AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MINERALOGICAL SOCIETIES
Volume 54, Number 5
Combined AFMS/SCFMS Convention and Show
WELCOME TO ARLINGTON AND THE 1ST AFMS CONVENTION OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM
The Arlington Gem and Mineral Club in Arlington, TX is excited to welcome you to the 2001 AFMS/SCFMS Convention and Show. We have been anticipating this show for six years and are now less than a year away. What better way to begin the 21" Century?
We are planning field trips during the week. Some will be guided and other local collecting areas will be self-guided. More will be published about the field trips as the show draws near. This area is noted for fossils.
We are looking forward to many excellent displays both competitive and non-competitive. We hope you will respond with your display(s). We plan special displays.
The Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex has many wonderful attractions: Six Flags Over Texas, Hurricane Harbor (a water park), Lone Star Park (Horse racing), The Texas Rangers baseball, Texas Motor Speedway, Kennedy Memorial, excellent museums, and much more. There is plenty to do as time permits; so plan your vacation around the show and enjoy our wonderful area.
As you know, shows depend on attendance and displays, therefore, we are expecting wonderful displays and a large attendance. Make your plans and reservations early.
from Jim Hurlbut
Several changes to the Uniform Rules were approved at the Moab meetings this past year. These changes have now been printed and are available from your Regional Federation Supplies Chairman.
These "new rules" will be in use for judging at your Regional Federation Shows this year and at the AFMS Convention and Show in Arlington, TX this June. We encourage all exhibitors to obtain a copy of these changes and to keep their copy of the rules book up to date.
from Izzie Burns, AFMS President
February, the month of enjoying shows on the desert. As always Quartzsite, Tucson, and Indio were great places to learn new ideas, to see the latest equipment for lapidary work, to hear of new mineral and rock collecting sites, and to meet former and new friends.
Quartzsite, a sell-a-rama, had many commercial dealers making it hard to find the silver smith or lapidarian who sells his own work. Tucson GMS had Russian Minerals as their show theme. Thursday there was a Mineral Photography Seminar: Friday, a Micromount Symposium and Trading; Saturday Friend of Mineralogy, Tucson Gem & Mineral Society and Mineral Society of America joined together to provide the 22nd Mineral Symposium - Russian Minerals. Mineral exhibits were great and the Forbes Magazine Faberge was marvelous. Peter Carl Faberge was a carver and jeweler: At other shows in Tucson demonstrations and classes for opal cutting and polishing, faceting lessons and other programs were provided for the public. Indio Date Festival is a county fair with exhibits from Gem clubs in Riverside County. They promote our hobby as do many fairs.
Some Federations have week educational programs - such as - Wild Acres, William Holland, Zyzzx, Camp Paradise, etc. You may think that everyone has heard of these, but at a field trip seminar after 15 years as chair of the CFMS ESS I ask how many had not heard of the program and may hands went up. It is difficult to advertise. Many clubs who have educational seminars for one day or a weekend are willing to share, but how can you let others know that they are welcome. Three copies of our newsletters go to each society, but many never get the messages.
AFMS haws some societies who specialize in a phase of our hobby. There are faceting clubs in CFMS and NWF and they host annual seminars. American Opal Society is interested in opals and promote it. American Carver Association present demonstrations and speakers that have unique sculpting techniques at special meetings. Friends of Mineralogy and Micromount Society were mentioned above. Paleontology has many supporters and interesting programs. Petrified Wood Identification Seminars have been held in the western states and there will be one at the AFMS/ SCFMS in Arlington, Texas. I will assure you that you will learn from W. Walton Wright. He is a friend and I work on wood projects with him. Many other groups have there chose of topics.
Allied associations are very important for enhancing education. Some are Fluorescent Mineral Society, Gemological Institute of America, Red Metal Retreat, US Geological Society, and Central City, Colorado. Magazines are a very valuable resource - Rock & Gem, Lapidary Journal, Mineralogical Record, and Rock & Mineral. Museums and their curators have provided exhibits and speakers for our shows and conventions and tours for our clubs. Websites have unlimited educational assets.
