Vol. XXXVIII, No. 4 --- April 2001

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents

President's Message
All American Awards Program
Junior Activities Report
Education Thru Sharing
Nominations for 2000 Offficers
How the Federation's Insurance Works
How to Build a Club Website
April Tips - Sports Eye Safety Month
Golden Bear Awards Nominations Due
Stone Canyon Jasper Exhibit
AFMS Juniors Program
Dear Editors
Shop Tip - Patching Soft Stones
A Note from Your Editor
Publicity/Financial Benefits of Shows
Olive M. Colhour
Not Such a Silly Goose
History of Future Rockhounds of America
Safety - Prepare for Your Field Trip


By Bob Stultz, CFMS President
CFMS President

    Spring is on our doorstep and we have been busy as a Federation already this year. By the time you read this, the Exhibitors' Workshop, hosted by the Reno Gem & Mineral Society, will have already happened. Now, we are breaking new ground on a workshop that has never been tried before.

    Brad Smith, President of the Culver City Gem & Mineral Society, has come up with the idea of having a workshop on "How To Start a Website for Your Club or Society". This will be held on Saturday, May 26, 2001 in Culver City. Check this bulletin for details on how to register to attend, and the exact address where it will be held. You may say your club isn't ready to start a website yet, but don't miss this chance to learn how it's done. Modern technology is catching up with all of us, and sooner or later we will all need to be prepared to use a website to reach the public. I know that the CFMS website has helped clubs in our Federation find new members. This has happened in my own club. Don't forget•  .make your reservations early and let's have a huge turnout.

    Somebody whispered in my ear that one of our Societies is thinking of hosting a Safety Workshop. I hope this will come about so that many of us would have the chance to attend. Two other seminars that would benefit the clubs are Society Aids and Bulletin Editors Workshops. We need clubs to host these events, so please bring this up at your next club meeting and see if your members would be willing to put on such an activity.

    I hope that a lot of you are working on a competition case for the Show in Paso Robles. It would be great to hear that the Rules Committee had to contact Show Chairman Sherm Griselle to ask for extra space for competition cases. Please make my dream come true.

    This month, many of us will be celebrating Easter and Passover. Have a happy holiday! Bob


By Bob and Dorothy Beachler,
All-American Club Chairmen

    Although again this year there were only three entries, we congratulate these clubs who made the effort. They are:

  • Carmichael Gem and Mineral Society
  • Fossils For Fun Society
  • Roseville Rock Rollers, Inc.

    After our regional judging, all three entries will be forwarded to the AFMS All American Awards Committee for national scoring. Since the AFMS convention dinner date is June 16 in Arlington, Texas, national results will be known before our regional results are announced at the CFMS convention dinner in Paso Robles on June 23. We hope all our entries get the gold!

Recognizing Service to Youth

By Jim Brace-Thompson,
(805) 659-3577

    Thank You, Lois Bear!

    In January, I noted that I'd like to begin acknowledging individuals who've exhibited excellence in involving youth in our hobby and to spread the wealth by sharing their outreach efforts. I'd like to share ideas from a conversation I had with Lois Bear of the Conejo Gem & Mineral Club.

    Lois grew up surrounded by rocks-both her father and her aunt had collections, and her aunt set an early example of service to youth through her efforts with Girl Scouts. Lois, her-self, became a biology teacher, and although she's officially retired, you'll often find her back in the classroom these days on behalf of the CGMC. Lois starts by sending letters to teachers throughout the Conejo Valley School District, which covers three communities. While teachers sometimes ask if she can present to an assembly of many classes at once, Lois always prefers teaching to just one or two classes at a time. Her philosophy: encourage as much interaction as possible.

    Lois prepares by setting samples out on tables, including a wide mix of rocks, minerals, and fossils to cover the full spectrum of our hobby. In addition, she shows up wearing jewelry crafted by lapidary artists, including a polished Petosky stone in the shape of Michigan on a stunning turquoise slab that her uncle crafted. She uses the jewelry to capture the kids' attention and lead them into discussions of the different sorts of rocks spread out before them. Kids like to touch, so she encourages them to gather around the table to pick up, examine, and share the specimens. The more interaction, the better! Rather than a formal lec-ture, this also allows for a more free-flowing sort of presentation that addresses questions the kids themselves raise, based on what they see before them.

