Vol. XLII, No. 11 --- December 2005

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
President's Message
From The Editor's Desk
Special Birthday Wishes
CFMS Dues and Insurance
Insurances News
Earth Science Studies
Teacher Of Earth Science?
All American Awards Program
Field Trip - South Report
Education Through Sharing Honors
Jewelry Making for Us Dummies of All Ages
Carbon Monoxide
CA State Mining and Mineral Museum Report
In Praise of Rockhounds
Exotic Terrain
Curative Legends of Gem stones

Prez Message

By Marion Roberts, CFMS President

CFMS President

Here is a cheery hello and a seasons greeting to each and everyone. A time of the year to give thanks, to remember others, to help those not so fortunate, and to reflect on whether we have been naughty or nice. Well? Possibly I should not scrutinize the last part too thoroughly.

It is really hard to realize that this is my last opportunity to greet you on the front page and reflect some of my thoughts and ideas, and to pass one some of the good ideas, and to pass on some of the good ideas I have been privileged to receive from others. This has been a humbling but very rewarding three years for me. The contact with the multi-talented people, the generosity of so many, the desire to always make thing better whether it is in the way we handle the day to day business or what we can return to the general membership, and what we can teach the public about our good earth. This was an opportunity and experience I will never forget and always cherish.

I want to thank and express my great appreciation to all Committee Members for the superb participation and the fantastic response to the request for newsletter reports. This was even better than reports direct to me because everyone has the opportunity to see what is going on, and on going. I hope this is a trend that will continue and even grow. My thanks to many of the past presidents for their help and advice, as I needed a lot of it. Our working together makes the wheels roll smooth. To the members of the executive committee, I give my thanks for your diligent work, and also offer my congratulations for stepping up when asked. I have found a strong personal gratification and pleasure that I hope each of you will enjoy also. Importantly I want to thank the many Federation Directors from each of the Societies who either attend the meetings or even make an effort to pass on the works and news. I do hope to see more and more of you all the time.

In that one of my big boo-boos of all times was to forget to introduce her at the awards banquet, I want to publicly thank my wife Vivien. She has been my keyboard technician, supporter, critic, and mate for over 51 years.

As a lame duck, that does not expect to go away quietly, I offer my thanks and congratulations to all the new officers and to the committee people and chairs for saying yes when asked by Colleen. I offer my full support to Colleen and expect no less from everyone.

With Respect for All,
Marion Roberts
President, 2005

From The Editor's Desk

By Dick Pankey, Editor

The job of Editor for the CFMS Newsletter is assigned to the 2nd Vice President for training and exposure to all the committees, activities and workings of the Federation. And it has certainly done that for me. It has put me at the center of communication between the Federation, the Officers and committees, and the societies and the membership.

The CFMS Newsletter and the CFMS web page is readily available to all societies and members. It should be read by all people who are active and committed to their society, rockhounding, field trips, safety, public lands, junior programs, earth science education, museums, and all other such programs and activities.

When I took on this job last fall I requested, challenged all Officers and Committees to submit an article every issue, or at least 4 articles. Most committees rose to the challenge and conscientiously sent me their article each month. Without their input we would not have had a Newsletter. Without their input the societies and members would not know about the many programs and activities of our Federation.

Communication is the key to success of any organization. It is a dialogue and in our case between the CFMS and the member societies. It is a two-way exchange. In the coming year we will be asking for feedback from the societies on membership, publicity and other important topics. We hope you listen for and participate in this communication.

Thank you all for your support and contributions.
Dick Pankey, Editor

Special Birthday Wishes

At the Directors' Meeting in Visalia last weekend a very special milestone, record was brought to our attention. We don't usually publish birthdays in our Newsletter but this is a unique exception. Talk about a long time rockhound, the Long Beach Mineral & Gem Society has one. On October 23rd Magie Cate Greene celebrated her 109th birthday. She was president of the Long Beach Mineral & Gem Society in 1984 and is a member and served as president of the Long Beach Arts Association.

Happy Birthday Margie Cate Greene from the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies.

CFMS Dues and Insurance

By Richard Pankey, 2nd Vice-President

It is that time of the year again. The time when each society is to send in their:

  • Dues, which help pay for the 3 Newsletters, the services, the representation, the workings and the support that each society receives from CFMS and AFMS.
  • Insurance payment that protects each society with liability coverage for show, field trips meetings and more.
  • The Officer Change Form so that the Federation knows who you are, where you are and how to contact you.
  • Your supplemental insurance payment that protects your equipment and meeting place.
  • Your membership rooster as of December 31. This is your rooster for 2005, not your 2006 rooster. These are the members who have been protected with liability insurance all year.