This only touches to the tip of the iceberg as to ways to educate our members and potential members. Do we need a newsletter issue dedicated to this? Do we need a committee to organize lists of resources? What about a website, should we carry this information? Think about it! Bring your ideas to Arlington and we will discuss it at the Cracker Barrel.
from Steve Weinberger, President-Elect
...from a number of sources that overall interest in our hobby is waning, and that we must try to interest new people in lapidary, mineralogy, jewelry-making, paleontology, etc.
Many clubs have been successful in attracting newcomers through a variety of outreach programs. Some of the more successful endeavors include the following:
These are but a few of the free or low-cost activities clubs can take advantage of in trying to interest new people in the hobby. (Notice, I did not say just to join a club!) Oftentimes club members do not stay long; but interest in the hobby can begin a lifelong association and many rewards - both for the individual and the clubs.
If you have other suggestions on how to reach out to the public, please send them to me and I will compile the list to share with everyone at a later date.
from Lewis Elrod, AFMS Chair
Plans for the 2001 Endowment Fund fund-raiser are proceeding well at this time. The California and Northwest Federations have provided their prizes. The Southeast is making theirs at this time and the special Presidents Award is nearly complete according to President Burns. I hope all the other federations are following suit and will provide a prize as well.
As authorized in Moab, Utah we have purchased a digital camera and the first use will be to photograph the prizes and place them on our web site at <www.AmFed.org>. There the prizes will be available for anyone to view and admire.
In addition to the major prizes to be awarded at the banquet at the annual convention we also need more items to sell or raffle at the annual convention/show. Please check around and see what you have that you would be willing to donate. I should like to have the items ahead of time if possible in order to ease the task of keeping records of the donations. The reasons for records will be explained in the next paragraph. The items should be related to the hobby and may be jewelry, slabs, cabs, rough, faceted stones, mineral specimens, etc. All will be appreciated.
We currently have an award titled "Fellow of the American Federation" which is given to persons making a substantial grant to our fund. President Burns and I have been working on expanding this effort to recognize those who make grants, cash or merchandise, to further the causes of the AFMS. Records will be maintained and there will be several levels of donors. The records will be cumulative and will recognize donors at each level attained. These plans are nearly complete and more info will be released prior to our convention in Arlington, Texas in June. The plans will be in the form of an OP for approval by the Board at the convention.
Tickets for the drawing for the major prizes have been mailed to the Endowment Fund Chair for each regional federation. Please contact these persons for supplies or, if you need to, call me (615-893-8270) and I will send you a supply. There will be a plaque awarded to the regional federation selling the most tickets this year.
There are always questions as to "What is the Federation, what does it do for me, why should I help?" The Endowment Fund is a great answer to these questions. The fund raises funds, which are maintained in a perpetual account, to support federation activities. We currently use the interest from the proceeds to support the production and distribution of programs to each regional federation. These programs are then available to the individual club/society members of the regional federation.
We are also supporting the AFMS website, which had almost one million hits in the year 2000. Much additional information will be placed on the site in this year. We are reaching the public in this manner and it appears that growth will continue as we make the site even more attractive.
Look around, see what you find, send it on to me for the fund-raiser and lets all get behind the AFMS again this year.
by Mel Albright, AFMS Safety Chair
Did you know there are more than 50 safety articles about how to be safe in our hobby that are readily available to all?
For almost 10 years I have been writing safety articles for the Rocky Mountain Federation and later for the AFMS.
During that time, I have carefully covered a great many areas of concern to rockhounds as we follow our hobby. Some are for the shop. Some are for field trips. A number are general, such as sun safety. Now, ideas for new articles don't come as easily as they used to - and I'd rather not re-discuss many of the items I've written about. On the other hand, there are many many rockhounds who have not seen the articles. So, they need to be spread around.
There is a solution. Marty Hart has placed all of the safety articles from the AFMS and the RMFMS and the EFMLS on the AFMS web. They are found at <http://www.amfed.org/safetytips.htm>.
