rock07r1.gif (25102 bytes)

Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


rockbutton41.gif (5773 bytes)
linkbutton.gif (5022 bytes)

calendarbutton.gif (5388 bytes)

contactbutton.gif (5534 bytes)

homebutton.gif (4932 bytes)



Officers for 2000!
We are happy to announce that the following people have agreed to lead our club into the new Millennium: Bob Morse will continue to serve as President while Andy Larson will once again remain as our Treasurer. Helen Heitland will return to be our secretary. We are happy to introduce our new member, Peggy Nuske, who will serve as our vice president.

Many thanks for a job well done go to Mary Parrott, retiring vice president and Dianne Larson, retiring secretary.

We still need a historian and someone to be in charge of hospitality. Isn't there anyone out there who would volunteer?

Christmas Potluck
Dianne and Andy Larson have graciously offered to host our Christmas Potluck in their home on Saturday, December 11th at 6:00 PM. Call Dianne at 256-0241 to let her know whether you will be bringing a salad, vegetable or dessert.

Entertainment will be furnished by some of our very talented members. We will listen to and sing along with music furnished by Joan Schlichter. If we are lucky, Hank Schlichter will tell another of his tall tales. Rumor has it that Andy Larson and some of our other members may also perform. We will be exchanging "White Elephants" and collecting canned goods for the Circle of Concern. There is a map at the back of the bulletin.

Welcome New Member Peggy Nuske
Peggy is a graduate of UMSL with a degree in education and is an expert in the geology of Missouri. She has also agreed to serve as our vice president this coming year,

Dues are Due!

$15 per person
$20 per family

Rockhounding the Internet

by David Miller – St. Louis Mineral &

Gem Society

I'm not sure how many of you feel, but I can say I'm excited to see the year 2000 come rolling in! For most of us, if not all, this will be the first time we experience a year ending in "00". And of course with it comes a lot of uncertainty. But one thing that is certain are the materials that we use everyday. And because of this, Mineralogy is here to stay!
This month I thought we would close out the year by taking a look at the History that brought our hobby here. Our hobby begins in the Valley of Indus near Mehrgarh, Pakistan where lapis lazuli associated with turquoise and steatite were found in contexts dating back to about 7000 B.C. Shortly after this, in 6000 B.C. we see the people of the chalcolithic age (copper age) working with native metals. By the year 4500 B.C. we find lapidaries in Iran and Mesopotamia cutting lapis, turquoise, amethyst and beryl. And by 2000 B.C. we see the Sumerian civilization in Ur incorporating gold into their jewelry.

Here are some other interesting dates in the History of our hobby:

387-272 B.C. - Beginning study of modern mineralogy preserved in the book of rocks and minerals titled "On Stones";                     Theophrastus
23-79 - "Natural History", a 37 volume encyclopedic review devoted to mineralogy; PEnus the Elder
980-1037 - 1st division of minerals placed into 4 categories (stones & gems, ores, fuels, salts); Avicenne
1625-1698 - The birth of crystalline optics; Erasmus Bartholin
1720 - Recognition of 9 principal shapes among crystals; Cappier
1807 - 1st geological company; London Geological Society
1811 - The beginning of the basis of a mineralogical classification of rocks; Rene:Juste Hauy
1820 - Mineral hardness scale and the definition of the 7crystal systems by introducing the monoclinic
                 and triclinic systems were published; Friedrich Mobs
1822 - "Treaty of Crystallography" by the father of crystallography; Rene'JusteHauy
1830 - Introduction of Miller's notation of crystal faces; William H. Miller
1837 - I St published edition of "Dana's System of Mineralogy"; James D. Dana
1896 - I St radioactive minerals discovered; Becquerel
1912 - 1st experiment of X-ray diffraction on minerals by the early pioneer of X-ray crystallography;
                Max yon Laue
1913-1923 - The famous 20 volume "Atlas der Krystallformen"; V.M. Goldsclunidt
1955 - 1st high pressure synthesis diamond: Bundy and Al!
1969 - I St samples of lunar rocks brought back by the Apollo 11 crew, 58 specimens in all, weighing
                21.6kg; Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins

As you can already see, our history beginning in Antiquity and following through the Middle Ages, Revival, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries are full of discoveries in mineralogy. And this list represents just a light sampling of what has happened thus far. We still continue to explore not only the earth but also the universe. Who knows what new things will be found in the next century. As it stands right now, our hobby is alive and well. But it will only continue with the responsibility of us renewing the interest in our youth!
Click here to see more about "The Birth of Mineralogy" and "The History of Mineralogy" along with pictorial representations incorporated into the text.
NOTE; click on the underlined words in text to see pictures

By Mary LaVigna

On the rocky road of life you meet a few fellow travelers who have rocks on their minds and sometimes rocks in their heads. We call them rockhounds.

