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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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April 2003 


Field Trips

Our April Field Trip will be to the Open House at Bill Thies’s home on Sunday, April 13 between 1:00 - 5:00 P.M. Those who would like to car pool will meet at the Larson’s home, 474 Graywood, Ballwin, MO 63011. Call Andy or Dianne at 636-256-0241 for more details.

Peggy Nuske, our vice president is having a hard time recovering from her gall bladder operation. She now has pancreatitis and a tumor behind her liver. The doctors can not deal with the tumor until the pancreatitis is under control. We will keep you posted on Peggy’s progress. Please keep her in your prayers.

Mary Parrott will be presenting the $1000 check we are donating to the Missouri Mines Mineral Museum on April 12, 2003. The museum will be using this money to acquire more mineral samples.
There will be a Rock Swap at the Missouri Mines State Historic Site on June 13-15, 2003. Perhaps we can get a field trip together and spend the week-end down there as we did a couple of years ago. There are camp grounds and nice motels nearby. If you are interested in participating in the Swap, there is information on the back of the flyer at the end of this bulletin. Let’s get a group together and go!

Rock Hound Rules
Prices go up faster than your income and the heaviest finds are always made downhill from your car.

The rock you want most is the one the owner doesn’t want to sell.

The best finds are made the day before or the day after you were there.

The really good stuff in the ad will be sold before you get the ad.
(Via: MWF Newsletter)

Turritella Agate
The Name is False!

Turritella Agate is found in Sweetwater County, Wyoming and around Superior and Wamsutter, Wyoming, too. The little snail who inhabited the shell lived in the Eocene, about 40 million years ago. These fossils were not laid down in a sea, but in a fresh-water lake. The shell is highly silicified, more so than the brown matrix from which they can be etched. Whoever named this agate only knew that the sea-snail Turritella had a high spiral shell. He jumped right in with this name without bothering to check the species out. The name has stuck, causing many people to be misled.
These fossils are not even in the Turritella family; the true name is Oxyterma genera. A few years ago this species was known as the Goniobasis tenera but further research caused the name change. You better check your collection right now and perhaps bring your identification up-to-date with the correct name of this beautiful little gastropod. (Via: MAPS Digest &Show-Me Rockhounds)

Diamond, the birthstone of April, is the hardest and most brilliant of gems. It is the chief symbol of marital happiness and, as such, the most popular engagement and anniversary stone.
Some diamonds are lasered to turn black inclusions permanently colorless.
Ancients believed diamonds were splinters of shattered stars.
While the diamond is the most scratch resistant of all gems, it should be protected from sharp blows that can cause chipping.

Gaps in Mammoth DNA Make Cloning Impossible

Brian Rodgers EIGGS
Fragments of DNA from mammoths have been recovered and sequenced, but are too damaged to make cloning the long-extinct creatures possible. Unlike earlier research, the DNA this time comes from the nucleus of mammoth cells, not from the energy-producing mitochondria. Mitochondrial DNA is more plentiful and easier to detect in ancient samples, but nuclear DNA is more revealing and is the type needed for cloning.
Scientists recovered and sequenced nuclear DNA from several Siberian and Alaskan mammoths, as well as from extinct ground sloths from Chile and Cave bears from Croatia. The animals had all been preserved after death in permafrost or in very cold conditions, aiding survival of the tissue, but the longest sequence that it has been possible to recover is about 100 base pairs long-each base representing a letter of the genetic alphabet.
In modern DNA from living species, we can recover sequences hundreds or thousands of times longer. This shows that the DNA is very fragmented and there is no way to use it to clone a mammoth. The results do allow mammoths to be compared to elephants. As expected, there are many parallels, with Asian elephants apparently being more closely related to the mammoth than the African variety. The next closest relation is the manatee, and the rest are a long way away.

Helpful Hints

To clean fluorite, do not wash in hot, nor even warm water. The luster will vanish and be gone forever. It can be placed into muriatic acid to remove calcite, then washed in cold water.

If your diamond charge lap is dirty and slow in cutting, clean it with Twinkle, available at most supermarkets. It will not only be cleaner, but it will look and probably cut like new.

The “star” in a synthetic sapphire moves with the light, but does not do so in a natural sapphire.
(Via: The Ammonite, Quarry Quips)

Minutes of March 20, 2003 Meeting of the Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society

The meeting was called to order by president Joan Schlichter at 7:10 p.m.

Hospitality chairman Helen Heitland reported there were 14 members and 5 guests present. Visitors were Ray Juergens, Darlene and Carl Kreider, Lynne Miller and Dee Wiegand.

Minutes of the February 20 meeting were published in the bulletin and accepted as printed.

Treasurer Bob Morse gave the treasurer's report which was approved as read. Bob announced there will be a meeting in April at which Mary Parrott will present a check for $1000 to Art Hebrink for the Mineral Area Museum. The museum has a no-plaque policy but the club's name can be put on display.

Coordinator Dianne Larson reported that Eleanor Stuut will be the new historian due to the resignation of Matt Bannon. The field trip to Bill Thies home was canceled but he will have an open house on Sunday April 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. If anyone is interested a sign up sheet will be available after the meeting. Dianne suggested meeting at 1 p.m. for a shared ride to the Thies home. Call Dianne if going for further information. The Science Fair judging for small children's displays will be April 7.

Editor Claudia Uccello brought a stack of old bulletins from other clubs.

Education chairman Hank Schlichter mentioned the rock hobby show coming up on March 21-23 at the Machinist's Hall.

Joan Schlichter said that Vice President Peggy Nuske will resign because of illness and we need a Vice President to fill out her term. Since no one volunteered it was agreed we will all pull together.

Bob Morse reported on the association show committee meeting. The president suggested they try to increase attendance at association meetings, pick a name for the web site and perhaps get a Mr. Bones display for the show. They may get 500 megabytes for $99 for a year and each club will have a page on the new web site.

Field trip chairman Andy Larson said the rock hobby show is this weekend and all should be encouraged to come and bring friends.

Telephone committee chairman Joyce Erard had no news to report.

No old business.

New Business - Hank Schlichter said the new dates for meetings should be added to existing flyers.

Announcements - Joan received a flyer about a rock swap June 13, 14 and 15 at the Missouri Mines State Historic site. The 38th annual rock swap/sale/auction will be Saturday May 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Deer Creek Park in Maplewood on Laclede Station and Marshall Roads.

Ken Vaisvil's article for the Rock and Mineral magazine was accepted for the July-August issue.

Hank Schlichter gave a talk on the mineral of the month, Rhyolite.

Claudia Uccello won the attendance prize.

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Pat Bretell gave a talk about her experiences living in Brazil and Claudia supplemented with a slide presentation from her visit to Brazil.

Submitted by Marianne Toenjes, Secretary