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January 1999
1999 Editors' Awards January 1999 February 1999 March 1999 April 1999 May 1999 June 1999 September 1999 October 1999 November 1999 December 1999

A.F.M.S. Newsletter




Volume 55                 January, 1999


A Message From the
1998-99 AFMS President


The AFMS web site is now in existence. I cannot, as yet, announce it formally as nothing has yet been posted on the site. We have our name and the site "locked in" and it is ours. Web master Marty Hart is working on the content of the site and will have it up and running in the near future. We can then begin work on setting up the Regional Federations sites as well.

Work is also progressing on committee assignments. A packet will be mailed to each Regional Federation President within the next few days. This packet will contain a listing of all AFMS Committees and the persons who presently serve on the committees. Many of these persons are assigned by the Regional Federation Presidents and it is up to them to determine if the current members are to continue, or to be replaced. There are some new committee assignments to be made for the insurance and website committees. The Regional Presidents are to make these assignments in the spaces included for these committees.

All of the Regional Presidents need to be giving serious thought to their members and their assignments. They also need to encourage the members to contribute to their assignments, or to replace the members if, in their estimation, this would be the best course of action.

The packets will contain a listing of the name, address and phone number of all committee assignments. There will be space for addition of the e-mail addresses for all persons who have this means. Please complete this, and make necessary corrections to addresses, etc. Upon return of the packets corrections will be made and a final copy of the finished product will be sent to all officers and committee persons.

All committee chairmen are also encouraged to communicate with their members on all decisions and to make the committee a truly democratic affair. The chairmen are also to report to an AFMS Vice President who is to provide reports for publishing in the AFMS Newsletter.

We are developing a notebook for each officer/committee chairperson. This notebook will contain the above packets, and a great deal of other necessary information, for use by the person holding the book. It is important that a permanent record be kept of our actions to assist the persons following us. Upon handing the job over to another person then that person has a good "starting point" by perusal of the information handed over to him/her. These notebooks will be mailed out to each person upon completion of the information being assembled.

Now for some really interesting material. The plans for the 1999
Conventions and show are progressing. "Days of Silver" is beginning to take shape. We are developing a variety of activities which will, I believe, be of interest to almost everyone. Listed below are some of the activities under development at this time. More will be given on these in the following months and it is hoped that you will participate in many of these activities.

Displays. Both competitive and non-competitive are encouraged. An additional building (a large connecting room) has been reserved at the fairgrounds just for our displays. We will have a large room for each, competitive and non-competitive, to insure adequate area for each. We are encouraging each club in the AFMS to enter a case. While it is recognized that this may not be possible it is a goal to strive for. Certainly, each state can sponsor a special case by cooperation among the clubs in the state. This alone will increase the displays available. Perhaps a special display of the state stones and/or gems of the various states would be possible. This should be quite interesting to many persons. There will be room for several hundred displays so we will have room for you. We have a limited number of display cases so will need for you to provide your own in most instances.
Editors Seminar. Leo Morris is putting together a great roster of speakers for you. He has a number of leading editors involved with a number of topics to be covered. This is a seminar which will benefit all editors, whether new or experienced. This will be a wonderful forum for the exchange of ideas between all who attend. The participants will have opportunity to participate in and contribute to the program through their questions and ideas. It will be an excellent opportunity to network and to learn from the best.

Directors Seminar. This is a forum for those persons who serve as State Directors (different Regional Federations call this position by a variety of names), or in other responsible positions in the federations or member clubs, to meet and exchange ideas and concerns which affect us all. By sharing your wisdom and your concerns you will assist all persons involved in our hobby. Be ready to participate in this important seminar and then spread what you gain to all possible persons through our newsletters and programs.

Demonstrations. We are planning a variety of activities. We have faceting, cabbing, silversmithing and other demonstrations planned. What can you do? What skills can you demonstrate to the attendees of the show? Dust off those tools and come to Tennessee in July and show us all your talents.

Programs. There will be programs consisting of speakers, slide shows, etc. for all three days of the show. We have a special room for this activity. Each program will be scheduled and you will be able to choose those which you wish to attend.