The dues of Membership Societies for CFMS are $1.50 annually per individual member, regardless of membership classification. The only exception is for CFMS Honorary members. Some clubs have interpreted this as meaning club or society honorary members, also. The intent of the Bylaws was to exclude CFMS Honorary members only. A change to the Bylaw was made in 2003 to add "CFMS" in front of Honorary in ARTICLE IV DUES: Section 1: to clarify any misunderstanding.

At our November 12th Directors' Meeting the directors approved a $1.00 increase in the insurance charge to a total of $6.00 per "active" member." As defined by our insurance company (the basis for our rate) an "active member" is any member who attends one or more functions each year. This includes activities such as, but not limited to, general membership meetings, annual picnics, Christmas gathering, field trips, participation in shop or classes, etc. Any attendance and/or participation in a club activity creates liability exposure and therefore requires payment of the insurance charge. Our insurance renewal date was October 16th and the Federation has already paid the entire premium for this year.

Dues are due and payable by January 1st based on your membership list as of December 31st, which should accompany the dues payment. Dues and insurance for 2006 are $7.50 for all classes of members and for all "active members." The dues/insurance payment form is in this Newsletter along with the Officer Change Form or they are available from your Director.

The Officer Change Form is very important to your society and to CFMS. It is contact information for your society and the information used to prepare the CFMS Society Roster. It is important to your club that this form is completely and accurately filled out so that your club information is up to date. This is the contact information that the Federation uses to notify your club, your Federation Director and your members of Federation news, events and happenings. The importance of filling this form out completely was pointed out several times at the Directors' Meeting. Too many clubs fail to provide contact information: addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. We need more than just a PO box, especially when your mail is only picked up once or twice a month. At a minimum we need club contact information and the addresses of the 3 people that you designate to receive the CFMS Newsletter. If you don't want your officer's addresses, etc., published please state that and Pat won't publish them in the roster. However, they need to be on file with our Executive Secretary so that CFMS can contact your club.

The Information from your Officer Change Form is used to prepare the Society Roster. The Society Roster is your link to the Federation and its member societies; it tells us who you are, where you are, where and when you hold your meetings, to whom to send the CFMS Newsletters and how to contact you. It is extremely important that each society provide an email address/contact as well as a telephone number. Email is faster and less expensive. It is also very helpful to at least include email addresses for the Bulletin Editor and Field Trip Chairman.

When paging through this year's roster I was amazed at how many societies had no email address listed and several without any telephone number listed. I am contacted on occasion by interested rockhounds looking for a local club in their area but all I can tell that there is a club but no way to contact them. A lost opportunity for everyone!

Please send your dues payment, membership list and officers change form to Pat La Rue before the end of January.

Insurances News

By Patt Wilson McDaniel, McDaniel Insurance Services

As the season of thankfulness approaches, I reflect upon the recent months and the work I have been doing with the member clubs of the Federation. I am grateful to be able to work with all of you and to see you do such good work for your organizations. I am also grateful to live in a world with such a wonderful variety of beautiful and interesting rock and mineral formations and to know that the Federation and its member clubs and societies foster knowledge and appreciation of these natural wonders. Thank you all for all that you do.

On the insurance front, we are continuing to bring in signed statements of Coverages and Responsibilities from each member club/society (please send yours if you haven't done so, yet), premises and property changes, additions and deletions can be done at any time, and we have been able to extend open enrollment and are continuing to accept applications for the Directors and Officers program.

Happy Autumn!

Earth Science Studies

By Cal Clason, Chair, Earth Science Studies

Again it's time to try to get things back on an even keel and hope for the best. All in all 2005 should be considered as a successful and informative year. Zzyzx began the year with quite a number of new participants to help celebrate our twentieth anniversary. Our open house on Saturday attracted a number of "Old Timers" and many who came only to ascertain what Earth Science Studies really are, I hope most of them left with a favorable impression and in casual conversations, I believe they did. My most heartfelt thanks to not only the staff, but also the people who displayed, explained and discussed their particular areas of expertise. In retrospect I see things we could have done differently; but it is an evolving process.

Although I am somewhat concerned about the weather, the dates for 2006, March 19 - 26. At the present time we are scheduled for March 18 - 25, 2007. Again, I have concerns; but in that it is operated by the Desert Studies Consortium, and they give first consideration to use by the various Universities for research, and spring is the most popular time of the year.

In September we again held forth at Camp Paradise, and feel that it was a successful endeavor. About 60 people each week, with quite a few staying for both weeks. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed their stay, and many commented they had learned things they could share with their club members; which was the original premise upon which the Earth Science Studies was founded. Congratulations to them.