    In addition to the rocks, Lois devotes a tabletop to books to show kids where they can turn to learn more after her presentation. She also brings a "Quick-Guide to Mineral Identification" six-panel laminated fold-out, prepared by Bob Brumbaugh (of the Santa Cruz Gem & Mineral Society), as a handy reference tool that makes a colorfully captivating visual to punctuate her discussions. Finally, she brings egg cartons filled with samples to leave behind so that kids' learning doesn't have to end with a single presentation. In all, Lois estimates she leads 30 sessions each year. This includes presentations to schools as well as Cub Scout dens, Brownies, and other groups. You'll also find her at about five shows per year, demonstrating knotting and tying as part of her interest in crafting bead necklaces and other works of lapidary beauty. On behalf of the Federation, Lois, thank you for all you do!

    Next month, I'll share ideas from another contact that has been sent to me. If members of your club are going above and beyond the call of duty in serving youth, please send me names, a brief description of their activities, and their phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses so that I can contact them myself. I'd like to acknowledge their efforts while sharing their activities so that we can all learn from one another and-as always-have fun!


By Colleen McGann, Chair

    Thanks to all the clubs who are using the handy Education Thru Sharing form on our website. I know there may be at least one club member with internet access in each of the CFMS clubs. This is making the use of the form easy. It warms my heart to read about the wonderful people who have been an active part of our rockhounding family for many years, who are still giving of their time and energy to interest new generations in the earth sciences. My profound thanks go out to all of you.

    Amador Gem & Mineral Society presents Frank and Henrietta Martz. "They joined Amador Gem & Mineral Society in 1978, have each been President three times for at least five years, and host and hostess for the club most of time since joining. They make sure refreshments are at each meeting, provide decorations for special occasions, and between the two of them have been shop repair person, Field Trip Leaders, Fair Chairman, Lapidary Instructor, Co-op President, and Scholarship Chairperson. In addition, they hold the June meeting and potluck at their home each year."
Submitted by Betty Egger.

    Stockton Lapidary & Mineral Club presents Anna Christiansen. "What a bonanza for the Stockton Club when Anna joined our ranks. Anna has been a source of energy to our "aging faithful" members. When she was President and on the Board of Directors, she made many improvements and suggestions that created improved relations between members and improved our club. After taking a couple of lessons from Stan Wright in wire wrapping, she blossomed. Every Wednesday she has driven from Oakdale to Stockton to teach a wire wrap class. Stan turned the class over to her so he could travel. Anna and her students have won many awards. Not only does she donate time to educating our members, that isn't enough; she was a wire wrap instructor at Camp Paradise, where she is a very popular instructor. As Editor of the "Rock Chips", she keeps all of us informed of activities in our club, the CFMS and AFMS. Anna also manages the Dealers' dinner and the kitchen at our "Earth Treasures" annual show. During remodeling of our clubhouse, and also when KP duty is needed, Anna is always there to help, or wherever help is needed. So-our heart-felt thanks and appreciation go to Anna Christiansen."
Submitted by Joyce Whitney.


Memo to:All Member Societies of the CFMS
From:Charles Leach, Chair, Nominating Committee
Subject:Nominations for 2002 Officers

    The Nominating Committee needs candidates for Federation Officers for the year 2002.

    Member Societies may send the name and quailfications of any candidates they wish to propose for nomination, for any Federation Office, to any member of the Nominating Committee. (Please be sure to confirm with the nominee his or her willingness to accept the nomination if selected.)

    Candidates for Federation Office shall be selected by the Nominating Committee.

    The name and qualifications of the candidate shall be submitted, by this Committee, to all member societies and each Federation Office at least forty-five (45) days prior to the Fall Business Meeting.

    Members of the Nominating Committee:

    Charles Leach, Chairman - 7013 Jamieson Ave., Reseda, CA 91335-4817
    Beverly Moreau - 3113 Topaz Lane, #A, Fullerton, CA 92831-2374
    Jeane Stultz - 624 Randy Drive, Newbury Park, CA 91329-3036
    Loretta Ogden - 20904 Trigger Lane, Diamond Bar, CA 91765-3460
    Gene Bilyeu - 620 Santa Road, Templeton, CA 93465
    Bob King - 1816 Ninth Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266


By Fred Ott,
Insurance Chairperson

    The Federation's General Liability Insurance policy renews on October 16 of each year. At that time, the Federation arranges to pay the annual premium from the Federation's funds. During January of each year, each member society then mails a check to the Federation in an amount equal to the total number of their club's members (as of December 31) times $4.50. Of this amount, approximately $3.00 represents the "per member" cost of the current year's $1 million liability insurance policy.

