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Return to the Rockhound Rambling Center.
You may also go to the VGMS Home Page.

The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. (VGMS)
Rockhound Rambling
August 2006.

Table of Contents.


Congratulations to all members who exhibited at the Ventura County Fair 2006. I know many of our members' cases and material. While I don't have the final ribbon count, I do know that Jim Brace-Thompson led the count with 7 blue ribbons. Congratulations!

A word of thanks goes out to all who entered exhibits, helped with set-up and tear-down in the Gem & Mineral Building, those who volunteered their time during the Fair and thanks to the demonstrators who made it all so interesting.

I just got back from a very successful and well attended trip to the Greenhorn Mountain area. Everyone came home with some very nice Rose Quartz (and we even left some for the rest of you). Last night we went to tungsten mine to collect sheelite by ultraviolet light. That was also successful and I'll have something new to put in my fluorescent case next year. Keep on rockin'!

Ed Clark,

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A Dinosaur just hangin' around keepin' track of things.Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you'll never cease to grow.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.

An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.

Collected by Wayne Ehlers.

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PROGRAM - August 23, 2006:
Geology of the West from 35,000 Feet.

Whenever Jim Brace-Thompson's job takes him flying on business trips, he packs a camera on board and requests a window seat. The result is a large collection of photos of varied geological features of the American West from a vantage point of 35,000 feet in the air. Come to our July meeting to get a whole new view of such classic American landmarks as Yosemite, Meteor Crater, Shiprock and Monument Valley, Mt. Saint Helens, the Grand Canyon, and the many geological provinces of California: the Sierra Nevada, the Central Valley, Coast Ranges, Mojave Desert, the San Andreas Fault, and more! You'll also get a bird's eye view of some popular California rockhounding sites, such as the Calico Mountains and Mule Canyon. As they say, on a clear day, you can see forever, so we welcome you to come see what forever looks like.
     Jim Brace-Thompson.

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REVIEW - July 26, 2006:
Growing Up with a Famous Rockhound Father.

Our July meeting had a great visit with Phil and Steve Hauser, sons of Joel Hauser. They reminisced about what it was like growing up as the sons of Joel Hauser. Joel is best known for his exploration, beginning in the mid-1930's, of the geode beds in and around the Black Hills southwest of Blythe which are now named after him. Though nodules and geodes fascinated him, Joel also spent much time collecting and polishing petrified wood, and he spent a large amount of time in Arizona looking for the best pieces to work. His techniques (including his amazing contour polishing skill) were written up in Gems and Minerals magazine several times. Phil and Steve's stories included their vacations as kids which were inevitably looking for rocks and they never passed a rock shop! Their tales included both unique events related to the history of our hobby and amusing anecdotes that many of us will relate to. They have extended an invitation to VGMS to make up a field trip to Joel's private museum. Their 91 year old Mother still lives in their home where the Museum is. There is also a lot of material outside which is for sale. We will keep you posted as to the arrangements for the field trip. The boys said their father had a natural ability to find rocks, "he could just smell them!"

Be sure to go to this website for their article by Barbara Kimball Hauser.

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Proposed By-Law Change.


This By-Law change, as printed in the last issue (Close the new window to return here.), was voted on at the July 26th meeting and was approved. The By-Laws will be amended accordingly.

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8-19-06 - VGMS Work Shop - Museum - Open - 9 to noon. Check with a shop supervisor to confirm (see "Chips & Boulders"). (Close the new window to return here.)
8-23-06 - VGMS Regular Meeting - 7:30 pm - At the Lexington. "Geology of the West from 35,000 Feet" by Jim Brace-Thompson.
8-27-06 - VGMS 2007 Show Meeting - 2:00 pm - At the I.B.E.W. Hall, 3994 E. Main St., Ventura, CA. Please try to attend. We need everyone's help and participation.
9-3 to 9-06 - Camp Paradise - Week 1 - See May 2006 Bulletin for registration form.
9-7-06 - VGMS Board Meeting - 7:30 pm - At the I.B.E.W. Hall, 3994 E. Main St., Ventura, CA. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
9-10-06 - DEADLINE FOR SEPTEMBER Bulletin Articles to the Editor!
9-10 to 16-06 - Camp Paradise - Week 2 - See May 2006 Bulletin for registration form and schedule of classes.
9-16-06 - VGMS Work Shop - Museum - Open - 9 to noon. Check with a shop supervisor to confirm (see "Chips & Boulders"). (Close the new window to return here.).
9-27-06 - VGMS Regular Meeting - 7:30 pm - At the Lexington - "Rockhound Movie" - Part 1.
10-5-06 - VGMS Board Meeting - 7:30 pm - At the I.B.E.W. Hall, 3994 E. Main St., Ventura, CA. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

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While driving in the London area three hard-of-hearing ladies had an interesting chat.
First Lady: Is this Wembley?"
Second Lady: "No it's Thursday."
Third Lady: "So am I. Let's stop for a drink."

From the Gringo Gazette.


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August 27th - 2:00 pm.

Our first show meeting will be held on Sunday, August 27th at 2:00 pm at the IBEW Hall, 3994 E. Main St., Ventura, CA. We don't have an official show chairman, however, all of our committees are well experienced and Richard Bromser is going to coordinate meetings, etc. We are in need of someone to take charge of the Donation Awards. We have volunteers to help but need a coordinator. If you are willing to help with this, please give Richard Bromser a call. We need everyone to come and give input at the meeting. Don't be bashful and if you have questions, give any one on the Board a call. Thanks and hope to see you ALL there. The committee chairs are as follows at this point.


VGMS President: Ed Clark, 805 983-0028.
Show Chair: Open.  
Dealer/Demo-Dealers: Kathryn Davis, 805 647-3096.
Exhibitors: Ed Clark, 805 983-0028.
Exhibitor Trophies: Steve Mulqueen.  
Fairground Contract: Richard Bromser.  
Truck/Physical Facilities: Richard Bromser.  
Table Layout: Kathryn Davis,
Ed Clark,
805 658-2606.
805 983-0028.
Set-Up/Case Assembly: David Mautz, 805 641-9472.
Publicity: Jim Brace-Thompson, 805 659-3577.
Hospitality: Valli Davis, 805 647-9214.
Security: Wayne Ehlers, 805 482-6830.
Treasurer: Richard Bromser.  
Programs (Printed): Shirley Layton, 805 717-9226.
Food: Shirley Bromser.
Nancy Brace-Thompson,
805 659-3577.
Country Store: Shirley Layton, 805 717-9226.
Plant Sale: Susan Mulqueen.
Marie Ehlers,
805 482-6830.
Donation Awards Raffle: Open.  
Kids' Booth: Jean Wise,
Lowell Foster,
805 647-4393.
805 648-1942.
Silent Auction: Greg Davis,
Ron Wise,
Mel Hixson,
805 647-9214.
805 647-4393.
805 646-6021.

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Classified Ad:
Princess, having had sufficient experience with princes seeks
From the Gringo Gazette.


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Retirement - Have some help, Need more! We are delighted to report that Mary Polacek has volunteered to do the bulletin in 2007. She is looking forward to it and I know she will do a great job. We are still in need of a web master for our web site at this point. We will be happy to answer any questions anyone may have as to what the job entails and of course we will work with both for a smooth transition. Please be thinking about it. It is not difficult and we feel the VGMS web site is a great asset to the club. Give Shirley Layton a call at 805 717-9226 with any questions.

Tri-Club Educational Committee Needs - There was a list of the rocks (Close the new window to return here.) that the Tri-Club Educational Committee will need for the completion of the project of a box of specimens for each school in the county in our March & April bulletins. If you have any of these and are willing to donate them contact Donna Knapton (805) 647-8762 as many are still needed. Many thanks!

FOR SALE - Sharon Cunningham has donated gold prospecting equipment to the club. It has never been used, still in the boxes and is for sale. It is at my house, so interested parties give me a call (805) 642-3155. - Ray Meisenheimer.

