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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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Our new list of officers looks as if we have been playing "Musical Officers!" Bob Morse will become our new President. Mary Parrott will replace Bob as our new Vice President while Dianne Larson will become our new Secretary. Andy Larson stays on as Treasurer. Many thanks to these dedicated people who serve again and again wherever they are needed. Thanks also go to Ellen Teller, our retiring secretary.


We hope everyone was able to get down to see the rock and mineral display at the Science Center. There were some very impressive private collections to be seen. Gordon Kummer had a great display of "Earth's Industrial Minerals and Exotics" while Bob Morse shared his, always popular, "Fluorescent Minerals." The exhibits were located where everyone passing through to see the Spiders in the Exploradome were able to stop and take look. Hopefully, this generated some good publicity for our hobby.


Our Internet site is up and running. Now all we need are the e-mail addresses of members who would be willing to serve as contact people for those who have questions or desire more information. Craig and DeAnna Cottrell have designed the website and are keeping it up to date for us.


Our thanks go to Bill Stuut for presenting an informative talk and demonstration on silversmithing at our last meeting. Bill had a real "Show & Tell" for us. We were able to see some of his silversmithing equipment, how to use it and some of his completed creations. Very impressive!

Midwest Federation Show
August 18-20, 2000
Planning for the Midwest Federation Show in the year 2000 is moving along! The Show will be held at Queeny Park while the Federation Dinner and Editor's Breakfast will be held at the Marriott Hotel in the Maryville Center. We need lots of workers. There are such a variety of needs that everyone will be able to find something to suit his or her talents and interests. Here is a partial list: working at the dinner, breakfast or show, entering exhibits, finding corporate sponsors, and working at the swap table or ticket tables.

Contact Bob Morse or Gordon Kummer to volunteer and be part of the fun.


How do you feel about having field trips on a specific date each month? Right now we are thinking about setting aside the third Saturday of each month. Gordon Kummer is compiling a list of places around here that are still open. Contact Gordon with any input.


We are sorry to hear that Dianne Larson's mother has been quite ill. Dianne has been down in Florida helping out. Our prayers are the Larson family during this very painful time.


With all the excitement of the recent meteor shower, we thought these excerpts from Rock Lore and the Mountain Gem might be of interest.



"There are no stones in the sky", said LaVoisier, a famous French scientist who has been called "The Father of Modern Chemistry," "Therefore," he continued, "No stones can fall from the sky." To the farmers who saw them, he assured them that they had been mistaken; the fact that they saw them was an optical illusion; what they saw was lightning striking nearby. The fact that they were hot when picked up was due to the well-known heating effects of lightning, and the fact that they were ferruginous (iron) in nature, only proved the lightning theory, since "Everyone knew that lightning was attracted to metal."

Thomas Jefferson, confronted by a clergyman with a similar tale said, a little later, "I would rather believe that a Yankee Preacher would lie, than believe that stones fall from the sky."

Now, the facts. While a rock zips along through space, it is called a Meteoroid. Falling through the atmosphere, burning up, a Meteor. If it should happen to explode before it reaches the ground, it's a Bolide, and if it actually reaches the ground, it's a Meteorite.

THE MOUNTAIN GEM Ted Robles, Editor



Meteorites are lovely light shows as they streak across the Earth's atmosphere, a tiny streak of light to wish upon. Most disintegrate in the Earth's atmosphere. However, seeing one fall to the ground is an entirely different phenomenon. Fortunately, no one caught the fair-sized one coming down in Pennsylvania farm land. It came down at an angle; a red fireball with a long flaming red tail. About 10,000 feet it broke into two parts, quite spectacular! Exterior surfaces of meteorites become heat fused, but interiors do not become hot. There is no record of any starting fires upon impact.

Meteorites are classified by Composition into three categories:
Irons (Siderites)
Stony Irons (Siderolites)
Stone (Aerolites)

Principal mineral constituents of meteorites, other than carbonaceous chondrites, all occur as terrestrial minerals- Olivene, ortho- and Clino-pyroxene, feldspars, troilite, and two nickel-iron alloys, Kamacite and Taenite. There is a wide range of minor constituents, many of which are not known to occur naturally on earth. Ureylte is an emerald-green mineral found only in meteorites.