My thanks go out to the staff and instructors for giving of their time and knowledge to accomplish this. Much credit should be given to Jack Williams, who in his capacity as Coordinator - North, did a lot of the preliminary work to bring it to a successful conclusion.

As has been mentioned before, the ownership of Camp Paradise has changed, and though not totally what we would have liked, believe we have reached an agreement we can live with, at least for 2006. We have tentative reservations for September 3 - 9, and 10 - 16, 2006. We were concerned about Labor Day being September 4th and the possible traffic congestion; but came to the conclusion that it will be minimal on Saturday and Sunday, and hope for the best. We will continue to try to meet with their Board of Directors, and endeavor to arrange some kind of a long range commitment from them to enable the ESS Committee to do their planning for future Seminars.

So much for now, more will be forthcoming as it develops, and we will try to keep you informed.

Do You Know A Disserving Teacher Of Earth Science?
Recognition and Dollar Awards Available

By John Stockwell, K-12 Chairperson, Northern California Geological Soc.

The Northern California Geological Society makes each year two grants to northern California teachers of earth science, physical science, or geology who include a unit on some topic from the geosciences. Unfortunately, each year few applications are received. Although the awards were made last year. The application deadline for one award ($500) is January 16, the other ($750) February 17. Application information can be found at the back of this Newsletter. This is a way that CFMS societies can help recognize and reward outstanding teachers and no cost to the society or CFMS.

Make these awards known to teachers in your community. HELP US TO ENCOURAGE THE TEACHING OF GEOSCIENCES AND TO REWARD TEACHERS.

All American Awards Program

By Dot Beachler, All American Club Chair

Why do we have the All American Club Award? What can it mean to your club?

  1. Club members working together can share their enthusiasm for their hobby.
  2. This will be a history of your club's activities.
  3. Entering the competition can afford the club the opportunity for regional and national recognition.

How does your club work toward entering this competition? Suggestions:

  1. Work with your publicity committee to coordinate information.
  2. Collect pictures of club activities, displays and demonstrations.
  3. Record data at club meetings of community involvement.
  4. List special interest groups.
  5. Join ALAA, write letters to congressmen.

Instructions for entering your club book:

  1. Each report is to be submitted as a single document limited to a maximum of 100 sheets (one or two-sided) including text and graphics. A loose-leaf notebook is a suitable binder.
  2. This document should have six section dividers numbered 1 through 6, with the report form in Section 1, and the supporting information for each of the report sections following the appropriate section divider. There are no restrictions on number of pages in any section.
  3. When filling out the report form, mark all appropriate blanks and enter numbers or other information where requested. Assemble requested supporting materials and lists following the appropriate section divider, and then insert photos or other graphics following the typed information. Remember that all requested information is for the prior year.
  4. The application forms have been updated and are available on the CFMS website now. Due date for entries is February 28,2006.

Field Trip - South Report

By Bob Fitzpatrick, Field Trip Chairman - South

I have been asked to stay on as Field Trip - South Chairman for year 2006. This year I will be taking on a Co-chairman whose name is Thomas Hess and is a member of the Yucaipa Club and leader of the Die Hard Rock Hounds. Thomas will be leading the field trips to some of the famous Pegmatite mines in Riverside and San Diego Counties and I will be leading the trips to the desert areas of San Bernardino, Riverside & Imperial Counties.

Thomas and I are volunteer's who love setting up field trips for others to enjoy. It takes a lot of time to plan and coordinate them and also attend to our families and jobs. We would appreciate any of you who have the time to give us a hand so we can make the field trips even better.

I will be leaving for Quartzsite, AZ around the 15th of December and will be selling at the Desert Gardens Gem & Mineral Show, Spaces G-13 & G-14. I will be there until February 6th, come by and say "Hi."

Education Through Sharing Honors

Loretta Ogden. Chair Education Through Sharing

It is my pleasure to send this month's nominations on to the CFMS and AFMS Newsletters. Not only because I know some of the people but also it is the first time I have seen one person nominated by four separate clubs. All I have to say is "Yeah Betty, You shine girl!" Thank you all for a year of honors. It is my hope to meet all of these wonderful people in the near future.

Betty Egger.

When it comes to Education Through Sharing, then Betty Egger exemplifies what is required. Betty has held many officer positions for the Amador County Gem & Mineral Society but her most important role is ability to motivate people through her energy in training and education. Betty holds classes at her home and teaching members the many skills needed for making jewelry and lapidary. Betty also started classes at the clubhouse on the second and fourth Saturday and enlisted the help of other members to help with these classes.

