Newsletter - October, 1998
NOTE - There will be a new AFMS Newsletter editor beginning with the
November, 1998 issue
- Dee Holland
AFMS TROPHIES WON AT HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN - Anne Cook
LANDS ISSUES - Bob Cranston
SAFETY - It's Just
Dust, Isn't It?
Part III - Hazards From Particular Types of Dusts - Peter R. Girardot, PhD
PROBLEMS - A Poem - Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr.
ROCK LIST - Jane Huelsmeyer
AND GOOD BYE! - Mel Albright
(A little something extra)
The show and convention held in Houghton, Michigan was a great experience. There
were field trips to many mines, mine dumps, and other locations guided by experienced
persons. If you did not want to go on field trips you could visit the many museums and
historical locations in the area. The show was very good with many dealers with an
assortment of material. There were display cases of almost every type, and a good showing
of competitive cases. Many thanks for a job very well done to Steve Whelan and his able
The next trip that is in the planing stage now will be to Tulsa, Ok. October 23-24-25 for
the Rocky Mountain Federations show and convention.
I have just received word of the passing of Dr. Elwood Rees who was AFMS President in
1979-1980. Dr Rees passed away August 31, 1998.
All for now, - Dee
AFMS WEB SITE
At the August AFMS meeting, the presence of the AFMS on the World Wide Web was
approved. Plans are to obtain our own URL (address to most people) before long.It is hoped
to include individual Federation sites there also. The temporary site is found at http://www.galstar.com/~mela/afms.html.
It will be maintained until the permanent site is ready.
The success of the AFMS depends upon talented and dedicated people volunteering
their time, talents, and efforts to AFMS. They contribute by continuing the work in the
wide variety of programs that fall under the AFMS umbrella.
Below are listed those stalwart members who's efforts contributed to the great success of
AFMS's 51st year:
At this point in the Newsletter were listed the 1997-1998 Officers, Directors, and
Committee Chairs of the AFMS. This list is elsewhere on the web site.
NINE AFMS TROPHIES WON AT HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN
Anne Cook, Uniform Rules Chair, 1996
At the 1998 AFMS/MWF show and convention, nine AFMS trophies were won,
in addition to four Midwest Federation trophies. While most of the competitive exhibits
came from the host Federation, there also were entries from the Eastern, Rocky Mountain,
Northwest, and California Federations.
The following competitors received the AFMS trophies:
Trophy 8 for general thumbnails: James Sharp of the Mineralogical Society of Cleveland,
Trophy 9 for restricted thumbnails: James Sharp (as above)
Trophy 12 for self-collected minerals: George and Kitty Judd of the Midwest Mineralogical
and Lapidary Society, MI, MWF
Trophy 13 for petrified wood with special features: Ruby Lingelbach of the StiIIwater,
(OK) Mineral and Gem Society, RMF
Trophy 15 for general Iapidary: Marvin Juhl of the Austin (MN) Gem and Mineral Society,
Trophy 21 for specialized lapidary (in this case, clocks): Charles Humenik of the Stark
County (OH) Gem and Mineral Club, MWF
Trophy 27 for education about a skill aimed at a general audience: William Orban of the
Midwest Mineralogical and Lapidary Society of Dearborn (MI), NWF
Trophy 26 for education about a concept aimed at a general audience: Wait Vogtmann of the
Midwest Mineralogical and Lapidary Society of Dearborn (MI), Trophy 32 f or fossils: NeiI
and Connie Snepp of the Central Michigan Lapidary and Mineral Society, MWF.
In addition, blue ribbons, gained by scores of 90 or higher in AFMS competition, were won
by Betty and Otis Witworth, of the Tuscarora Lapidary Society (PA); Bill Luke, of the NFMS
at-large- Bea Schumacher of the Columbus (OH) Rock and Mineral Society; and Ken and Vera
Kruschke of the Kern County (CA) Mineral Society.
The Lillian Turner Award, for the best case entered by a junior from the host Federation,
was won by Alex Paavola of the Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club, host club to the
convention, for a case of self-collected material from the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Next year's show, hosted by the Southeast Federation, will be in Nashville, TN. Start to
prepare your case for exhibiting there!