Hosts and Hostesses Schedule for 2006 Meetings - Help! We are in need of some volunteers for the open months below to fill the 2006 meetings. Give Sharon Cunningham a call at (805) 649-3579 to schedule your month. We thank everyone who participates. You can see how much they are enjoyed at the meetings!

     August: Sharon & Mel Hixson.
     September: Open.
     October: Open.
     November: Pumpkin Goodies by All!
     December: VGMS Christmas Party.

VGMS Workshops - They are held on the third Saturday of each month from 9:00 am until noon unless otherwise notified. The Shop Supervisors are Ron Wise (805) 647-4393 & Greg Davis (805) 647-9214. Stop and say thanks to these volunteers for the opportunity they give the rest of us. It is there for your use; take advantage of it. With vacations and business trips it is a good idea to call to make sure the museum will be open.

Tumbling Grit - We Have Grit!! Sold to club members at our cost.



Unknown brand,

Titanium Dioxide,
Raybrite A,
Chrome Oxide,




5 lbs,
5 lbs,
2 lbs,
2 lbs,
2 lbs,

2 lbs,
2 lbs,

1 lb,
1 lb,
1 lb,




Contact any board member to arrange for pick up or arrive on a workshop Saturday at the museum.

CFMS & AFMS Newsletters - Anyone interested in their own subscriptions to these, please contact Shirley Layton (805 717-9226). The cost for one year is $5.50 for the CFMS and $4.50 for the AFMS. I do share some information from these with you, but there is much more in each issue that you may be interested in. If you have access to the internet you can download both from their respective websites shown below for free!

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Congratulations to the following winners who participated with entries in the gem & mineral and hobbies sections in the Fair. I know there were other winners in the other sections of the Fair, but didn't get a report on that, but congratulations to you as well!

Trophy to Ed Clark for Best Natural Specimen Case - his fluorescent display. It was awesome.

Plaques to:
Chloe Baer - Best Single item, youth.
Ed Clark - Best Handcrafted Material, single item.
David Mautz - Best Natural Specimen, single item.

Rossettes to:
Chloe Baer - Fair Theme.
Ed Clark - Fair Theme.

Ribbons to:
Chloe Baer - 4 Firsts, 1 Second.
Nancy Bogart - 2 Thirds, 2 Fourths.
Jim Brace-Thompson - 7 Firsts, 2 Seconds, 1 Third, 1 Fourth.
Ed Clark - 6 Firsts, 1 Second, 1 Third.
Valli Davis - 3 Firsts, 1 Second, 1 Third, 1 Fourth.
Wendy Davis - 1 First, 1 Second.
Marie Ehlers - 1 First.
Wayne Ehlers - 3 Firsts, 1 Second, 1 Third, 1 Fourth.
Marie Haake - 1 First, 3 Seconds, 1 Third, 1 Fourth.
David Mautz - 4 Firsts, 6 Seconds, 3 Thirds.
Florence Meisenheimer - 1 First, 1 Second, 2 Thirds.
Ray Meisenheimer - 1 First.
Steve Mulqueen - 1 First.
Jean Wise - 1 First.
Ron Wise - 1 First.

Well the 2006 Ventura County Fair is just about over and it appears we have some very talented people in VGMS (but I already knew that!). I always hate to see it to come to an end, it is just a special time and I love the fire works! This is the last day as we go to print (I'd rather be at the Fair!).

I'm sure many are about to give a big sigh of relief as they have put in a lot of time and effort to make the Gem & Mineral and Hobbies sections of the Fair a success. You have succeeded and are to be congratulated! Many of you were demonstrators, helped with the Floor, set up and take down, taking entries as well as putting in entries. You are to be commended and especially Richard and Shirley Bromser who are the assistants to the Superintendent for Gem & Mineral, Hobbies and Collections. They have put in many hours and we also commend them for taking over the Superintendent position for the 2007 Fair. MANY THANKS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU FOR A JOB WELL DONE!

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AFMS web site -,
CFMS web site -,
CA BLM web site -

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Program Schedule for Monthly Meetings,
Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, 2006/2007.

Date: Speaker, Subject.
August 23, 2006: Jim Brace-Thompson, Geology of the West from 35,000 Feet.
September 27, 2006: Movie, Rock-hound Movie - Part 1.
October 25, 2006: None, Silent Auction.
November 8, 2006: Open.  
December 13, 2006:   Christmas Party.
January 24, 2007:   2006 in Retrospect, Travels, Treasures, and Trinkets.
February 28, 2007:   Quartzsite Reports, Final 2007 show preparation and Quartzsite "tales".

If you have an idea for a program or would like a particular topic please contact our program chair person, Lowell Foster at (805) 648-1942.

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In the window of a store:
"Why go elsewhere to be cheated when you can come here?"
From the Gringo Gazette.


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Happy Birthday to all those born in SEPTEMBER. We all wish you good health and hope you have a Great Day! Have I missed your birthday? Call Shirley Layton at (805) 717-9226 and leave a message if I'm not there or an email will also do the trick, Thanks and have a Great Day!

September - Happy Birthday!!
     Ray Meisenheimer - 1st,
     Liz Brashears - 13th,
     Laura Robinson - 19th,
     Clint Berkheiser - 23rd,
     Myrle Kirk - 27th,
     Susan Mulqueen - 27th,
     Stuart Bloom - 28th.

The September birthstone is the Sapphire and the flower is the Aster.

SAPPHIRE, the non-red variety of corundum.

Variety of: Corundum Al2O3;
Uses: Gemstone;
Birthstone for: September;
Color: Various colors, except for red;
Index of refraction: 1.76 - 1.78;
Birefringence: 0.009;
Hardness: 9;
Cleavage: None, although there is a rhombic parting;
Crystal system: Trigonal;
Pleochroic: Strongly.

     Sapphire is the non-red variety of corundum, the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind. The red variety of corundum is Ruby. Sapphires are well known among the general public as being blue, but it can be nearly any color. The blue color is by far the most popular color for sapphire but orange-pink, golden, white, and even black have generated much interest in the gem trade. Oriented rutile crystal inclusions cause a six-pointed-star light effect (called asterism) to form the popular Star Sapphire.

Unless otherwise noted, all mineral descriptions and images, plus the related descriptions on this server are the property of Amethyst Galleries, Inc., and may not be copied for commercial purposes. Permission to copy descriptions and images is granted for personal and educational use only.

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We had 27 members, 4 guests and one precious pebble pup at our July meeting. The guests were Steve and Phil Hauser (our program for the evening), Robert Sankovich and Rem Clough. The precious pebble pup was Rebecca Foster who is about 5 months old! We hope Steve and Phil Hauser enjoyed their visit as much as we enjoyed having them! Shirley and Richard Bromser brought refreshments that were enjoyed by all. Shirley had several homemade wonders that we were all oohing and aahing over! Not sure how she accomplished that with the setting up of the fair, etc., but we enjoyed them. Door prizes were drawn and enjoyed by the winners! It was another fun meeting and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. We missed all that weren't able to attend.

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July 14 Ray Meisenheimer gave a talk on rocks and minerals to about 20 mostly wheelchair bound seniors at the Victorian. They were so interested they discussed the program and asked questions for nearly an hour. When those who missed the program heard about it they insisted that the program coordinator have Ray come back. He now has a date with them all on August 17. Ray enjoyed visiting with them as much as they enjoyed his program. Many of the seniors had grown up on a farm and had collected rocks and even fossils as children, and were pleased to talk about it.

Florence Meisenheimer.