    It is understood that there will be fluctuations in each club's membership count during the year. Some members who are "on the roster" on December 31 don't renew their membership the following year; others who are not "on the roster" on December 31join the club after January 1. Whether or not club members were listed on the roster as of December 31, the Federation's lia-bility policy provides each member with $1 million of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage as long as they are members of your club at the time of a claim.

    It's important to understand that this $3-per-member fee does not provide any liability coverage for your club's workshop, lapidary room, claim or any other location used exclusively by your club, whether such locations are owned by your club or just used by your club. Additional liability insurance coverage must be purchased (at a current rate of 18 cents per square foot) for such areas. Please use the appropriate request form.

    Also, this $3-per-member fee does not provide any coverage for buildings, trailers, office equip-ment, supplies, lapidary equipment, etc. Any club that wants "physical damage coverage" (i.e., insurance against fire, theft, vandalism, etc.) must purchase optional "Property Coverage" using the form mailed last August to each Federation representative.

    You can help the Federation's insurance program by (1) using the most current request forms-those which have my name and address on them, 2) fully completing all forms, 3) "doing the math" accurately , and 4) mailing all requests in a timely manner.

    Thanks for your cooperation.
    - Fred Ott, Insurance Chairperson

The forms can also be downloaded from the "Forms" section of the CFMS website. Click here for a form.


By Brad Smith

    Over half of U.S. households now have access to the Internet. Has your club thought about how to use this new communications tool to attract new members?

    One way is to create a club website. Thirty-two out of our 148 clubs already are using websites effectively. Learn how to do this at a one-day workshop to be held May 26 in west Los Angeles.

    The workshop, entitled "How to Build a Website", will be hosted by the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club. Topics will include benefits, content, costs, coding, and hosting of a website. Details will include authoring, testing, and where to find tutorials, image libraries and other resources on the Net.

    The session will be from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium complex in Culver City, California, located just east of the 405 Freeway at Culver Blvd. and Overland Ave. A workshop fee of $10.00 will cover continental breakfast, lunch, course handouts, and software.

    A registration form is in the April issue of the CFMS Newsletter, following page 6.

The form can also be downloaded from the "Forms" section of the CFMS website. Click here for a form.

    For more information and for reservations, contact Brad Smith at 310-472-6490 or brad@greenheart.com :


Safety Message from Chuck McKie,
CFMS Safety Chair 2001

    According to Prevent Blindness America, thousands of eye accidents happen each day.

    Ninety percent of these accidents are preventable with the use of appropriate safety eyewear. Things to check for in safety wear include:

  • Are the lenses made of polycarbonate?
  • Do they cover enough of the eye to provide appropriate protection?
  • Are they approved?

    Most sports have an organization that sets safety standards for equipment. Check with the appropriate organization for your particular sport. An eye injury may damage tissues around the eye as well as the eyeball itself. Injuries that penetrate the eyeball are very serious and may cause blindness. Seek medical attention immediately.

    American Red Cross Sport Safety Training can help you learn more about preventing and caring for sport injuries including sport eye injuries. Contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.

Other Resources:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology Eyenet
  • Eye Injury Prevention in Sports
  • Sympatico: Healthy Way
  • Sporting Protective Eyewear: Absolutely Essential Equipment for Young Athletes
  • Protective Eyewear for Young Athletes: A joint Statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology
(Via American Red Cross)

    Rockhounding/mineral collecting, etc., also involve actions which are hazardous to one's eyes. Be CERTAIN that you use the ap-propriate eye protection at ALL times, whether you are doing the action or are only observing it being done. My glasses have many chips in the lenses, reminders of potentially disastrous events, had I not been wearing them.


By Toni and Grant Ewers,

    The deadline is fast approaching for nominations for the Golden Bear Award.

    We're looking forward to receiving your award nominations with supporting qualifications, i.e., contributions of long and outstanding service to CFMS beyond that expected in the normal course of activities. The person must be or have been a member of a CFMS member society. The deadline is May 10, 2001.

    Nominations may be made by members of the CFMS Executive Committee, by CFMS Committee Chairmen, and Federation Directors.

    And remember, nominees are not to know they are being considered for his award

Send all nominations to:

Toni and Grant Ewers, Co-Chairs.
CFMS Golden Bear Committee
12 Hillcrest Lane
Boulder City, NV 89005-1607


By Bea and Sherm Griselle
Santa Lucia Rockhounds

    Members of the Santa Lucia Rockhounds have assembled a display of Stone Canyon jasper to be exhibited at the CFMS 2001 Show. The jasper was collected during a CFMS sponsored field trip to Stone Canyon May 13, 2000. Photographs of the field trip are a part of the exhibit.