PUBLIC LANDS ISSUES
Bob Cranston, PLAC & ALAA
This month's issue will deal with a subject we have not approached previously. -
Presidential Executive Orders:
Executive Orders give the Executive Department a way to circumvent Congress. The current
flurry of E.O.'s started with the Gore Tax. That is the one that raised your telephone
bill by about $3.50 (private line), the purpose of which was to help put the Internet in
every schoolroom. E.O.'s are not new. Andrew Jackson used one to put the Cherokee Indians
off their lands in what is known as the Trail of Tears. The Supreme Court declared the
action illegal, but could not enforce the ruling. Abraham Lincoln used an E.O. to shut
down Newspapers during the Civil War that did not agree with him. Franklin Roosevelt used
E.O. 9066 in December 1941 to put 110,000 American Citizens of Japanese ancestry into
The current flap is over E.O. 13083 which is the most sweeping E.O. to date. This Order
effectively reduces the Tenth Amendment to nothing The teeth of 13083 lies in Section
3(d), which reads as follows: "(d) It is important to recognize the distinction
between matters of national or multi-state scope (which may justify Federal action) and
matters that are merely common to States (which may not justify Federal action because
individual States, acting individually or together, may effectively deal with them).
Matters of national or multi-state scope that justify Federal action may arise in a
variety of circumstances, including: (1) When the matter to be addressed by Federal action
occurs interstate as opposed to being contained within one State's boundaries. (2) When
the source of the matter to be addressed occurs in a State different from the State (or
States) where a significant amount of harm occurs. (3) When there is a need for uniform
national standards. (4) When decentralization increases the costs of government thus
imposing additional burdens on the taxpayer. (5) When States have not adequately protected
individual rights and liberties. (6) When States would be reluctant to impose necessary
regulations because of fears that regulated business activity will relocate to other
States. (7) When placing regulatory authority at the State or local level would
undermine regulatory goals because high costs or demands for specialized expertise will
effectively place regulatory matter beyond the resources of State authorities. (8) When
the matter relates to Federally owned or managed property or natural resources, trust
obligations, or international obligations. (9) When the matter to be regulated
significantly or uniquely affects Indian tribal governments.
It is the feeling of this writer, based on past actions with publiclands, that number 1, 3
and 8 could most affect the rockhounds. All that needs to be done is for an agency to
suggest that the rules be standardized across the nation on all public lands and then set
those standards to suspend all collecting privileges and other multiple uses on ALL public
lands. The agencies would all have a Presidential edict to back them up. Wouldn't that
make management an easy task? Just arrest anyone who uses the lands for any purpose.
Executive Order #13083 would also be invoked to put the NATIONAL ID CARD on a fast track.
This card would be in the form of a federally designed drivers license. Ultimate plans
call for a computer chip to be imbedded in the Card that would have, among other things,
your Social Security number, finger prints, DNA and any record deemed necessary to keep
track of you. No doubt this would be used in conjunction with the NATIONAL MEDICAL ID CARD
currently being touted. This paragraph has nothing to do with our hobby, but we thought it
was interesting. The Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 116, dated June 17, 1998, Pages
33220-33225 will put this plan into effect. Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) has introduced H.R. 4196
to kill the Executive Order and H.R. 4197 to rescind the Federal Register notice. Anyone
wishing to review Rep. Barr's thoughts can do so by going to his Web page at:
By the way, most every Congressman has one of these Web sites in the federal listing (in
Colorado Hefley is the exception).
ALAA Newsletter 8/98
It's Just Dust, Isn't It?
Hazards From Particular Types of Dusts
Peter R. Girardot, PhD
Chair, Safety Committee, SCFMS
Part I of this series described the health hazards from fine dusts and
Part II the control and ventilation of dusts. This last, Part III, details some particular
hazards from certain dusts.
The record of occupational hazards from mineral dusts goes as far back as Pliny in 79 A.D.
There is no excuse for gem and mineral workers and hobbyists not to be aware of it. The
worst two are asbestos and silicates. Some workers choose to ignore the hazards with the
view that the diseases that are caused can't happen to them, but we have news for them.