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Minutes of the VGMS Regular Monthly Meeting,
Wednesday, July 26, 2006:

     The regular monthly meeting of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society was called to order by Ed Clark at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, July 26, 2006, at the Lexington, Ventura, CA.
     The June membership meeting and the July board meeting minutes were corrected and then m/s/c as shown in the bulletin.
Ed Clark welcomed everyone and directed members in the pledge to the flag. Educational cases are being put together by the tri-clubs and Ed reminded everyone to support the effort by collecting and/or donating specimens.
Richard Bromser gave the treasurer's report and it was m/s/c to accept it as stated. Richard also stated that help will be needed for the County Fair. A sign up sheet for volunteers will be available and Gem & Mineral entries will be held on July 28-30. Our first 2007 show meeting will be held on August 27th, 2:00 at the IBEW Hall (where Board meetings are held). Proposed VGMS by-law changes were voted on and passed by a majority vote.
Ron Wise - The Greenhorn Mountain trip is scheduled for the 11th thru the 13th of August. Bring lots of water, protective gear and there are no facilities. September 9th is a trip to Palo Verde and the Conejo club is planning a fossilized crab collecting trip September 23rd.
Shirley Layton - The 10th of the month is the deadline for submissions and articles to the bulletin.
Ray Meisenheimer - Ray will be providing a fossil and mineral demonstration this month to a school in Ventura. Ray next presented raffle prizes to those who had their lucky numbers drawn.
Florence Meisenheimer - The next Federation show will be held in Palmdale and the 2008 show will be here in Ventura.
Lowell Foster - Upcoming presentations for monthly meetings include Dr. Gray from Santa Barbara, Jim Brace-Thompson's aerial view of geology and the video "Rockhounds the Movie".
     Ed next presented Phil and Steve Hauser who talked about their father, Joel, who the famous Hauser Beds are named after. Growing up with an avid rockhound for a father must have been amazing. Every family trip involved collecting minerals or fossils. Phil and Steve brought specimens collected by their father and related many colorful and humorous tales about the collecting experiences. Joel Hauser passed away in 1993 at the age of 78 but we all owe him and his family a great debt for the legacy they've left. A trip to Redlands to view his collection will certainly be arranged.
     Refreshments were provided by Richard and Shirley Bromser.
     The next Board meeting will be Thursday, August 2nd, 2006, at the IBEW Hall, 3994 E. Main in Ventura, all are welcomed to attend and the next regular meeting will be held August 23, 2006.
     There being no further business, Ed adjourned the meeting at 9:00 pm.
          Respectfully submitted,
          Greg Davis,
          Recording Secretary.

Minutes of the VGMS Board Meeting,
Thursday, August 2nd, 2006:

     The regular board meeting of the VGMS was called to order by Ed Clark at 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 2, 2006, at the IBEW Hall, 3994 E. Main St., Ventura.
Present: Ed Clark, Ray & Florence Meisenheimer, Richard and Shirley Bromser, Ron Wise, Shirley Layton, Lowell Foster and Greg Davis.
Old business:
Ron Wise - Greenhorn Mountain trip is still on for August 12 & 13.
Richard Bromser - To change by-laws and abide by the by-laws, the changes have been read at the June general membership meeting and were voted on during the July General membership meeting and approved. The by-laws will be changed accordingly.
New business:
Richard Bromser - Printed copies of the monthly financial statement were issued, reviewed and it was m/s/c to accept the financial statement as printed. The first meeting for our 2007 show will be held on August 27, 2:00 pm at the IBEW Hall in Ventura. All are encouraged to attend to not only get the facts but to give input.
Shirley Layton - The 10th of the month is the deadline for submissions and articles to the bulletin. Shirley also mentioned that we'll need someone to step forward and assume the bulletin duties as she and Jim will make the grade around March of next year and they'll retire to their new home in Mexico. A web master will also be needed and may or may not be the same as the bulletin editor.
Florence Meisenheimer - Zzyzx is scheduled for March 18 through the 24th of 2007. Per Cal Clason, Camp Paradise will only be one week long this year due to a lack in registrations.
Lowell Foster - Possible presentations for monthly meetings include "Rockhounds the Movie" video tape, the Desert Tortoise Preservation Crew, another silent auction and perhaps a show case preparation program.
Ron Wise suggested we place an order through Cal Clason for shop supplies. It was agreed to proceed.
     The next general meeting will be on August 23, 2006 at the Lexington in Ventura.
     There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.
          Respectfully submitted,
          Greg Davis,
          Recording Secretary.

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No new members this month, however, please seek out our newer members at the meetings to make them feel at home and glad they came. If you are in need of membership applications or another 2006 directory please contact our membership chair person, Shirley Bromser, at a meeting.

(Webmaster's Note: If you want a printed copy of the following so you can place an order move the mouse cursor to the left of the word 'Attention', push and hold down the left mouse button, and sweep down over the ad with the mouse cursor. This will highlight the contents of the ad. Release the mouse button and, without clicking anywhere else on the page, select EDIT on the browser menu and select COPY. You may then PASTE into any word processor and print in your normal manner. If you highlight too much you may delete the unneeded part with the word processor before printing. This works with any browser I know.)

Attention New Members (or anyone needing a badge).
Need a Club Badge?
Blue Engravers is giving us a $.50 reduction per badge
for advertising space in the club bulletin!
Ventura County Shape badge $11.28 (includes. tax & ship).
ACCOUNT: Ventura Gem and Mineral Society, Inc.
Name (print clearly. It will be on your name badge):




_______________________________Zip: __________

Make check payable to and mail to (takes 5-7 business days):
Blue Engravers,
1375 Caspian Ave.,
Long Beach, CA 90813.
If ordering more than 2 badges call them for exact shipping
costs at (562) 983-5140, FAX (562) 983-5146,

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By Bob Fitzpatrick.

     We sure have had a lot of great field trips these past five years that I have been able to direct as Field Trip South Chairman. I could write a book about all the great times and adventures that everyone has had on them; I know I sure enjoyed myself. I've met some great Rockhounds from the CFMS clubs from all over California. We've collected a lot of nice minerals and even some "leave her rights" were also found. We've also enjoyed the great overnight camping, the campfires where stories were told and friendships were made and, of course, the delicious potlucks. Our groups numbered as large as 90 on some of our field trips and some of the yearly planned field trips were to Wiley Well (5 days over Thanksgiving), Gold Rock Ranch (3 days), Afton Canyon area twice a year, and Orocopia - Fluorspar, Ludlow - Thulite, Garnet Queen Mine, Turtle Mountains, Lavic Siding, Salton Sea, Calico - Early Man Site, Pebble Terrace, and many, many, more.
     I was asked to lead field trips for the CFMS back in the year 2001 and it has been a very enjoyable experience for me. There's always a lot of work setting up the trips, planning and typing up the agenda for each one, getting the word out to all the clubs, answering the e-mails about the questions people might have, writing the reports about what went on during the trips and sending it to the CFMS website and newsletter. Although it was a lot of work, I did this because I like being with other Rockhounds and doing what Rockhounds love to do. I'd like to thank all of those who helped me lead the trips, helped me set things up and helped with the potlucks. Each of you made it easier to have a successful field trip.
     This year I've started getting more clubs involved in joining our field trips. I would like to see a different club in the Southern California area join in and help lead a field trip and open it up to other coalition clubs to join in, with the CFMS Chair South helping. I would like to call it Coalition of California Clubs South for Field Trips. It is going to take some hard work to get this going. There will be more about the coalition field trips this fall. If you have any spare time and would like to volunteer to help out, please let me know. Help is ALWAYS appreciated.
     This will be my last year as Field Trip South Chairman; it's time to let some new blood take on this fun job. Again, I have enjoyed planning the field trips and hope everyone has had a wonderful adventure, collected a variety of minerals on our outings and will remember all the good times we've shared.


Ocean View Tourmaline Field Trip.

Kudos to Jim and Nancy Brace-Thompson for organizing the trip to the Ocean View mine on Sunday, July 31. Host, Lisa Koonce, met us at the Pala Casino. The beautiful gold and pink tourmaline jewelry she was wearing was mesmerizing! She also had samples of the materials found at the mine. We very quickly handed over our money and signed the necessary forms as we were anxious to get our vehicles in line to caravan to the mine! When we arrived the large pile of tailings and tables were all set up and ready for us. Instructions were to use the shovels at the edge of the pile to fill our buckets, take the material to our spot at the tables to sieve through 1/2 in., then 1/4 in. screens, washing in between, and to carefully search for the various kinds of materials. Thankfully it was a bit overcast for most of the day so it wasn't as hot as we expected except for the short period the sun came out. Some people opted to attend a brief safety talk required for a trip into the mine, just a short hike down the road a bit. Others insisted on staying behind to get as many buckets through the screens as possible. After four hours of filling buckets and looking for gems I was exhausted and ready to call it a seemed several people would still be there if the mine crew hadn't started their clean up! It was a fun, profitable trip. Greg and I came home with a couple nice pieces of pink tourmaline, some small pieces of green tourmaline, good specimens of black tourmaline, large quartz points, rutilated quartz, sputamine, lepidolite and a very small piece of aquamarine. We felt pretty good about our finds and are ready to go back. Of course, I'm anxious to see what Greg can do with these marvelous gems! I hope to be wearing some nice jewelry to one of the future VGMS meetings.