I have some suggestions: First I recommend that you tell your editor that they are there free for copying and inclusion in your club bulletin. Second, I recommend that your club's safety person browse through the articles and summarize one of them at each meeting - or even occasionally make a full program of one. Next, I recommend that each rockhound go to the site whenever they are surfing the net and read one of the articles. After 50 or so trips, you will have a greater appreciation of the dangers that exist within our hobby. Finally, for those clubs with shops, I recommend the appropriate articles be copied and placed into a safety manual for the shop - required reading for users.
Meanwhile, I'll continue to write safety articles about the hobby. New ideas or problems welcomed! Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
from an article in the Baltimore Sun, 3/6/01
Although there have not yet been enough studies, adults with hobbies that exercise their brains appear to be less likely to have Alzheimer's disease.
A survey of people in their 70's showed that those who regularly participated in hobbies that were intellectually challenging during their younger adult years tended to be protected from Alzheimer's while those whose main leisure activity is dominated by TV watching tended to have an increased risk.
The finding supports other studies showing that brain power unused is brain power lost.
This is tentative list of the field trips planned around the Federation Convention and Show in Arlington this June. It is subject to change. We are also hoping to add more field trips.
Guided Field Trips are currently being planned to the following locations:
Brownwood, Texas to hunt for Horn Coral.
San Saba, Texas to hunt for Crinoid Stems in Limestone.
Broken Bow, Oklahoma to hunt for Green Phantom Quartz Crystals.
Self Guided Field Trips are currently being planned to the following locations:
Mary's Creek near Benbrook, Texas to hunt for small marine fossils.
Important Note: This is Texas in the early Summer. Temperatures are usually in the 90's. Bring plenty of water to drink. This is also snake country. We do not encounter poisonous snakes very often on our field trips, BUT, it does happen. It is best to wear high top walking boots or something similar.
Sign up for field trips when you register at the show.
Each AFMS affiliated club or society is entitled to receive three (3) issues of the AFMS Newsletter each month. Are the correct people in your club receiving this issue?
Let Dan know!!! Take a moment to write to Dan and give him the name and address of the three people in your club who should be receiving this issue. Also include the name of your club and if possible, the names of those people who should be removed from the mailing.
Also, if you have moved, please remember to let Dan know your new address. Bulk mail is NOT forwarded by the post office, but is returned to Dan...and he pays the postage for that.
from Bonnie Glismann
Rocky Mountain Federation
Shoshone Rock Club is honored to present Les Lawrence as our nominee for Rockhound for 2000. Les is a 45 year member of the club, a past president, field trip leader and board member who has donated much in the way of historical items, rocks, fossils, books and workshop miscellaneous. This past year found him still regularly attending meetings and volunteering for club functions. The club is most fortunate to have him as a member. Linna Beebe, President
Walter Brumdge was nominated in 2000 by the Shawnee Gem and Mineral Club as their AFMS Club Rockhound of the year. Walter is their senior member (95 years old), but has shown club members how to make and use cabbing equipment and to do silversmithing. He has made a video which shows a step-by-step procedure to facet a stone. He is a Rockhound that is admired for his work and has shared his knowledge for many years.
submitted by David Walk, President
John and Ruth Burns have been nominated by the Enid Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. as their 2000 AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year. In the past 30 years they have served as officers, show chairman and have worked on many committees. John has provided many programs for their club with demonstrations in cabochon making, faceting, stained glass creation, bead enameling and shared his many talents in many more areas. They share vegetables from their garden and have seldom missed a meeting even though they drive over 100 miles to attend.
submitted by Frances Johnson
South Central Federation
ARK-LA-TEX Gem and Mineral Society nominates Will House. Our nominee for the year 2000 Each club-Each Year-One Rockhound is Will House. He has been an active rockhound for 20 plus years. As Treasurer, he restored the club finances to a reasonable profitability. He has recruited nearly half of our members as active flintknappers.