This group of six different asbestos minerals comprises hydrated
silicates that are fibrous in growth habit. Chrysotile or white asbestos is one of the
four most common, with crocidolite, amosite and anthophyllite following.
The fibers can be subdivided into ever-smaller fibers by grinding or abrasion; there is
apparently no limit to the degree of fineness attainable. In this lies the hazard, because
the human body cannot dispose of very fine fibers once they penetrate into the far reaches
of the lung. The result is asbestosis, a diffuse or fibrous scarring of the lung, which is
slowly progressive even after exposure stops. Symptoms
are shortness of breath and a dry cough, with no effective therapy, leading to an early
Lung cancer is also caused by asbestos and is enhanced by smoking. It is the same type of
cancer as that caused by smoking. For unknown reasons, asbestos can cause a localized
fibrous scar in the pleural cavity surrounding the lung. It is usually not fatal but
interferes with lung function. The most rapidly fatal but least common complication of
asbestos exposure is malignant mesothelioma, a tumor in the pleural lining of the lung. It
may take 20 to 60 years to show up after exposure.
The common factor in all these asbestos-related diseases is the minimum 10-year latent
period before symptoms show up. In this time, the macrophages in the body attempt to
phagocytize or build a protective sac around the long fibers, all the while releasing
hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anions. These reactive oxygen species damage other nearby
cells and the long shape of the fiber prevents complete phagocytosis, which would
otherwise protect the body from the invasion. Thus the shape
of the particle determines its toxicity, although there are other subsidiary chemical
factors beyond the scope of this article.
The average human inhales 4480 fibers each day, but asbestos workers inhaled 1.5 million
fibers a day. Gem and mineral people are somewhere in between, depending upon many
variables, but they can lower the level at will.
There are seven crystalline silica minerals. Of these, quartz is the
second most common mineral in the earth's crust and varies from 22% to 65% in common
rocks. Cristobalite, tripoli and tridymite are less common silica minerals. Diseases
associated with crystalline silicas like these are silicosis, silicotuberculosis, and
Silicosis is caused by inhalation of quartz particles 0.5 - 0.7 micrometers in diameter
which develop fibrous nodules in the lung's small airways. The nodules may grow together,
causing blockage followed by heart or respiratory failure. As with asbestosis, the disease
progresses even without further exposure. Silicotuberculosis - This is a silicosis that
modifies the progress of tuberculosis. It is now less common in developed countries
because of better dust control and chemotherapy.
SILICA AND CANCER
While there is limited evidence for silica as causing cancer, it was a cause in laboratory
animals. The OSHA lists silica as probably carcinogenic to humans. As opposed to
crystalline silicas, amorphous silicas are less toxic. These include diatomaceous earth,
precipitated silica, fumed silica and fused silica.
SILICATES (or chemically bound silicas)
Per se, these are not particularly toxic, unless they are fibrous like
the asbestos minerals. Unfortunately they may contain large amounts of free silica, then
we are back to the situation in the above paragraphs.
Examples are vermiculite, soapstone, talc, investment plaster, enamel frits, ceramic
glazes and clay.
Metallic dusts from grinding and polishing alloys of chromium, nickel,
cobalt, lead, arsenic, selenium and antimony can cause skin irritation and allergies.
These include silver solder, soft solder, stainless
steel, nickel silver, and silver blacks.
Here is where the high toxicity dusts containing metals occur,
particularly when the compounds are water soluble or soluble in body fluids. Without
detailing the specific toxicity, here is a partial list
of some of the many toxic ones. - African wonderstone, agate, amethyst, beryl, azurite,
ceric oxide, cerrusite, chalcedony, cinnabar, clays, cryolite, erionite, feldspars, flint,
galena, garnet, granite, greenstone, jasper, lapis lazuli, lepidolite, malachite,
molybdenite, onyx, opal, porphyry, pumice, pyrolusite, realgar, rouge, sandstone, slate,
talc, tripoli, turquoise, vermiculite, zircon, and zirconia(CZ).
Hazards from metals and metal compounds vary widely from metal to metal. For details, see
the references cited below.
Safety never just happens - it must be planned.