Valli (and Greg) Davis.

Editor's Note: We will keep watch for Valli's jewelry! I was fortunate enough to go on this trip as well and it was fun and interesting. Jim and Nancy Brace-Thompson, Greg and Valli Davis, Ed Clark, Ron and Isla Chegwidden along with myself and my friend, Betty Martin, were the lucky ones from Ventura. I can't say Betty & I were as lucky as Greg & Valli, but we certainly had fun looking and learning. We also went on the mine tour (it was cool in there) which was conducted under very safe conditions. They are very conscientious about safety in this mine and pointed out the various veins they have followed. I agree with Valli; kudos to Jim and Nancy!

Information correct as of 5/11/06.

Who may attend: Members of a CFMS Society that is in good standing. All non-CFMS members must become a member to attend.

  • Contact the field trip leader beforehand to sign up and for further information.
  • Remember to wear your name badge and sign in with the field trip leader.
  • A Consent and Assumption of Risk Waiver of Liability form must be signed upon arrival at meeting site.
  • CO-OP website has information:

Aug. 21-23 Virgin Valley, NV - For Opal - Stockton Lapidary & Mineral Club.
Sept. 2-4 Cedarville, CA - For petrified wood, fossil leaves, agate, obsidian. - Fossils for Fun Club.
Oct. 2-6 Petrified Forest National Park, AZ - Fossils for Fun.
Oct. 7 Soapstone Ridge, CA - For soapstone. - Calaveras Gem & Mineral Club.
Oct. 14, 15 Searles Lake, Trona, CA -For halite, hanksite, other minerals.
Nov. Barstow, CA Area - Mother Lode Gem and Mineral Club.

MLMS Ghost Sheet June 2006.

Tentative Schedule 8/11/2006.
Contact field trip leader to confirm
that there is a field trip scheduled.

September 9th Field Trip to Palos Verdes.

When: Saturday, September 9th - 9:00 am.
Where: Meet at the Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes.
Directions: Head SOUTH on the I-405 freeway, EXIT at Hawthorne Blvd. TURN RIGHT on Hawthorne Blvd. and travel about 7 miles to Palos Verdes Drive North. Turn RIGHT and continue 2 Miles to Palos Verdes Drive West. At stop sign, make a SLIGHT LEFT onto Palos Verdes Drive West. The Malaga Cove plaza is on the left.
What to bring: Collecting bags, buckets, day pack, digging tools, rock pick, pry bar, trowels, eye protection, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, large brim hat, drinking water, food, towels, change of clothes/shoes in case you get wet.
What to collect: Barite: BaSO4 or Barium Sulfide. This is a deep golden honey colored, translucent cockscomb mineral. Some sources are the beach cliffs at crack filled seams, or eroded down to the shoreline as fist-size chunks. These are great display pieces, perfect addition to any mineral collection.
Glaucophane: Na2Mg3Al2(Si8022)(OH)2 or Hydrate Sodium Magnesium AluminuniSilicate. We will find Electric colored material in the sands. It is a semi translucent stone in multicolored green hues. Black and wine red can be found. Recognizable by the semi translucent, variegated pattern. Great for tumbling, cabbing, spheres, etc.
Diatomaceous Earth.
Leaders: Brett Johnson or Ron Wise. If you have a question or need a map, call or email Brett or Ron at the numbers below.

   Date(s), Event/Location, Sponsor/Leader, Other Information.

   3-9, Camp Paradise-1, CFMS.  
   9, Palos Verdes, Bret Johnson.  
   10-16, Camp Paradise-2, CFMS.  
   23, Simi Valley, Robert Sankovich.  
   14-15, Trona G&M Show, Searles Lake, Searles Lake G&M, "Gem-O-Rama".
   4, Cinco & Castle Butte, Ron Wise.  
   17, OGMS show setup, OGMS.  
   18-19, Oxnard G&M Show, OGMS, Note change of date.
   22-26, Wiley Well, CFMS,
Bob Fitzpatrick.
   1-3, Gold Rock Ranch, CFMS,
Bob Fitzpatrick.
   6, OGMS pot luck dinner, OGMS.  
   13, VGMS Holiday dinner, VGMS.  
   ??, Nebraska.*    
   TBA, AVI Casino,* YOTMC.  
   TBA, Burro Creek, AZ,* Ron Wise.  
   TBA, PowWow, Quartzsite, AZ,* QIA.  

   Bret Johnson, 984-8872,, Oxnard G&M.
   Ron Wise, 647-4393,, Ventura G&M.
   Robert Sankovich, 494-7734,, Conejo G&M.

* Note: I will be at these events and will not have telephone service at this time - Ron Wise.
*** Please call your field trip leader to confirm that there is a field trip scheduled in the event of changes.

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Virtual Field Trips VI:
Kicking along Route 66.

     In my first installment I indicated that I would be including material only peripherally linked to the rockhound crowd, and this month I keep my promise. The topic today is Route 66. My limited familiarity with its cracked asphalt extends from Barstow to out beyond Ludlow. Along this stretch are several well-known collecting locations - Newberry, Hector, Lavic Siding, the Cady Mountains. The old highway is an enjoyable drive, quiet and less hectic than the freeway. Driving it makes me feel closer to the desert around me as opposed to the interstate that lifts the car up and away from this barren land. I know Route 66 in its current state must be a shadow of its former self. I want I know what the highway was like during its peak years, to see what interstate travel entailed before 70 mph speed limits and drive-thru restaurants turned journeys into jaunts. To find out I fired up the old laptop and cruised the internet for resources. There I found a multitude of excellent sites providing virtual tours of this well-remembered highway.
     Though no longer a major artery between Los Angeles and Chicago (and in some places no longer in existence), Route 66 still generates a nostalgic feeling for many people. From the classic song by Bobby Troup to the 1960's TV show and continuing today with the animated movie 'Cars', this highway has often been remembered by popular culture. The question for me is 'Why?' Yes, each reference on TV or the movies keeps its memory alive for a new generation, but why is that memory important to so many people? The facades of its motels and roadside diners have fallen to ruin. Dust covers sections of the old route. Even some towns along its path have died along with their host artery. So why the interest? I have my thoughts on the matter, but I'm going to wander through a few websites to learn what other people think.
     My first stop is at where I can take a simple tour of the highway. Clicking on 'Slide Show' opens a small window displaying a photo, a list of the 8 states Route 66 runs through, and control buttons for the slide show. The website will run through all its photos slowly or you can press the control keys to adjust the pace yourself. You can even choose a specific state to visit. The photos are simple, tourist fare, nothing professional, but their primitiveness adds to the feel of the Virtual Trip, making it less of a production and more like fleeting scenes glimpsed briefly through a car window. Also on the main page is one link to a detailed description of the road today, and another link to a forum containing four topics - Travel, Events, Route 66 in the Press, and News. A brief peek at the News reveals a list of discussions about the sites and businesses along the route and how they are faring. Again, I wonder what drives these people to chronicle the passing of a roadway and its accompanying landmarks.
     For more information, pictures, and a history, I travel to This is the home of the National Historic Route 66 Federation. The website is easy to navigate. Along the left side of the screen is a column of options: FAQ, About the Federation, History, Adopt-A-Hundred, Photos, Postcards, and more. I want to jump to the postcard section but the introduction draws me in with an invitation:

"Take the off ramp into a bygone era. Discover the 2,400 miles of Route 66 and see how America traveled in the 1920's-60's.
Visit the wonderful old trading posts, filling stations, motels, tourist traps, diners and villages along the scenic 'Mother Road'.
Slow down and enjoy the scents of new mown hay and hickory smoke drifting from the pit barbeque chimneys.
Stop and stroll through villages which haven't changed since they were bypassed by the interstate highway decades ago."

