Junior Articles ... Under 12
via CFMS Show
Paso Robles, California June, 24 2001

Winning Junior Articles ... Under 12 (in 0rder of Finish)

The 73 Faces of Diamante ..... by Bryant Nelson, Age 11
Amazing Amber ..... by Daniel Wert, Age 12
Volcanoes ..... by Richard Baker-Strader, Age 10
Chalcedony ..... by Emily Nelson, Age 8
Diamonds ..... by Sarah Baker-Strader, Age 8

The 73 Faces of Diamante

by Bryant Nelson, Age 11
From The Rock and Hammer September 2000
(1st Place, 2001 CFMS Junior Articles Under 12)

    Volcanoes erupting, fires burning, vegetation is sizzling and disintegrating into black ebony charcoal, which is the matrix of Diamante Brillante, during the time large reptiles dominated the earth. Vibrating earthquakes collapse a cauldron burying Diamante under millions of tons of rock and earth. Intense heat, enormous pressure and chemical reactions melts Diamante over and over again, only to grow and expand, each time.

    Eons later, tremors violently shake the terra firma, causing Diamante's encasement to break open resulting in a blazing, radiant ball of fire entering, penetrating, and exiting as a sparkle of life that Liberator witnessed. The Liberator examines Diamante's scratchedup surface, yet recognizes the potential beauty knowing that it might change his life forever. Rotating, contemplating, and embracing Diamante, the Liberator is in reverence and awe.

    Diamante is attached to Facetron's arm which is very strange because it is not like the fleshy human one that had picked her up. Then, all of a sudden, she hears a loud noise, a spinning disk is grinding her down to a point. She is developing two sets of pyramids, base to base, for a total of 73 faces including a girdles.

    She is put on to another stick with cyanoacrylate, (some sort of sticky substance) that holds things together very tightly for a long period of time. She waits an hour with two sticks attached to her, but time doesn't matter. A flame reheats the green stick which then falls off. A sharp razor blade shaves Diamante clean.

    "Transfer is complete," Liberator announces. She does not know what transfer means, but she thinks it's something good. She is put onto the arm again, and is pushed down upon a different disk that feels softer on her 73 faces. Then the disk is replaced with a soft, shiny, flexible plastic platter. Tin Oxide is dusted on the spinning platter which enhances the external beauty of Diamante even though covered in a milky watery paste, it is easily washed away. She thinks she is finished, but that's not all, there is more. Diamante is put in a jar with some sort of thing called acetone that dissolves cyanoacrylate. The following day she is free from her bondage, but not for long.

    A golden encasement embraces Diamante, as Liberator uses pliers to strap the bars around her girdle. Now she looks brilliant. Round Brilliant. Diamante is carried away by Liberator to a beautiful park with long columns and a gazebo. Liberator sits there, he looks as if he is waiting for someone. Finally a captivating woman arrives, they sit and talk for a while about how their lives will be so happy together. Then Diamante is slipped onto the woman's finger as the Liberator asks, quot;Will you marry me?" At that instant Diamante knew that she will never be alone, and has a friend forever, as diamonds are forever.

Facetron Manual.
Diamond Ring Buying Guide, Rene Newman, International Jewelry Publication 1989.
Earth's Chemical Clues, A Story of Geochemistry, George Rapp & Laua Erickson, Enslow,
    Publishers 1990.
Random House Dictionary of the English Language 1967.
Our of the Rock, US bureau of Mines, Second Edition 1995.

Amazing Amber

by Daniel Wert, Age 12
From The Rock and Hammer September 2000
(2nd Place, 2001 CFMS Junior Articles Under 12)

    Do you ever wonder about amber: I'm not talking about a girl or a paint color, but the fossilized resin. Some facts about amber are well known but some are not so well known. I believe this honey-colored matter is not only a beautiful gem material but it is also distinctly recognizable for its history as well as its numerous uses.

    There are some humdrumzfacts like the Mohs' hardness (2-2.5) and the specific gravity (1-1.1) but there are some amazing facts too. Did you know that amber is the only rock that can preserve DNA? In the movie, Jurassic Park, scientists extracted dinosaur DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber. Even though this is impossible it points out the uniqueness of amber. The ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans treasured amber greatly. They believed that it had the power to cure particular ailments. When it is rubbed amber takes a charge of static electricity, so the Greeks called it electron. Thus the word "electricity" is derived from this Greek term.

    This fossilized resin of conifers sometimes containing insects, moss, pine needles, seeds, pyrite crystals and calcite was once sticky goo. Amber's color varies from fair yellow to dark brown and sometimes exhibits red, green, blue or black.

    Surprisingly, there are many varieties and sources of amber. Amberoid is pressed, pit amber is dug out by high-pressure water, sea amber is washed up, usually on the Baltic coast, ruminite is from Rumania, simitite from Sicily and burmite is a redder version from Burma. The most common use for amber is in jewelry making, but is has also been utilized in crafting pipe mouthpieces and various ornaments. Despite the introduction of synthetic substitutes, the elegance of the genuine article remains superior.

    So now you know some of the lesser-known facts of amber - its beauty as a gem material, its fascinating history and its various uses. The golden colored "gem" will be treasured for centuries to come.