By the way, all meeting and show rooms are air conditioned. This has been a concern which has been expressed to me several times. It does tend to be rather warm in Tennessee in July and air conditioning is a necessary item for comfort. We have a number of dealers signed for the show and the roster will be complete very soon. The show and convention committees will meet for the beginning of final planning in January and will be able to announce their firm plans then.

Our AFMS website, and the Regional Newsletters, will have continuing reports of the convention and show. We will publish a listing of all activities, forms to complete to register for all activities, motel registration and to reserve spaces in the luncheons, Editors Breakfast and the Convention Banquet. Plan to attend in July of 1999 for a great time. Tennessee has many other activities as well to interest you. This area is the Antique Center of the South. There are numerous antique shops and malls for your pleasure. Fishing is super on area lakes and streams. The mountains of East Tennessee are unparalleled for those interested in scenery and hiking. In short, there is something for everyone. See you in July.


Executive Officers’ Reports:

2nd Regional V.P.- Shirley Greenberg

Note address change for Shirley from that which was in the last (November, 1998) issue.


Secretary/Central Office – Dan McLennon

Dan has spent many hours of his time going through all Regional Federation Directories to update the mailing list for three (3) copies of the AFMS Newsletter to go to each club. Please be sure that all of your club members are aware of the newsletter and get to see a copy. Additions or changes? Notify Dan.


From the Regional Directors: _____________________________________________________________________________________



From Ruby Lingelbach, President

In my tenure as President of the RMFMS I would like to get the idea across to all clubs and club members that each of you is a vital part of the Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies. You are all important enough to get a letter from the President of the Federation.

First: We have some changes in our Committee Chairmen. Joe McIntosh has had to resign as our Boundaries Chairman because of health reasons. Richard Goodnough has agreed to chair this committee. There has been one inquiry. He can tell about it in his Annual Report.

Carol Syska, Scholarship Chairman, has asked to be relieved. She has served the Federation well for a number of years, and we do thank her for all her good work, Any club having a member that is interested in helping a young person get an education by handling the incoming club or individual donations to the AFMS Scholarship Foundation, please let me know. This person would need to do the necessary correspondence that varies with the numbers of donations.

Dan Kile, Mineralogical Technical Chairman, has also asked to be relieved, This important job should be filled by a person knowledgeable of minerals, and who has the ability to write about some aspect of the mineral division at least 3 times a year for The Rocky Mountain Federation News. This job, as well as the Lapidary Technical, Fossil Technical, and Fluorescent Technical would be a lot easier if club members in the RMFMS would ask them questions. They are available for this purpose. Your questions will help them help all of us.

Articles by these Chairmen do not have to be long. In fact, more newsletters can reprint them from The News if they are no more than a page long, or shorter.

All officers and committee chairmen should be writing their Annual reports. Send: them to Carol Holman, Secretary, Box 23B, Tyron, OK 74875 by September 30. If you procrastinate too long, you will need to print 50 copies yourself to distribute at the House of Delegates Meeting.

There are several issues that I want discussed at the House of Delegates meeting, It is always helpful if the clubs can discuss these before hand and instruct their two delegates on how to vote.

The first: Should the RMFMS start an Endowment Fund? The purpose would be to have an account to which donations from auctions, or the Commemorative Stamps money, etc. can be added, People will donate to an Endowment Fund, but not the general budget. Keith Price, Treasurer, has been doing a super job of investing our funds for the best interest, He feels that if the Endowment Fund is established it would need to have its own Treasurer. Richard Dodrill, Commemorative Stamps Chairman feels that a definite spot be designated for the funds received from stamp sales. To-date Keith has received $235 received from stamp sales. He is "retaining this 'extra' money until a decision is made regarding a RMFMS Endowment Fund".

