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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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April Field Trip

On Saturday, April 21, we have a great opportunity to visit a geologist in his own laboratory.  Dr. Daniel Kremser will talk about his work and show us his high powered microscope .  This will take place in room 208 Wilson Hall,  Washington University at 11:00 am. 

Perhaps we can arrange a car pool at the next meeting since we hope to have a large turn out.  After all, how often do we get to see a working geologist in his native habitat!

Comments, Etc.           

St. Louis Zoo Programs
Each month the Zoo has seminars on all sorts of topics that nature lovers enjoy.    These are either free or for a minimal charge and are held in the Living World building.  Your editor had the privilege of attending a seminar  given by Art Wolfe, a famous Wildlife and Nature Photographer.  He lectured and showed slides of pictures he took for his book, The Living Wild.   He  and several famous naturalists put this book together to celebrate the millennium.  He used wide angle lenses and got up very close so that his pictures showed the animals in their natural habitats.  Geologists, animal lovers and photographers will really enjoy his book.   It can be purchased at the zoo. 

The next seminar coming up will be on April 18 from 7:30 to 9:00 pm, The Science Seminar series will present a free lecture by  Dr. Larry Haskin of Washington University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  He will be talking about “Life on Mars:  A Mineral’s Perspective.”  Call  314-768-5466 for more information.

For Sale

            We received two notices on our website from people who have things to sell.  The first was from  She is seeking buyers for for a large rock collection that belonged to her in-laws.  Here is a copy of her e-mail

Thank you for responding, I do have more information on some of the rocks we have, most all the rocks came from the west coast, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana and Utah.  We have petrified wood (different kinds) chicken track agate and jadite from Washington (green) also thunder eggs, red, blue, and green from beds in Pridy Ranch in Oregon.  Also we have a jar of raw opal.  We are in need of help in pricing, if you have any suggestions with this we would really appreciate it.  We are located in the
Hillsboro area off HWY 21.  We have over 50 crates of rock we would really like to sell.     

 The next e-mail was from M. Anis in India .  

Dear Sirs / Madam, 
We export exquisite Mineral Specimens, Zeolites, Agates, Tumbled Polished Stones and other Rock Stones,  from
India .
If you could put up this offer to your members, through the various mediums open to you, we shall be glad to entertain their queries and give them our best offers.
It would also help if you could let us have their names & addresses (including e-mail) for direct contact.

Our e-mail :
fax no.: 91-22-2696799
snail mail : SAZ & Company
GPO Box No. 1053
Bombay    400 001
India .

April Mineral of the Month
Hank Schlichter will continue with his “Mineral of the Month.”  This month it will be dolomite.  Bring a specimen to share with us.

Minutes of  Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society meeting  

The meeting was called to order by Pres. Bob Morse at 7;10 P.M. There were 12 members and 1 guest present.
The Secretary’s report was read and accepted.
The Treasurer’s report was read and accepted.
FIELD TRIP: We will go to
Washington University in April.  We would like to go to Eureka off highway 109 next week end if weather permits
August is the next Association  Show .  We will need volunteers.  The more participation we give the more we collect for our club.
Are we interested in the Science Fair?  If so we will need to get our request in very soon.
Andrew Larson went to the
Field Museum in Chicago .  He saw a lot of Jade, Russian Gold and lots of jewelry.
Marianne Toenjes needs an update on all our phone numbers.
The door prize was won by Joan Schlichter.
The second door prize was won by Claudia Uccello.
Business meeting adjourned at
7:27 P.M.
Hank Schlichter gave a very interesting program on pyrite.
Beverly Sky had a video on Russian Gold jewelry.  It was very interesting.

Respectfully submitted

Helen Heitland, Sec.     

W e are pleased to announce that we have four new members.
James Butery
is a former Hydrolic Engineer who retired nine years ago.  James has been interested in geology and rock collecting since his college years.  He is also an avid gardener, golfer and has raised horses.  James, a native of St. Louis is a bachelor who lives in Wildwood.

Joyce Erard is also a native St. Louisian who has lived in Ballwin for the last 30 years.  She is a widow with a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.    Her whole family has always been interested in the outdoors and the natural environment.  They have been bringing home rocks for years and now she wants to learn more.  Joyce has many hobbies--fishing, gardening, painting water colors, sewing, cooking, reading and swimming!  She works part time as a receptionist in medical records at Friendship Village .

Next month we will feature new members, Benjamin & Marilyn Miller.


Thanks go to Barbara Sky for volunteering to be our association representative.

We also want to thank Andy & Dianne Larson and Joan & Hank Schlichter for judging the Science Fair.

News From Other Clubs

Egg Shell Geodes
Anna Domitrovic

Don’t throw those egg shells away!!  If prepared properly, you can make your own Geodes!

First make sure there are no cracks in the egg shell halves.  There is a thin skin on the inside of the shells you’ll have to remove, otherwise the crystals won’t be able to attach themselves and grow.  Carefully remove the inner skin by using a tweezers, or gently roll it out with your fingertip. Set the cleaned egg shell halves back into the egg carton.

Mineral crystals grow out of solutions, sometimes over millions of years, sometimes fairly quickly.  Your mineral crystals will grow in a matter  of days.  But first you must mix the solution.  Start with salt.  Dissolve the salt in about 1/2 cup of warm water, until you can dissolve no more.  You are making a super saturated solution.  Now add some food coloring to the solution. 

Fill the bottom of your egg shell halves with the salt water solution.  Then drop a few extra grains of salt into the egg shell for seed crystals.  Set the egg cartons aside until the salt solution has evaporated.  It may take several days depending on how much solution you put into the shell.

Note how and where the crystals grew in your geodes.  What crystal shape do you see?  Is the color what you expected?  Look at some grains of salt under a microscope or a hand lens.  What do you see and how does it compare to your geodes?

Try another super saturated solution in your geodes, like sugar, alum, Epsom salt, etc.  See how they form. (Via the Trilobite, The Gemrock and ES News)

Ammonites were named after the Egyptian God Ammon, who was often pictured as a man with a ram’s head.  Since this small sea animal looked like a coiled ram’s horn, what better name could there be?  Ammonites first appeared about 375 million years ago and were very common for about 200 million years.  At that point they became extinct.  These creatures moved about in the water in a way somewhat related to the way a modern jet plane moves about in the air.  The ammonite squirted water through a tube in one direction, thus moving itself in the opposite direction.  Equipped with octopus-like arms, they probably fed on the small sea animals that were an easy catch.  Other features of the ammonite were its two large eyes and sharp beak.  Although ammonites usually measured only a few inches across, some have been found that measure six feet across.  Related to the squid and octopus, its closest living relative is the pearly nautilus.

(Via ES News)

Useful Tip
When preparing fossils for display, ENDUST will bring out the details without leaving an undesirable shiny finish. (Via Pegmatite)

To all the rocks in your life...
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him.  When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter.  He then asked the students if the jar was full?  They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.  He then asked the student again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The students laughed.  The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children -- anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed.  The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.  The sand is everything else --  the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  The same goes for your life.  If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that  are important to you.  Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play with your children.  Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your partner out dancing.

"There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.  Take care of the rocks first -- the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand." (Via the Internet)