Betty's unselfishness to continue her education has benefited many members by her willingness to share what she has learned. It is my honor to nominate Better Egger for the Education Through Sharing Award.
Margaret Kolaczyk President
Amador County Gem & Mineral Society

Betty Egger

We at the Calaveras Gem & Mineral Society are proud to nominate Betty Egger for CFMS member recognition. Betty is always there to teach and help in any way possible. She opens our club and teaches wire wrapping & silver fabrication, demonstrates at many club shows, and teaches for her other clubs as well. Since we got our shop running she is always there and has brought us many new members. Betty is one individual you can't keep up with but every club needs and treasures her.
Thomas Reeves, President
Calaveras Gem & Mineral

Betty Egger

Betty Egger is the choice from the Stockton Lapidary and Mineral Club submitted to the CFMS for recognition. Betty has been a member of this club for about 15+ years. She has served as President for 2 years and held many other offices. Her most important feature, that of being even tempered, has enabled her to work with any person regardless of personality conflict. Betty has taught classes in her home every Friday evening for many years. She gives of her time and talent to teaching at Camp Paradise and Camp Zzyzx.

Betty drives from Jackson (1 •   hour) to teach at the Stockton Club every Wednesday night and teaches beads, casting, silver work, wire wrapping, and anything else needed. I am aware that she is teaching every Saturday morning in different towns in her area. When she returns from classes (that she finds time to attend,) immediately, everyone around her is learning her new skill. She teaches all ages and no one leaves frustrated because they didn't understand. Betty also attends many Club Shows and demonstrates square wire wrapping and many other skills. Betty is only 80+ and is also a member of at least 4 other clubs and active in all.
Nettie Meissner, President
Stockton Lapidary & Mineral Club

Betty Egger

Betty Egger is the choice from the Faceters Guild of Northern California submitted to the CFMS for recognition. Betty has been a member of the Faceters guild for over 15+ years. She attended many classes given by Al Whitney in Stockton. When he passed she promised him that she would keep teaching faceting and help keep the guild together. She teaches faceting with the patience of a jewel. She is one of the most encouraging persons that I know.

She drove from Jackson to Stockton to teach at the Stockton lapidary clubhouse for 4 years and now teaches at the Calaveras clubhouse. She also will teach anyone faceting in her home on Friday nights. Her knowledge of stones is fantastic. I entered the faceting contest because I would not want to let her down. Because of her I personally will keep on faceting.
Nettie Meissner, President
Faceters Guild of Northern California

Todd Neikirk

The members of the Pasadena Lapidary Society voted and chose Todd Neikirk as the ROCKHOUNDER FOR 2005. Todd has served as President for three two-year terms, the last two consecutively ending this year. He has also been instrumental in working the annual show, handling door prizes and, show signs including making two large signs used to attract the public to the show. Todd, over the years has worked in setting up the monthly workshop at a previous member's home and presently hosts the workshop at his home. In addition to providing room for the equipment which he moves in and out each time, also provides tables, benches, chairs and shade on warmer days and facilities to warm any food for the workshop potluck. Todd has been a devoted and tireless worker, setting a shining example for others to follow since joining the Society many years ago.
Vern Cliffe, Federation Director
Pasadena Lapidary Society

Verle Stadel

The members of the Gem Carvers Guild of America voted and chose Verle Stadel as the Gem Carver's ROCKHOUNDER FOR 2005. Verle has been a devoted member for years, serving as bulletin editor for many of those years. As the "right-hand" of the President, she assisted in obtaining and sustaining the Guild's association with the City of Whittier in reserving a classroom for the monthly meetings. Verle was able to obtain classroom storage space for two lapidary pieces of power equipment primarily used in the beginning stages of carving projects. She has been Guild hostess for the regular meetings and demonstrates at local gem shows, passing out information and discussing carving with interested individuals. Verle has been an inspiration to many Gem Carver members over years with her devotion to the art.
Vern Cliffe, Federation Director
Gem Carvers Guild Of America

Jay Valle

Jay Valle has been chosen as the "Man of the Year" by the WGMS Members. We are proud and happy that Jay chose our club to be a member for this honor. Jay gives our club a quality of leadership by his willingness to serve the club, sharing of his time to serve as an officer, a committee chair to help the club and its members. His concern, dedication, and expertise as a leader, editor, treasurer, and field trip leader has been a great aid to the continuing success of WGMS. He shares his knowledge of fossils and minerals and where to collect them, but, also, his knowledge of computers and photography.