The Scholarship Fund is doing very well and it would be nice to have another project to save toward. It has been suggested that maybe we could buy good collecting sites when they become available in order to save them for collecting. That sounds like a great idea to me, but I do not know the legal ramifications that might be involved. Another possible use might be a centrally located place to establish a learning center such as Wild Acres in the east, or ZZYZX in California, preferably in the middle of a good collecting area, The Endowment Funds in the CFMS and SCFMS grew from individual donations plus $1 per member donations from the clubs.

This gives you at least 3 things to think about: The Fund itself, a Chairman/Treasurer, and the legalities. So talk about this and come prepared to help make a decision.

Another area of great concern is the paying of dues. It is ironic that the Insurance Program, one of our best benefits, has brought to light the fact that several clubs have been paying dues by counting a "family membership" as one member. Our Articles of Incorporation ARTICLE X - DUES Section 2 states, "Organizations having 'family' memberships shall count ALL individuals of each Family group for the purpose of paying dues to the Federation, except that no person under the age of 12 shall be counted". This unfair situation can possibly be an oversight or just a force of habit of the 5 clubs known to have this problem but it cannot continue. The "domino" effect would be disastrous to the Federation. if ALL clubs paid on that basis we would have to raise dues. Instead of a dues income of $10,113.50 we would have a DUES income of $6,760.45. Expenditures in the approved budget for 1998 totals $21,900.00.

One possible solution is the concept used by the Gem & Mineral Federation of Canada of more than one type of membership. Their dues are currently $2.65 for a Family Membership, $2.15 for Adult Membership, and $1.65 for each Student over 18 and attending an educational institution. Would something like this work for us, with specific dollar amounts fixed by our Board or the House of Delegates? In my club I have helped each of the treasurers count our membership every year since I started as Editor in 1975 and keeping membership records for our annual Directory. There has always been confusion when it comes to counting members. I believe that rockhounds are honest people who want to do their fair share.

Please think on these things and come prepared to discuss them at the House of Delegates meeting. You will be receiving your forms during the month of August. And please send your Delegates to this meeting, This is another of your benefits-you get to help make decisions because each of you is a part of the Federation.

Now for some of the "funstuff"! Dan and I were privileged to be able to attend the Big Sandy Swap in Farson, Wyoming hosted by the Rock Springs Gem & Mineral Club July 2-5. It was held behind the store in Farson for the first time. Everybody could easily 'pig out' on the ice cream for which the store is famous. If you are a light eater do not order a triple dip! The dips are huge! The store owner donated the ice cream for the Ice Cream Social on Friday night.

This type of activity is excellent for meeting people from many clubs and places. Here, there were people from California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Canada, South Dakota, Nebraska, and of course, Wyoming - and I didn't get to meet everybody,

Another multi-state event was the "Rockamania" in Lordsburg in February after the Tucson Show (the biggest multi-state-country event). At the annual business meeting introductions revealed members from many states from California to the East Coast. I thought, "What a marvelous thing!" for people from such a wide area to get together and do things together.

All this talk of the swaps is not to discount the benefits of shows. Shows are the "icing on the cake", so to speak because they are to show the best of what we do as rockhounds.

We go to these things to learn as well as to see and collect. Shows give us lessons on what is available, how to cut and polish, how to trim a mineral, or make a carving, or a piece of jewelry. Swaps give us lessons on where to look for specimens, and how to dig, etc.

The 1999 RMFMS Show will be hosted by the Old Pueblo Lapidary Club at the Tucson Civic Center east of Tucson, AZ on November 12, 13, 14, 1999. Our thank you goes out to them.

We are now open for bids for the 2001 and beyond shows in case your club has been considering hosting a RMFMS Show.



Rocky McCall, 1st Vice-President

What's going on in the NFMS?

That's a good question. As Vice-president of the NFMS, if I share with you perhaps you will share with me what is going on in your Federation. It seems everyone has the same complaint, we are losing membership. So what are we going to do about it? Here in the Northwest we are starting to work for a better line of communication. We now have our President, Vice-presidents, and Editor, on e-mail so that they can be contacted at any time. I believe that we are a lot closer to our Society Directors at this time. We are working with the clubs and asking the Federation Directors to help direct the NFMS, not just report what the executive committee is doing. In the last two years, we have put into operation a Long Range Planing Commission, which will help us to look ahead and try to avoid some of the pit falls that plague a club. We have implemented a special book called [The Book] which has all the information a club will need to operate. It includes such things as, How to conduct a meeting, How to install officers, and among other things, the Do's and Don'ts of putting on a good show. We have had a Club-at-Large for some time and we are working to make it more active. They now have a Federation Director of their own and a column in the newsletter. This means they will have a vote at the annual meeting, something that they haven't had before.

