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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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Comments, Etc.

We certainly enjoyed Peggy Nuske's talk on the Geology of Missouri at the last meeting. Besides bringing fascinating specimens to demonstrate the geological column of Missouri and describing places to collect, her talk was full of interesting bits of information. For instance, did you know that the St. Peter's sandstone mined near Eureka is sent to England to make Wedgewood China? Peggy will be teaching a class at Forest Park Community College starting in April if anyone has some extra time and is interested in more formal education in this area.

Our thanks go to the Kummers and the Larson's who volunteered to help judge the Post Dispatch Science Fair on April 14th and 16th.

We would also like to express our appreciation to Hank Schlichter and Eleanor Stutt for furnishing refreshments for our February meeting.

Mea Culpa!
Due to poor planning, guests from out of town and problems learning to switch all my files to my new iMac computer, I was unable to get the newsletter out in time for the March 20th field trip to the gravel bar at the Chain of Rocks Bridge. I apologize.


Mastodons vs. Mammoths

Since Ken Cole, from Mastodon State Park is our guest speaker this month, it might be appropriate to share this article that appeared in ESCOMO's March newsletter.

Mammoths and mastodons represent different lines of development among the proboscideans or elephant-like mammals. The origin of mastodons goes back about 25 million years while mammoths are first known from about seven million years ago. Of the two, mammoths are closer to the two living species--the African Elephant and the Asian Elephant.

The main difference between the two groups lies in the structure of their molars or cheek teeth. Both have "outsized" molars, but the mastodon teeth are low-crowned while mammoths and today's elephants are high crowned.

Mastodons and mammoths differed in diet and habitat. The low-crowned mastodon teeth were and adaptation to browsing on relatively soft twigs and leaves of open woodlands. The cement hardened high crowned mammoth molars are efficient mills for grinding up tough prairie grasses. Of the two, the mammoth could exploit a wilder range of habitat.

Reference: Texas Memorial Museum, Austin, Texas.


Meet us in St. Louis!

August 18, 19, & 20, 2000

The letter below appeared in the March Midwest Federation Bulleting. Please volunteer to help.

Robert Morse, our year 2000 MWF Convention and Show Chairman, will be bringing advanced information on the year 2000 Show and Convention in St. Louis to the 1999 MWF Show and Convention in Columbus, Ohio on April 9-10-11, 1999. The committee has now picked a Headquarters Hotel--The Marriott West near I-64 and State Highway 141. This site is about 3 miles from the show site. The Awards Banquet and Editors Breakfast will be held there. All of the regular MWF meetings will be held at the show site which is The Greensfelder Recreation Complex in Queeny County Park at 550 Weidman Road, West St. Louis County. The show is being planned for 24 commercial dealers, 10 working demonstrations, and 65-80 exhibits. A swap area is also being planned as well as 4-6 guided field trips. A separate show account has been set up with $750.00 advance from both the MWF and the Greater St. Louis Association of Earth Science Clubs, Inc. For more advanced information, you may write directly to Robert Morse, MWF Convention and Show Chairman-2000, #135 Knox St., Troy, Missouri, 63379 or telephone (314) 462-4423.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 by Dianne Larson due to the absence of Bob Morse. Last month's minutes were read by Dianne. Andy gave the following treasurer's report: Expenses: newsletters: $26.23, hospitality supplies: $26.81, Dr. Fuller: $25, and the journal ad for the meeting: $62.04. Fund balance is $3804.44.

Our two guests were welcomed to the meeting, Susan Johnson and speaker Peggy Nuske. Thirteen members were in attendance.

Member Roy Cottrell shared information about the field trip to see Keith Smith's rock collection. He was very impressed. Gordon Kummer, field trip chairperson, stated that due to the weather the field trip to Chain of Rocks Bridge had to be cancelled and is rescheduled for the 3rd Saturday in March. Contact him for details as time approaches. He asked for a show of support for a possible October trip to Arkansas. Several were interested in the possibility, so he will explore this fuller as to the agenda of such a trip.

Everyone is reminded to put the August show for the 20-22nd on your calendar and be prepared to help. It will be at Queeny Park. Set up help on the Thursday preceding is especially needed.

Claudia brought up the Science Fair. Do we want to judge and award prizes? Yes was the decision so Claudia will get Science Center gift certificates for $20 and $25 and Joyce and Gordon Kummer will judge the primary grades on Monday, April 12th and the Larsons will judge the secondary on April 16th. The winners will be given the gift, a letter of commendation and an invitation to our club meetings. $20 is awarded to the primary entry and $25 to the secondary. Bob Morse arrived late due to a highway project detainment.

George Martin won the door prize for the evening and the silent auction brought in $2.25. Our formal meeting adjourned at 7:50 for a time of refreshment and fellowship. The Suuts and Hank Schlicter brought the refreshments.

Our speaker for the evening was Peggy Nuske, who gave us a wonderful geological tour of our nearby highways with specimens to show us what to look for along the roads.

Respectfully submitted by Dianne Larson, secretary


News from other clubs

Researchers calculate age of diamonds

How old is that diamond on your finger? Goechemists working in Kimberly, South Africa, believe diamonds may be more than 3 billion years old.

For the first time, researchers have determined the age of diamonds according to a diamond trade journal in Antwerp, Belgium. The journal said the researchers crushed hundreds of diamonds found in Kimberly by DeBeers Consolidated Mines, in order to extract tiny crystals of garnet trapped inside. The garnets, which formed at the same time as the diamonds, contain trace amounts of radioactive isotopes and decay products. Based on ratios of the radioisotopes and their half-lives, they calculated that the diamonds, formed 3.1 to 3.5 billion years ago, and were carried to the surface by volcanic eruptions occuring millions of years later. Diamonds are mined from ancient magma called Kimberlite. It is not known if the gems formed from the cooling rock itself or were picked up as the magma rose from deep inside the earth.

Via THE BENITOITE 11/98, as seen in THE POST ROCK, January 1999

From the internet-
When there's a Will, I want to be in it!
Telepathic Help wanted; you know where.
Once I had a handle on life-but it broke off!
Warning: dates on Calendar are closer than they appear!
Always remember - you are unique - just like everybody else!
Very funny, Scott - now beam down my clothes.
Be nice to your kids - remember, they are the ones who will choose your nursing home.
I am NOT a COMPLETE idiot; some pieces are missing.
If something goes without saying - LET IT!
What's the difference?

A Nodule is a rounded mass of irregular shape, a little know bor lump of any kind of mineral. The word "nodule" comes from the Latin word meaning "knot".

A Geode is a nodule that is hollow or has a cavity that is often lineded with one or more minerals. The word "geode" comes from the Greek word for "earth form".

A Concretion is a mass formed by the aggregation and precipitation of some minerals like quarts or calcite around a nucleus that is often a fossil. The word "concretion" comes from the Latin word meaning "to grow together".

From T-Town Rockhound

Via The Coral Geode - Breccia and The Bentitioite; The Shawmish Roktawk 10/96

Humor-You've heard the expression about being caught between a rock and a hard place, haven't you? That wouldn't bother a rockhound, he'd just pick up the rock and add it to his collection. Haw!! The Gemrock