The Cross Timbers Gem and Mineral Club nominates Wayne and Mary Trammell As Rockhound Of The Year. They are always willing to help others in many ways. They share their knowledge and their specimens with other when asked and they do it as much as possible. They both have served in various offices of the club. Mary has and is serving on various offices and committees for the American and South Central Federations.
submitted by Paul Good
Marjie Erkkila was nominated by the Texas Big Bend Gem and Mineral Society as Rockhound of the Year for 2001. She has been an active member for a number of years. She donates items for Kid's Korner and silent auction for our annual show. She donated a 71 lb piece of Alibates Flint for a fund-raising raffle. She made the grand door prize for our 2001 Show, a silver and agate bolo tie and a ladies necklace or collar. She is an accomplished sculpture, working in stone and bronze, usually doing horses. She has won numerous awards and has her works in a number of galleries throughout the USA.
from Marge Collins, AFMS Program Chair
The following programs have been forwarded to your Regional Federation Program Librarian and should be available for your club to borrow shortly. Look for an announcement giving details on how to borrow them soon in your Regional Federation Newsletter.
2000 AFMS Winners
"DIAMONDS" by Jennie & Paul Smith (EFMLS). Micro diamonds are used to tell the story - how they form, where deposits are found, crystal structure, the rainbow of colors, etc. Also this presentation proves the fact that affordable, miniature diamonds are 'lovely to look at' and interesting to boot. 79 slides
"PSEUDOMORPHS: Ghosts of Minerals Past" by Michael Shaw (RMFMS). Pseudomorph means false shape and refers to the interesting mineralogical oddities that occur, when one mineral replaces another - in the shape of the original mineral. If this sounds confusing it won't be after you view this program with numerous specimens as examples and clear explanations of the processes involved in their formation. 47 slides
"LAPIDARY MATERIALS OF OREGON" by Norman McKay (RMFMS). Oregon is noted for the wide variety of lapidary materials found within its borders. We are treated to examples in close-up views showing their unique and interesting patterns. Some field trip info and other tips are also included. 140 slides
"HOW SWEET IT IS: A Trip to the Sweetwater Lead Mine" by Sharon Waddell (MWF) "Deep in the rolling hills of the Missouri Ozarks lies a geologic feature, the Viburnum Trend". This ore bearing strata has produced world class specimens of galena and associated minerals. The Sweetwater is one of the many mines in this area but opportunities to visit them are rare. Specimens, a look inside the mine and the processes by which minerals are extracted from the ore, are included. 100 slides
from Esther Dunn, EFMLS Wildacres Functioning Committee Chair
I've continually read in many club newsletters that it is becoming more and more difficult to find people who are able to serve as judges for competitive exhibits at local club shows. The Eastern Federation offers a solution to this problem...one which you should consider taking advantage of.
Each year the EFMLS holds two workshops at a retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Each week long session features a guest speaker, a selection of classes and other wonderful activities. Our week on the mountain always goes by much too quickly.
One of the most important classes we offer is "Certified Judging" where Jay Bowman teaches individuals what the rules are about, what they mean, and how to use them. Jay is a terrific instructor and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and understanding of what is involved in the art of display and judging. What a wonderful solution for the dilemma of obtaining folks to evaluate displays for your club shows.
In past years we had members from clubs in the South Central, Midwest and Rocky Mountain Federations join us. This year we know of someone from California and another from Northwest who will attend. Why not add your name to the list of visitors?
This year our featured speakers are Bob Jones, Senior Editor for Rock & Gem Magazine and Dr. Steve Chamberlain of Syracuse University. We would like to invite YOU to join members of the EFMLS during our September session with Dr. Chamberlain.
Dr. Chamberlain is a fellow with eclectic interests. A botanist, a musician, and a mineralogist, his collection of New York State minerals is among the finest in the country. He's a great story teller and photographer. He's been a mentor to many young people interested in the hobby, including a 16 year old who became the youngest to present a paper at the prestigious Rochester Mineral Symposium (of which Steve is the Director).
I can't say enough about Wildacres. This retreat is on its own mountain, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC. The facility is owned by a non-profit organization which allows other non-profit groups its use. Meals are served family style in a lovely dining facility. Large meeting rooms, well equipped workshops, a super auditorium and lovely views of the mountains are just a few of the amenities. Lodging is in two modern buildings featuring individual rooms with private baths. A canteen, porches with rocking chairs and a patio provide places for relaxation and just talking with fellow participants. There is no radio or TV....just peace, quiet and tranquility.