    Stone Canyon jasper is brecciated rock consisting of sharp fragments embedded in a fine-grained matrix. Mustard or golden yellow are the most pronounced colors, but many excep-tional pieces contain chalcedony webbing of beautiful blue, purple, white, green, red and black coloration. This combination of brecciated jasper cemented with colorful chalcedony gives Stone Canyon jasper its rare and distinctive appearance.

    Stone Canyon is about 10 miles north of Parkfield, California, which is a small town known as the "Earthquake Capital of the World". The town is about 30 miles northeast of Paso Robles. A field trip to the Stone Canyon site is being discussed with the rancher who owns the land. If it can be arranged, the field trip will be held on Saturday, June 23, in conjunction with the CFMS 2001 show. If the rancher is favorable to the trip, this will be your opportunity to visit a famous California collecting site for rockhounds.

    Stone Canyon jasper is one of California's unique rocks and is a collector's item for rockhounds. In place deposits of jasper, such as found at the Stone Canyon site, are infrequent. The deposit has been known since 1892 and contains brecciated jasper in a wide vein. You have a chance to view exhibits of Stone Canyon jasper and perhaps to collect at the site when you attend the CFMS 2001 show in Paso Robles this June 22-24.

    Editors Please Note: The Santa Lucia Rockhounds are hosting the CFMS 2001 Show and invite all society bulletin editors to carry this article in their newsletters. Also included in this issue of the CFMS Newsletter are three other items that pertain to the Paso Robles Show and which may be reproduced in your club newsletters:

  • Advance Registration Form
  • Room reservation Information
  • Show ads for club bulletins

The forms can also be downloaded from the "Forms" section of the CFMS website. Click here for a form.


By Bob & Kathy Miller, Junior Co-Chairs


Junior Members
Join the Future Rockhounds of America

    There are 13 clubs and 318 members of the FRA active in the United States. If any junior members in your club wish to become members of the FRA, just fill out the application form that is found in this issue of the AFMS Newsletter and send it directly to your Regional Junior Chairman to start the process. By becoming members you will have the opportunity to correspond with young people across the United States. You will be able to establish a camaraderie of sharing ideas, e-mails, websites, possible combined field trips, swaps, furthering earth science knowledge, and much more. If your club has only a few juniors or several dozen, it will not make a difference.

    This year the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies is able to offer each member of the Future Rockhounds of America a beautiful Cloisonne FRA pin to be worn with pride at all rockhound functions and meetings. This pin will distinguish you as a member of a national earth science organization and, it is free to all FRA members! We encourage, we invite, we welcome juniors to become involved. You are our/your hobby's future.
AFMS Newsletter March 2001

The form can also be downloaded from the "Forms" section of the CFMS website. Click here for a form.


By Dee Clason, Bulletin Aids Chair

    This year there were six (6) entries from New Editors, and only three (3) small bulletins entered in the competition.

    We had eight (8) adult articles, and five (5) junior articles entered in competition.

    How I wish more of you would participate in the contest; but I know some just don't feel it is worth your time. Hopefully, many of you will change your mind about that.

    It would be a big help to you, I believe, if you had a bright folder in which to save articles and poems to enter. Then, when you get the forms in the November Newsletter, it is not a chore to get it all together. I have only had articles to enter one year, but when the forms came out, it was easy to get them ready to go.

    Before you put an article in your folder, please be sure it is an article, not a field trip report. The subject must be related to some phase of the earth science or lapidary hobby. Trip or vacation reports are not eligible unless further information is included such as: geological factors or research to enhance educational value; then it is not a field trip report. The author does need to put something of interest about the people who attended. In other words, make a story about the field trip, which can be entertaining; or make it an educational article by putting in information about what one can do with the material. If they can write a field trip report, with a little thought they can make it an article of interest to more than just your group.

    So, Editors, you might give your writers some information about what will constitute an article. Let your writers know that if they have won a trophy for an article, they can have an article entered in Original Article: Adult Advanced - Technical. Also, if they have earned a living in an earth science field, or have had an article or book published, they are eligible in this category. You are a lucky editor if you have members who will write for you.

    If you are not going to be the editor in the coming year, you still need to send in the poems or articles to be judged for this year's contest, and you can also enter your bulletin. It is too late by the time the next year's editor gets in place. It would be nice if you could give the new editor some informational advice, or give the November article about the contest rules. In that way, they can learn what it's all about before the first year is up. If you can, turn over a score sheet, too. That will help the editor to know what is required.