The American People's Encyclopedia, 1960.
Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia, 1998.
Hanakin, Rosie. Rocks, Crystals, and Minerals of the World, Quintet Publishing Limited, 1998.
O'Donoghue, Michael. Rocks and Minerals, Thunder Bay Press, 1994.


by Richard Baker-Strader, Age 10
From The Rock and Hammer October 2000
(3rd Place, 2001 CFMS Junior Articles Under 12)

    A volcano is a vent in the earth's crust. Lava and hot gases erupt from it. The lava, or molten rock, collects and forms around the vent. Lava can flow as a thick, red-hot liquid or erupt as solid and liquid particles.

    There are three volcano types-shield, cinder cone and composite cone.

    A shield volcano is broad, and does not have steep sides. Lava does not really erupt, it gurgles and flows. The Muana Loa volcano in Hawaii could be the largest in the world. It's base is 5,000 meters below the surface of the pacific Ocean. It took about one million years to form.

    A cinder cone volcano have very steep sides. they form by lava bits, called cinders being thrown into the air. They are only about 300 meters in height. Paricutin in Mexico formed on Feb. 20, 1943, in a cornfield. It is now 400 meters high. It seems to be extinct now, after nine years of eruptions.

    Composite cone volcanoes form by lava flowing and by cinders. Lava flows gently for years, and then it erupts violently. They can be the most violent of volcanoes. Mount St. Helens in Washington state is one of these types. On May 18, 1890 it erupted and a big chunk blew off the top.

    There are many kinds of eruptions. The gentlest kind is called Hawaiian. It consists of extensive flowing from the main and minor vents, and can also include lava fountains. Strombolian eruptions consist of a thicker lava flow, normally with violent lava fountains which cause cinders and chunks of lava, called volcanic bombs, to fall from it. Vulcanian eruptions have thick lava that form short, thick flows around vents and very thick lava is forcefully shot out. Pelean eruptions are similar to vulcanian, except the lava is thicker and domes form over the vents and ash flows normally come with them. Plinian eruptions are the most violent. They shoot out lots of ash, and then the main part of the volcano caves in. Two examples, are Mount St. Helens and Vesuvius.


Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge
Webster's Dictionary
Merrill Science by Hackett, Moyer, and Adams

(pronounced, kal SED anee)

by Emily Nelson, Age 8
From The Rock and Hammer October 2000
(4th Place, 2001 CFMS Junior Articles Under 12)

    I was thinking of a rock to write a gem article. So I began looking through the book, Minerals and Gemstones of the World. With excitement, I was looking through the pictures and came across this rocky and thought it was interesting for all of its colors and orange speckles in the middle. It was very interesting because each color has a different shade. I told my dad I wanted to do this article on this rock so we looked in the Random House Dictionary for the definition of this rock. The definition read: microcrystalline ( and my dad said micro means small, and crystal means it has a repeating pattern), translucent (meaning light can pass but you can't see objects clearly), variety of quartz ( a mineral consisting of silicon dioxide).

    We also looked in the dictionary to see how they pronounced it and wrote the pronunciation down. Then I looked down at the bottom and saw where the word came from. The word came from a city that has an interesting name. Then I looked above the definition and saw the word Chalcedon. This rock is named after an ancient city in North West Asia Minor across from Byzantium. Large quantities of Chalcedony come from Brazil Uruguay, India, the Urals, and Australia,

    I looked at the picture and saw the squiggles on the edge I thought it would be rough on the outside. The open face is smooth and in the middle there are crystals. In the Minerals Book, it says that the rock ' usually appears with veins and presents a fibrous and micro-granular structure. It is sub divided into many varieties of "agate" when the veins are concentric and not too contrasting: "onyx" if the contrast is higher; "carnelian" if the veins are red due to the presence of hematite; "chrysoprase" if it is tinged apple-green by traces of nickel; "enhydros" if it contains liquid remains.
It is identified by:
Mineral Classes
Crystal Systems
Color of Light Reflecting Minerals
Color of the Powder
Solubility Occurrence
Oxides and hydroxides
All but gray
White, pale, or gray
Vitreous, greasy, waxy, or oily
Soluble in hydrofluoric acid
Sedimentary rock and hydrothermic deposits
Jewelry and chemical industries

    I enjoyed the book on how gems were made and where they came from. I liked Chalcedony because of the lines and how they go into the middle. In the middle, there is Quartz and orange color. I wish I could pick up a piece of chalcedony right now and put it on display in my house.


by Sara Baker-Strader, Age 8
From The Rock and Hammer October 2000
(5th Place, 2001 CFMS Junior Articles Under 12)

    Diamonds are mineral. Diamonds form deep in earth's crust. Heat and pressure make diamonds very hard. Some diamonds are valuable for their quality and beauty. These special diamonds are cut and polished for things like jewelry. But diamonds of less quality and beauty are used in industry and things like that. Diamonds are used on cutting edges of some saws. Some drills have diamond bits. Diamond bit drills can cut through rocks.

    Diamonds are found in all kinds of colors. Mostly they are kind of yellow. The rarest colors are green, red, blue, purple, brown, yellow and black. The brighter colors are very rare, pretty and valuable.

Merrill Science by Hackett, Moyer and Adams
Gemstones of the World by Schumann