Tuesday, Oct. 19 Virtual Program Meeting Focuses on Urban Rockhounding in Tucson; 7:00 p.m.

Among some of our favorite rockhound travel guides are Dick and Mary Pat Weber. For the Tuesday, October 19 presentation, Mary Pat will take us on a Practical Guide to Urban Rockhounding in Tucson.

In a few months dealers, buyers, and collectors will gather together for the largest rockhound  event in the world.  You will find great bargains relating to all aspects of our hobby offered by vendors from all corners of the globe.  If you can’t find it in Tucson, it probably doesn’t exist anywhere.  According to Mary Pat, you will run out of money long before you cross off all the items on your wish list.

With over forty shows from which to choose, it can be a bit confusing for the first-timer.  Mary Pat will offer practical advice for navigating though the “Tucson experience” to make it both efficient and fun.  This program is jammed packed with photo highlights of the biggest club show in the world, including specimens from world class museums such as the Smithsonian and other private collections. If you’ve been thinking about visiting Tucson for the rockhound shows but have yet to, here’s a chance to see what they’re all about.

PLS member Mona Ross will provide October’s Rock of the Month talk on one of the world’s rarest gemstones, Grandidierite.

The Tuesday, Oct. 19 program meeting starts at 7:00 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. Hope to “see” you there!

UPDATED INFO: Stoddard Wells Rockhound Tailgate Show and Field Trip for Tri-Color Marble

9:00 AM, Saturday, September 25, 2021

On Saturday, September 25, 2021 , we’ll be headed to Stoddard Wells, CA, near Apple Valley. This outdoor rock show, which runs Sept. 24-26, is sponsored by the Victor Valley Gem and Mineral Club. It’s the 45th Annual Stoddard Wells Rockhound Tailgate. Hours: 9 AM  – 5 PM daily.

Free event, everyone is welcome! FREE Vendor Spaces, dry camping, restrooms available. First come, first served. All donations welcomed. Handcrafted jewelry, cabs, slabs, rough, and more. Breakfast and lunch available. NO saving spaces or competing with VVGMS’s fundraising activities – i.e. food, drinks, grab bags, spin the wheel or auctions. Rain or Shine!! For the show itself, it’s especially important to follow “Tailgate” signs to the show site, as the meetup location for the fieldtrip is 1/2 mile away.

Saturday field trip 9:30 – 11:30 AM is slated to target tri-color marble. Meet at Tailgate location per map and instructions below at 8:45 am. 4WD is required.
Must RSVP to field trip leader, Rex, at rexch8@yahoo.com with the subject line “Tailgate field trip.”

Tri-Color Marble photos above courtesy of PLS member Rex N.

Directions:

From I—15 Northbound towards Barstow:
Hwy 15 North THRU Victorville! EXIT at 2nd Stoddard Wells Rd at BELL Mtn. (EXIT # 157). Turn Left/East at Ramp STOP sign. STAY on Stoddard Wells Road 4 mi. until next STOP sign at Dale Evans Pkwy. Observe “Tailgate” signs high on NW corner power pole. Check Odometer here! Continue Straight on Stoddard Wells Rd. 7 miles to “Tailgate”.  Road becomes a graded dirt road about 4/10 mi. from the Dale Evans Pkwy intersection. Proceed East/NE past “Grange” fork to “Tailgate” site. Cars & RVs can make it w/ease & care; go slow and watch out for potholes. Please look for “Tailgate” signs along route. Need clarification? Visit https://vvgmc.org/tailgate.html

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Pasadena,+CA+91101/VVGMC+Tailgate,+Apple+Valley,+CA+92307/@34.3692906,-117.7497546,86720m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2c368f3ae0b77:0x12747768f808aadb!2m2!1d-118.1386005!2d34.1427587!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c483099e171ffd:0x8f0470b903f30488!2m2!1d-117.1100043!2d34.6704078!3e0

Deep Earth subject of Tues., June 15 Virtual Program Meeting

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!

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

Collect Rocks Day

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?