    Another thought-you could put the Contest Rules in your bright folder so it's quick to review. Or, if a member has a question about the requirements, you'll have a ready answer.

    I hope many of you are planning to attend the Editors' Breakfast at the CFMS Show on Sunday, June 24, in Paso Robles.

Patching Soft Stones

Excerpted from The Rollin' Rock March 2001 via several others

    Some soft stones such as malachite, azurite, etc. can be patched to fill small pits and cracks. Take a scrap of material to be patched, crush it and mix with epoxy. Clean the stone thoroughly with alcohol, warm and coat the pits with epoxy. Then fill the pit with the mixture of epoxy and powdered stone. Work it well with a toothpick or pin, leaving it a little above the surface of the stone. Let it cure completely, sand well and polish, using care not to get the stone hot.


By Beverly Moreau

    Speaking as a veteran editor of newsletters for special interest groups over the past fifteen or so years, I know that it is important to present material to my readers that is both informational and respectful of their interests. In this position, I also receive a good many communications from readers. One such letter that reached me this month seems worthy of publishing, in that it expresses a viewpoint pertinent to our hobby.

Dear Moreau: (really!)

As a committee of one, I take this time to ask for your support within the C.F.M.S. to start a movement to discontinue the use of the term "Rockhound". I have taken a census and found that quite a few persons in our hobby are offended by this term because of its derogatory nature.

As "Human beings" we do not get down on our hands and knees sniffing out rocks and minerals. We stand tall and proud as intelligent beings and therefore should be given the rightful status and title as "Rock Collectors."

Can I have your support in future issues of your newsletter to show that change to illustrate our pride of our hobby and profession?

Respectfully submitted,
(Name and club withheld at Editor's discretion)

    Unfortunately, this issue doesn't reflect any cooperation on my part to eliminate the "undesirable" term. First of all, the articles come from many sources (often second or third hand), and it is not practicable to get the author's permission to change words arbitrarily. My second option would be to eliminate the word "rockhound" and instead write "expletive deleted" (as in the Nixon Tapes of the mid-seventies). The result would be disconcerting, to say the least Such a dilemma!

    Getting down to cases, even though my new Microsoft Word 2000 version does not recognize the word rockhound (underlining it in red each time it appears on screen), the word IS in my Merriam

    Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, as follows:

Rock hound, n.(1915) 1) a specialist in geology, esp. one who searches for oil; 2) an amateur rock and mineral collector-rockhounding.

    Now, I do recall that at the 1996 Directprs' Meeting in Riverside, the term "rockhound" was challenged for its use in an AFMS program to recognize Club members who had given exceptional service to their individual clubs: "Each Year-Each Club-One Rockhound". In this case, the point was made that not all of us are "rockhounds" per se. Some of us are lapidaries, stone carvers, wire wrappers, bead knotters, gold panners, or glass fusers, etc. For this reason, it was voted that the program in the CFMS would be known as "Education through Sharing - Member Recognition".

    It seems to me that if we've been living with the word "rockhound" for the past 86 years, it may be a hard habit to break.

    And when I quoted the comment that "we don't get down on our hands and knees sniffing out rocks and minerals" to a fellow club member, he looked at me quizzically and said, "We don't?"

    So, I leave it to you, my readers, to express just how offensive the word is, in your own minds. I probably won't be the one to make the decision to eliminate the word from our CFMS vocabulary. Very likely, I will turn it over to the Publicity/Public Relations Committee for their expertise and investigation.

    Meanwhile, let me know what you think about the proposal to support a movement to discontinue the term, "Rockhound".

Beverly Moreau
3113 Topaz Lane, #A
Fullerton, CA 92831-2374


By Jo Anna Ritchey,
Chair Publicity/Public Relations Committee

    Annually the Federation and its affiliate clubs sponsor over 30 rock, mineral and gem shows in the California Federation region. Many of these

    Shows are experiencing lower numbers of guests, decreased revenues and disappointed dealers. As commercial shows continue to prosper, the California Federation and its affiliate clubs simply have to acknowledge the fact that advertising, promotion and publicity are the real keys to success.

    America is full of people who love the earth sciences, and moneyed people who love to purchase at near wholesale prices from the dealers that show up to work the Shows. Letting those interested people know that you are having a Show is not that difficult. This is the story of how one California Federation affiliate club significantly increased their Show attendance and revenue by a renewed publicity effort. If they could do it, you can do it.

