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The 2008 AFMS Endowment Fund Drawing

Are You Ready? . . . Get Set . . . LET'S GO !

The First Three Prizes for the 2008 AFMS Endowment Fund Drawing!

Hello Again, To All Our Rockhound Friends,

I am delighted to report that we are already beginning to receive some really exciting new prizes for this year�s AFMS Endowment Fund-raising effort, and want to let you know that this is just the beginning! We will the be posting pictures and description of each new arrival on this website page as soon as we receive them.

We think these pictures and descriptions will serve to whet your appetite for what is yet to come in from all our seven Regional federations. We plan to offer a total of fourteen spectacular gifts in all before we are finished; two prize donations from each of the Regional Federations.

If you would like to try to become a recipient of one of these prizes, or of the ones we have not yet mentioned, you will need to obtain a prize eligibility coupon. A contribution of $5 to any of our Regional committee chairmen, (listed below,) will entitle you to a coupon - and any contribution of $20 will give you five coupons. A drawing to select the prize winners will be held following the 2008 Awards Banquet during the 2008 AFMS/SCFMS Convention in Humble, TX, September 27, 2008. You do not need to be present in Humble to win - if your coupon is drawn, we will ship your prize to the address you put on the back of the winning coupon.

If you are not able to reach your Region�s Endowment Fund Committee representative, you can send your donation directly to me by mail (address below under EFMLS listing) and I will send your coupons to you by return mail. All 2008 coupons awarded will be eligible for the drawing - so start getting yours now!

Joy Bourne, AFMS Endowment Fund Chair

Endowment Fund Regional Representatives for 2008:

CFMS: Bural LaRue
EFMLS: Joy Bourne
MWF: John Washburn
NFMS: Rocky McCall
RMFMS:    Howell T. Whiting
SCFMS: Joyce Speed
SFMS: Ken Anderson

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Note: Items will be added to this page as they become available.

2008 AFMS Endowment Fund Drawing Prizes
As of July 27, 2008

A First Look . . . Prize Descriptions and More Information

Click on the images below for a larger picture.

Prize #1 - Selenite Plat on Amethyst Pipe



Prize # 2 - Kauri Gum from New Zealand

Photo by Howell Whiting

Prize #1: Selenite plate on amethyst pipe. This incredibly beautiful cabinet specimen originated in Brazil and was the first prize donation received for the 2008 Endowment Fund Drawing. The overall dimensions of the specimen are a 7-inch base diameter; total specimen height of 11-inches and plate thickness of the selenite plate is 3/4 inch,

The selenite is crystal clear, as can be noted from the uninterrupted view of the folds in the red velvet background. (See photo), and it features a lovely green crust of amethyst crystals crowning the plate. The base consists of two broken pieces of the pipe which have been rejoined naturally. This outstanding specimen was donated by an EFMLS member who prefers to remain anonymous, and who estimates its value at $250 - $300. (EFMLS)


Prize #2: A piece of "KAURI GUM" from New Zealand; also known as the New Zealand amber. This large and unusual specimen was donated by AFMS Endowment Fund committee member, Howell Whiting, who also serves as RMFMS State Director for New Mexico and Texas. Howie tells us " The specimen was sent to us from one of our members in New Zealand and is approximately 90 grams, about 3 x 3 inches in size and is about an inch thick. I estimate the value at $200.00." (RMFMS)


Prize #3 - Vial of Virgin Valley Opal

Prize #4 - Brazilian Amethyst Cathedral

Photo by John Washburn

Prize #3:  Vial of Virgin Valley Opal from the Rainbow Ridge mining claim in Humboldt Co., Nevada, donated to the 2008 Drawing by Gene Straw, a member of the Skagitt Rock & Gem Club, of Mount Vernon, WA who collected them on July 3, 2006.

The opals from Virgin Valley contain about 14% water, and if dried. will most probably crack or craze. For that reason, almost all opals from Virgin Valley are used as display specimens in glass vials with water. The color show best in sunlight, but if displayed in a case, halogen flood or spot lights give the best lighting.

The 3mm x 7mm vial contains 7 pieces of the prized transparent opal, the largest of which exhibit a bluish sheen. Others show yellow or blue sheen, with red, blue and green flashes. Total carat weight of the opal is 121 ct., with the largest piece weighing in at a hefty 36 ct, The smallest piece in the vial weighs 3.95 ct.