They swap stones and stories with each other and when Christmas comes they want rocks in their sock and hobby equipment under the tree.

A Rockhound never leaves a stone unturned. He kicks them all. spit polishes some. and pours water on boulders. always alert for a hint of color, a glimmer of hope that the specimen may be good cutting material.

A Rockhound reads manuals and studies maps. He eagerly plans his next trip. When vacation time comes he packs his pick and crowbar, hammer, water jug and whatever else he can think of in his RV and drives off in search of... ROCKS. After a long long time he arrives. He hoists a high all of his gear and trudges off, head thrust forward. Eyes searching the ground ceaselessly, looking for IT. He suffers through the heat. gets bruised knees, and gashed fingers. Finally there it is. the rock of his dreams. He is sure of it. He labors mightily; to tear his rock from the clutch of mother earth. He staggers with it the distance back to his vehicle. (its always a much farther distance back than it was on the way out. that's the law governing rock finds.) Driving home he experiences a deep feeling of satisfaction. The thought of future brags and show and tell at the club meeting keeps stiff muscles and stinging insect bites at bay. Before the next club meeting he cleans his rocks to show them off.

He may make a few cabs. He stores the remainder of his rocks in a box under his work bench in his garage. As the years go Past and his specimens grow he stacks them ON the workbench until he forgets he ever had a work bench. Such is the idyllic life of rockhounds... Bless them. via AFMS Newsletter 09/99

Diamonds caused a mining rush just south of the Arctic circle in Canada's Northwest Territory. They were First discovered by a Field geologist, Charles Fipke. He Followed mineral clues for 8 years and began staking claims in the late 1980's. Now more
than 200 companies have staked out claims over a 75,000 square mile area. There are not yet any producing mines. The Canadian Geological Survey is mapping the bedrock in the area of rocks, tundra and frozen lakes. They report that the bedrock is at least 2.5 billion years old and cut by many lava dikes younger than the bedrock. So Far, more than 100 diamond Pipes have been reported discovered.

The only nation who's name begins with an A,but doesn't end in an "A" is Afghanistan.
The names of the three wise monkeys are: Mizaru: See no evil, Mikazaru: Hear no evil, and Mazaru: Speak no evil
When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.
The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
Each king in a deck of playing Cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts Charlemagne, and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.
Texas is also the only state that is allowed to fly its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.
Ken Gay via Hale Sweeny

AFMS Newsletter


November 12,1999 Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 7:40 by Bob Morse.
The minutes were read and accepted.
The treasurer's report was given by Andy Larson. Funds total, $3511.91.

The association distribution of funds for the August show will be realized in the future and we may get 25% of the profit according to our club participation. Thank you to all who gave time and effort!

Andy reported on the Chain of Rocks field trip for which we had 8 participants. It was a cold day but everyone found something to take home and enjoyed the time together. Tomorrow at 10 am whoever is interested is to meet at the beach again and search.

Roy Cottrell and Larry Toenjes served as, nominating committee with the following results:
Helen Heitland, sec. (transportation as needed)
Bob Morse, president
Peggy Nuske, vice-president (voted into membership)
Andy Larson, continue as treasurer until replacement
The club voted to accept these nominees to serve. Dianne Larson will replace Joan Schlicter as publicity person. We all need to make effort in this area. Some help is still needed at the Science Center exhibit, Nov. 12-21. Claudia and Dianne set up an exhibit for this month at the Daniel Boone Library, on Clarkson and the Cottrell's plan to set up an exhibit at the library in South county near them, for December. Bob shared about his enjoyment in presenting rocks in many classroom settings. He may send out more postcards to area residents who attended the August show to inform them of meetings. These efforts help give the club visibility.
The Christmas potluck will be hosted by the Larsons,on Sat. Dec. 11th at 6pm. The club will provide the meat and members provide the rest. Call Dianne (256-0241), to see what is needed. Bring a White Elephant (something that needs a new home) and a canned good for Circle of Concern.
Meeting adjourned at 8:15pm. Joan Schlicter won the door prize and Eleanor provided the refreshments. Claudia did a great presentation on the tar pits of Hollywood.
Submitted by Dianne Larson, sec.