Rhodochrosite is Spotlight of In-Person Program Meeting; Tuesday, May 17th, 7:00 p.m.



The story of the Sweet Home Mine from its beginnings as a modest 1870’s silver mine to its rebirth as a world-renowned source of beautiful red rhodochrosite crystals will be featured in this month’s program. We will view Part 1 of a video illustrating the accidental discovery of one of our nation’s most impressive sources of this beautiful gemstone.

This program meeting is at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 17 and will be held IN PERSON. Check out our Meetings page to get directions and further info about the location.

In-Person Program Meeting April 19, 2022, 6:30 PM

We are having our first in-person program meeting in over a year! PLS member Janie Duncan will provide a presentation on the History of Beads Tuesday night, April 19, and members are looking forward to seeing each other in the flesh for a change, instead of virtually. Check out our Meetings page to get directions and further info about the location. We are VERY excited!

Gem Pegmatites of Southern California Subject of March 15 Virtual Program Meeting with Walt Lombardo

Zoom Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Walt Lombardo, Owner & Founder of Nevada Mineral & Book Co., located in Orange, Calif.

Southern California is known worldwide for the production of gemstones and mineral specimens from the granite pegmatites in San Diego, Riverside & San Bernardino counties. Some of the more well-known gem minerals are Tourmaline, Garnet, Aquamarine, Morganite, Kunzite, Quartz, Topaz and Lepidolite. Most notable are the Pala and Mesa Grande mining districts, which supplied beautiful tourmalines to the last Dowager Empress of China in the early 1900’s, and continue to produce world-class gems and mineral specimens today. Our program speaker this month is Walt Lombardo, a geologist with over 35 years experience related to mining and mineral exploration. Walt’s talk will include discussion of the regional geology which made these deposits possible, history of mining in Southern California, some of the more important mines, and the gem minerals that they produced.

Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. If you’d like to join us, write marcia.pls.emails [at] gmail [dot] com to request a Zoom link.

Baxter Wash Rockfishing Report

   

Unlike fishing, the good thing about rock hounding is you pretty much never get skunked.   Here’s my fishing-for-rock report from the Thanksgiving 2021 weekend field trip to Baxter Wash, near Baker, CA. 

Weather:  Light winds, temperatures 75/40

Sea (Road) Conditions:  heavy sand 12” deep or more.  4wd definitely required

Anglers (Rock hounds):   13

Species caught (rocks found)

          Angel wing agate

Green angel wing agate

          Lace agate

Top Notch agate

          Blue agate nodules

This nodule is about the size of a baseball!

          Sagenite

There’s better sagenite where this came from but you gotta’ dig for it!

          Amydules and chalcedony extrusions

Morning sunlight on chalcedony extrusion

          Marble and green/purple fluorite

Emerald Green Fluorite (photo by Gabe Morley)

Entertainment value:  limits for all

Kids and campfires

Cost-free

If I don’t see you in December, be sure to join PLS for the upcoming 2022 field trip season!

‘til next time,

Rex

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

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.

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!

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.

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

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