A Geologic Tour of Australia, via Zoom, is featured presentation for Tues., May 18 Program Meeting; 6:30 p.m.

Image from ga.gov.au

Join us for our May 18 Program Meeting as we explore Australia’s most iconic natural wonders and visit several geologic sites that are unfamiliar to most people. Our guests, Dick & Mary Pat Weber, are retired exploration geologists and will take us on the armchair trip. In 2007 and 2008 they spent a year on what they refer to as their “Rocks ‘n Crocs” tour of Australia looking at and photographing the natural features and geology of the largest country in Oceania.

Andradite garnet: Green andradite garnet of the demantoid variety on a matrix of marble. This specimen is about 8.9 x 6.5 x 4.8 centimeters in size and was collected in Antsiranana Province, Madagascar. Garnets formed within marble often have excellent crystal form and are of very high quality. Specimen and photo by Arkenstone / www.iRocks.com.

For our May Rock of the Month talk, Mary Pat Weber will present an introduction to a lesser known member of the garnet family, the rare and highly prized green garnet, which gives emerald a run for its money.

The Tuesday, May 18 program meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. To join us, send an email to joenmar1[at]verizon.net in advance, using ‘PROGRAM MEETING’ in subject line, and request the Zoom meeting link. We hope to “see” you there!

Rock Show Coming to Apple Valley

Gem & Mineral show at Town’s End ‘The Market’, June 4-5

Yes, there really is going to be an actual gem & mineral show, which one can attend IN PERSON, coming next month to the Inland Empire. IT IS NOT Pasadena Lapidary Society’s show (ours is planned for August), but we wanted to share the news about this show merely For The Love of Rocks!!! So, if you want to get out of town on Friday or Saturday, June 4/5, this show will be held at Town’s End ‘The Market’ in Apple Valley. Check out the image below for more info.

Where’s Apple Valley, you might ask? It’s a couple of hours, give or take, from Pasadena. In a nutshell, take the 210 East (toward San Bernardino), to the I-15 North (toward Barstow), then exit for CA-18 toward Apple Valley. Note the address in the bottom left corner of the image above for event location. Keep in mind, the gem and mineral show is a FREE event. The tickets mentioned toward the bottom of image are for a concert.

Eastern Sierra Field Trip Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Forsaking the desert, we’ll head deep into the forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The PLS May field trip will be to the Obsidian Dome area where we will study the products of volcanic activity near Mammoth Lakes, CA. Geologically speaking, this volcanic activity is thought to have occurred fairly recently in the summer of 1350AD. This is a one day trip.

We will start at Obsidian Dome–a plateau with some small hills on top, littered with various sized pieces of obsidian. Most of the obsidian pieces at the Dome have tiny gas bubbles and aren’t gem quality but the shiny glass pieces almost glow in the morning sun.  

We’ll head to Crowley Lake after touring the Dome to look for fist size chunks of obsidian and arrowheads in the hills overlooking the reservoir.

After that, we’ll stop at Hot Creek visitor center, visit the free hot tubs in the area and hopefully explore some mine tailings looking for minerals related to gold mining.

High clearance is recommended for this trip.

For more information, please contact Rex at rexch8@yahoo.com.  Please put “Obsidian Dome field trip” in your 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.

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.

Quartzsite January 2021

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/.

There are other rock shows being held throughout both months, two of the most popular ones being Desert Gardens https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Event/Desert-Gardens-Rock-Gem-and-Mineral-Show-667193560050537/ from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, and Tyson Wells https://www.tysonwells.com/. Here’s the calendar of events from the City of Quartzsite website: http://www.quartzsitecalendar.com/

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.

DesertUSA

Town of Quartzsite

Christmas Tree Agate

We couldn’t resist sharing pics of Christmas Tree Agate, found by a member of Pasadena Lapidary Society while out visiting the Southern Cady Mountains/Lavic Siding area.


North Cadys Fieldtrip; Nov. 27-29, 2020

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.

Black and blue agate

Blue agate

Botryoidal blue agate

Jasper agate

Calcite with fluorite

Mud tube agate

Orbicular red jasper

Top notch agate