The question has been asked what is a GEMBOREE?

Well, the word GEMBOREE evolved from the Scout term JAMBOREE (which in broad terms means a “rally of Boy Scouts”). “GEM” (begin part of what our hobby is about), replaced “JAM”.

The Australian rockhounds claim that they “invented” this word and at some stage were not enamoured that other countries and communities took over the word “GEMBOREE”. However, today, it is universally accepted as being in broad terms “a rally of rockhounds”. In Australia their Gemboree is combined with their National Gem and Mineral Show.

In South Africa, the GEMBOREE is normally hosted by a member Club, at a venue that has the necessary amenities to cater for a large gathering, has suitable gem and mineral collecting sites and is reasonably accessible to the host Club (necessary for pre-planning). At the moment there is a roster which is followed in general order amongst four of the larger Clubs, but smaller Clubs can also volunteer to host this event, whether it be on their own or in conjunction with one of the larger Clubs.

Gem Hunting

Our main objective on any gemboree is always gems, gems and more gems. We have days filled with gem hunting and tracking at sites around the country. Each hunt we are accompanied by a gem hunting expert that will teach us all about the gems we find and how to look for them.


Within the world of Gems and Minerals, there is an abundance of knowledge to be shared. With some of our long term members we have the chance to educate all our member and gemboree goers about the different gem and minerals, where to find them and how to work with them. Our member clubs around South Africa also offer a variety of workshops from gem cutting to jewellery design.


The best part of our gemborees is the sense of community. With our gemborees not only teaching you all about gems but allowing you to create long lasting friendships with people that share an interest in gems and minerals

Our Latest Gemboree!

53 rd GEMBOREE – 2023: Augrabies
Dates: April 7 – 10

Organisers: FOSAGAMS

Rockhunts: Amasonite, beryl, bobbejaanspieël, calcite, feldspar, fluorite, fuchsite, mica, rose
quartz, quartz, sillimanite.

Special events: Swop and sell, Talk by Mike Dormer on “Basic Mineralization Processes”, Presentation by Jean Malan on “Marine Seismic Surveys – Labelled as a killer…. really?”, Talk and a video presentation by Prof Rais Latypov on the origin of agates, Treasure hunt organized by African Gems, auction, gala dinner, AGM, Visit the dealers at Klein Pella as well as Vredesvallei, Visit the Niemöller museum at Pofadder, Visit the late Gert Niemöller’s old workshop, Visit Bushmanland Minerals.

Number of people attending: 75 registered

Article in the SAGM: 55.1

Funds Raised for FOSAGAMS: R19 7735,10

Join The Next One!

Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll to Top