References: 1) "Artist Beware", Michael McCann, Lyons and Burford Publishers,
New York, 1992. 2) "Artist's Health and Safety", Monona Rossol, Allworth Press,
New York, 1990. 3) "Health Effects of Mineral Dusts", George Guthrie and B. T.
Mossman, editors, Reviews in Mineralogy, Vol 28, Mineralogical Society of America,
Washington, D.C. pp. 7-59, 275-308, and 347-407.
Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr.
When first I studied crystals
I didn't have the knack
Of three dimensional thinking:
This skill I seemed to lack.
I'd turn and twist the crystal round
In hope that I could see
At least one axis or a plane
Of crystal symmetry.
The prism, pinacoid and dome,
The rhombic pyramid
All looked the same to me,
No matter what I did.
But now I've studied long and hard,
And think I'm somewhat wise,
For in no length of time at all
The cube I recognize.
Original source unknown;
Via Glacial Drifter, 6/98 and Memphis Archaelogical and Geological Society Newsletter,
I want to correct a mis-statement in the latest issue of the AFMS Newsletter. In the
"Each Club-Each Year-One Rockhound" article it states that I received the CFMS
Golden Bear Award. It should read that I
received the local club award (same name) from the Orcutt Mineral Society. Thanks!
Wes Lingerfelt, Treasurer 97-98 California Federation of Mineralogical Societies Nipomo,
IGNEOUS ROCK LIST
Igneous rocks form from cooling magna. If magma erupts from a volcano and cools on
the surface, extrusive rocks form. If the magma is trapped in the crust and cools there,
intrusive rocks form.
(cools slowly underground, crystals are visible)
PERIDOTITE - see olive green crystals
GABRO - all or mostly black crystals
DIORITE - mixture of black and white crystals
GRANITE - three types of minerals (see quartz, white or pink feldspar and other mineral
like mica or hornblends
(cools fast on the surface, microscopic crystals)
BASALT - dull black or reddish brown, heavy rock, some may have bubble holes
ANDESITE - dull gray, heavy rock, may be light or dark gray
RHYOLITE - dull light-colored rock (any color but dark gray or black), heavy rock. Water
solutions may form bands of color or color patterns
OBSIDIAN - shiny, glassy black rock with smooth surfaces and sharp edges. Used by Indians
out west for arrow heads.
PUMICE - white to light gray rock, light weight, so full of holes it may float
SCORIA - black to reddish brown, light weight, so full of holes it may float
ASH - sand to flour size particles, usually light gray. Ash cemented together is called
GEM CITY ROCK NEWS 7/98
SOME LAPIDARY CRAFTS-
Channel work - The lines of the design are formed with vertical metal strip backed
by horizontal sheet metal. The spaces between the strip are filled with polished rock or
gem material. This gives color to the design.
Casting is the replacement of a item by forming a mold, removing the item from the mold
material and filling the void left with molten metal and cooling.
Enameling is the fusion of ground glass on a metal surface.
Engraving is the formation of a pattern in a base material by removing metal from the
Filigree is the formation of patterns from wires twisted, coiled, or otherwise shaped and
then soldered into a wire framework.
Wire-Wrapping is coiled, twisted and bound wire formed into a pattern which also holds and
frames gem materials.
Intarsia and Mosiac are formed by forming a pattern from individual pieces of stone, slab,
Cameos are raised figures which form the image of an item
THANKS AND GOOD BYE!
Editor, AFMS Newsletter
This is my final issue as editor of the AFMS Newsletter. It has been an honor, an
education, and has given me great joy to be involved with this publication.
I would like to give a
GREAT BIG THANKS
* To all those who supported my by regularly sending in material for the members to
read. I'm convinced the future of the AFMS lies in the rank-and-file members knowing what
is going on and why. This Newsletter is an excellent way to supply that knowledge.
* To Presidents Margaret Heinek and Dee Holland for entrusting this responsibility to me.
* To all that encouraged me with letters and e-mail and made me feel good by liking the
job I did and saying so. I am amazed at the very few "bricks" I received in such
a high visibility endeavor.
