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October 1997
June 1997 October 1997 December 1997





Newsletter - October, 1997



MARGARET'S MUSINGS - Margaret Heinek >


SAFETY - BRRRR!!!! Part 2 - By Mel Albright>

AFMS FINANCIAL REPORT - By Toby Cozens, AFMS Treasurer>

"PAUA SHELL" or New Zealand Opal! - by Ross Cranswick>


AND ITS NAME SHALL BE CALLED..... - by Diane Dare>





Editor's Note: The opening is scheduled for Sept. 20, 1997

The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals

AT: National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
Constitution Avenue and 10th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20560

The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals opened September 20, 1997. Designed to showcase the world-renowned National Gem and Mineral Collection, the new hall explores dynamic earth processes, including crystal and ore formation, volcano and earthquake origins, plate tectonics and the formation of the solar system. The new hall is named in honor of Mrs. Janet Annenberg Hooker, in recognition of her $5 million contribution toward its creation.

A team of more than 100 curators, designers, scientists, architects, engineers, artists, educators, writers and researchers developed the 20,000 square foot project starting in early 1989. The hall features natural and re-constructed environmental surroundings. It also incorporates interactive computers, animated graphics, film and video presentations, floor and ceiling treatments, hands-on specimens and tailored display lighting.



This gallery features the renowned Hope Diamond, the world's largest faceted deep blue diamond. The 45.52-caratt Hope Diamond has a history tinged with speculation and superstition. A gift from Harry Winston to the American people in 1958, the Hope Diamond is exhibited with other geological products of the earth. Included are the striking Tucson ring meteorite, a naturally sculpted sandstone concretion from Fountainbleu, France, a 146-kg (325-1b) sheet of natural copper found in Michigan and a quartz crystal group from Namibia weighing approximately 600-kg (1,320-lbs). Also featured, will be a polished slab of migmatite, a rock formed at high temperature and pressure deep within the earth.


This section showcases selections from what is recognized to be the finest collection of gemstones and jewelry pieces in the world. Among the highlights will be the Hooker Emerald, Hooker Starburst Diamonds, Star of Asia, Rosser Reeves Ruby, Chalk Emerald, Marie Antoinette diamond earrings, Napoleon Diamond Necklace, the rare DeYoung red and pink diamonds and a 23,000-carat topaz gem.
(Editor's note: This topaz is a gift from the members of the AFMS.)


A striking array of glistening crystal specimens emphasize the importance of minerals in everyday life. Considered the building blocks of earth, scientists have identified nearly 4,000 minerals. The mineral and crystal treasures area will display the most spectacular minerals, crystals and gems and encourage visitors to explore topics such as crystal shape, color and growth and where minerals are found.


A "walk-through mine" features actual crystal pockets and ore veins to create four U.S. mines embedded in rock-like walls. The exhibit incorporates mineral deposits from a historic zinc mine in Sterling Hill, New Jersey; a semi-precious gem mine in Amelia County, Virginia; historic copper from the Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona; and lead from the Fletcher Mine, Viburnum, Missouri.


A re-creation of a cave will feature large touchable specimens and simulated rock outcroppings which tell the story of how rocks are formed. The surface forces of wind, water, gravity, and deep earth forces of incredible heat and pressure are also explained.


This gallery shows how earthquakes, mountain chains and volcanoes are the primary result of the constantly shifting earth surface. State-of-the-art exhibit techniques include a HDTV theater which explores these dynamic earth processes, and visitor interactive maps and models which explain how the heat of the earth's interior serves as the engine that drives the change of our planet.


This section explores the intricate puzzle of the birth and history of our solar system through film, models and touchable specimens. Exhibit areas examine how meteorites -- the oldest objects known, reveal the earliest history of our earth and solar system, four to five billion years ago. The meteorite gallery will feature hundreds of specimens, including some from the Moon and Mars.


From the atomic to the astronomical, the new Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals presents the past, present and future of the planet Earth. This is the first time a major fund-raising effort has been undertaken to renovate a permanent hall at the National Museum of Natural History. To finance the new complex, a total of $8.5 million has been raised from private sources.



By Margaret Heinek,
President, AFMS

This month will be a very busy month for most of us as our AFMS Convention will be in Mississippi, and will be our 50th Anniversary. This will be my last column as president of the AFMS, and sincerely hope we will have a good attendance at the meetings and show. The Mississippi club has worked hard to make this a convention to remember. So I will see you there.

There are several items that will be brought up in the meeting that will be of interested to all of the seven Federations, so come and make your ideas known. This is the only way the officers and directors will be aware of your thoughts.