Via: Mineral Area G&MS, CHATBOX, Vol. 18, No 5, June 1997



The Earth sweeps up several hundred tons of mass a day in the form of micrometeoroids or meteoritic dust. Some of these miniscule particles contain stardust that is older than our sun. As such they are unique archives of the earliest history of the universe, and scientists are diligently collecting them in the Arctic, Antarctica, Australia, the Sahara Desert, Greenland, etc. A lot of the space dust we walk on comes from the moon—ejecta from all the potshots that the moon has received. A lot of it is from disintegrated meteorites - from heaven knows where.



Curious Relic of the Coal Age

"Paper" coal is known from only two areas in the entire world; - the Moscow basin of central Russia, and Parke County, Indiana. The Hoosier deposit was discovered by an Indiana Geological Survey geologist in 1958 in the highwall of a strip coal mine near Rockville. Natural outcrops of paper coal were found along streams in northern Parke County.

Leafy in texture, paper coal resembles a stack of scorched paper, and is composed of the waxy coatings of ancient leaves and twigs. Indiana paper coal consists mostly of fragments of seed ferns (Pteridospermales? - ed) that bridged the gap between primitive plants and today's seed-bearing plants, and that have been extinct for more than 200,000,000 years.

Preservation of the fragile cuticles indicates that they were deposited in quiet lagoons. In paper coal, the original plant material has been oxidized and the more resistant cuticles have been left behind.

(from Indiana Geological Survey, via Pegmatite, Anne Schaeffer, Editor, 2/ 98)


Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused his dentists Novocain during root canal work? He wanted to transcend dental medication!

AFMS Newsletter



Scientists of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have discovered the secret of "Devil Valley." A 60-mile-long stretch that locals dare not enter. While lush with lakes, marshes and vegetation, it also attracts freak lightning storms which can cause bunches of trees to burst into flame, along with any people or animals careless enough to wander in. Geologists from Qinghai Province risked their lives to conduct a survey of the seemingly cursed area. They discovered that the valley contains large quantities of strongly magnetized basalt resulting from volcanic eruptions during the Triassic period. Experts say the magnetic fields attract the electrical charges in clouds, but lightning rods and other measures could open the valley to human use.


Channel work
- The lines of the design are formed with vertical metal strip backed by horizontal sheet metal. The spaces between the strip are filled with polished rock or gem material. This gives color to the design.

Casting is the replacement of a item by forming a mold, removing the item from the mold material and filling the void left with molten metal and cooling.

Enameling is the fusion of ground glass on a metal surface.

Engraving is the formation of a pattern in a base material by removing metal from the base.

Filigree is the formation of patterns from wires twisted, coiled, or otherwise shaped and then soldered into a wire framework

Wire-Wrapping is coiled, twisted and bound wire formed into a pattern which also holds and frames gem materials.

Intarsia and Mosaic are formed by forming a pattern from individual pieces of stone, slab, or tile.

Cameos are raised figures that form the image of an item.



The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m., Bob Morse presiding due to Dianne Larson's absence.

The secretary's report was in the previous bulletin and was approved. The treasurer's report was presented by Andy Larson with a balance of $3566.69 and was approved. A check from the Boeing club for $200 for our participation in their final show was noted and dues were received for 1999. Gordon Kummer gave an Association report, noting that the Mid-West Federation Year 2000 show will be in St. Louis and will have national exhibits and our yearly show will be at Queeny in August, 99. Bob Morse is show chairman. Our club participation and others will be required to have a successful show. Thanks were expressed for club members participating in the recent mineral exhibit at the Science Center. Roy Cottrell reported on the new club web page and thanks were expressed for his son's and wife's developing that.

Gordon reported for the nominating committee that: Bob Morse was nominated for 1999 president, Mary Parrott for vice president, Andy Larson for treasurer, and Dianne Larson for secretary. There were no floor nominations and the motion was made, seconded, and passed to approve the above slate of officers.

Gordon also reported that recent field trips have not been well attended but he will try a new strategy of having one on the third Saturday of the month. There was some discussion of plans for our traditional club Christmas dinner and it was decided to hold it at Sach's at 6:30 p.m., Dec.11. Mary Parrott to obtain the meat and be reimbursed by the club, she and Claudia will coordinate other details, a sign up list was passed and about 20 people are expected.

The meeting was dismissed at 8:15 for refreshments, Rank Schlichter won the attendance door prize and Bill Stunt presented an interesting exhibit of silver smithing. Attendance was 14, all members.

submitted by Andy Larson, secretary pro tern