But most of all we are reaching out to the younger ones. We are reaching out to the ones that don't play all the sports, the ones that aren't in the crowd. We are reaching out to Scout Troops, Home Schoolers, and Youth Groups. My question to the clubs is why don't you invite these groups on field trips? If we invite them to a club meeting and all we do is talk about club business they won't be back, so take them on a field trip first.

I know that on the outside it looks like we are losing, but on the inside I believe we are getting stronger. Our executive board and our committee chairpersons are very dedicated to the hobby and wish to pass it on. And that’s the bottom line PASS IT ON. May our paths cross a little farther down the line and may the Good Lord keep you in the palm of His hand.


News From the Regional Federations:


The Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies

An Editorial about a Wonderful Association of Rockhounds

By Bill Luke, [Past] Editor, Northwest Newsletter

See the entire article . . .





By Mel Albright - AFMS Safety Chair

In today's climate, there is a great fear of asbestos in any form in any amount. Is this worry justified? Should mineral collectors and rockhounds encase their samples in concrete and bury them?


Asbestos is the name given to filaments from a family of naturally occurring metamorphic minerals. These are fireproof and were (and are) used for protection from heat and flame. There are 6 minerals that fall into this classification. Many mineral collectors have one or more in their collection. The minerals are Fibrous Serpentine - chrysolite (3MgO.2SiO2.2H20), and the 5 Fibrous Amphiboles - crocidolite (Na2O.Fe2O3.3FeO.8SiO2.H20), amosite ((FeMg6Si8O22(OH)2), anthophyllite ((FeMg)7Si8O22(OH)2), tremolite (2CaO.5MgO.8SiO2.H20), and actinolite ((CaMgFe)6Si8O22(OH)2). The first 3 are in general commercial use. Chrysolite (white asbestos) accounts for over 99% of the world's consumption. Its fibers are softer and silkier than the rest, which tend to be stiff and needle-like.

In addition to the pure minerals, asbestos is often found combined with other minerals. One common rockhound use is a form called "tiger-eye".


First, we should consider that the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency considers that there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure.

The danger to people occurs only from airborne filaments that are breathed. Asbestos occurs in its natural state in the air and water throughout the world. It is estimated that everyone breathes thousands of fibers a day with no health risk. It is also known that under heavy contamination, serious diseases can occur from asbestos. It is further known that exposure COMBINED WITH SMOKING greatly raises the risk of serious disease. The largest danger is Asbestosis - the scarring of lung tissue which cuts normal oxygen transfer and can lead to deaths from heart failure, lung infection, or lung cancer. Lung cancer is, of course, not only attributable to asbestos, but can occur 20 to 40 years after first strong asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a malignant invasive tumor in the chest or abdominal cavity. It is usually rapidly fatal. Most occur 15 or more years after asbestos exposure. Some 30% of these cases are not caused by asbestos. They generally occur after long conditions of heavy exposure.


It takes a combination of three things to determine the danger from asbestos. Those are Dose, fiber Dimension, and Duration of exposure. It is considered that only fibers 3 micrometer in diameter or smaller are breathable. Longer fibers are filtered by the bodies normal systems. It is believed that very small fibers - less than 5 micron - are cleared from the body. Closer analysis is underway but far from determined. Although the EPA considers zero the only proper dose, actual data suggest that some exposure is harmless. But the threshold will vary by individual and is ill defined. Further, the length of time of exposure is very important. Workers who worked with asbestos fiber daily for years are far more likely to have ill effects than those who worked with asbestos for a limited time.