Recently, a "mutual business decision" ended the AFMS affiliation with MBNA's credit card. MBNA America will continue to carry your account, if you want to stay with them. But as of several months ago they have not sent the AFMS the .25� for each use of the credit card by AFMS members. It seems that the company wanted to do this 2 years or so ago, but decided to continue with the AFMS. As I stated last month, this was due, particularly to so few members that had gotten the card. I was asked if I had any thing to do with this decision, "NO I DID NOT". Dan at the main office was notified that they were withdrawing their support from us. He called
to inform me of MBNA'S decision, and asked if I had gotten a letter from the company, no I did not, and have not. The latest statement contains the news of their withdrawal. Some of our members have canceled their credit card from MBNA, they are mad about the "way the company has done us". The decision is yours!

It appears that a proposal is being made, that will be voted on at the October Convention, to supply each Federation Supply Chairman with from $150.00 to $200.00 worth of supplies from the main office, at no charge. The proposal as presented, suggests that this expense be taken out of the interest that the Endowment Fund sends, but the feeling is, that this should be taken from the "increase" of dues sent to the AFMS from each Regional Federation for their members. The Regional Federations can then charge for the supplies, and that money is then put back into their own Regional treasury.

Another item I am excited about, there are several GOOD programs that have been received and judged with a high score, and hope each Federation will be supplied with a copy of these programs for their Program Committee.

I hope to see many of our members at the Convention, not only to attend meetings, (to help make decisions that affects the AFMS) go on field trips, display competition, view the many displays, hear some excellent speakers, and visit with mutual friends. So come to have fun!!!!

Of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, `It might have been,'
More sad are these we daily see:
`It is, but hadn't ought to be.'
-- Francis Brett Hart


By Margaret M. Pearson, Chair

The following rockhounds are being recognized for they're outstanding service by the AFMS through its program EACH CLLJB-EACH YEAR-ONE ROCKHOLTND. The names of rockhounds honored by their fellow members for their contribution to their club and the hobby are not published here in any particular order. The AFMS congratulates these hardworking club members!
� Dr. Eaner Higgins, Kalispell RockHound Club, Kalispell, MT, is a long time member who has donated faceted stones to the club for raffles, assisted members in need and donated faceted stones to the NFMS for the Scholarship Fund auction.
� Sallee and Bob Braumbaugh, Santa Cruz Mineral & Gem Society, Santa Cruz, CA. Bob has been president and for years field trip chair, and has given many hundreds of hours of his time, as well as samples of rocks, minerals and fossils, to the education of community members, from elementary school children to college students. Sallee has been show chairperson and for over ten years has published educational articles and vital information as editor of the club bulletin.
� Al and Shirley Schleif, are honored by Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society. Long time members, both are past presidents and display at home shows and away. Shirley was bulletin editor and designed the impressive cover for Diablo Diggin's. She gives programs and demonstrates the art of slate carving. Al demonstrates copper enameling and teaches the art to seniors. Both do many more things to further our rockhound hobby.
� Dave and Betty Thompson, Fort Kearney Rock Club, Kearney, NE. Dave and Betty are active in two federation clubs, have demonstrated at area schools, shows, swaps, and meetings since 1986. Betty organizes the children's table at shows.
� Max Ford, Ken-Roc Gem & Mineral Society of Rockford, IL. Max has been active in his club since 1975. He was club president and show chairman concurrently for eleven years. In the remaining years he has been available for lapidary room teaching, show co-chairing, directorship, advising and helping out wherever needed. He experimented with making cabochons out of Chrysler paint buildup, with successful results. He's an invaluable club member.
� Carl and Ethel Dach, Blackhawk Rock Club, Rockford, IL. When other club officers were unable to perform their official duties, Carl stepped in and performed them. Carl and Ethel spend much time getting youngsters interested in the lapidary field - cabbing and wire-wrapping. They have contributed much to our club and to the future of lapidary.
� Eileen Ferris, Black Hawk Gem & Mineral Club, Rock Island, U. Eileen has spent many years assisting out club put on shows and swaps. She has given many talks to school groups and has served extensively in the lapidary area, conducted workshops, and traveled to many federation shows.
� Marv Hong, Cedar Valley Rock & Mineral Society, Cedar Rapids, IA. Marv is an energetic leader in our active club. He has bee president (6yrs), show chairman (8 yrs), auction chairman (4 yrs), and has held many other offices. Marv is also in related organizations (MAPS) and is highly regarded by professional geologists.
� Birdie Nichols, Mineralogical Society of Cleveland, Cleveland Hts, OH. Birdie has been an active and devoted rockhound" for over 25 years. She is involved in faceting, cabbing, scrimshaw, carving, casting and jewelry design and manufacture. In addition, she has served as a club office in three different clubs, has and is currently on a club show committee, and displays at area shows. She regularly presents programs to the clubs to which she belongs, to other clubs and to the public. These, and other, activities continue even though she is in her mid 70's.
� Jerry and Karen Capps, Madison Lapidary & Mineral Club, Madison, WI. Jerry and Karen have been demonstrating and promoting faceting and soapstone carving for our club and numerous other clubs for many years. Both are eager to help one get started and encourage youth participation.
� Bill Corley, Southern ]Illinois Earth Science Club, Benton, IL. Bill generously gives of his time, resources and energy for the club. He serves as club program chairman and arranges club field trips. Despite poor health, he promotes interest in our hobby by giving programs to schools and civic organizations and will gladly share his specimens with anyone who is interested. He has been a valuable asset to our club for many years.
� Travis Paris, Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society, Knoxville, TN. Travis strives almost endlessly to promote the hobby. Demonstrates boundless energy and devotion to the club. He has been past president, current and many times vice-president and program chairperson. He has given many programs and led many field trips. He is the current president of SIMS and most deserving of this nomination. We THANK him.
� Maurice Phillippe, Gem and Mineral Society of, Franklin, North Carolina, Inc. Maurice joined our club in 1983 and has served on the Board as a director, has been field trip chairman and the manager of the society's workshops. Currently he is serving as the assistant curator of the Society's Museum as well as manager of the workshops. He demonstrates faceting at the Society's gem shows and he has taught many of our members to facet.


