Join us Tuesday, June 15 for a journey through the deep Earth, with Dr. Krista Sawchuk. The deep Earth, which encompasses the mantle and core, makes up 99% of our planet. Because we can’t physically go to the deep Earth, scientists employ a variety of techniques to learn more about it. Dr. Sawchuk will share what we do know about the deep Earth and how her research on the behavior of minerals at high pressures and temperatures is helping us learn more about the chemistry of the mantle.
Dr. Sawchuk recently graduated from UCLA with a PhD in geochemistry. Her dissertation research focused on the high-pressure behavior and chemical reactions of volatile-bearing minerals in Earth’s mantle. Since graduating, she started a postdoctoral research
position at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico where she continues her high-pressure research. In her spare time she enjoys mineral collecting and curating her personal mineral collection.
The Tuesday, June 15 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!
August 2021 Show Rescheduled for March 2022
Pasadena Lapidary Society’s 62nd Annual Tournament of Gems “Inspiration Unearthed”, which was planned for August 14-15, 2021 in Arcadia, California, has been cancelled. Stay tuned for information regarding our March 2022 show.
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’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.
Our last stop will be to the Prime Cut Rock Show in Lucerne Valley.
Please email Rex at firstname.lastname@example.org for updates and additional information.
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.
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.
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.
On Sunday, September 16th, take a field trip. It’s Collect Rocks Day! From timeanddate.com:
While the origins of this obviously made up holiday are unknown, we can safely assume that the day encourages people to learn more about geology. Geology is the study of the Earth, its materials and the processes through which these materials are created.
Three Major Types
Rocks are tightly compacted formations of minerals and are found all over the lithosphere, the top solid layer of the Earth. Geologists classify rocks into three major types based on texture, composition, and size. These types are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Almost 65% of the Earth is made up of igneous rocks, though over time one type of rock can turn into another due to exposure to the Earth’s atmosphere and environmental factors. This transition between different type of rocks is called a rock cycle.
How to Celebrate?
Rocks have been an integral part of human activity since antiquity. Some of the earliest weapons and musical instruments were made of rocks. Mining of rocks has made it possible for humans to use metals and other materials for developing technology. Here are some ways you can show your appreciation for rocks and their importance in our daily lives:
- Take a walk and collect different kinds of rocks – who knows you may just find a new fossil hiding in the rocks?
- Learn more about the different types of rocks so that you can identify the types of rocks you just collected.
- Not sure what to do with the rocks? What about painting on them and displaying them creatively?
- If painting is not your thing, but you are still creatively inclined, why not spend the day learning about rock art? Rock art is art made on rock. Ancient humans used it as a way to record significant events and as part of rituals. If there is an archealogical site close to where you live, that features such art, why not take a trip to see it?
Did You Know…
…that petrology is the scientific study of rocks?