A note to fellow editors: This job is the same as all others - fitting items together,
finding "fill" material of interest to your readers, getting as many names
included as possible, and, on occasion, having to cut or omit material because of space
limits (and yes, it hurts!). AND - This job is different from others in that priority 1 is
to pass information about the AFMS activities on to the member clubs and individuals.
It's been fun - good bye and good news!
Editors are my heroes and heroines! - Mel
(For you non-Cajuns, that's - A little something extra)
MAKE SURE YOUR JEWELERS SAW BLADE is mounted so that it cuts when pulled towards you
or it will break. Lubricate the blade before using (beeswax is good.) To judge the size to
use, figure two teeth should touch the material being cut. - Al Klein
A 5,805 CARAT EMERALD has been found in Russia's Ural Mountains. It has been named
"the President" for President Boris Yeltsin. The 2 1/2 pund stone has excellent
color and clarity and may be one of the most valuable emeralds ever from Russia. Initial
appraisal placed its value at 1.5 million dollars. It will likely be a museum piece rather
than being cut. Breccia
GIANT SLOTH TRACKS have been found near Saltville, VA. The tracks were 3 feet long
and are estimated at 13,500 years old. The sloth weighed about 3000 pounds. Mineral
Newsletter via Strata Gem
RHODOCHROSITE WAS FIRST DISCOVERED BY THE INCAS around the 12th century in Argentia.
Generations later, Frank Mansfield rediscovered the mine. Most unusual formations with a
circular pattern of light and dark occur in this treasure chest. Highly artistic pieces
are carved out of this "Indian Rose". The name comes from Greek
"rhodo" (rose) and "chros" (color".
The Mountain Gem via The Burro Express
ONLY ABOUT 50 DIAMOND MINES have ever existed. Only 15 now operate.
EMERGENCY EMERGENCY FLARES can be made from empty plastic milk cartons. Place a rock
inside to hold them and light. They'll last about 10 minutes.
SAND MUST BE IMPORTED INTO EGYST for sandblasting. Local sand is far too fine.
POLISH TARNISHED SILVER CHAINS for a half hour in a tumbler with steel shot and burnishing
compound. One chain at a time avoids tangles. The Rockpile
LINE YOUR HAT WITH ALUMINUM FOIL on hot sunny days to keep cooler. Rocky Trails
BROKEN EGG SHELLS make a good pot scrubber when camping. Rocky Trails
TOP 10 WAYS TO TELL IF YOUR TRILOBITE IS FAKE
10. It has a battery compartment.
9. It melts in your mouth, not in your hands.
8. The expiry date on the bottom says "Permian period".
7. It comes attached to a shower rope.
6. It has "Made in Morocco" stamped on the back.
5. It comes with a child-proof safety cap.
4. When you put it in water it grows green hair.
3. It's still twitching.
2. When you turn it upside down it's eyes close and it says "Waaaah".
1. It's from the Bre-X mine in Indonesia!
Ottawa Paleontological Society Newsletter. 5/97
Some music stores are in a CD part of town.
Campers need to have a positive in-tent.
* Ban on soliciting dead in trotwood
* Lansing residents can drop off trees
* Local high school dropouts cut in half
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and
stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit
down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a
cold one anymore. -- Mark Twain
Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps. -- Emo Phillips
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make
-- F. P. Jones
What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the
A.F.M.S. Newsletter is published monthly by the American Federation of Mineralogical
A.F.M.S. Central Office
Dan McLennan, P. O. Box 26523
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0523
ADDRESS CORRECTIONS AND CHANGES
SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION - Individual Subscriptions are available from the Central Office
at $3.50 per year. Each club is entitled to 3 free copies. Normally these go to the
President, The Newsletter Editor, and one other member. Please be sure to send the names
and addresses of these three individuals to the AFMS Office and to update them with each
change. AFMS loses 50 cents for every returned Newsletter
Address maintenance and mail labeling are the responsibility of the AFMS Central Office.
The publisher does the actual mailing.
NEW EDITOR STARTING WITH THE NOVEMBER 1998 ISSUE
Mel Albright, Rt. 3 Box 8500
Bartlesville, OK 74003
CONTENT - LETTERS
EDITORIAL COMMENTS - SUBMISSIONS
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