    At the close of their 44th Annual Show on March 21, 1999, the members of the Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Society were dejected. Four days of hard work and a year of planning and preparing, all for only $1,000 and an attendance of 650 people. They might as well have assessed their 120 members $10 each and been done with it. If the club was to continue to have an annual show, a change was needed. The Show had to be run more like a business. Expenses had to be cut. But more importantly, a structured and varied publicity program was needed. A single news-paper ad, two small banners, some fliers and a post card mailer wasn't doing it.

    So for about the same amount of money, a new and diversified publicity effort was undertaken for the February 2000 Show. In place of the single advertisement in the regional newspaper, ads were placed in seven local community newspapers and a metro publication for one- third the cost. One hundred and fifty double-sided street signs were contracted for design and installation. Targeted mailers and inserts were used in addition to the post card mailer. Scout groups were contacted and over 1,000 complimentary passes were distributed.

    As a result of this publicity effort, Show 2000 attendance doubled to 1,500. Revenue jumped 470% through a combination of structured public-city, expense cuts, and dealer and ticket cost increases. Dealers were pleased with the attend-ance and moneyed people. They readily and quickly signed up for Show 2001. The club Board of Directors quietly abandoned plans for the noticed membership dues increase. The profit from Show 2000 meant that ongoing club programs and club endowment fund contributions could continue.

     But the club Board of Directors were concerned. Was this a singular success experience? Could it be repeated at the February 24 and 25, 2001 Show? For its 46th Annual Show in 2001, the Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Society modified its publicity effort slightly. Advertising in local community newspapers was doubled. Twice the number of double-sided front yard signs were placed. The post card mailings doubled, and 1,400 specially targeted mailers were sent to two neighborhoods and 600 private home schools. Fifteen hundred complimentary passes and 6,000 discount coupons were distributed. The scout and youth programs were expanded with assistance from the County Office of Education.

    The results were that Show attendance increased to over 1,700 and revenue was up 18%. Dealers, noting the big ticket item sales, were very satisfied. Club members congratulated themselves on a job well done. And with the experience of two successful Shows, planning begins for the March 16 & 17, 2002 Show.

    If you would like more particulars, contact the Treasurer of the Santa Clara Valley Gem and Mineral Society, P.O. Box 54, San Jose, CA 95103.

    Club rock, mineral and gem shows are one of the best public relations programs and revenue sources we have. Let's share information about our Shows and continue to make them successful.

    We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact our Committee as follows:

Teresa Masters, Secretary
CFMS Publicity/Public Relations Committee
1644 Corte Verano
Oceanside, CA 92056-2038


By Bill Luke

    Olive M. Colhour, known to rockhounds everywhere, passed away peacefully on November 24, 2000, the day after Thanksgiving, at the age of 102. With her passing, the rockhounding and lapidary world has lost one of its most gifted artists. She had lived for several years with her son and his wife north of Seattle. Recently, she had been in a rest home and had enjoyed gener-ally good health.

    Olive was born April 2, 1898, in New Zealand, and lived for some time in Vancouver, B.C. She had two grown sons by a previous marriage when she met and married Ralph Colhour in 1937. They lived in Keyport, Washington, where Ralph was a machinist and builder. During World War II, Olive worked in the machine shop at the torpedo station.

    Olive began her beautiful artistic lapidary work when she was 56 years old. With no knowledge, training nor equipment, she began to find the beauty in rocks. Ralph, a machinist, built tools and equipment for her to work with and she joined a rock club in 1948 in hopes of learning from others. Just a few years later, she won the Best of Show award in the 1955 show in Yakima, Washington. Within four years of her initiation into the lapidary field, she had won every American Federation of Mineralogical Societies award in all nine categories. In the next couple of decades we were all to learn of her works through many articles in Lapidary Journal and shows throughout the United States and Canada.

    Olive's first book, "My Search for Beauty", was published in 1993. Here, along with photos and descriptions of her beautiful works, you will learn about field trips, outdoor stories about people met along the way. and some philosophies of an artist. A second book was published in 1997 and the first printing completed just in time for her 100th birthday! It contains stories and poems by both Olive and Ralph and many of the Lapidary Journal articles. From these works, we learn that Olive was sincere, humorous, dedicated, humble, and had been given a talent that she said was "a gift from God".

Way Out Beyond
By Olive M. Colhour

Dear Heart you come to greet me
Across the bridge of sighs,
From a place way out beyond,
Where never, never lies.
My hands reach to clasp you,
Pale mist before my eyes.
Why does my heart wander
From its worldly ties?
You're just a speck of stardust.
Your earthly form has gone.
My heart aches for you always,
The year seem lone and long.