It then invokes the power of cultural memory - of hamburgers served with malts, forgotten values, and lonely highways where individual cars are only transient residents but the sound of engines is constant. I read the history and the final plea for saving the highway's remains. I switch to browse the vintage postcards and see unique motels that have most likely been replaced by mundane, functionary edifices. I want to see more, but the Photo Gallery is not working. Still curious, I hunt other websites.
     Soon I stumble across Route 66 - the Mainstreet of America at I read on the photo-splashed front page that Route 66 was the highway of dreams, a cultural icon, and the pathway west since 1926. It is here, in the final paragraph just above the links to photographs that will take me back to Route 66, that I find an answer to my initial question, one that resonates with me. It talks about how everything new has begun to look the same and how Route 66's history and stories stand apart from our modern era and are therefore worthy of salvation. I turn to his eight photo albums (one for each Route 66 state) and find a rich narrative accompanying haunting photos of places lost and lingering. Of all my stops, this site is the one I feel most akin to. I enjoy the bittersweet nostalgia invoked by the writer and the photos are just enough to taste the past, but not enough to choke on it. Still left are a "Now and Then" section that puts historical and contemporary photos side-by-side and the Vintage Postcard section. Both are great. I also find, at the bottom of the screen, that there are three other highways I could visit - Highways 101, 80, and 99, but they are beyond my scope and I leave them behind. I need to move on but I know this is a place I shall return to.
     There are other sites left to visit. One standout is Shadows of Old Route 66 at It is rich in history and possesses a unique interface with its virtual tour. The instructions at the bottom of the page tell you what to do and how to get there. Essentially you click on sections of the route to arrive at the images. It is done very well, but I am too tired from my prior explorations to do justice to this site's values. I'll leave it for you to explore. As for myself, I'm heading back to the Mainstreet of America to contemplate my travels.
     My question - Why the interest? - leads to a range of answers, each one tied specifically to the person asked. For myself, I can't pinpoint the exact reason. I know a sense of having missed something special is involved, like coming to a great party only after most of the guests have left and the music has been silenced. It is a feeling that what is bordering our freeways today is in no way as unique and stylish as what evolved along Route 66's scribbled path from Los Angeles to Chicago. Car travel and Route 66 grew up together. I am too young to remember the heyday of the resulting highway architecture and culture, but I can see its intriguing skeletons in the corners of my own travels. I feel I have missed, if not a better era, then a slower, simpler, more interesting one.

Lowell Foster.

*** gave permission to quote.

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By Don Monroe, AFMS Safety Chair.

     In your shop, studio, garage or barn have you ever asked yourself this question? Well, I have and one situation sticks in my mind. I was putting the finishing touches on a home-built trailer that I needed to transport our basic household necessities to my first duty station when I entered the Army. A close friend came by to bid us farewell and brought with him his two-year old son and his wife. While we admired the trailer, the little boy spotted a coke bottle sitting on one of lower beams in the garage and walked over and took a swig. The little kid choked and sputtered and cried because he wanted coke. The father then asked the question "What is in the bottle?" I really wasn't sure other than I thought it was a mixture of penetrating oil of some sort. My first thought was "stupid kid" and my second thought was that I was the stupid kid for having an unknown, unmarked, substance in the wrong container. The best part of the story was that the kid was fine, and his mother eventually spoke to me again. It really did not have to turn out that way and I felt so fortunate. Now, I always try to label things.
     During a recent "clean up campaign" in the silver studio where we teach I discovered several unknown solutions that I promptly threw away. Metal smiths are notorious for trying new and/or different fluxes, pickle solutions or cleaners or most anything else that promises improved performance. It is absolutely imperative that we do not tolerate any unknown or unmarked material. We are always positive that we will remember exactly what we mixed up or re-packaged and put up on the shelf.
     In the last class we taught I saw that a student was having a terrible time setting a cabochon in a simple piece of jewelry. After asking a few questions I learned that the student was using a strip of silver that he brought to class and assumed it was fine silver bezel material. It wasn't. It was sterling which we all know is more rigid and more difficult to set around a stone, particularly for a beginning student. The converse of this situation has also occurred when a student made prongs for a setting from fine silver when the project called for sterling silver. The setting was too flexible and would not hold the stone properly. Gremlins are always among us and miss-marked material can jump up when we least expect it.
     Other prime areas for surprise include:
          Mixing or using the wrong solder;
          Mixing or using permanent markers with dry-erase markers;
          Mixing jewelry saw blades coarse and fine.
     Well, what can we do to avoid the type of problems we have been discussing? I really do not have a foolproof solution except for attention to detail and constant alertness. What ideas do you have?

AFMS Newsletter via Rocky Review August/September 2006.

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(Use at your own risk!).

Jade Polishing Agent - A little Graphite mixed with chrome oxide and applied to a muslin buff makes a wonderful jade polishing agent. When using chrome oxide for polishing jade, mix it with a solution of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar.

Use an old phonebook for wrapping your small specimens. It can be kept in your trunk so the pages can be torn out as needed. (We had a phone book hint recently, but not about keeping it in the trunk - good idea!).

When Polishing Peridot apply a drop of lemon juice or vinegar to speed things considerably. The slight acid seems responsible for the improvement. Rinse laps and splash pans with plain water when finished.

One way to remove carbonates, such as calcite from quartz and amethyst, is to cover the specimen with fresh vinegar and allow it to stand overnight. Repeat if necessary. Wash and then place crystals in washing type ammonia for 8-12 hours. Remove, rinse thoroughly, wipe and air dry.

All of the above tips were taken from Rock Chips, The Deming G&MS, Deming, NM, June 2006 via Quarry Quips, Wichita G&MS, Wichita, KS, July 2006.

7-up can be used to clean silver and gold findings. Just dip, shake, but rinse well, and rub with a soft cloth. Make certain to use different solutions for gold and silver. From Oregon Coast Agate 11/02 via Breccia 7/06.

If you are running into trouble getting a good polish on turquoise use a piece of organdy on the wheel. It seems to be more effective than felt. - From Oregon Coast Agate 11/02 via Breccia 7/06.

Candle your Montana Agate just as you would eggs. Punch a small hole in the bottom of a two-pound coffee can, turn it upside down and place a light inside. It is surprising how the light will show the dendrites. From Stoney Statements 9/04 via Breccia 7/06.

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I would like to share the report I have sent to the AFMS on the status of CFMS. The CFMS annual show and meeting was held this year in June at Angel Camp, California, in historic gold rush country at Calaveras County fairgrounds. As the site was long and hilly the club provided electric carts to transport folks around to the meeting. CFMS celebrated our 70th anniversary at the show, with 13 past Presidents attending, cake and ice cream, and commemorative cups.

Membership update: Since last year CFMS had 1 new club join, 5 clubs did not rejoin, 4 clubs merged into 2, and 1 disbanded. Membership of clubs to CFMS as well as membership in clubs is a concern and I created an Ad hoc committee to write articles for the newsletter with ideas on how to gain new members and to keep current members. This includes club activities provided to members and public, classes and programs. I would like to thank the many clubs that have sent their good ideas so far.

CFMS activities: We only had 3 All American Club binders in competition this year, but Bulletin Aid competition had 35 entries between bulletins and adult or junior articles. We had a wonderful increase in competition cases at the annual show with 37 entries, from Education, Scrimshaw, faceting, petrified wood and carvings to lapidary and minerals. Our CFMS Scholarship Fund was able to provide scholarships to five students this year. Jim Brace-Thompson reported that CFMS had enrolled 17 new clubs in Future Rockhounds of America and mailed 137 badges to California kids. The Slide and Video library is still very active with 46 requests from Jan-April.