The September session begins on Tuesday afternoon, September 4 and runs until Monday September 10, just after breakfast. Charlotte, Hickory and Asheville, NC each have airports and each is no more than 2 1/2 hours from Wildacres. It's an easy place to get to.
Cost for the week of fun and education is $260 per person which includes your room "rent" and your meals each day. There is a small extra charge for the classes, but that depends on what you take and the cost of the materials you use.
If you are interested in joining in on the fun, send your check for $260 (payable to EFMLS) to
Wildacres is a wonderful experience. We hope to see you there this year.
by Marge Collins
This is not an idle or rhetorical question. Yes, all 'rockhounds' are interested in one or more aspects of the Earth Sciences. But beyond that, aren't all members of 'Gem & Mineral' Clubs interested in the sharing and camaraderie that is the essence of any 'club'? Sure, you say - so what?!
If sharing is a primary reason for your involvement in our hobby, you may already demonstrate or make presentations for school or civic groups, Club meetings and Shows. But have you considered making a slide program, video or a more technologically advanced presentation, which captures your interest, and enthusiasm? As long as 'rock' Clubs have been active in this country, such presentations have been an essential part of Club activities and are the best way (after a live presentation) to inspire newcomers and even long time members to gain a better understanding of something they have not yet explored. Yet today, few such presentations are being made and Clubs often end up having to watch 20 or even 30 year-old programs from their Regional Library.
You and your fellow Club members can pool resources to produce an excellent presentation. All it takes is someone to spearhead the project and someone with the technical resources. Today such resources are widely available. Many of us have family members or friends who are able to take slides, video or digital images and pull them together into a presentation that can be shown not only at your Club and those in the surrounding area. It can also go on to be shown across the country. Yes, across the country and win cash awards and national recognition! If such 'recognition' is not important for you, consider the impact your presentation can have on hundreds if not thousands of viewers in the next 20+ years. Just knowing that many viewers are enjoying your presentation is a great 'reward'. The cash awards can significantly defray the costs involved in such a presentation.
So first of all, decide on a topic, then make an outline or plan so you will know what visuals are needed; draft a script, have someone else read that script back to you and you are well on your way. If the expense of rolls and rolls of slide film are a concern, consider buying them by mail order (but be sure they are "Kodak compatible' - not movie film from which prints and slides can be made!) Plan to submit your presentation for Regional Program Competition (where that is possible) and ultimately in AFMS Program Competition. The 'rules', guidelines and Score Sheet can offer a way to evaluate your presentation before it is officially submitted. ('Rules"/guidelines were most recently published in the December 2000, AFMS Newsletter - or contact your Regional Program Librarian or AFMS Coordinator at (616)695-4313 or e-mail <email@example.com> In years to come you will experience the immense satisfaction that comes from a job well done and the 'rewards' of sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with others - helping our hobby to survive well into the 21st Century.
A postscript - EXHIBITORS: Do you realize that you already have much of the preparation for a slide program completed? Please consider adding a new dimension to your display by having slides made, write up a script based on your research and viola!, your presentation has the possibility of a very long and active life.
by Erston Barnhart from Rock Buster News, 3/01
Columbus has been described as a man who didn't know where he was going, didn't know where he had been, did it several more times, and all on borrowed money. However, he is the only foreigner honored with a legal holiday in the United States - unless you live in some parts of California where you are asked to observe "Indigenous Americans Day" instead.
The idea that the world is round was widely accepted by the time of Columbus. The main dissent was from the church, which held that the earth was a flat disc covered with a canopy, probably to provide a physical manifestation of heaven.
The spherical earth theory was proposed by several Greeks, the first of which was Aristotle (384-322 BC), who observed the shadow on the moon during an eclipse and concluded that this could only be caused by a round object.