These two pictures of the vial were taken from different perspectives - showing that the color, like life, is all in how you look at it, This exceptional prize is valued by the donor as between $500 and $700. (NFMS)

  Prize #4:  Brazilian Amethyst Cathedral. This is a truly excellent cabinet specimen . The piece stands 9.5 inches high and is 7.0 inches wide The color of the large well-formed crystals is a vibrant deep purple throughout. This beautiful cathedral originated in Brazil and was donated to the 2008 AFMS Endowment Fund Drawing by Gary Peeve, proprietor of Peeve's Rocks. Gary is a member of the Peoria, Illinois club and also of the Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society of Springfield, Illinois.

Gary was the winner of the Tampa Bay Coral prize last year, and as he told us, the coral is proudly displayed in his collection, so he was very pleased to donate something this year in return. Conservatively valued at $200. (MWF).


Prize #5 - Blue cubic zirconia gemstone


Prize #6 - Lone Star Cut 9.60 carat Topaz

Prize #5: A beautifully faceted oval London Blue cubic zirconia gemstone. The 10.5 ct. gem is mounted in a dramatic 14k gold pendant mounting, and measures 14mm x 10mm. This lovely keepsake stone was cut, mounted and donated by Steve Weinberger, AFMS Central Office Coordinator, and WildAcres instructor, especially for the 2008 Endowment Fund Drawing. The prize is valued at $200. (EFMLS)   Prize #6: A natural, pale-blue Mason County, Texas, 9.60 carat topaz, done in the Lone Star cut. This topaz was impeccably cut and donated by master facetor, Don Buhl, a member of the Williamson County Gem and Mineral Club in Georgetown, TX. Valued by the donor-dealer at $437.70. Joyce Speed, SCFMS Endowment Fund Committee member reports, "I am thrilled with the donation, especially since the AFMS/SCFMS convention will be held in Texas." (SCFMS).
Prize #7 - US Balance Digital Scale

Prize # 8 - Original Engraved Glass Vase

Prize #7: This unusual prize is a US Balance Digital Scale, valued at approximately at $100.00. A most useful item to have abound the home and workshop for obtaining exact digital weight measurement for larger gem stones; postal/mailing use; shipping use, kitchen uses and more! Donated by Dan Cecrle, member of the Rollin Rock Club. (SCFMS).   Prize # 8: We are delighted to announce that B. Jay Bowman has created a second original engraved glass vase for us to offer this year to some fortunate friend of the AFMS Endowment Fund. This vase is, in our opinion, the most intricate and beautiful he has done to date. The vase is approx. 12 1/2" tall, 6 1/2" in diameter. at the base and 4 1/2" at the top. The glass is about 3/8" thick. The title of the piece is "The Four Witches II," and the engraving features four graceful and flowing figures of witches dancing around the lower circumference of the vase. Jay has also furnished close-ups pictures of each of the witches to show all the details in addition to a picture of the entire vase. The piece is conservatively valued at $ 225.00. Many of you will remember Jay from a visit to Wildacres in North Carolina, where he serves as Uniform Rules Instructor for the Judging classes. When not at Wildacres he holds forth as Past-President and current editor for the Rough & Tumbled Rock & Gem Club in Ponca City OK. (RMFMS and EFMLS)
Prize #9 - Float Copper Cabinet Specimen & Calumet and Hecla Mining Company Stock Share


Prize #9: A float copper cabinet specimen from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Keweenaw County), it weighs just under 3 lb., The dimensions are 4" long 31/2" wide and the high point is 4". The prize was donated by Pamela Hecht, currently serving as MWF President, who tells that this specimen is in its natural state as collected from the earth....just clean with soap and water. She reports that the copper has no particular mining location associated with it, as it was found in the woods and not at a mine site. - But wait - There�s more. This unique specimen comes with an extra bonus for the lucky winner. He/she will also receive a mining stock share certificate from the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company. The date on the certificate is August 18, 1958, and it is good for 100 shares of common stock at the price of $5.00 per share. Unfortunately, the certificate is a mining artifact and has no monetary value attached to it. Pam values the total prize at $75.00. (MWF)    

Prize #10 - Charoite Pendant   

Prize #11 - Fossil leaf specimen  
Prize # 10: 14k gold wire-wrapped free-form Royal lavender charoite pendant which beautifully exhibits two different mineralization exposures. The pendant measures 3-1/8 in, in length and 1-5/8 in. wide at the base, and is hung on an 18" gold chain. Colors displayed in this piece of charoite range from light yellow to bright lavender, violet and lilac to dark purple with white veining forming a swirling pattern of interlocking crystals.

First discovered in Russia�s Murun mountains in 1947, charoite was not known in the West until 1978. The stone was named for the Chary River at Aldan in Russia, near which it was discovered. This rare and valuable mineral remains unique to Russia, its only known source to date.

The creator and donor of this lovely pendant is master craftsman Marion Roberts, CFMS Past President, who is currently serving as Chairman of the CFMS Earth Science Committee.

