from home that you need help identifying. Don't miss Diamond Dan he has a talent for talking about minerals in a fun and engaging way so young ones stay interested.

Green Pattern


Claire Pless

Claire Pless Ph.D 


Hi, I am Claire Pless, PhD. I am a local to the Connecticut Valley, having grown up in Shutesbury and gone to school in Amherst. My interest in rocks started when I was young and would just pick up rocks that I thought looked nice. When I found out geology was a thing and I could study rocks, I immediately knew that was what I wanted to go to college for. I earned my bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst, after which I ventured out West to Colorado for my master’s from Colorado School of Mines. For my master’s degree, I mapped faults in brittle sandstones in the field in Arches National Park and by computer in Canyonlands National Park. I decided for my PhD I wanted to focus more on ductile deformation of rocks and gneisses rather than sandstones, so I came back to UMass Amherst and earned my PhD in 2020. My PhD research focused on the rocks of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, where the gneisses I was looking at had once been buried under potentially Himalayan-scale mountains. My research was focused on finding out exactly how long ago those mountains were there, using the mineral monazite, which grows under conditions of high enough temperatures and pressure to partially melt the rock, like when they are underneath significantly large mountains. Monazite has a known radioactive decay from uranium to thorium that lets us determine how old it is and therefore when it grew under these conditions. Turns out that is just over 1 billion years ago. Now, I work at Mount Holyoke College, where I am the Geoscience Technician. This means I run our sample prep room, I make thin sections of rocks to look at under a microscope, I maintain the department’s mineral collection and displays, I maintain our stream table, and overall keep things around the department running. I also have been helping out in different lab sections of classes, such as in our Rocks and Minerals class, our Earth Surface class, and I also got to be co-instructor of our class that culminated in a field trip to Death Valley last year. To be honest, that is just a portion of what I do in the department. Taking students on field trips to geologic locations is a deep interest of mine, where I get to share my enthusiasm for the field with them. In November 2021, we took a trip to Betts Mine, graciously hosted by Rick Cernak, where our students got to experience collecting. Afterwards, I helped some of those students cut and polish some of their samples and we put together a display from those collections that is currently in our department hallway. I also delved more into looking at these samples under both an optical microscope and a scanning electron microscope as the mineralogy of the Betts area is vastly complex and interesting. My involvement with the Western Mass Mineral Show started during my PhD, when my advisor, Mike Williams, reached out to his students for volunteers to do rock and mineral identification. I believe the first year I volunteered was the year before the show moved to the commons in Hadley, and I have volunteered each year since. Last year, after I completed my PhD during Covid, and when the show started up again, Mike reached out to me once more to volunteer, this time as a member of the Mount Holyoke community and here I am, continuing to do so, bringing along my own student volunteers. I love the interaction with people who don’t have my background in geology, but still share my enthusiasm and interest in rocks. The more people I get interested in rocks, the happier I am.

Diamond Dan pic_edited.jpg

Diamond Dan


Darryl is the founder of “Diamond Dan Publications,” a publishing company focused on
creating fun, educational materials about minerals, mineral collecting and mineralogy for
children and families. In recent years his business has expanded into the creation of
coloring books for museums which feature specimens on display in the museums collections.
He graduated from the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) in 1984 with a BS degree
in Geological Sciences. He is also an ordained minister (American Baptist Churches,
USA) having served a congregation for 24 years and then serving as a nursing home
chaplain for 10. For five years he was adjunct professor at Finger Lakes Community
College (Canandaigua, NY) teaching Introduction to Geology. Today he focuses his time
on writing and publishing, with a special emphasis on books and booklets for families and
children on minerals.
Darryl lives in Rochester, New York with his wife, Holly. They have three grown children
and two grandchildren.

Mountainous Landscape by the Sea

We're thrilled to announce that the  Springfield Museum is generously displaying a remarkable  specimen of Podokesaurus holyokensis, unearthed right here in the Connecticut Valley. This captivating exhibit not only showcases the rich geological history of our region but also offers a unique glimpse into the ancient treasures found beneath our feet. Alongside this exceptional display, a guest from the museum will be doing  engaging educational programs focused on the fascinating world of fossils and minerals. Knowledgeable experts will be available to answer questions, adding depth to your exploration.

(T-Rex for fun)

Podokesaurus holyokensis


We are incredibly grateful for the dedication and passion of our wonderful vendors. Their expertise, enthusiasm, and diverse offerings bring our Mineral Show to life, creating an unforgettable experience for all attendees. Without their commitment and support, our event simply wouldn't be possible. Each vendor adds a unique touch to our show, enriching it with their knowledge and expertise. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to each vendor for their invaluable contributions and look forward to another successful Mineral Show together.


Kontoff Creations
Custom Cabs and Sterling Silver Jewelry
Jeff Kontoff
Chicopee, MA 
Edgarson Inc.
Mark Kilmer
johnstown, NY
Bobs Minerals
Assorted Minerals & Meteorites
Columbia, CT

Crystal Cache Minerals
The Fishers
Swanzey, NH

American Hobby Shop
David Kords
Walworth, NY 


Fantasy in


Wayne Hardy

Boscawen, NH

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