Part 2

Mel Albright
Afms Safety Chair

There are two bad effects that you can get from being too cold too long. One is hypothermia and the other is frostbite.

HYPOTHERMIA is low body tempera-ture. Warning signs are slurred speech, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, uncontrollable shivering, and a sensation of extreme exhaustion.
If you suspect hypothermia, take the person's temperature. If it below 95F or 35C, seek emergency medical help immediately! If that isn't available, or will take a long time, start by warming the person SLOWLY. Warm their body first - if needed, cuddle with them. Get them into dry clothing and cover them well with a warm blanket - including their head. No alcohol drugs, coffee, or hot beverage or food should be allowed. A warm broth is great. Do NOT warm their arms and legs first because this drives cold blood towards the heart and may cause heart failure!
PREVENTION of hypothermia is mainly common sense. Avoid hard work - pushing a car, shoveling snow, walking in drifts, and the like. The strain of cold with hard labor can cause a heart attack. Avoid working up a sweat. Remove outside clothes layers to avoid perspiration and overheating and then put the layers back on when you finish. Don't eat snow. If you want a snow cone, take the snow indoors.

FROSTBITE is simply frozen body tissue. The warning signs are a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in the extremities - fingers, toes, ears, nose, or cheeks.
TREATMENT of frostbite requires immediate medical help. If you must wait, slowly re- warm the affected areas. BUT, remember that if they also have hypothermia, the body must be warmed first.
PREVENTION of frostbite means two things. One is proper clothes - mittens, layered waterproof clothes, double socks, and so on as mentioned in Part 1. The other is ordinary common sense - DON'T go out in extremely cold weather if you can avoid it at all. If you must go out, don't stay long at one spell. Come in and warm up frequently.
Reference for these articles: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service.




By Toby Cozens

AFMS Treasurer



JULY, 1997




Balance Forward 1995-1996


Balances June 30,1997

Checking Account

Money Market Fund

Certificates of Deposit







Restricted Account

Turner Jr. Achievement Savings






Membership Dues


Rocky Mountain


South Central




Fiscal YTD












Endowment Interest






Rules Books






Credit Card





















Officers Expenses





Central Office






Central Office Expense






Newsletter Computer
























Trophies &Awards





AFMS Newsletter















Anticipated surplus $5775.00


Are tectonic plates dishwasher-safe?



or New Zealand Opal!
by Ross Cranswick
Cranestone Gems <info@tz-gems.com>
>Internet Web Site http://www.tz-gems.com

Paua is a beautiful shell known for its beautiful colors. There are many tricks to working with the shell. The Paua shell occurs only in New Zealand. It is the same as the Abalone shell but possesses bright colors, Blues, Greens, Pinks, Yellows etc. To export these shells from New Zealand one must obtain a license and this is also required to own or keep these shells.

