Members of Pasadena Lapidary Society, along with most serious rockhounds, wait anxiously all year to make the 3-1/2 hour trek to Quartzsite, AZ in January. Some stay right into February, camping nearby in order to go rockhounding at their leisure, and others check in to the few motels in town or travel the 22 miles back/forth to Blythe, CA for lodging.
One of the biggest draws in Quartzsite is the QIA POWWOW, always held the third week in January. This year the POWWOW runs from January 20-24. If you’ve never been, the POWWOW is like a huge swap meet focused on gems, minerals, rocks and everything related. Admission is free and so is parking. Here’s a weblink to check it out: http://www.qiaarizona.org/.
Self-professed as “The Rock Capital of the World”, Quartzsite is a town in La Paz County of +/- 2,000 inhabitants that swells to a couple of million in January and February each year. Situated 125 miles west of Phoenix at the junction of Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 95, it enjoys a close association with the Colorado River, just 18 miles to the west.
Pasadena Lapidary Society (PLS) is proud to announce that member Paolo Sanchez of Burbank has been awarded the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies’ (CFMS) Robert O. Deidrich Memorial Fund Scholarship for school year 2020-21. This award was established some fifty years ago by the late Melba Deidrich in memory of her husband Robert. The recipient of the $2,000 award must be an Earth Sciences major entering his/her junior or senior year at either UC Berkeley or Stanford University. Pasadena Lapidary Society is one of many member clubs in the CFMS.
As Filipino-Americans, Paolo’s parents Debbie and Ferdie trained and worked hard to establish themselves in the U.S.’s medical industry, and through their dedication and experience—as well as wonderful support from his older brother Joshua and younger sister Danielle—Paolo has been able to obtain a first-generation, U.S.-college education at UC Berkeley. With this he plans to continue his passion in the geosciences, working his way up to a PhD and possibly obtaining a career as a professional researcher. He is in his third year of double majoring in geology and geophysics and is developing a research project involving the chemistry of molten glasses (tektites) formed during the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs (a.k.a. the K-Pg Impact) 66 million years ago.
Paolo became interested in Earth Sciences as a kindergartener, developing an affinity for rockhounding through the years by reading geology field books and old textbooks, then applying that knowledge in the domain. He joined PLS as a Junior member at the age of 12 and since then he has given lectures about geology at PLS’ monthly program meetings, led educational rock and mineral identification seminars, and authored/coauthored numerous geological and mineralogical articles in the monthly PLS newsletter Rockhound Ramblings, among numerous invaluable contributions he has made to the Club. As part of Pasadena Lapidary Society’s community outreach, Paolo has taught basic geoscience to local elementary school students, along with providing hands-on teaching techniques with self-collected rock and mineral specimens.
Prior to UC Berkeley, Paolo interned at Cal State Northridge for a year, doing research for the Geological Sciences Department. At present he is a Research Assistant at both the Berkeley Geochronology Center and at the UC Berkeley Earth and Planetary Sciences Dept. Paolo is also an editor and contributor to the popular non-commercial online mineralogical database mindat.org.
Along with his family, Pasadena Lapidary Society shares great pride in Paolo’s accomplishments, congratulates him at winning this prestigious award, and wishes him much success in his future endeavors.
The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies represents over 100 gem and rockhound clubs statewide, as well as a few clubs in Nevada and Arizona. Visit cfmsinc.org for further information.
Pasadena Lapidary Society’s 62nd Annual Tournament of Gems to be held in Arcadia, California. Featuring gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry displays, vendors, raffle prizes, demonstrations and educational fun for kids, our annual gem and mineral show is being planned.Stay tuned for further information.
PLS Members visited one of our favorite spots for gemstones in the North Cady Mountains, about three hours northeast of Pasadena, over Thanksgiving weekend.
The Cady Mountains have produced more gemstones than almost any other Southern California location and we explored the northern part of the range, looking for jasper, agate, fluorite, calcite, and amethyst in places where few rock hounds go. You can join us in the Cadys sometime in the future, by becoming a member of Pasadena Lapidary Society. Check out the photos below to see some of our finds.
Our March Program Meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in the Donald Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Central Library, has been canceled based on guidance from the Pasadena Library administration in consideration of the Coronavirus. Information will be posted here in the weeks to come regarding the April Program meeting. Stay safe out there.
Rhodochrosite is so popular with members of Pasadena Lapidary Society that we’re bringing back a two-part video featuring the mining and geology of this lovely mineral. Part One will be presented at the Tuesday, February 18th program meeting. Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral that ranges in color from light pink to bright red.
The February Rock of the Month Talk speaker is PLS member Karl Stull. Karl will share some tips and ideas for organizing a co-op display case for Pasadena Lapidary Society’s Annual Gem Show, coming in April.
Pasadena Lapidary Society members are continually picking up rocks, wondering what might be inside if cut. More often than not, as one might guess, the inside of a rock can be very similar to the outside. Every now and then, however, we’re happily surprised to find a sparkling cluster of crystals, bursts of unexpected colors or even images inside a rock. These images can be eerily realistic, or perhaps resemble an impressionist painting of beach scenes, faces, landscapes, etc. Ken Rogers of the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club, will be the featured speaker at our Tuesday, January 21st meeting when he discusses “Pictures in Rocks”. Attendees of the meeting are encouraged to bring their own favorite picture rocks to share on the Display Table.
Our January Rock of the Month talk will be presented by PLS member David Lacy with a focus on Feldspar. Did you know that Moonstone and Labradorite are feldspars? Come to the meeting to find out more about this luminescent mineral.
The Tuesday, January 21st meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Main Library at 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101. Open to the public. FREE. Come join us for some rock fun!