Marion estimates the value of the piece to be between $125 and $175, considering the gold prices today. (CFMS)

  Prize #11: Fossil leaf specimen. This unusual plate of fossil leaves measures about 12" vertically to 15" horizontally (as viewed in the picture). It exhibits three distinct genera, including Metasequoia occidentalis; Prunus coloradensis, and Platanus sp. The piece dates to the Paleocene epoch (early Cenozoic age), and was collected in the Sentinel Butte formation, McLean County, North Dakota. This excellent fossil plate was donated by Steven Holley, proprietor of Coppeas Creek Fossils in Farmington, IL, who values it at $50.00. (MWF)

Prize #12 - Ceremonial Native American Knife  

Prize #13 - Moonstone Carvings  
Prize #12: Ceremonial Native American Knife, knapped and donated by Henry Vaughn, member of the Mississippi Gem & Mineral Society for about 20 years. Henry lives in Braxton, MS, and has been practicing the art of knapping for over 30 years. The material used is Mahogany Obsidian which would have been used mostly in the Pacific Northwest in the region of its sources. This knife is not an exact replica of any particular point style, but is similar to ceremonial points such as Scotts Bluff, Stringtown, Searcy or Genessee. The piece is marked by the maker, with his initials and the year, using a diamond scribe. This is the practice of all responsible knappers. Athough this blade is intended as art work, it can rival a steel blade with the results achieved. The maple display rack which accompanies the blade was fashioned by Ken Anderson. Retail value as set by Betty James and based on materials and craftsmanship is $350. (SFMS)   Prize #13: Moonstone Carvings; Cameo and Cross, carved and donated by Kenneth Neaves. Mr Neaves resides in Lansing NC and has been carving since 1968. He has exhibited in many club and federation shows over the years and many of his exquisite carvings are shown on the internet at www.lopacki.com/artists under "other artists." The material is moonstone from the Bill Burleson farm in Avery County, NC, which was once open to collecting on a fee basis. The site has been closed for many years now, and the material is extremely rare. Mr. Neaves called Ken Anderson to offer us his work after reading about our Endowment Fund in a SAMS newsletter. He currently has no club affiliation, due to his remote location and poor health, but as Ken reports (and I have learned from talking with him,) he is very much interested in our organization and the hobby in particular. He values the set at $550 (SFMS)

Prize #14 - Rhyolite Beaded Necklace  

Prize #15 - Faceted Portuguese Cut Rose Quartz
Prize #14: Burning Bush Rhyolite Beaded Necklace The 3"x3" rhyolite centerpiece of this strikingly beautiful necklace is an excellently polished semi-rectangular "Burning Bush" piece of rhyolite set in a delica bead bezel with pressed and faceted glass bead embellishment and delica leaves - all mounted on a leatherette back. The centerpiece is hung from a 22" "crazy horse canyon" bead necklace. The entire piece was created and donated by Betty James, EFMLS Region VII vice-president and SFMS First Vice President. The pattern she used is number 112 of the BJ Original series, and it is absolutely the latest rage in jewelry! Betty reliably predicts that the necklace would sell in her market for $425. (EFMLS/SFMS)   Prize #15: Faceted Portuguese Cut Rose Quartz. SFMS Past-President Buddy Shotts has really outdone himself with this spectacular gemstone which he has donated for the 2008 Drawing. The stone is a 24.86-carat, split-facet gem, cut from Madagascar rose quartz. The stone has a total of 193 facets - 16 more than the usual Portuguese cut, due to the split mains. Its physical dimensions are 28mm. tall with a diameter of 15mm. Unfortunately, the photos do not do justice to the beauty of this stone. The color is a lovely pale pink, and all 192 facets appear to be in constant motion; rendering them almost impossible to capture with a camera. Buddy values the stone at $350, and says that he hopes whoever wins it will enjoy it. (Editor�s note: How could anyone not enjoy this magnificent stone?? -jb) (SFMS) 

Prize #16 - Texas Lone Star Cut Topaz Pendant  
Prize #16: Texas Lone Star Cut Topaz Pendant. In the true Texas spirit of generosity, Jill Rowlands Moffitt and husband, John Moffitt, of Houston, TX, have donated this beautiful 10mm (5 carat) Swiss Blue Brazilian Topaz which Jill cut in the official Texas Lone Star Pattern. Included with the prize is a modified copy of the official Texas Lone Star cutting pattern (in case the recipient wants to try to replicate it). Jill notes that "the original is a two-page legal size, and not pretty." What a perfectly appropriate prize for our 2008 Annual Meeting and Convention. Based on current web prices of others marketing this piece, the estimated value is $525.00. (SCFMS)    

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