First, it is obvious that asbestos minerals should be treated to prevent or at least minimize damage which releases fibers into the air. Second, very occasional handling in a well ventilated area is probably safe. Third, if working asbestos containing materials, keep them wet so airborne particles are not released.



www.adm.monash.edu.au/ohse/document/informat/in10.htm; and US EPS MSDS


Each Club – Each Year – One Rockhound

By Bonnie Glismann, Chair
See the complete list for 1998 …..
Please send all nominees to:
Bonnie Glismann, Chair
Each Club, Each Year, One Rockhound
4326 S 200th West
Ogden, UT 84405


By Wendell C. Mohr

Your Commemorative Stamp Committee solicits your help. All bulletin editors are asked to publish this article and club officers are requested to enlist the support of all club members in order to achieve a goal of getting postage stamps depicting items related to our field of interest.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The Commemorative Stamp Committee proposes a specifically directed campaign to try to encourage the issuance of twelve stamps depicting birthstones. (The USPS has a policy that no stamp subject already covered can be reconsidered for 10 years, thus not enough time has passed for more mineral stamps) Gemstones have never previously been featured on U.S. postal stamps, although many other countries have issued them. Furthermore the concept has been endorsed by the Manager of Stamp Services as one that would likely garner high public interest. Of course, the proposal must be accepted by the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee and have the "Stamp of approval" of the new Postmaster General. Therefore a form has been designed to be used by each AFMS club member to ask for support of the idea. We solicit your help in accomplishing this task. We have tried to make it as easy as possible for members to do. All you need do is simply copy the form, sign it, and mail it off to the indicated address. Of course if you want to write a personalized letter that might carry even more weight. The only cost will be an envelope and a stamp!

Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Management
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Room 4474EB
Washington, DC 20260-6756


As a member of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, I support the release of a set of stamps depicting the twelve birthstones. No gemstones have previously appeared on U.S. stamps, although other countries have done so with success. Many people wear gemstones, collect them, and even cut them. The gems of the National Collection are admired by everyone and are one of the biggest attractions at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Gemstones on display in local museums likewise draw a lot of attention. Furthermore, people know their birthstones and would be attracted to use these stamps on birthday cards. I am sure many, like myself would buy and save such stamps. The gemstones offer an opportunity for a colorful, attractive, interesting stamp release and would not be offensive to anyone.

Signed: _____________________

Date: _____________________


Future Rockhounds of America

By Bob & Kathy Miller, AFMS Junior Activities Chairmen

As AFMS Chairmen for Junior Activities we hope the information given in this newsletter will help answer some of the questions about the Future Rockhounds of America. We also included the names of our committee members who are from every federation in the AFMS.

The Junior Chairman in your federation has access to resources that include posters, activities, earth science games and rock, fossil, mineral material. Take advantage of your regional Junior Chairman, they are available as a benefit to you in enjoying more of this hobby.

At last year's AFMS convention in Houghton, MI, we brought what we thought was enough handouts for the Juniors Booth to last the entire time of the show. We really misjudged, almost all the material we had was gone by Saturday afternoon. This was wonderful, it means there are interested young people who are enjoying our hobby. We will be having another booth at this years AFMS Convention in Tennessee with much more material. Because the supplies went so fast, we do encourage adult members (as well as the regional Junior Chairmen) to bring any handout rocks, fossils, or minerals they wish to donate for our young members.




Rockhound clubs throughout the Federations have been supporting youth groups for many years. At times there were youth which belonged to a club, but the club didn't know just what to do with them or what direction they should go. Consequently a lot of youth fell through the cracks. We are sure no one could argue the fact that we need to insure the future of our hobby by encouraging our youth.

Knowing the above, in 1984, under the direction of Bill Cox, AFMS President, a committee was added to the AFMS Called "Junior Clubs". The Chairman was Ruth Hammett from South Central. During the first year very little was accomplished other than the adoption of a very useful manual designed by the Midwest Federation- At the end of 1984 and during the first part of 1985 Bill coined the name "Future Rockhounds of America" and designed a certificate to be given to junior clubs who became members of FRA. It gives the clubs the distinction of belonging to something worthwhile.