CFMS Earth Science Studies seminars promote lapidary activities and continue to be very active with participants. We offer one week in the southern California Mojave desert at Zzyzx in the spring and two weeks in the northern California forest at Camp Paradise in the fall. Teachers offer classes in lapidary, beading, silver work, wire wrap, stone carving, field trips and evening programs. These seminars are now in their 21st year. I have attended geology camp for many years now and placed my soapstone carving into competition for the first time. The skills learned at either club classes or CFMS classes expand our opportunities to teach others about lapidary activities and this expands membership. CFMS is doing well and looks forward to many years to come.

One new item, Diana Paradis from Fairfield Society has volunteered to compile a Demonstrators' Directory, similar to Podium People. This will include folks willing to travel to not just give programs, but to teach classes. This list will be very helpful to our clubs, please help CFMS by sending Diana your local information.

Colleen McGann,
CFMS President.


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By Jack Williams, Coordinator.

     Hey, have I got a deal for you! We're all ready for another exciting time for you at Camp Paradise. A little different time of year and some changes to the schedule, but fun and learning is still what it's all about. Our starting dates are a week earlier than in the past. Also, some of our second week classes are now on the first week and yet others are now on both weeks. So please check the schedule to sign up for the week that has your classes.
     We still have our classes in our basics as in the past. In moving things around a little we will now have copper enameling with Betty Egger which we missed last year, so you can try that again. Judy Gooch is back with her silver clay (PMC) work for the first week only. Then Judy will be teaching the glass fusion class the second week only. A new class is starting this year for all you Beaders - Shirley Hill will be there to teach us all some new and fun projects to do with beads.
     So go to the CFMS web site at, click on forms and download the "Camp Paradise Registration Form", fill it out and mail it in. Then stand by for a great time.
     Our 2006 CFMS Gem and Mineral Show at Calaveras Gem & Mineral Club's home was a great success. I can't help but wonder after seeing all those new displays in competition, did a lot of these artists get their start at an Earth Science Study Center? I do know a lot of them did get a chance to pick up new techniques or honed up on the skills they already had. Finding a new technique or another way to do a process in our art is what Camp Paradise is all about.
     If you have not found out about Camp Paradise, it's about time someone let you in on our big secret. It's not only very educational, but it's also a lot of fun, and you sure can't beat the price. Just look at the back of the Registration Form, take a look at all the classes being offered. Please let me know just where there is a better deal, I want to go.
     Well, if I were to tell you why I love it so, it's 'cause I get to see all you folks there.


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The Internal Revenue Service recently announced it would step up efforts to enforce rules against political campaign activities. In the 2004 elections, the IRS noticed an upturn in politicking on the part of 501(c)(3) organizations. The agency responded by increasing its educational efforts and launching an enforcement program, the Political Activity Compliance Initiative (PACI), to investigate specific, credible allegations of wrongdoing.

While the vast majority of charities and churches do not engage in politicking, an increasing number did take part in prohibited activities in the 2004 election cycle, IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said. The rule against political campaign intervention by charities and churches is long established. We are stepping up our efforts to enforce it.

The IRS has put procedures into place for the 2006 election season to more quickly address instances of potential prohibited activity on the part of charities, churches and other tax-exempt organizations. The procedures are meant to ensure that public referrals as well as activities the IRS itself uncovers are reviewed expeditiously and treated in a consistent, fair and nonpartisan manner.

As a rule, charities, religious organizations such as churches, educational organizations and other groups that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code may not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

This prohibition means 501(c)(3) organizations may not endorse candidates, distribute statements for or against candidates, raise funds for or donate to candidates or become involved in any activity that would be either supportive or opposed to any candidate.

Whether an organization is engaging in prohibited political campaign activity depends upon all the facts and circumstances in each case. For example, organizations may sponsor debates or forums to educate voters. But if the debate or forum shows a preference for or against a certain candidate, it becomes a prohibited activity.

Source: IRS e-news, submitted by Mike Kokinos, Tax Advisor.


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A Black and White Drawing of an Old Time Miner with Coveralls and a Shovel Standing on a Pile of Potential Treasures.California's geological forces have created one of the widest varieties of rocks and minerals found in any state. This rock and mineral wealth has long been recognized by rockhounds even before the gold rush days.

Early rockhounds were prospectors looking for valuable minerals and gemstones for commercial purposes. Eventually, however, more people were drawn to rockhounding for recreational purposes, mainly for the beauty that rocks and minerals provide.

By the 1930s, interest in rockhounding increased significantly and it was during this period that rockhounding groups were formed and collecting areas in the desert were publicized.

With increased popularity of rockhounding, some rockhounds regarded certain areas as their own and feared that other collectors would deplete their rocks and minerals. This led to substantial amounts of material being removed and an increase in mining claims. By the 1960s the government saw a need to regulate the collection of rocks and minerals on public lands.

Visitors to the Mojave Desert often ask where they can rockhound. Perhaps the best source of information is rock, gem, and mineral groups found in communities throughout southern California. Libraries, bookstores, and "gem and mineral shows" are also very good sources of published information. Although any hill, mountain, or wash can provide some wonderful rock and mineral discoveries, the following listed areas are some of the well-known sites visited by rockhounds in which good samples can still be found.

Many rockhounding sites require hiking or driving to remote areas on sandy or rocky roads where there is a possibility of getting stuck. It is always a good idea to travel in a group and to bring plenty of drinking water with you when traveling in the desert. If you must travel alone, be sure to let someone know of your plans. Remember to stay on designated open roads. Cross country travel is illegal, as is driving in designated Wilderness Areas.

Rules and Regulations.
Part 8365 of Title 43 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) provides for the collecting of "reasonable quantities" of rocks, minerals, semiprecious gemstones, and invertebrate and plant fossils of non-scientific importance, for personal use. With respect to rockhound material, the Field Office considers a "reasonable quantity" to be not more than can be carried in a daypack. Regulations do not allow collecting on "developed recreation sites and areas," or where otherwise prohibited or posted. Care should be exercised not to collect minerals on mining claims. Most claimants will allow rockhounding if the individual interested in rock collecting first asks permission. Remember, it is your responsibility to determine if an area is open to collection or if you are on private land.

Petrified Wood - The collection of petrified wood is governed by regulations found in Part 3622 of Title 43 CFR. Persons may collect petrified wood for non-commercial purposes without charge, from public lands. There is a limit of 25 pounds per person per day, plus one piece (to avoid breaking a large piece) to a maximum of 250 pounds per year.

Vertebrate Fossils - The collection of vertebrate fossils is illegal on public lands without a paleontological permit. Violators will be prosecuted under the "theft of government property" provision of 18 USC (United States Code), Section 641, and may face a minimum fine of $1,000 and a year in jail, and up to $10,000 and 10 years in jail. Permits to paleontologists are available from BLM State Offices.

Prehistoric Artifacts - Virtually all sources of colored silica (agate, chalcedony, jasper, obsidian, etc.) have been historically used by Native Americans in the building of weapons and other tools. The collection of any artifacts, including projectile points, ovate bifaces, cores, flakes, and all other material worked by prehistoric cultures and now found on public lands, is prohibited by the Antiquities Act of 1906, and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, without an archaeological permit; such permits may be obtained from BLM State Offices.

Rock for Decorative Purposes - With respect to the collecting of decorative veneer stone, the Barstow Field Office considers a "reasonable quantity" to be not more than can be carried in the trunk of a car.

Mining Claims - The requirements for location of mining claims on public lands for commercial mineral development is contained in various Federal Regulations. The information is also available in an easily readable publication entitled "Discovery, Location, Recordation, and Assessment Work for Mining Claims in California." This publication can be purchased at any BLM office. BLM field offices maintain a record of location for active and abandoned mining claims in the LR-2000 computer system.

Maps - Desert Access Guide Maps showing the distribution of public and private lands are available for sale at BLM offices. These maps can be purchased at any BLM office.
   California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553 (951) 697-5200.
   Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Rd., Barstow, CA 92311 (760)252-6000.
   Needles Field Office, 101 W. Spikes Rd., Needles, CA 92363 (760)326-7000.
   Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 S. Richmond Rd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555 (760) 384-5400.
   Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, 690 W. Garnet Ave, N. Palm Springs, CA 92258 (760) 251-4800.
   El Centro Field Office, 1661 South 4th, El Centro, CA 92243 (760) 337-4400.

