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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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Bob Morse has been doing a great job visiting schools and encouraging young people to learn about our hobby. This February, he will be teaching four first grade classes in Eureka. Later he will present at five classes in Festus. We have heard about people who are busier after they retired than they ever were. It looks as if this description fits Bob!

January’s Meeting
We were pleased that Dr. Michael Fuller, head of the Department of Archeology at Florissant Valley Community College was able to be our Speaker for January. Dr. Fuller and his wife, Neathery, have worked on a dig at Tuneinir, Syria for the past 12 years and have made some very important discoveries of both religious and secular history. Within the next two years, the site will be flooded because of a dam that is being built in that area. Dr. Fuller is a dynamic speaker who always brings slides and artifacts for us to see. Try these links to learn more about this exciting project.

Dr. Michael Fuller's Web Page

'Excavations at Tuneinir, Syria'.


Anyone wishing to help may send their contribution to S.L.C.C. dig in care of Dr. M. Fuller at Florissant Valley Community College

News From other Clubs

HALITE - a.k.a. SALT                                                                                         ESCOMO

Salt sprinkled on the fingers when cleaning fish or fowl prevents slipping.
Salt thrown on the fire when broiling meal prevents flare-up from dripping fat.
Salt used as a gargle helps a sore throat.
Salt put on soot which has fallen on the carpet will prevent stain.
Salt in the oven under baking tins helps prevent scorching.
Salt and vinegar will remove stains from teacups.
Salt and soda is excellent for spider bites and bee stings.
Salt will help remove freshly spilled ink spots.
Salt helps whitewash stick.

----Drywashers Gazette 3/95, via Napa Gems, 11/96


Geologists can be sedimental about their work
A dentist has to tell a patient the whole tooth.
A comedian was published post humorously.
At shearing time there are some sheep thrills.
A fired newspaper editor took an ex-press train out of town.
When some coins fell into the batter it turned out to be a rich cake.
After coming to work and play, musicians come home suite home.
A bankrupt window installer felt the pane of shattered dreams.
Chickens can give some people a foul rash.
If a prince is thrown to the air, he might also remember that he is heir to the throne.
If you tell a falsehood just after waking up you are lying in bed.
----AFMS Newsletter


The pessimist may be right but the optimist has fun on the way.

Blessed is the one who has nothing to say and doesn't say it.


Quartz and topaz are not easy to separate by eye, and are sometimes impossible when the quartz is true topaz color. There is a big difference in price between the two and anyone describing quartz and topaz, however innocently, may well be in trouble.

Topaz is quite a different mineral, which is harder than quartz. Because of this, a drop of water will not spread on topaz, but will spread on quartz. Clean the stone as effectively as possible with a cloth or handkerchief to remove all trace of grease. It must be dry before the test. Then place a spot of clean water on it with a thin glass or metal rod.

On stones with a hardness of less than 7 on the Mohs scale, the water is dispersed. On harder stones it will remain as a globule. The harder the stone, the more rounded will be the globule of water.

from GEM CUTTERS NEWS, 2/96 via: CRACK N CAB, 8/98
THE ROCK COLLECTOR Rochester, N.Y., 9/98


Over one-third of Patagonia in Argentina, which produces oil an coal and has extensive cattle industry, has been affected by desertification, Mainly due to human activity Surveys saw that newly-created arid lands have degraded to the point where their use to man is practically nil and the damage is irreversible.
Via Rocks Digest Number 2-1997

Need a new vertebra, ear bone, maxillofacial implant, or bone filler? Then look to Tadashi Kokubo's bioceramics research program at Kyoto University. They have produced a range of new implant materials which can form chemical bonds with living bone. These include a proprietary product called "BioGlass," sintered hydroxyapatite, and a glass ceramic called "A-W," a mixture of microcrystalline apatite and wollastonite. What each of these materials has in common - and what is essential for the bond to living bone - is the formation of a biologically active layer of apatite. As useful as these composite materials are, they are still not strong enough for use in highly loaded bones such as the tibia. Here titanium implants, plasma-coated with apalite, are used. Professor Kokubo's lab, though, has come up with an interesting twist on the formation of bioactive apatite layers - a technique which has been generalized to coat materials ranging from Ti and alumina (corundum) to cotton. In this biomimetic method, apatite nuclei are formed when the target material is placed on granular particles of a specially-prepared CaO SiO2 glass and soaked in a solution of "simulated body fluid" (i.e.; ion concentrations nearly equal to blood plasma). The apatite formed is composed of small crystallites and defects, much like natural bone material. The mineralized layer forms and extremely strong bond with substrate. So here we have every micromounter's dream: instant micros which stick to the mount!
By Bruce Gaber. From The Mineral Mite -November 1994 via Rock Rustler's News -



A visitor to the Museum asked me why the majority of mineral names ended in the suffix -ite.

I found the answer in the book listed above. This reference work lists the origins of over 2000 mineral names in alphabetical order.

The suffix -ite is derived from the Greek and denotes "of the nature of, or similar to." The Greeks and Romans used it in mineral and rock terms signifying a quality, constituent, or locality of the stone.

Over 1100 mineral species' names were derived from the names of people.

Example; Millerite, from Wiluan Miller, British Meteorologist.

Over 500 rise from the localities in which they were discovered, or whence large quantities come.

Example; Elbaite, for the Island of Elba, near Italy, whose only other claim to fame was as the island of Napoleon's exile.

Other names are derived from Impersonal names, Chemical composition, a Physical property, Greek terms, Latin terms, Other languages

PUZZLER: There are at least 38 mineral names listed under Z. Can you name six?

Cel Fox, Librarian


November, 1998  THE MOUNTAIN GEM page 10
BLM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Does this headline get your attention?

(This is an excerpt from some information received from Jon Spunaugle at the Portland Regional Show last week. All fossil and petrified wood collectors should contact their ALAA or PLAC person to get all the details –Editor.)

Summary: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to consolidate its regulations and provide the public with a single reference to BLM's policies an regulations for collecting fossils on the public lands. The new part would be written in "Plain Language."

BLM is issuing this proposed rule as a follow-up to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in the June 5, 1996, FEDERAL REGISTER. The intent of the proposed rule is to make fossil regulations easier for the public to locate, understand and use by consolidating the regulations in one place and by writing them in "Plain Language"

See the rule HERE!

In the existing regulations, BLM allows individuals to collect "reasonable amounts" of common in-vertebrate fossils without a permit. Because the term "reasonable amounts" is vague, BLM proposes to define a limitation on collecting invertebrate fossils without a permit. This proposed rule would allow individuals to remove a daily maximum of 25 pounds of material, including invertebrate and/or plant fossils, other than petrified wood, and the surrounding matrix in which the fossil is embedded.

This proposed rule would require you to get a permit from BLM in order to collect more than this amount. In addition, this proposed rule would require you to get a permit to collect invertebrates and plant fossils found on lands where BLM has posted or published a restriction on fossil collection.

BLM may, designate areas on the public, lands where you are prohibited from collecting vertebrate, invertebrate, or plant fossils, or petrified wood. BLM also may designate areas where collection is restricted but not prohibited.

BLM specifically solicits public comments on whether BLM's pro-posed limitation on collecting invertebrate and plant fossils without a permit is reasonable If you disagree with the proposed limitation, please submit comments and suggestions regarding how BLM may reasonably limit this type of fossil collection.

You may mail comments to the Bureau of Land Management Administrative Record, Room 401, LS, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20240.

E-Mail comments to With the following as a subject line: attn: 3100

November, 1998