The first who actually sought to prove this theory was Eratosthenes (circa 276-196 BC). Born in Libya, he was the chief of the library at Alexandria, Egypt. This library was the repository of more than I 00,000 scrolls containing the world's collective knowledge.
Eratosthenes heard of a well in what is now Aswan where the sun's reflection could be seen in the water in the well on June 21", the longest day of the year. He surmised, that the sun was directly above the earth at that moment. He knew that this location was directly south of Alexandria and by measuring the shadow of an obelisk in Alexandria at the same time there was no shadow at the well, he computed the length of two sides of a triangle, the length of the shadow and the height of the obelisk. He figured the angle of the triangle, which was 7-12', approximately equal to one fiftieth of a circle's 360º.
He still needed one more measurement. The Greek standard of measurement was the stadia (based on the size of a Greek race course). Standard camel performance was to cover 100 stadia per day, and since it took a camel 50 days to make the trip between his two points, he calculated the distance to be 5000 stadia, multiplied by 50 and came up with a figure of 250,000 stadia for the earth's circumference. Translated to modem measurements, his earth measured 25,000 miles, amazingly close to the actual distance at the poles of 24,860 miles. His scientific apparatus for this experiment consisted of something to measure the length of a shadow.
Unfortunately, some people cannot leave well enough alone. Sometime later, another Greek scholar named Strabo, for some unknown reason, reduced Eratosthenes' figure from 25,000 to 18,000 miles. By Columbus' time the original calculation had been overlooked and it was this latter figure that Columbus relied on for his voyage.
Columbus knew the approximate distance from Europe to Japan, west to east, thanks to Marco Polo's journeys to the Far East. If his calculation of the earth's circumference of 18,000 miles had been correct, he would probably have been justified in assuming he had reached the Orient. A Greek scholar, 1700 years before Columbus' voyage had it right, and if Columbus had had the correct information, he may have realized he was 7,000 miles short of his objective.
While the AFMS no longer has a committee which saves and sells commemorative stamps, most of the Regional Federations due.
These stamps are used for such programs as further funding of Endowments or scholarships to regional workshops.
Are you saving these stamps for YOUR Regional Federation? Are you using them for your club bulletin and encouraging members to save them?
If your Federation does not save these stamps, why not collect them and donate them to another Federation. Your donation won't be turned away.
The American Lands Access Association (A.L.A.A.) was formed to promote and ensure the rights of amateur fossil and mineral collecting, recreational prospecting and mining, and the use of public and private lands for educational and recreational purposes and to carry the voice of all amateur collectors and hobbyists to our elected officials, government regulators and public land managers.
In the past few years, the number of acres of land available for collecting of all types has been under siege from the government and from preservationists who do not separate those of us who pursue collecting as a hobby from those who would use the same lands for commercial purposes.
By becoming a member of A.L.A.A. you join individuals who share like concerns for maintaining and preserving collecting areas across the United States. By joining together as a group, representatives of A.L.A.A. can meet with members of Congress and help educate them about our interests and help clarify our level of interest in keeping certain federal areas open for hobbyists like us.
Membership is $25 per year...a modest amount per person, but if you add your $25 to that of other members, the sum available for the programs of A.L.A.A. multiplies rapidly. Being a 501(c)(4) organization, allows A.L.A.A. to lobby our Congressional leaders -something which most clubs (as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations) cannot do. Your help is needed. Your membership vital.
from Shirley Leeson, AFMS Historian
There were a few souls who took pity on me and sent e-mails regarding the AFMS Newsletters I needed.
Carroll and Bev Dillon of the Northwest came through with the following Newsletters:
Got to talk to Johnny Short, AFMS President, 1965, and told me recently at Tucson that he had one of the "bibs" used at the National Show in Eureka, CA for the famous "Humboldt Crab Dinner" Now that's something to have kept all these years.
If anyone has any memorabilia from any of the shows they would like to part with, please contact me at: <firstname.lastname@example.org> or 6155 Haas St. La Mesa, CA 91942-4312. And I'm always looking for pictures, especially those before 1990.
Look through your old scrapbooks, and see if there isn't something you can share.....
Last Revised on
October 17, 2011