Additional Information - If you would like additional reading material on rockhounding, please visit the California Welcome Center, Tanger Way, Barstow, CA 92311 (760)253-4813.

Rockhounding Locations:
   1. Opal Mountain Black Mountain - 5 miles north of Fossil Bed Road via dirt road. Jasper, Nodules, Opal.
   2. Mule Canyon - 3 miles north of Yermo. Agate, Borax, Celestite, Jasper, Olivine, Petrified Wood, Satin Spar, Silver, Travertine, Olivine.
   3. Alvord Mine - 7 miles north of Manix via dirt road. Agate, Calcite, Chalcedony, Jasper, Pyrite.
   4. Pisgah Crater - 1 mile south of Interstate-40 off of Historic Route 66. Lava, Volcanic Bombs.
   5. Cady Mountains - 6 miles north of Pisgah via dirt road. Agate, Chalcedony, Geodes, Jasper.
   6. Afton Canyon - 1 mile southeast of Afton off ramp via dirt road. Agate, Calcite, Chalcedony, Jasper, Nodules.
   7. Broadwell Dry Lake - 6 miles north of Ludlow via Crucero Road; west to hilly area. Banded Agate, Moss Agate, Geodes, Jasper, Onyx.
   8. Halloran Spring - Turquoise Mountain North of Halloran Springs. Azurite, Turquoise.

Reprinted from California-BLM Newsletter

Submitted by John Martin P.L.A.C. South,


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     Also called Rose Del Inca, this rare and beautiful pink stone is almost exclusively mined in a remote Andean region of Argentina known as Capilita.
     Its name comes from the Greek word "Rhodo" for rise and "Chros" for color. It is popularly known as Inca Rose because this semi-precious stone was discovered by the Inca civilization and treasured by them around the 12th century AD.
     Generations later, a man named Franz Mansfiel rediscovered the mine and during one of his explorations, found the Inca mummy that held in its hand an amulet carved out of this unique stone. Most unusual formations with a circular pattern of light and dark Rhodochrosite occur in this Argentine treasure chest.
     Highly artistic pieces are hand carved out of the legendary Inca Rose, although due to its rarity and cost, smaller pieces are more often frequently cut today.

From Chips 'N Splinters 8/01, via ROCKY REVIEW JUNE/JULY 2006.

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From the California Geologic Survey.

     Serpentine rock is apple-green to black and is often mottled with light and dark colored areas. Its surfaces often have a shiny or wax-like appearance and a slightly soapy feel. Serpentine is usually fine-grained and compact but may be granular, platy, or fibrous in appearance. The term "serpentine" is commonly used by the general public to refer to the rock type that geologists call "serpentinite". Serpentine occurs in central and northern California -- in the Coast Ranges, the Klamath Mountains, and in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
     Serpentine rock is primarily composed of one or more of the three magnesium silicate minerals, "lizardite," "chrysotile," and "antigorite." Chrysolite often occurs as fibrous veinlets in serpentine. Chrysolite in fibrous form is the most common type of asbestos. Asbestos is a term applied to a group of silicate minerals that readily separates into thin, strong, and flexible fibers that are heat resistant. Lizardite and antigorite do not form asbestos fibers and instead are plate-like in form. Because serpentine often contains some asbestos, and exposure to asbestos fibers have potential human health consequences, the Air Resources Board adopted regulations in 1990 restricting the use of this rock type as an unpaved road surfacing material. Further information on restrictions for serpentine use in California can be obtained by contacting Air Resources Board at (916) 322-8285, or the local Air Pollution Control District Offices. See our asbestos page for information about asbestos in El Dorado County, a brochure that describes the issue, and related web links.
     Serpentine is considered by geoscientists to be the metamorphosed remains of magnesium-rich igneous rocks, most commonly the rock peridotite, from the earth's mantle. The mantle is a thick layer of rock just below the earth's crust. One theory for serpentine formation and occurrence currently in favor with many geoscientists is that peridotite underlying rocks have been metamorphosed to serpentine in subduction zones that existed at various times in California's past. A subduction zone is an area where ocean crust rocks run into and slide underneath the edge of a continent. Because serpentine has a much lower density than peridotite, it rose toward the surface along major regional thrust faults associated with the subduction zones.
     From Long Beach Mineral and Gem Society via MOROKS Monrovia Rockhounds Newsletter August 2006.

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(If you go to any Web Sites
close the new window to return here.)

SEPTEMBER 1-4; FORT BRAGG, CA - Mendocino Coast Gem & Mineral Society, Town Hall @ Main & Laurel. Hours: Fri-Sun. 10-6, Mon. 10-4. Don McDonell (707) 964-3116.
SEPTEMBER 16-17; PASO ROBLES, CA - Santa Lucia Rockhounds, Pioneer Park and Museum, 2010 Riverside Avenue. Hours: 10-5 both days. Joyce Baird (805) 462-9544. Email:
SEPTEMBER 16-17; REDWOOD CITY, CA - Sequoia Gem & Mineral Society, Community Activities Building, 1400 Roosevelt Avenue. Hours: 10-5 both days. Show Website: Carol Corden (650) 248-7155. Email:
SEPTEMBER 22-24, SAN BERNARDINO, CA -Orange Belt Mineralogical Society, 6th Annual Rock/Gem & Jewelry Show, Western Regional Little League Ball Park, 6707 Little League Drive. Hours: Fri./Sat. 9-6, Sun. 9-4. Mile Wollery (909) 882-6806 or Al Carrell (951) 961-5988.
SEPTEMBER 23; LOS ALTOS, CA - Peninsula Gem & Geology Society, Rancho Shopping Center, Foothill Expressway & Springer Road. Hours: 9:30-4:45. Jennifer House (408) 243-7025.
SEPTEMBER 23-24; CARMEL, CA - Carmel Valley Gem & Mineral Society, Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Road. Hours: Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5. Sky Paxton (831) 755-7741. Email: Website:
SEPTEMBER 23-24; DOWNEY, CA - Delvers Gem & Mineral Society, Woman's Club of Downey, 9813 Paramount Blvd. Hours Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-4. Teresa Widdison (562) 867-1521. Email:
SEPTEMBER 23-24; SAN DIEGO, CA - San Diego Lapidary Society, Bernardo Winery, 13330 Paseo Del Vernao Norte, Rancho Bernardo, CA. Hours: 10-4 both days. Kim Hutsell (619) 294-3914. Email:
OCTOBER 1; FALBROOK, CA - Falbrook Gem & Mineral Society, 123 W. Alva (FBMS headquarters). Hours: 10-4. Club web site: There is a map on the web site. Janice Bricker (760) 728-1333.
OCTOBER 14; WEST HILLS, CA - Woodland Hills Rock Chippers Eighth Annual Gem & Mineral Show, First United Methodist Church, 22700 Sherman Way. Hours: 10-5 both days. Virginia Rotramel (818) 790-7598. Email: Web site:
OCTOBER 14-15; GRASS VALLEY, CA - Nevada County Gem & Mineral "Earth's Treasures". Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road. Hours: 10-4 both days. Cliff Swenson (530) 272-3752.
OCTOBER 14-15; TRONA, CA - Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society "Gem-O-Rama", Searles Lake Gem & Mineral, 13337 Main Street. Hours: Sat. 7:30-5, Sun. 7:30-4. Bonnie Fairchild (760) 372-5356. Email:
OCTOBER 21-22; ANDERSON, CA - Shasta Gem & Mineral Society, Shasta District Fairgrounds. Hours: Sat. 10-5, Sun. 10-4. Alex Stoltz (530) 474-4400.
OCTOBER 21-22; WHITTIER, CA - Whittier Gem & Mineral Society, Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Avenue. Hours: 10-5 both days. Jay Valle (626) 934-9764. Email:
OCTOBER 27-28; NORTHRIDGE, CA - Del Air Rockhounds GEMboree, United Methodist Church, 9650 Reseda Blvd. (at Superior St.). Hours: Fri. 3-9:30 pm, Sat. 10-5. Bill Wendler (818) 993-0119. Email:
OCTOBER 28-29; STOCKTON, CA - Stockton Lapidary & Mineral Club, San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, 1658 Airport Way. Hours: Sat. 10-5; Sun. 10-4. Jim Dunlap (209) 478-0747. Web Site:
OCTOBER 28-29; VISTA, CA - Vista Gem & Mineral Society, Brengle Terrace Recreation Center, 1200 Vale Terrace. Hours: Sat. 10-5, Sun. 10-4. Mary Anne Mital (760) 758-4599.
NOVEMBER 4-5; CONCORD, CA - Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society, Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. Hours: 10-5 each day. Sam Woolsey (925) 837-3287. Email:
NOVEMBER 4-5; LANCASTER, CA - Palmdale Gem & Mineral Club, "Rock n Gem Roundup", Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2552 West Avenue H. Hours: 9-5 both days. Susan Walblom (661) 943-1861. E-mail:
NOVEMBER 4-5; RIDGECREST, CA - Indian Wells Gem & Mineral Society, Desert Empire Fairgrounds, 520 S. Richmond Road, (760) 375-8000, RV Parking. Hours: 9-5 both days. John De Rosa (760) 375-7905
NOVEMBER 4-5; SAN DIEGO, CA - San Diego Mineral & Gem Society, Al Bahr Shrine Center (behind Hampton Inn), 5440 Kearny Mesa Road. Hours: Sat. 9:30-5, Sun. 10-4. Wayne Moorhead (858) 586-1637.
NOVEMBER 10, 11, 12; SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento Mineral Society, 64th Annual "Harvest of Gems", Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H Street. Hours: Fri. 9-5, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-4. Sheldon Shuper (916) 383-9153. Email:
NOVEMBER 11-12; YUBA CITY, CA - Sutter Buttes Gem & Mineral "Festival Of Gems & Minerals", Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds (Franklin Hall), 442 Franklin Avenue. Hours: 9-4 both days. Cliff Swenson (530) 272-3752.
NOVEMBER 18-19; LIVERMORE, CA - Livermore Valley Lithophites, The Barn, 3131 Pacific Avenue. Hours: Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5. Joyce & Dick Friesen (925) 447-8223. Email:
NOVEMBER 18-19; OXNARD, CA - Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society, Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. Hours: Sat. 9-5, Sun. 9-4. Norb Kinsler (805) 644-6450. Show Website:
NOVEMBER 25-26; VICTORVILLE, CA - Victor Valley Gem & Mineral Club, San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, 14800 7th Street. Hours: Sat. 9-5; Sun. 9-4. Joe Kosik (760) 241-0894.
NOVEMBER 25-26; BARSTOW, CA - Mojave Desert Gem & Mineral Society, Barstow Community Center, 841 Barstow Road. Hours: 10-5 both days. Gene Haines (760) 256-0595.
DECEMBER 2-3; ORANGEVALE, CA - American River Gem & Mineral Society, Orangevale Grange, 5805 Walnut Avenue, near Madison Ave. Hours 10-5 both days. Evelyn Tipton (916) 372-3452. Email:


