Gemstone enthusiasts gather at Sunset Plaza Mall

NORFOLK - It’s the Northeast Nebraska Rock and Mineral show at Norfolk’s Sunset Plaza.
 
And we’ve got… rocks and minerals!
 
Stalls are lined up by collectors and enthusiasts showing their collections they’ve found and purchased - and stalls even crafts new ones in real-time.
 
For visitors, it’s a nice display of gemstones and rare finds. For some of the hosts, it’s a lifelong hobby.
 
"What I like to do here is educate people and all the different stuff the earth has to offer and show," said Brad Nielsen. "The minerals, crystals and stuff. And my favorite thing is fossils and stuff like that."
 
For Brad Nielson, working with rocks runs in the family. His grandfather returned from World War II in search of a new hobby, and it made its way all the way down to him.
 
His work in a quarry gave him the chain to unearth some fossils, which are his favorite kind of rock.
 
Working with other enthusiasts in the field has broadened his appreciation for the work of mineralogy.
 
"I like more of the extremely rare type of stuff because doing this so long my tastes have become more refined," he said.
 
Brad says interest in rocks can come full circle: you may like them as a kid, lose interest, and then appreciate them again as you get older.
 
If you feel the itch to stick your head in the dirt, you won’t be alone.
 
"If you do have an interest in this hobby, look around," he said, "there's clubs all over that you can join, and you get to meet some new people and learn a lot of cool stuff. So definitely recommend it."
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