There are basically 2 grades of paua shell - thin & thick!. There are more but to keep it simple we will mention these. The thick shells are old large shells Called "Carvers" and used as the name suggests for carving, Some Shells possibly up to 10 mm thick. The thin shells are generally from the North Island & some upper South Island areas. They are thinner due to a lack of feed and limestone in the water, whereas the thicker shells tend to be on or near limestone type deposits. The thin Shells, were the shells that brought big money several years back from
the Asian Market as they were used for inlay work into wood boxes and the like, really great looking stuff. These thin shells have a great color but were always looked down upon by the jewelry trade as being too thin to work with as cabs.

The Jewelry trade has many tricks for the unwary customer. Firstly "Generally-All" Paua jewelry exported to the USA has been dyed Blue. The reason is that Americans Like and will buy Blue-rich Royal type Blues! And so you will see nothing else- sad isn't it. You miss out on all the wonderful colors that the shell really has to offer. The Shell does not need to be dyed, it saddens me to see it happen, but the market drives it to be done.

The Basic Commercial process for using this shell is as follows. The shell should not be worked with water! The water in combination with the shell can produce Chlorine Gas and you will be poisoned! via the skin and via the lungs. It is best to work the shell dry with a 60 carborundum wheel and a vacuum unit to take away the dust. This method quickly removes the white lime like outer coating about 2 mins per shell. After this the shell is normally placed in a hydrocloric acid to clean away dust and brighten it up to judge for color and what will be done with it. By holding the shell up to a light you are able to see through it to see if it is too thin for making into a display shell. The shell is moved on to cutting up for cabs or you can then dry belt sand the shell 120 then 320 ready for lacquering as a display shell that you may have seen.

Cab making; The shell is normally sliced flat just above the thick rim. The Rim serves no purpose as such but can be cut & capped for tooth like jewelry. The inside of the shell is coated with a Thick Black Epoxy Glue to thicken it up. It is then cut into strips and then squares ready to be rounded for cabs. Once rounded the cabs are sanded all dry with 180 and then 320 belts. They are damp sorted for color matching and the bluest looking are sent into the Blue Dyeing barrel for a week. Once dried and cleaned the shell cabs are coated with a lacquer "nonyellowing of course!" and set into Jewelry.

For Designer type jewelers I would personally recommend the inside colors of the shell to be used and these can produce really unique pieces. These can be saw pierced out to your shape as desired. Easy to use is a diamond
piercing saw easily obtainable from a rock shop. A light sanding and polishing with rough will produce a high gloss that will last well, particularly if near body oils as these are soaked up into the shell continually. A simple and easy way of lacquering the shell ready as cabs or other jewelry items (if you don't want a natural polish that is) is to use clear nail polish several coatings will produce a long lasting hard wearing finish that is hard to beat.

The shell is really easy to work with as long as you remember these simple rules;
(1) Don't breathe in the dust, In Simple Terms -The dust has barbs like a fishhook and will cause serious damage to your lungs. Always wear a mask! and have suction. The same applies to Abalone Shells also.
(2) Do not work the shell wet to avoid Chlorine Poisoning through the Skin and Lungs and think about others if they are in a room with you- It is possible to poison them and not you.The same applies to Abalone Shells also.
(3) Always ask for undyed Shells. Enjoy the natural beauty that the shell has to offer, not the artificial rubbish as sold by many. A good Guide is if it looks really blue it is dyed.


Ross tells me it is properly said PAR- wa. He also reports that some Australians say PA-wa just as some US southerners drop their r's (including me on occasion).

HUNTING IN CALIFORNIA? The new environut law shutting down a great deal of rock hunting territory is a mass of confusion. The CFMS newsletter says to simply find out who manages the area of interest to you. If it is the BLM, you can hike in and hunt. If it is managed by the National Park Service, you can't even touch a grain of sand. Camping and vehicle questions haven't even been considered yet.

PETRIFIED WOOD CENTERS often reflect the wood origin with a layer of chalcedony or pumice on the outside. This occured when volcanic ash covered green wood. The water evaporated and the wood shrank. Then the space between the wood and the cast from the ash was filled with chalcedony. This makes beautiful pieces of wood.
Quarry Quips via The Garnet

Gemologists have uncovered the worlds largest known emerald cluster, worth about $50 million, after extracting it from what was thought by its owner to be only a large black rock. Bangkok gemologists spent about a week removing a thick layer of black mica from the rock before finding a group of 127 medium green emeralds weighing 167 pounds, or 380,000 carats. The owner, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, found the rock while mining in Madagascar five years ago. The cluster will probably be purchased by a private collector or a museum

The Miami Herald


by Diane Dare
SIESC Education Chairman

Mineral names have many derivations. Some are named for places: Franklinite for its New Jersey locality, Thulite for Thule, an ancient name for Norway. Vesuvianite was found in volcanic material in Italy. Some are named for people: Willemite for King Willem 1, Smithsonite for James Smithson, Neptunite for the Roman god of the sea and Selenite for the moon goddess.