May Morning
By Olive M. Colhour

There's a lesson to be learned
Every step along the way.
Stop and read life's sign posts,
They will guide you every day.
View the clover in the fields.
Smell the scent of new mown hay.
You'll know God's sunbeam is shining
Somewhere along the way.
Lift up your voice and sing,
To a benevolent Father above.
The pain will ease, tears will dim,
And your heart will fill with love.

    From"Creating Lapidary Art -
    Working with Gemstones",
    contributed by Bill Luke.


The Rockatier, Nov.-Dec. 1993

    Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter•  .flying along in a V formation•  .you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way.

    As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

    People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

    When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone•  .and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

    If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.

    When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing, and another goose flies point.

    It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs•  .with people or with geese flying south.

    Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up the speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

    Finally•  .and this is important•  .when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with the goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.


From Bob & Kathy Miller, Juniors Co-Chairmen

    Rockhound clubs throughout the Federations have been supporting youth groups for many years. At times there were youth which belonged to a club, but the club didn't know just what to do with them or what direction they should go. Consequently a lot of youth fell through the cracks. We are sure no one could argue with the fact that we need to insure the future of our hobby by encouraging our youth.

    Knowing the above, in 1984, under the direction of Bill Cox, AFMS President, a committee was added to the AFMS called "Junior Clubs". The Chairman was Ruth Hammett from South Central. During the first year very little was accomplished other than the adoption of a very useful manual designed by the Midwest Federation. At the end of 1984 and during the first part of 1985 Bill coined the name "Future Rockhounds of America" and designed a certificate to be given to junior clubs who became members of FRA. It gives the clubs the distinction of belonging to something worthwhile.

    The only requirement for obtaining membership into FRA is to be organized and sponsored by a federation club. (Exceptions to this can be made.) There are no dues to pay to the federation for being a member as dues will be paid through the adult club.

    How To Become A Member of the Future Rockhounds of America AFMS Youth Program

  1. Your group must be a member of your local federation. This can be either through a sponsoring club or through an independent application into your local federation.
  2. Dues only HAVE TO BE PAID to the local federation and thus into AFMS. There are no special dues for FRA.
  3. The number of youth is not important•  .you can have as few as 2 and as many as you can handle.
  4. Age: In most clubs the age at which one becomes an adult is 18.

    We said it was simple, there is no mystery to joining. Just fill out an application which can be obtained from your federation Youth Coordinator or from us.

    We are here to help you.

    (Please duplicate the application in the CFMS newsletter for your Juniors group to join FRA)

The forms can also be downloaded from the "Forms" section of the CFMS website. Click here for a form.

Prepare for Your Field Trip

By By Chuck McKie, CFMS Safety Chairman 2001

    Summertime is fast approaching, people are getting restless, their hands are itching for the feel of new rocks. But, before they take off on their new adventure, they should consider these things:

    Rockhounding and camping provide exercise and interest for people of any age. Just getting out and walking around is a wonderful way to see nature. If you decide to go on an unofficial field trip, alone or with a few friends, be save, plan ahead. Since unexpected things happen, however, the best way to help guarantee a good time for all is to plan ahead carefully and follow common sense safety precautions. If you have any medical conditions (and a good many of us are in the upper age brackets and we do have problems), discuss your problems with your health care provider and get approval before departing. Review the tools, equipment, supplies, and skills that you'll need. Consider what emergencies could arise and how you would deal with those situations.

     Are you going to be at a high altitude, where the oxygen content is lower? How strenuously will you be doing things? Rockhounding can be very active. What if someone became ill or injured? What kind of weather might you encounter? Add to your checklist the supplies you would need to deal with these situations. Make sure you have the skills you need for your adventure. You may need to know how to erect a temporary shelter, or give first aid. If your trip will be strenuous, get into good physical condition before setting out. If you plan to climb or travel to high altitudes, make plans for proper acclimatization to the altitude. It's safest to go with at least one companion. If you'll be entering a remote area, your group should have a minimum of four people; this way, if one is hurt, another can stay with the victim while two go for help.

     If you'll be going into an area that is unfamiliar to you, take along someone who knows the area, or at least speak with those who do before you set out. Some areas require you to have reservations or certain permits. If an area is closed, do not go there. Find out in advance about any regulations-there may be rules about campfires or guidelines about wildlife. Pack emergency signaling devices, and know ahead of time the location of the nearest telephone or ranger station in case an emergency does occur on your trip. Leave a copy of your itinerary with a responsible person. Include such details as the make, year, and license plate of your car, the equipment you're bringing, the weather you've anticipated, and when you plan to return. Get trained in American Red Cross first aid before starting out. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for a Community First Aid and Safety course.