Jay has loved collecting rocks since he was a junior member of the Mineral & Gem Society of Castro Valley. When he finished his education and had his family settled, he found time to join WGMS and has become one of our most valued members.
Bill Burns, Federation Director
Whittier Gem and Mineral Society

Jewelry Making for Us Dummies of All Ages

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

For years now, my wife Nancy has been collecting beads at show after show and at small shops here, there, and everywhere. She's built up quite a collection. The only problem: those beads are all still sitting in a box rather than strung around her neck!

To encourage her to get a start, I recently visited my local bookstore here in Ventura. I was very happy to find a brand new book that's just right for novices like Nancy and me: Jewelry Making & Beading for Dummies, by Heather Dismore and creative consultant Tammy Powley. It's part of the infamous "for Dummies" series published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. In step-by-step fashion, with ample illustrations and photos, as well as frequent icons alerting you to "Tips," "Warnings," and "Technical Stuff," this book gives the raw beginner everything he or she could possibly want to get up-and-running without fear.

More to the point for the purposes of a Juniors Activities column, the book devotes a full chapter to "Making Jewelry with Kids." It provides great tips for how to arrange a "kid-friendly" workspace and how to make for easy clean-up once your jewelry-making session is done. It also provides suggestions for how to pick out suitable projects for kids of varying ages and abilities (3- to 4-year-olds, 5- and 6-year-olds, 7- to 10-year-olds, 11- to 13-year-olds), and how to create masterpieces out of various materials: beads, clay, papier-m•  ch•  , etc.

This looks like a terrific book, and not just for dummies, but for all of us, especially if you work with kids! As for my wife Nancy, well, I'm afraid the book has joined the books, videos, and how-to pamphlets I've purchased over the years to get her started on crafting jewelry from the growing collection of rough opal she's also been building alongside her box of beads. Some day, yes some day, I'm sure I'll be getting her to roll up her sleeves, crack open these books, and start crafting while-as always-having fun!


By Chuck McKie CFMS Safety Chairman

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, deadly gas. It can kill you before you know it because you can't see it, taste it or smell it. At lower levels of exposure, it can cause health problems. Some people may be more vulnerable to CO poisoning such as fetuses, infants, children, senior citizens and those with heart or lung problems. When an individual breathes in CO, it accumulates in the blood and forms a toxic compound known as carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the bloodstream to cells and tissues. Carbon monoxide attaches itself to hemoglobin and displaces the oxygen that the body organs need. Carboxyhemoglobin can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion and irritability. Later stages of CO poisoning can cause vomiting, loss of consciousness and eventually brain damage or death.

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion of fossil fuels. Fumes from automobiles contain high levels of CO. Appliances such as furnaces, space heaters, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, water heaters, charcoal grills, fireplaces and wood burning stoves produce CO. Carbon monoxide usually is vented to the outside if appliances function correctly and the home is vented properly. Problems occur when furnace heat exchanger crack or vents and chimneys become blocked. Insulation sometimes can trap CO in the home.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Phoenix Fire Department recommend installing at least one carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm near the bedrooms. If a home has more than one story, a detector should be placed on each story. Be sure the detector has a testing laboratory label. The following is a checklist for where to look for problem sources of CO in the home:

  • A forced air furnace is frequently the source of leaks and should be carefully inspected.
  • Measure the concentration of carbon monoxide in the flue gases.
  • Check furnace connections to flue pipes and venting systems to the outside of the home for signs of corrosion, rust gaps, holes.
  • Check furnace filters and filtering systems for dirt and blockage.
  • Check forced air fans for proper installation and to assure correct airflow of flue gases. Improper furnace blower installation can result in carbon monoxide build-up because toxic gas is blown into rather than out of the house.
  • Check the combustion chamber and internal heat exchanger for cracks, holes, metal fatigue or corrosion. Be sure they are clean and free of debris.
  • Check burners and ignition system. A flame that is mostly yellow in color in natural gas fired furnaces is often a sign that the fuel is not burning completely and higher levels of carbon monoxide are being released. Oil furnaces with similar problems can give off an oily odor. Remember you can't smell carbon monoxide.
  • Check all venting systems to the outside including flues and chimneys for cracks, corrosion, holes, debris, blockages. Animals and birds can build nests in chimneys preventing gases from escaping.
  • Check all other appliances in the home that use flammable fuels such as natural gas, oil, propane, wood or kerosene. Appliances include water heaters, clothes dryers, kitchen ranges, ovens or cooktops: wood burning stoves, gas refrigerators.
  • Pilot lights can be a source of carbon monoxide because the by-products of combustion are released inside the home rather than vented outside. Be sure space heaters are vented properly. Unvented space heaters that use a flammable fuel such as kerosene can release carbon monoxide into the home.
  • Barbecue grills should never be operated indoors under any circumstances nor should stovetops or ovens that operate on flammable fuels be used to heat a residence.
  • Check fireplaces for closed, blocked or bent flues, soot and debris.
  • Check the clothes dryer vent opening outside the house for lint.

