All members are urged to bring specimens for the monthly competition. Questions may be directed to 
Carlos Peralta, Education Chairperson, at Cash awards: 1st place $10; 2nd place $5.

Competition Rules:
1. Only paid members of the Madison Gem and Mineral Club may enter, personally working or fabricating the material unless otherwise designated.
2. No prior-winning competition items eligible.
3. Read the competition requirements carefully. Only one entry per month, but item may be entered in other months if it qualifies (non-previous winner).

Unless specifically instructed, the specimens for the Competitions described below can be self-collected or purchased or given to you by somebody else. 

It will be nice if you tell us something about the specimens that you are entering in the competition. Please write a couple of sentences on an index card (or similar small sized piece of paper) so we can learn something about it. We might also try to write articles for the Agateer highlighting winning entries.

No highly radioactive specimens should be brought to the Competition or for Show-and-Tell.

Carlos would like suggestions for future competitions beyond the listed dates.

2016 Competitions
Note: Months with a * were updated on 4/29/2016
 January Dangerous minerals (except radioactive ones). There are many minerals that contain toxic chemicals. Some of them are commonly cut by lapidaries. Please do not bring specimens that are radioactive. 
 February Organic gems and gem materials, rough and/or cut. These can be ivory, coral, bone, amber, pearls, ammolite, jet, shell, etc. The only requirements is that the material should have been originally produced by a living organism and that gems could be made from it. 
 March Gems (faceted and/or cabbed) Cut by member.
 April Specimen from historically significant collecting sites. Any material that was found in a famous collecting site; places that are well known to Rockhounds. Some examples: Sweet Home mine, Dust Devil mine, Elmwood, Yogo, Graves mountain, Mapimi, Virgin Valley, Topaz Mountain, Mazon Creek, Morenci mine, Herkimer, Kemmerer, etc. Your card should have the name of the specimen and a sentence or so highlighting the site. 
 May Special Rocks. This is a newly created category. There are so many common and uncommon rocks that carry an extra story to tell. Originally, we were going to call them "oddities" but that name doesn't do them justice. So, this is what we are thinking about: bring concretions, ventifacts, twins, pseudomorphs, phantoms, enhydros, tectites, obsidian needles, sand spikes, stromatolites, etc. If any of these terms sound unfamiliar, we could organize an event to go over what make them unique. 
 June Fluorescent Minerals, fossil or rocks. This competition will be rather different because we need to show the specimens not in the usual table outside AB20 but inside the lecture hall with the lights off. 
 *July “Precious” minerals. Any specimen in your collection that 1) can be cut into a gem; or 2) that can be processed to extract metals that can be worked into jewelry. Examples of gem materials: rubies, topaz, chrysoberyl, pearls, coral, turtlebacks, datolites, agates. Examples of precious metals, metal ore, or native: gold, silver, platinum, half-breed, or minerals that contain gold, silver, or platinum. Yes "native gold," "native silver," and "native platinum are minerals. 
 August Club’s picnic. Suggestion: bring specimens that we can give to kids. Yes, this could be a real competition. Yes, you could win a prize. No, you cannot take the specimens back because we will give them away.
 September Any marine fossil found by member in Dane County or in adjacent counties.
 October Common opals. These are opals that do not have play-of-color but can be exquisitely pretty. Examples: Blue or Pink Peruvian opals; Juniper Ridge opals; etc.
 November Commonly known specimens with the wrong name. For example: “Herkimer diamonds” are not diamonds but quartz. Fossil algae are usually stromatolites (photosynthetic bacteria); “Garnet” - there is no mineral called “garnet” (garnet is a group of several minerals). The same goes for “tourmaline.” Cacoxenite has never been found in quartz. The inclusions in “cacoxenite amethyst” are goethite.
 December Club’s Party.

2017 Competitions
 January Any specimen you own and that a similar one is being displayed in the Geology Museum. Yes, yours might be much better that the Museum’s (or about the same or not as good.)  In other words, "similar" refers to "type" not to "quality."
 February Slab polished by member.
 *March Your most beloved Specimen
 *April Free-form jasper cab cut by member.
 *May Specimens set. Bring 3 or more different specimens that have something in common. Examples:
They came from the same mine.
They belong to the same group (examples: amphiboles, crinoids, beryls, tetragonal, etc.)
Gem materials that are blue (or pink or yellow…..etc.)
4. They were owned by an established collector before they came to your collection.
 June Rock and Tell. Bring one specimen and a short story that relates to that specimen. Keep the story short (100 words or less). Email Carlos a Word file a few days before the June meeting and he will print cards with your story.
 *July Petrified wood rough or polished.