     What you take will depend upon where you are going and how long you plan to be away, but you should include the following: Candle or flashlight. Extra clothing (always bring something warm, extra socks, and rain gear), compass, first aid kit, food (bring extra), foil (to use as a cup or signaling device), hat, insect repellant, map, nylon filament, pocket knife, pocket mirror (to use as a signaling device), prescription glasses (an extra pair), prescription medications for ongoing medical conditions, space blanket or piece of plastic (to use for warmth or shelter), sunglasses, sunscreen, trash bag, (makes an adequate poncho) water, waterproof matches or matches in a waterproof tin, water purification tablets, whistle (to scare off animals or to use as a signaling device). Always allow for bad weather and for the possibility that you may be forced to spend the night outdoors unexpectedly. In a small waterproof container, place the pocket knife, compass, whistle, space blanket, nylon filament, water purification tablets, matches, and candle. With these items, the chances of being able to survive in the wild are greatly improved. •  


Thalia Goldsworthy, Rock Chippings, March 2001

Gemstones - Natural, Synthetic and Simulated

Natural Stones are the same as they came out of the earth, except for cutting and polishing. Most Garnet, Amethyst and Ametrine are sold in a natural state.

Synthetic Stones are laboratory-created stones from natural materials. These have the same chemical and crystal structure as the natural gems. Some manufacturers even insert inclusions to mimic natural occurrences. Rubies were one of the first gemstones to be lab-created. Now Sapphires, Emeralds, Spinels as well as Diamonds can be man-made.

Simulated Stones can be defined as any material being used to imitate natural gemstones. Many different types of material are used including glass, plastic and less costly natural or man-made materials. Some of these simulations are more brilliant and colorful than the material they imitate. Cubic Zirconia is a very popular, inexpensive gem that does not occur in nature but is now manu-factured in many countries around the world. It simulates Diamond, and is used for many copies of genuine Diamond jewelry pieces at less risk to theft or loss. With the addition of trace amounts of elements, close copies of the colors of other gemstones can be achieved.

Enhancing Gemstones

Enhancement is used with many natural stones. Various processes are used to add protection, color, stability or hardness and increase usability in jewelry. Some of the processes used are irradiation, heat treatments, dyeing, oiling, waxing and special construction techniques. Many other techniques are used in order to use valuable natural materials to best advantage.

Doublets are made from two pieces, usually with a durable quartz "cap" protecting the valuable natural material. Opal is often found for sale as doublets. Mosaic stones are doublets because of the backing needed to support the small pieces. Other types of doublets can be two pieces of one clear material with a colored "glue" used to simulate the more valuable material.

Triplets are three pieces. These use a very thin section of natural stone between a Quartz cap and some other material-stone, glass or plastic-underneath. Opal that occurs in very thin seams can be used to great advantage with this technique.

Heat-Treating is one of the newer enhancement techniques. Stones of poor color can be transformed into very beautiful gems with carefully controlled heat treatment. Amethyst will convert to Citrine, which is very rare as a natural stone. Rubies, Sapphires, and Tanzanites are generally heat treated to intensify their colors.

Irradiation is used to change the color of stones. Clear or light colored Topaz will turn a beautiful blue with irradiation and heat-treatment. Some Quartz will turn a smoky gray to black with irradiation (this sometimes happens naturally).

Reconstitution falls under the added materials category. For this process, natural stone of poor quality is ground into powder or small particles and combined with a binding agent such as plastic. Again, heat and pressure transform unusable material into solid, less expensive material for jewelry use. Larger pieces with uniform consistency can be manufactured than can be found occurring naturally.

Many other materials are added. Some stones are dyed. Tidy Bowl will transform white Howlite into simulated "Turquoise". Some soft chalky natural materials, such as Turquoise, are impregnated with plastic under heat and pressure, a process called "stabilization". Emeralds are oiled to hide inclusions and to deepen color.

Laser beams are used to "burn" out flaws in Diamonds. The very small controlled beam can remove flaws through almost microscopic holes that are not apparent to the naked eye. These make lesser value diamonds more usable. Laser beams are also used to engrave identification on the girdle of many diamonds. These are invisible when the stone is in its setting and do not interfere with the appearance of the stone.