Via the Phoenix Fire Department

California State Mining and Mineral Museum Report

By Peggy Ronning, CA State Mining and Mineral Museum

Your club probably receives a letter each year asking it to join the California State Mining and Mineral Museum Association. In exchange for $1 per member, club members receive free admission to the museum and a 10% discount in the museum shop. But what if your club is located too far away from Mariposa to visit the museum regularly? Is it worth joining the Association? It is if your club is interested in supporting the California State Mining and Mineral Museum and our mission to:

  • preserve, interpret, and inspire interest in the diverse geology and landforms of California and their development and effects on California
  • make accessible the official State Mineral Collection
  • relate the importance, creation, extraction, and use of minerals - past, present, and future

The money raised by the Association through memberships and sales in the museum shop is given to the museum staff to spend on items that State Parks can't afford. The Association gives the museum about $14,000 a year to spend. The museum uses this money to purchase materials for educational programs. Many of the rock and mineral kits museum staff use during hands-on activities during school tours were purchased using money from the Association. The museum also offers fun rock and mineral related activities to inspire children during the Mariposa Mineral and Gem Show and the Mariposa County Fair. Some of the activities we have offered include mineral snow globes, pet rocks, birthstone necklaces, and sand painting. The Association provides money to purchase the materials needed for these activities.

A corps of dedicated and well-trained volunteers is essential for providing the museum's educational programs and running its special events. The Association pays for all activities related to recruiting, training, and retaining our valuable volunteers.

The museum also uses money provided by the Association to purchase specimens for the collection. Some of the specimens paid for by the Association in the last 5 years include:

  • Two trona specimens from Owen Lake, Inyo County, California.
  • One thenardite pseudomorph after halite specimen from Searles Lake, Trona, Inyo County, California.
  • One topazolite on ripidolite specimen from Yellow Cat Mine, New Idria District, San Benito County, California.
  • One garnet var. grossular specimen from Santa Rosa Mountain, Riverside County, California.
  • One iron, coarse octahedrite, meteorite specimen from Ocotillo, Imperial County, California.
  • One quartz variety amethyst specimen from Kingston Range, San Bernardino County, California.
  • One garnet and diopside specimen from the Crestmore Quarry, Riverside County, CA.

The museum also uses money provided by the Association to develop and improve museum exhibits. The museum is able to purchase illustrations and large format photographs. We are also working on a micro-mineral exhibit that will be largely financed by the Association.

Even if your club's members can't make it to the museum regularly, by supporting the Association, you will make sure that there will be new and wonderful things to see the next time you do visit.

In Praise of Rockhounds

By Stephen Blocksage, Publicity and Public Relations Committee

Often public relations are to putting lipstick on a pig to make the pig palatable to the public for any number of purposes. At times the hypocrisy that seems to purvey society today seems overwhelming and a little sickening. I don't think I would, for a "New York Minute," consider publicity and public relations for some of the institutions of the day.

However, I'm proud to be able to in a modest way bring the story of the "Rockhound" to the public. No lipstick here but only upstanding folks that open with prayer and salute the flag and remember those amongst them who are less than well. To often the 40 year collection of deceased rockhound comes on the market and another contributing voice and hands are lost to death from old age. For some reason perhaps related to the kind of society we have and the means to necessary to accomplish rockhounding the hobby is ebbing away and yet much treasure remains undiscovered out there for those with a sense of adventure and the talent to learn the lessons of the earth and what it has in store.

Surrounding the successful rockhound in their pursuits of the beautiful since that is rockhounding's ultimate reward. The cut geode that reveals a crystal finger backed by stardust, the multicolored lines of chalcedony surrounding the brecciated jasper, the play of light across a gemmy piece of opal, the pattern of cells in fossil bone the plumes agate and needles in sagenite and so on. In order to put one of these items in one's hand the rockhound may need to travel to other states and read maps down to the dotted lines notated four wheel drive only. They camp where there are no amenities at all, are willing to dig if not tunnel to find the seam whether in soil or solid rock.

Modern technology has eased to degree the location and distance problems associated with going to an exact patch of rock or earth with the advent of the GPS. However comparing that to the local quadrangle map is still a problem of orienteering that would daze the average person. Rockhounds are generally aware that they that they can make holes and leave tailings behind so they strive to be good citizens a fill their holes and leave the site better than they found it.

