April 16-17, 2021 Field Trip to Tecopa/Sperry Wash

We’ll be rock hunting near Sperry Wash in Tecopa, CA on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17. We’ll camp out on Thursday and Friday nights. Saturday night camping is optional . A high clearance (SUV or pickup truck) is required for this trip.   

There will be plenty of variety on this trip, as we’re searching for amethyst, precious opal, fossils, and palm root agate. Please RSVP to Rex at rexch8@yahoo.com for updates and additional information.

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Check out our latest new find! A most unusual pattern of Sperry Wash Jasper
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Tecopa fire opal

Obsidian Featured Presentation for Tuesday, April 20, 2021 Program Meeting; 6:30 p.m.

Obsidian is a popular lapidary material to collect and cut. Join Pasadena Lapidary Society at the April general meeting, as lapidary artist Terry Wilson takes us on a virtual trip to Davis Creek and other obsidian collecting locations, updating us on collecting site regulations. Terry will share tips on how to inspect the obsidian in the field and back at home. She will also demonstrate how to line up, slab and cab the material to bring out the best of their unique optical properties, including how to cut a cab exhibiting the cat-eye effect.

Obsidian with Silver sheen banding.
Snowflake Obsidian

The April Rock of the Month will be presented by geologist, Dick Weber.  Dick will take us on a tour of a hidden treasure: the Petrified Wood museum of Nebraska.

Join us virtually for the April 20 Tuesday night meeting by RSVPing to joenmar1[at]verizon.net for a Zoom meeting link, using ‘PROGRAM MEETING’ in subject line.

March 13 Sidewinder/Ord Mtn fieldtrip

Attendees of Pasadena Lapidary Society’s fieldtrip of Saturday, March 13 collected tricolor marble from the Sidewinder Mtn area and copper minerals from Ord Mountain.

Chrysocolla on quartz found vicinity of Ord Mtn.
Malachite on Cuprite and Quartz


Parked and ready to rock(hound). Vicinity of Ord Mountain.

Old mine shaft; Ord Mountain.

Careful collecting on hillside; Ord Mtn area.

Explore the Geologic Diversity of New Zealand; Virtual Program Meeting March 16, 2021, 6:30 pm

Glacial deposits: moraines of till and moraine-dammed lakes; glacial erosion, U-shaped valley and glacial horn and arete (Aoraki / Mount Cook in background). geologictimepics.com

Pasadena Lapidary Society’s Tuesday, March 16 program meeting will feature geologists Dick and Mary Pat Weber, whose presentation will focus on the geological wonder of New Zealand. From volcanoes to glaciers, caves and fjords, finding so much variety of terrain in such a small geographical area would be impossible anywhere else on Earth.

Paparoa National Park; NewZealand.com

The Webers are exploration geologists who spent a month in 2007 visiting every corner of this tiny island nation; they have worked and travelled extensively in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Ferdinand von Hochstetter’s map of the Auckland volcanic field (1859); Wikipedia

Our program meeting will also feature the Rock of the Month, by PLS member David Lacey, whose presentations are always informative.

Interested in joining us virtually for Tuesday night’s meeting? Then RSVP to joenmar1[at]verizon.net for a Zoom meeting link, using ‘PROGRAM MEETING’ in subject line.

March 13, 2021 Field Trip to Sidewinder/Ord Mountain

March’s field trip will be a return to the Sidewinder Mountains.  High clearance or short wheelbase vehicles are recommended for this trip. 2wd is okay. Those with passenger vehicles might need to be shuttled when we get close to the collecting sites. We’ll be searching for both tri-color marble (pictured above) and blue marble.  Tri-color marble is a beautiful green, black, and white material and is perfect for yard rock and spheres.  It’s also a good beginner material for making cabochons. We’ll also explore tailings piles in the Ord Mountains for chrysocolla and malachite.  copper minerals

Our last stop will be to the Prime Cut Rock Show in Lucerne Valley.

Please email Rex at rexch8@yahoo.com for updates and additional information.

Focus on Ametrine for Tuesday, February 16th

Join us for our next virtual general meeting on Tuesday, February 16th. We will be joined by our friend, Professor George R. Rossman. Professor Rossman will highlight the troubled history of Ametrine. Specifically, he will discuss the controversy that developed about ametrine early on, and his personal experience traveling to Brazil amethyst mines, the Bolivia ametrine mine, and Russia where synthetic ametrine was produced. RSVP to joenmar1[at]verizon.net for a Zoom meeting link, using ‘AMETRINE’ in subject line.

The Rock of the Month will be presented by PLS member Phil Lahr, who will discuss “Tumbling through the Pandemic” – a personal journey of rock tumbling triumphs and tragedies during the summer of 2020.

Lavic Siding February 13th, 2021

Miles from Pasadena, about a third of the way between Barstow and Needles, is the sleepy town of Ludlow, CA.  Most of the time, people never even notice it’s there, unaware that a well known jasper collecting area beckons in the blistering desert heat.  Such is Ludlow most of the year. 

Ludlow in the dead of winter is totally different. The ground is stripped of vegetation, blown away as tumbleweeds, or consumed by moisture-loving denizens of shifting desert sands.  The barren landscape causes the jasper to magically appear on the desert floor waiting for us to pick it up.  February’s trip will be on Saturday the 13th, to the renowned Lavic Railroad Siding jasper location near Ludlow, CA.  Our meetup spot is 148 miles from Pasadena.  We’ll meet there at 9 AM. Late arrivals will miss the fieldtrip. Read on for further information.

All colors, shapes, sizes of jaspers and agates cover the ground at Lavic Siding.

Since this is a semi-local trip, it will be for one day only.  We’ll explore the traditional Lavic Jasper collecting areas and the brindle jasper location in the foothills north of Ludlow.  

A high clearance vehicle is required for this trip, but 4wd is always better. Attendees will need to sign a waiver of liability.   RSVP is required.  Please email rexch8[at]yahoo.com for directions, inserting LAVIC FIELDTRIP in the subject field of your email.

Red, ochre, brown, black… jaspers, agates… one in back has some drusy.. all found in the vicinity of Lavic Siding.

QIA PowWow at Quartzsite, January 2021

A peek inside one of the display cases at the QIA PowWow 2021, held last month.

Pasadena Lapidary Society member Sue Pang shared some pics she’d taken during her visit in January to the annual QIA PowWow in Quartzsite, AZ. Members who didn’t make it out there this year were certainly there in spirit, as we’re not just lapidarists; we’re ROCKHOUNDS. For those who don’t know, the QIA PowWow is a rockhound’s mega candy store.

A Noreen Jasper slab from Australia fills the bottom of this lovely pine needle basket, created by Pamela Caskey. Pamela has taught other basket weavers.
Vendors George and Sharon hold spiderweb stromatolite at last month’s QIA PowWow in Quartzsite.
Artist Pamela Caskey developed a way to set pictures in resin to use them as basket bases.
Polished slab base in basket and lovely pendants below were on display at the QIA PowWow in Quartzsite last month.
One of the many unusual stones offered by vendors at the annual QIA PowWow in Quartzsite, AZ… leopard agate
Some sizable chunks of beautiful Lapis Lazuli, at vendor booth of a past year’s QIA PowWow in Quartzsite.

Pasadena Lapidary Society Member Awarded Scholarship by CFMS

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.

Photo taken on Taal Volcano overlook in early January 2020, days before the Jan. 12 phreatomagnatic eruption that boiled off the crater lake in the immediate background and buried the entire surrounding area in ash.

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.

Paolo in the San Gabriel Mountains

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.