RockHoundBlog – rockhounding for kids of all ages!

Filed under: interviews(new),regular postings — Gary March 31, 2007 @ 10:57 pm
Was started in December 2003 by Jessica Chekal and her mother, Sherri Chekal. Jessy now maintains the site herself, since she’s learning how to use web designing software in her studies.
Jessy is a homeschooled kid who began a normal unit study in rocks and minerals in her Earth Science class and just really got bit badly with the rockhounding bug.
She went to a Rock and Mineral show with her family and was given $10 to buy a few specimens. By the time she had left the show, she was hooked.

Florescent Mineral Society, The American Opal Society and the Orange County Gold Miners Club

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary March 28, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

Our 58th annual show is this weekend. We are having demonstrations by the Florescent Mineral Society, The American Opal Society and the Orange County Gold Miners Club as well as many other demonstrators doing sphere making, opal cutting, mineral identification, carving and LOTS of other fun things.

We are having a tool and machinery sale to support the Waldo Ford Scholarship at El Camino College.

There will be home made pies, cakes and chili.


Zoisite- mineral of the day

Filed under: Mineral of the day,regular postings — Gary March 27, 2007 @ 7:53 pm


Zoisite is a calcium aluminium hydroxy sorosilicate belonging to the epidote group of minerals. Zoisite is named after the Slovene scientist Baron Sigmund Zois von Edelstein (Žiga Zois), who realized that this was an unknown mineral when it was brought to him by the mineral dealer Simon Prešern, who had discovered it in the Saualpe mountains (Svinška planina) of Carinthia in 1805. Zoisite was first known as saualpite, after its type locality. Transparent material is fashioned into gemstones while translucent-to-opaque material is usually carved into sculptural works. The latter is sometimes shot through with ruby crystals, which are completely opaque and unsuited to use as gems, yet are well colored and contrast strikingly against the green matrix of the zoisite.


Tanzanite- December’s birthstone

Filed under: Mineral of the day,regular postings — Gary @ 7:46 pm


Tanzanite is the blue/purple variety of the mineral zoisite (Ca2(Al. OH)Al2(SiO4)3) discovered in the Meralani Hills of northern Tanzania in 1967, near the city of Arusha. It is a popular and valuable gemstone when cut, although its durability is somewhat lacking; its tendency to break sometimes precludes appropriate use as a ring stone. Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism, appearing alternately sapphire blue, violet, and sage-green depending on crystal orientation. However, most tanzanite is subjected to artificial heat treatment to improve its colour: this significantly subdues its trichroism.


On July 7, 1967, Manuel de Souza, a Goan tailor and part-time gold prospector living in Arusha (Tanzania) found transparent fragments of vivid blue and blue & purple gem crystals on a ridge near Mererani, some 40 km southeast of Arusha.


gemologist richard hughes- lecture about jade (Stone of Heaven) mining and trading in asia

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary @ 7:18 pm

Saturday, March 31, 2007

2 p.m.

“Jade: Stone of Heaven”

Lecture in the Auditorium of Pacific Asia Museum by gemologist Richard
, who has spent close to half his life in Asia, and has traveled
to scores of countries in search of precious stones.

Known to the Chinese as the “Stone of Heaven,” jade is one of
mankind’s most beguiling gemstones. While the term “jade” includes
both nephrite and jadeite, only jadeite occurs in the coveted
“imperial” type, and for this the world has but one source, Upper
Burma. It is these mines which are the subject of this program.
Fortune-seekers from all over Asia are drawn to the mines amidst a
heady atmosphere akin to the gold rush days of the old American West.
Entire families are obsessed with the search for the green stone. Some
have been turned into overnight millionaires by digging up a brown
boulder in their back yards.


Paris, Ontario Lapidary and mineral show- Brantford Lapidary and Minerals Society

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary @ 7:15 pm
HUGE Annual Lapidary and Mineral Show at the Paris, Ontario Fairgrounds Building, March 31 and April 1, 10-5pm. Gorgeous displays, flourescent Display and silent auction for fabulous bargains.
Sponsored by the Brantford Lapidary and Minerals Society, Inc.
Maddie Lavender, secretary

mining video of sapphires-from mine to market, very interesting! including Cornflower Blue Sapphire

Filed under: Video,regular postings — Gary March 23, 2007 @ 11:27 pm


sapphire_mine sapphire_mine_2

- how white sapphires are processed-

This is a film made by Crescent Gems in Sri Lanka and it shows the
trip from mine to market for 1-3.5mm White Sapphire.


Jade is the gem name for mineral aggregates composed of either or both of two different minerals, Jadeite and Nephrite.

Filed under: Mineral of the day,regular postings — Gary @ 11:15 pm

jade rough_jadequartz_jade_rough

An ornamental stone, jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. Nephrite jade consists of the calcium- and magnesium-rich amphibole mineral actinolite (aggregates of which also make up one form of asbestos). The rock called jadeitite consists almost entirely of jadeite, a sodium- and aluminium-rich pyroxene.

The English word ‘jade’ is derived from the Spanish term piedra de ijada (first recorded in 1565) or ‘loin stone’, from its reputed efficacy in curing ailments of the loins and kidneys. ‘Nephrite’ is derived from lapis nephriticus, the Latin version of the Spanish piedra de ijada.


Sinkankas Jade Symposium-San Diego Mineral and Gem Society and Gemological Institute of America

Filed under: regular postings — Gary @ 10:59 pm

* * * You are cordially invited to attend the Jade Symposium. * * *

WHAT: Fifth Annual Sinkankas Symposium

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2007


GIA World Headquarters, 5345 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, CA


San Diego Mineral and Gem Society

Gemological Institute of America.


Badging, coffee & donuts, 8 to 9 a.m.

Symposium begins at 9 a.m. sharp.


Fred Ward: Jades of the World

Si Frazier: Nomenclature of Jade

Don Kay: Burmese Jadeite Jewelry

Dale Blankenship: How to Carve Jade

John Koivula: MicroWorld of Jade

Mary Lou Ridinger: Current Guatemalan Jade Market

Richard Hughes: Burmese Jade Deposits

George Rossman: Causes of Color in Jade


Antelope Valley Gem & Mineral 2007 Show

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary March 20, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

The Antelope Valley Gem & Mineral 2007 Show is going to be on April
28th and 29th at Lancaster High School. The show will feature a touch
table, auction table, bakery, food, vendors, tailgaters, demostrators
and a cool raffle drawing. This will be fun for the whole family.
Please come and join us. We also have spaces still open for dealers and
tailgaters. Come get your spot reserved today :)