November 17-19, West Palm Beach, FL.

August 14-20, Nashville, TN.
Middle Tennessee Gem & Mineral Society Convention: 8/15-20; Show: 8/18-20. Hotel Preston @ 733 Briley Parkway. Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Creative Arts Bldg., Wedgewood Avenue. Show hours: Fri./Sat. 9-6, Sun. 10-5. Website: Lewis Elrod (615 893-8270. email:

August 18-20, Bossier City, LA.

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I want to thank all those who have contributed to the bulletin and get it to me on a timely basis. It definitely makes our job easier and your input makes it more interesting. Thank you for the recent photos, however keep in mind that we enjoy sharing your experiences so keep the photos coming. You can email them or send via mail or bring to a meeting. Sharing is fun for all! Just for the record any unsigned articles are by the Editor.

A Black and White Drawing of Trili - The Editor's Pet Trilobite.
Trili - The Editor's
Pet Trilobite.
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Definition of the Month.

The Transverse Ranges - A large physiographic province in Southern California composed of a series of east-west trending mountain ranges and intervening valleys. This region extends from the coast at Point Arguello in Santa Barbara County eastward to the Eagle Mountains of Riverside County. Ventura County is entirely within this province. The area is characterized by structurally complex geologic features, diverse rock types and a wide range of topographic relief. Some of the major mountain ranges within the province include (listed west to east): the Santa Ynez Mts., Topa Topa Mts., Santa Susana Mts., Santa Monica Mts., San Gabriel Mts., San Bernardino Mts., Little San Bernardino Mts., Pinto Mts. and the Eagle Mountains. The word "Transverse" stems from the fact that this group of mountain ranges trends opposite the general north-south alignment of most geomorphic features in the State.
     The Transverse Ranges are known as a highly mineralized area of California. Mines developed throughout this region have yielded huge volumes of precious metals, semi-precious metals, base metals, industrial minerals and gem minerals. Over 80 oil and gas fields have been developed in this region since the late 1800s yielding billions of barrels of crude oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. It is also an area that has yielded a wide variety of minerals, rocks and fossils for scientists and amateur collectors. The region has also been known for its scenic beauty and as a great destination for field trips related to science.
     Written by Steve Mulqueen for the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, August 2006. The "Definition of the Month" features words related to geology, paleontology, mining and desert history.

Illustration of the Month.

A Color Drawing of Johnnie Hastie's Bus.
"Johnnie Hastie & The 29 Palms Stage", a portion of Mural #9, from "An Oasis of Murals", Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino County, CA. Painted by the artist Tim O'Connor of Twentynine Palms, dedicated February 15, 1997.

     This mural is one of over twenty large painted murals prepared by numerous artists on exterior walls of buildings throughout the community of Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert of California. This mural measures 13' high X 32' wide and is on a wall of a building located at 73339 Twentynine Palms Highway (State Highway 62).
     In 1994, the Action Council for 29 Palms, Inc. initiated a project to invite artists to illustrate and paint murals representing the desert's rich history. The ideas behind the murals were to boost civic pride, to make the community more inviting to visitors and to educate the public on matters concerning local history within this general region of the high desert.
     This mural was dedicated to Johnnie Hastie who provided public transportation between Twentynine Palms and Banning between 1938 and 1973. In 1938 Johnnie built his first bus from a 1928 Chevrolet truck. He added a wooden body, 12 seats for passengers and a sturdy roof with luggage rack. A wood-burning stove was also installed in order to provide heat for the passengers during the cold winter months. Often times, passengers brought their own firewood. When gas rationing was implemented during World War II, Johnnie ran shopping errands in Banning, buying and hauling everything from clothing, groceries, restaurant supplies and mining equipment. Before any financial institutions existed in Twentynine Palms, Johnnie provided courier service for local businesses to and from banks in Banning. In the early years, remote desert communities such as Twentynine Palms survived only because of the availability of supplies from larger cities.
     For more information refer to the website of the Action Council for 29 Palms, Inc. at the following web address:

Text written by Steve Mulqueen.

The "Illustration of the Month" features a drawing, sketch, pen & ink rendering, engraving print or any form of art rediscovered in books, maps, manuscripts and many other sources related to geology, paleontology, mining and desert history. This illustration was chosen for its educational content by Steve Mulqueen, Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, August 2006.

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Field Trip to the Oceanview Tourmaline Mine,
All Photos Provided by Valli Davis.

A Color Photo Showing the Tailings Pile and Tables as They Appeared When the Group Arrived.

1. Picture of tailings pile & tables.

A Color Photo of the Group Getting Their Instructions After Arrival.

2. The group getting instructions.

A Color Photo of Part of the Group including Ron Chegwidden in the Center with the Hat and Ed Clark in the Green Shirt at the Right.

3. Ready to have a go at the pile -- Ron Chegwidden in center, Ed Clark in green shirt at right.

A Color Photo of Greg Davis Searching Through the Material.

4. Greg Davis spreading and surveying the material through the 1/2 in. screen with trowel.

A Black and White Drawing of One of Our Favorite Dinosaurs.

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