The only requirement for obtaining membership into FRA is to be organized and sponsored by a federation club. (Exceptions to this can be made.) There are no dues to pay to the federation for being a member as dues will be paid through the adult club.




This is a question we hear often ... "How does our group become members of the FUTURE ROCKHOUNDS OF AMERICA?"

The answer is very simple. All you need is a group of kids, a sponsor, a name and an application to FRA's.


1. Your group must be a member of your local federation. This can be either through a sponsoring club or through an independent application into your local federation.

2. Dues only HAVE TO BE PAID to the local federation and thus into AFMS. There are no special dues for FRA.

3. The number of youth is not important.. . . you can have as few as 2 and as many as you can handle.

4. Age: In most clubs the age at which one becomes an adult is 18.

We said it was simple, there is no mystery to joining. Just fill out an application which can be obtained from your local federation Youth Coordinator or from us. We are here to help you.



Please fill out the following questionnaire.

NAME OF YOUTH GROUP: _____________________________________________________________

SPONSORING ADULT CLUB: ___________________________________________________________

FEDERATION: California ______ Eastern ______ Midwest ______ South Central ______

Southeast ______ Rocky Mountain ______ Northwest ______

CONTACT PERSON: ___________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: ___________________________________________________________________________


YEAR ORGANIZED: ___________ CURRENT NUMBER OF MEMBERS: _________________

On back please include a brief description, i.e. participation at general meetings, club shows, field trips, and other activities, which may be of help to us to write articles regarding your club for the AFMS Newsletter.

Upon receipt of this questionnaire we will process your certificate into the FUTURE ROCKHOUNDS OF AMERICA.

After completion of this questionnaire forward it to the coordinator for your Federation.



American Federation of Mineralogical Societies




1998 Club Publications Committee

Chair: Kitty Starbuck, Vicksburg, MI
Donna Mueller                CFMS
Barbara Fenstermacher   EFMLS
Walter Vogtmann            MWF
Esther Davis                    NFMS
Pauline Price                   RMFMS
Jean Wallace                  SCFMS
Leo Morris                       SFMS

1998 AFMS Judges

Diane Dare Evansville, IN
Joyce Hanschu Canton, MI
June Zeitner Rapid City, SD
Miles Smith Frankfort, KY
Gerry Schaefermeyer Alexandria, VA
Shirley Leeson La Mesa, CA
Russ Kemp Plainfield, IL
Jan Baumeister Rapid City, SD
Marion Amos Everett, WA

Congratulations to all of the Editors of Club Bulletins who sent their bulletins in for judging critique, and especially to those who received trophies, plaques or honorable mention at the Editors’ Breakfast in Houghton



A Letter from ALAA To all Rockhounds

See the ALAA site for this letter and all ALAA info


In the ALAA Newsletter, Vol. 6 No. 1

bulletALAA Report on the 105th Congress
bulletALAA Alert on the new BLM Draft of Petrified Wood Rules
bulletReport on the 6th Annual Meeting
bulletReview of Federal Land Managers Activities
bulletU.S. President Designates 14 New American Heritage Rivers
bulletALAA Letters to Congress

I noticed on the mailing label that I need to renew my membership so I can continue to receive information from the ALAA.

If you are not now a member, or need to renew as I do, you can do so with the accompanying Membership Application Form so that you can receive the Newsletter and Alerts to keep informed of activities concerning our rockhounding hobby!


Membership Application and Renewal Application

American Lands Access Association, Inc.

PO Box 4255

Grand Junction, CO 81502

Name __________________________________

Mailing Address __________________________________

City, State & Zip Code __________________________________

Club Affiliation__________________________________ (optional)

Phone Number__________________________________ (optional)

e-mail address __________________________________ (optional)

Annual Individual Membership fee $25.00 Amount enclosed $ _____

Please Mail to: Toby Cozens, ALAA Treasurer

4401 Hill St.

Seattle, WA 98116

American Lands Access Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) organization. Donations are not tax deductible.


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