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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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February 2003

January Field Trip
The nine members who were able to attend our field trip to the art museum on Friday, January 24th were quite impressed with the exhibit. The black and white picture doesn’t do it justice! Imagine each one of those black dots as either an
emerald. a ruby or a sapphire! This wonderful al-Sabah collection was started in 1983 and had been housed in the National Museum of Kuwait. Luckily they were able to get it out before the museum was destroyed during Desert Storm. Since that time it has been traveling around we world. It came here directly from the British Museum. There are six rooms with 300 jeweled objects-- jewels, daggers, boxes, toe rings, dishes from the Mugal period in India (1526-1858) There are emeralds there that are so large they look like pieces of coke bottles. The show will be on through April 20th. Try to see it before it leaves.

February Field trip
On February 22, the club has been invited to visit Bill Theiss and his world famous collection of geodes. We will meet at the Larson’s at 9:00 a. m. and car pool. If interested call Dianne at 636-256-0241.

Martha Cottrell is recovering from knee surgery. She has elected to wait until next winter to have her other knee replaced.

Mineral of the Month
Hank Schlichter will be telling us all about Petrified Wood this month. Bring a specimen to show the rest of the group if you have any. 

Library Displays
We have been trying to get the word out about our club by putting displays in various libraries. During January, Eleanor Stuut and Claudia Uccello put one in the Grand Glaize Library and in February we have moved it over to the new Samuel Sachs library off Chesterfield Parkway over behind Chesterfield Mall.

News From
Other Clubs

Helpful Hints
To clean and shine most drusy specimens, use Easy Off oven cleaner (fume free is OK.) Spray the specimen and then leave it overnight in a closed container or bag before rinsing. This even works for iron stained quartz crystals. (Via Golden Spike News)
For general cleanup, put a cake of soap in a nylon stocking and use in the wash-up areas in your shop. Nylon is abrasive and removes stubborn dirt.(Via Quarry Quips)

Never use ammonia, soap, or detergents on genuine turquoise. In fact a good test for the genuine is to apply a spot of ammonia to he back of a suspected piece. If it is genuine, it will turn white. (Via Mountain Gem. Via Quarry Quips)

Amethyst Factoids
The name comes from the Greek amethystos meaning “Without wine.” The ancients thought that amethyst could prevent drunkenness. Goblets were made of amethyst so that one could imbibe endlessly without fear of intoxication....the preservation of sobriety was probably accomplished by the fact that water could be drunk with the appearance of whine when looked at through a purple goblet, this allowing the drinker to gulp at will without effect.... One legend even suggests that amethyst came from a servant of the goddess Diana named Amethyst. She was turned to clear stone in order to protect her from tigers sent by Bacchus, who later poured wine over the stone and turned it purple.... amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and is the most valuable in that group....Some amethysts will lose their color in daylight. The original color can be restored only through a rather expensive radiation process. The Royal purple color of amethyst made it a favorite of kings and queens. Even bishops of the church wore it. St. Valentine wore a ring with amethyst carved in the image of Cupid. Heating is sometimes used to lighten the color. Heating Amethyst can also turn it yellow (which is called citrine), red brown, green, or colorless- in all cases it can no longer be truly and correctly called amethyst: While any purple glass or plastic could imitate amethyst, its relatively inexpensive price makes imitation less attractive.

What is a Rockhound?
by Cecilia Duluk

What is a rockhound?
he is a special breed--a hunter, collector and craftsman. He loves Nature’s hills--but is always trying to bring them home! He appreciates natural beauty--but is never satisfied until he has polished it! He is a safety-minded citizen--but is willing to scale a mile-high cliff for that special specimen.

A rockhound has the natural swapping instincts of a pack-rat, the agility of a mountain goat, the generosity of a philanthropist, the immunity to rain of a duck and the perseverance and patience of a Job (especially when that crystal is impossible embedded in that vug!)

A rockhound has a house whose rooms are overflowing with rocks over every size and shape--filling display cases, tables, chairs, drawers, kitchen, sink and basement. The big ones crowd his porch, backyard, garage. You can always recognize his car by its sagging axle and its thick coating of dust!

A rockhound is generally considered an ODD-BALL by non-rockhounds, a nuisance by farmers and quarry superintendents, an UNLIMITED SUPPLIER by jewelry loving wives and a BOON COMPANION by other rockhounds!

What is a rockhound? he is a POLITICIAN--with a mineral club ambassadorship, a VISIONARY--with a diamond saw, a PIONEER--in a station wagon, a WORLD EXPLORER--in his own back yard! But most of all, the ROCKHOUND is a person who searches for, finds and cherishes forever those bits of chemical beauty called Rocks and Minerals, which afford him a glimpse of INFINITY ON A SHELF!
(Via the Rockpile, via Arrowhead News)


Minutes of the January 17, 2003 Meeting of the Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
The meeting was called to order by President Joan Schlichter at 7:03 p.m.

Hospitality chairman Helen Heitland reported that there were eleven member present and no guests. (Three guests arrived later).

There were no minutes taken at the last

Treasurer Bob Morse presented the financial report. In reply to a query he explained the purpose of a payment we made to the Midwest Federation for insurance. Bob said there are currently thirteen paid members and reminded others that dues are due. Dianne Larson said she will send a bill for expenses of the Christmas party.

President Joan Schlichter announced that there will be a board meeting next month a half hour before the meeting. (6:30 p.m.)

Editor Claudia Uccello said she wants to relinquish Science Fair duties such as getting gifts and judging. Andy Larson volunteered to take over her duties.

Bill Thies sent a copy of an article in the Post-Dispatch about his magnificent collection of Union Road agate and other rocks. He said he has a new black light and has discovered that 80% of Union Road agates fluoresce. He invited the club to come to his home in Dellwood. A field trip there will be explored and members notified by phone.

Andy reported on a current exhibit at the Art Museum on Indian art. It contains spectacular jewels from the Kuwait National Museum. The show is free on Fridays. A January field trip there was suggested for next Friday, January 24. Those interested will meet at the Larsons at 9:30 a.m. or meet the club members at the museum about 10:00 a.m.

Education chairman Hank Schlichter had nothing to report except he is glad literature about the club is available at all shows.

Vice President Peggy Nuske was not present.

Bob Morse said that since the boutique at annual Midwest Federation shows has taken in a substantial amount of money it is time to set up a scholarship fund--perhaps to be awarded to a child or grandchild of an active member. Bob suggested giving the money to parents to avoid a deduction from other college scholarships and grants.

Phone committee chairman Joyce Erard asked when a new membership list will be ready.

New business: Dianne Larson said Claudia and Eleanor have set up a display at the Grand Glaize library on highway 141. The Sachs library will have a display in February (Set up will be February 1st.)

Old business: Joyce made hangers for her Christmas tree from geodes.

Hank Schlichter presented a talk on the Missouri mineral of the month -- limonite.

The attendance prize was won by Dianne Larson.

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m. A slide presentation was given by Bob Morse of his trip last summer to Lake Superior and surrounding areas.

Submitted by Marianne Toenjes, Secretary