They are in fact conservationists at their core and abhor the commercial miner who follows their finds with backhoe and bulldozer. They often see parts of the desert and mountains and seashore beautiful beyond compare that harbor their treasures that few men have even contemplated. They excel at what people are prone to call four wheeling going places in compound low that would make a mountain goat think twice. There is nothing like coming home with load of rock that shows promise and just awaits the saw to reveal every pattern and color some not seen anywhere else in nature.

This brings up the home phase of operations where rock is turned into display pieces, jewelry, and bookends, clocks and even coffee tables. What will the next cut reveal and there are disappointments where the rock just doesn't hold up or fractures or the pattern dissolves but these are countered when the saw oil is wiped away and the rockhound sees the work of 100 million years ago that they alone are able to posses and contemplate. There is the skill to shape polish and mount the treasure and ultimately display it. 0ften those rocks that are too big or are suspect even though in the fields they looked like keepers are lined up along walkways and strategic points in the garden.

Often photography and the art off displaying the material to be judged or just admired in shows. Often times there is more than just beauty but educational or on occasion a monetary consideration as some of the things found should be in museums or indicate the possibility of mineral wealth. Some rocks become the sculptor's work, as the rockhound does not ignore onyx, or marble the workable rock if the patterns are pretty. Crystals, beads, cabochons, gems, carvings, sculpture, intarsia, are end products of the rockhound's and lapidary's handiwork.

People who choose to accomplish these pursuits are not those who shy away from life, whose character is suspect and who choose to do that which is wrong. On another hand rockhounds are friendly usually free of bad habits, hardworking, well studied and considerate. At their shows one does not hear slang, profanity, people dress modestly and appropriately, you would not have to wonder what happened to a young child that wandered off there would be someone taking care of them looking for the parents. In short they make the kind of person that most would want to call a friend even if they spend too much time out on the desert and in their garages working to all hours of the night.

Often if you are lucky enough to know a rockhound you may well get the product of their work usually with a disclaimer such as "well its not as nice as it could be" while you can't believe that someone would give something like that away. Rockhounds do believe that public lands should be in public hands and worry about the future and access to those places they hold dear. They have named the state's gem, and seek to reclaim the poppy jasper a victim long ago of development on private land in short what's good for the rockhound ought to good for the state both in conservation and the character of its future.


By Don Ogden, Chair, Internet Committee

Would you like to transfer files between computers in an easy-to-use environment - such as copy-and-paste or drag and drop? There is a USB cable and software application at COMPUSA that does just that - "USB Link Cable." It's great for transferring and swapping files.

The USB cable with installed software provides peer-to-peer file transfer between two computers via the USB port. It provides true plug-n-play capability while transferring files at a much greater speed than traditional file transfer products via serial or parallel port. You get around 2 to 5 Mbps of smooth file transfer rate.

Software and Driver Installation - Before you can use the cable, you must first install the driver for the cable and the application software. Since the software is going to connect two computers, you have to install the driver and the software on both or all of the computers you want to transfer files between.

When the software and driver are installed in both computers, a PC-Link icon appears on each desktop window. Now, you can connect the cable between the two computers and establish a link between them by clicking on both PC-Link icons.

When a link is established between the two computers, a Local and Remote Computer window appears on each computer. The Local window on each computer represents its File Manager (similar to the Windows Explorer File Manager). The Remote window represents the File Manager on the other computer.

When the Local and Remote windows are displayed on each computer, file transfer between them can be made. Now, it's a simple task for transferring files and folders between the two computers. Just Drag-and-Drop or Copy-and-Paste to transfer selected files or folders from the Local computer window to the Remote computer window or vice versa.

If you only have a need to transfer files between any computers (with USB ports), this is the way to go. It's very fast, easy-to-install, easy-to-use, and inexpensive.

COMPUSA•   - 8' USB Link Cable
Data Transfer Rate from 4 to 8 Mbps
Single Cable Solution for Communication
Great for Transferring or Swapping Files
USB Host-to-Host Communication
PC & Mac Compatible

Exotic Terrain

By Bill Gissler, CFMS Slide and Video Librarian

The geologic term "exotic terrain" refers to a group of rocks, a fragment of a formation that attaches itself to a tectonic plate and ends up at a new site, totally out of place from its origins.

