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.

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.


Picture Rocks for January 21 Program Meeting

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”.

Our January Rock of the Month talk will be presented by PLS member David Lacy with a focus on Feldspar.

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.

January 15 Program Meeting

Rock of the Month Presentation
Psilomelane
by Mona Ross

Our January Rock of the Month talk will be by Pasadena Lapidary VP Mona Ross, on Psilomelane, a group name for hard black manganese oxides.

Main Presentation
A Brief History of Beads
by Janie Duncan

PLS member Janie Duncan will present ‘A Brief History of Beads’ at our first program meeting of the New Year.


We hold informative monthly meetings. Our meetings are held in the comfort of the Donald Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, California. Comfortable seating, lighting, a stage and audio-visual system allows us to attract quality speakers, provide demonstrations and interesting videos for our members!

Meetings are the third Tuesday of the month. Members and guests arrive between 6 pm and 6:30 pm for refreshments and information exchange. A display table at the back of the room allows our Education Committee and society members to display creations, finds, and the birthstone of the month. It is also a place for members and guests to have unknown minerals identified.

Our meetings begin at 6:30 pm and end at 8:45 pm. They include a business session and a program on a subject relating to our earth science hobby. Refreshments are served at a break between the sessions. The program may include demonstrations, slide shows, videos, auctions, show and sell, or lectures on various subjects.