Some names come from chemical composition: Uvanite contains liranium and vanadium. Others are based on physical properties: Albite from the Latin 'alba' or white, Octahedrite for its eight (octa-) sided (-hedra) crystals.

Knowing the origin of a mineral's name can be a clue to proper pronunciation. Thus, Prehnite- named for its Dutch discoverer Colonel von Prehn-is pronounced PRAYN-ite. But regional dialects or colloquial uses lead to alternative, and often accepted, interpretations. Remember the song about, "You say to-MAY-to and I say To-MAH-to"? Aragon, Spain gives its name to Aragonite, which should result in AR-ah-gon-ite, but is generally said as ah-RAG-on-ite. Fluorite, from the Latin 'fluere', to flow (because it melts easily) should be FLEW-uh-rite, but
FLAWR-ite and FLUHR-ite are the more usual terms. From the Greek word for heavy, 'barys', we get Barite, BARE-ite, but we often hear BAY-rite. Similarly, 'hals', Greek for salt, gives us Halite, HAL-ite, aka HAY-lite or HAIL-ite.

Sometimes the number of syllables is a guide: Topaz is TOE-paz, while Topazolite is toe-PAZ- uh-lite. But not always: there is Alexandrite-al-eggs-ZAN-drite, and then Alexolite-ah-LEKS-sah- lite.

So, what about GOETHITE? Named for the German poet, philosopher and amateur mineralogist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, it should be GUR-tite, but GAY-thite, GO- thite, and even GUli-tite refer to the same mineral! Is the iron mineral HEE-muh-tite or HEM-uh-tite? Take your choice. By tl-ie way, 'tri-' means three, and is pronounced TRY, as in triangle, tripod, triclinic and trilobite (not TRILL-uh-bite).

In researching this, I learned my little green Anapaite is named for its Russian locality of Anapa and I have been saying it wrong: it's uh-NAP-uh-ite.
And on that note, have a gneiss-NICE-day!

REFERENCES: various dictionaries and pronunciation guides
Via SIES CLUB NEWS September, 1997

� I have rabbits in my vegetable garden. Dern, I cannot stand hares in my food.
� Did you hear about the mouse lifeguard? He gives mouse-to-mouse resuscitation.
� The very bad writer received the phew-litzer prize.
� A young rooster found an orange in his mother's nest. Wow! "Lookit the orange momma laid!"
� There were two beggars on the corner. One approached everyone who came by. The other
only approached a few of the passersby. The first asked the second why he didn't ask everyone.
The second replied that many of the people had been by him before and he believed in putting
all his begs in one ask-it.




The AFMS Credit Card Program has been unilaterally cancelled by the issuer, MBNA. Your use of this card will no longer help the AFMS program. This action was taken without notice to our President. Those who have the card received notice in very fine print on their monthly statement. There is some individual movement to cancel the card since they are no longer of value to our program.


There are several names on the Newsletter mailing list that we have no records for, We have not been able to verify with any club or federation officer as club officers who should receive the Newsletter.

If your mailing label has a red star on it this is the last issue you will receive unless you can convince us that you are entitled to receive this newsletter. IF you believe you should continue to receive the Newsletter, please advise by return mail, immediately. Write to the AFMS Central Office The manager is Dan Mclennan, PO box 26523, Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0523 (405) 682-2151.



A.F.M.S. Newsletter is published monthly except July and August by the American Federation of
Mineralogical Societies.
A.F.M.S. Central Office
Dan McLennan, P. O. Box 26523
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0523
(405) 682-2151
A.F.M.S.Newsletter Editor
Mel Albright, Rt. 3 Box 8500
Bartlesville, OK 74003
(918) 336-8036
or mela@galstar.com
Address maintenance and mail labeling are the responsibility of the AFMS Central Office. All
changes and questions should be sent there. The President and the Bulletin Editor of each
member club should receive the Newsletter. All others may subscribe. The publisher does the
actual mailing.
Any communication concerning the content or format of the Newsletter should be sent to the
Material may be duplicated for non-commercial purposes with attribution. For commercial use,
the individual author(s) must be contacted for approval.

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