Video, V-106 available in the CFMS slide and video program library, traces the fascinating history of mysterious rocks in Hells Canyon region on the Oregon-Idaho border, and provides an overview of tectonic activity along the Pacific coast. The video is actually two stories. It is first the story of the magnificent mountains along the Oregon-Idaho border. Second, it is the story of the geologists who pieced together the history of these mysterious rocks.

In the early 1960's, Dr. Tracy Vallier began mapping this region for the U.S. Geological Survey and discovered "pillow lavas," which develop only where volcanic lava flows into a large body of water. But Vallier was mapping an area 9000 feet above sea level and 350 miles east of the Pacific Ocean.

Subsequent studies of the paleontology of nearby rocks by Dr. George Stanley, Jr. from the University of Montana turned up tropical marine fossils, specifically corals. How could it be that marine fossils were being found thousands of feet above sea level in eastern Oregon?

The answer lies in plate tectonics. The Earth's crust is made of separate pieces, called plates that fit together like a puzzle. The plates are floating on hot, plastic-like material below. Some of the plates are pulling away from each other, and some are colliding. Geologists call an area a subduction zone when two plates collide and one sinks under the other. The sinking plate melts and creates magma, which then forces its way up through the overlying plate by volcanic action.

Dr. Ellen Bishop from Eastern Oregon State College noticed that rock samples dredged up from active subduction zones looked very similar to the rocks she was finding in eastern Oregon. Both were a m•  lange, rocks that were highly altered and a composite of a variety of materials.

Combining their research, Drs. Vallier, Stanley and Bishop recreated the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest. Millions of years ago, ocean waves broke on beaches in western Idaho, a portion of a tectonic plate that had formed near the equator broke free, migrated up to, and collided with the North American continent. The collision occurred along a zone near Hells Canyon.

It is now thought that much of western North America did not form as part of the continent. Large parts are made of oceanic islands, coral reefs, and other seafloor fragments. And it is these parts, the EXOTIC TERRAIN, which offer geologists such important clues to the past.

Beautiful scenery, computer modeling, discoveries in the field and narration by John Forsythe combine to create an adventure in science in the video, "The Geology of the Pacific Northwest Exotic Terrain."


By Bill Gissler, Slide and Video Librarian

On a recent trip to England I was amazed to see the number of books on the shelves about gemstones as medicines. The alleged medicinal powers of gemstones make astonishing reading. They were meant to work in three ways; - the actual presence of the stone affected the cure; the stone was powdered or eaten; or the gem was rubbed on the afflicted part of the body. No doubt some people were cured, since the effect of suggestion itself may solve psychosomatic illness.

AMETHYST was once thought to protect the wearer from sorcery, from the elements, to sharpen the sense of sight; and that it might be helpful in treating blood clots by helping to dissolve them.

AQUAMARINE is said to strengthen the body's immune system. It was believed that aquamarine helped to cure problems of the throat, stomach, liver, and jaws, and to protect from poisons. It was used as a stone for meditation.

CHRYSOCOLLA was believed to prevent arthritis and other diseases of the bones and digestive tract. Chrysocolla may be worn to improve psychic ability and aid in meditation.

CORAL is said to aid in the circulation of the body and to enrich the blood. It was said it may also staunch the flow of blood from a wound, possibly cure madness and was used against skin troubles, sore eyes and tuberculosis.

EMERALD, the gem of spring, has been used throughout the ages as an antidote against weakness and pains of the internal organs. It was used as an antidote for poisons and for poisoned wounds. It was also reputed to help heal bites and stings of venomous creatures.

FIRE AGATE was said to help alleviate problems relating to the stomach, spleen, and as an aid against diabetes. It was also believed to help speed up the healing of cuts and burns.

GARNET, as an amulet, it is supposed to be a remedy for hemorrhages of all kinds, as well as all inflammatory diseases. It is supposed to be an aide for rheumatism and arthritis.

MALACHITE was considered a sure cure for cholera and all kinds of colic, and possibly an aid for those suffering from asthma. It is said to be an antidote to radiation, possibly including that absorbed by workers at video terminals.

QUARTZ. There are many varieties of quartz and each is believed to have special properties. Smokey Quartz is said to ease heart diseases, and muscular deterioration. Rose Quartz was reputed to be one of the best stones to use in curing migraine and other headaches. Rock Crystal Quartz is supposed to keep the wearer free from strain and be a protection from homesickness.

TURQUOISE, some believe, may bring the wearer good luck, health and happiness. It has been used to treat malaria, heart complaints, eye problems and nasal passages.

To learn more about the curative powers of gemstones, the CFMS Slide and Video Programs Library has a 46-slide presentation, F-128. Prepared by Shirley Turski, it was the AFMS 1997 slide program competition award winner.