Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Del Air Rockhounds November 2020 Calendar of Events


Thursday November 05: ‘Zoom’ General Meeting @ 7:30 pm

Meeting invites to be sent out to all members with an email address 2-3 days before the meeting.       

 Thursday November 19: Board Meeting @ 7:30 pm

at Chris Ward’s Home

 Thursday November 26: Thanksgiving!


President’s Message

Well, the new year is almost upon us and hopefully it will put a stop to this seemingly endless interruption of our regular rockhounding activities we all enjoy so much.  It’s certainly a bummer but it is what it is and we have to deal with it as best we can. Sadly, I have to report that we will be cancelling our annual December Holiday Party due to the ongoing circumstances previously mentioned. I do have high expectations for a return to as normal a normal as we can get for 2021 and we will soon be able to return to our in-person meetings, field trips, rock shows, school activities and Street Fairs. Next month brings us to the 2021 Board of Director’s elections so please try to be available for our December 2020 Zoom meeting and make your vote be heard. Yeah, I know, you’re all probably sick to death of elections by now but just this one more and we’re done for another year, at least. Stay optimistic and keep on rockhounding.

Chris Ward, President; Editor

General ‘Zoom’ Meeting: 7:30 pm Thurs Nov 5, 2020

Normally our meetings would begin at 7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at:

Northridge United Methodist Church - 9650 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

However, due to the Covid19 Pandemic, the church still remains closed as of this writing.

     November’s ‘Zoom’ Program:

Geology & History of the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia

Presented by: Dick & Mary Pat Weber

The Argyle Diamond mine was discovered in 1979 in an extremely remote area of Western Australia.  It is one of the richest diamond mines in the world and the source of almost all of the world’s natural pink diamonds.

Geologist Dick Weber was able to visit and photograph this mine during his year-long “walkabout” in Australia.  He will tell the fascinating story of the exploration that lead to the discovery of this deposit.  He will also describe the geology of the formation of the lamprolite pipe that forms the host rock for these unusual multicolored diamonds and their connection with our own U. S. diamond deposit in Arkansas.

                           (Watch your email for your Zoom invite 2-3 days before the meeting.)


November Birthstones: Citrine & Topaz 

November birthdays are associated with two gems; Citrine and Topaz. The warm color of Citrine is said to be a gift from the sun and it's believed to be a healing gemstone. Topaz is most desired in its rich orange Imperial Topaz color but it is found in a variety of rich colors like blue, pink and yellow.



 Select rocks that will take a good polish. Use rocks nearly the same size and hardness. Use 1 cup (1/2 lb.) of the first run grit (80 or 220) to 2 pounds of rock. (use 220 grit for beach rocks) Run until the corners of the rocks are smooth and all pits removed, from one to two weeks, depending on the condition of the rocks.

 Rocks broken up with a hammer will take longer to smooth up than water-worn pebbles. It is a good idea to use half the grit to start and add the other half later after some of the mud has been poured off. Because the coarse grit will become broken down to a finer grind, this later addition seems to cut the rocks faster than using all the coarse grit at one time. First run grit can be as coarse as 60 grit.

Wash rocks well and put 1/2 cup of second run grit. This can vary from 220 to 320, depending on how well the rocks are cleared up in the first run. Tumble for four or five days.

Wash rocks and the tumbler and put in a cup of third run grit, 400 to 600 along with a tablespoon of Tide and run for four days.

Wash rocks and tumbler and put in 2 tablespoons of finely powdered pumice with a tablespoon of Tide and run for four days.

Wash rocks and tumbler THOROUGHLY. Add 1/2 cup of tin oxide and a tablespoon of Tide. Run until a good polish is obtained. This usually takes about three days, but do not take them out too soon.

Reprinted from the CFMS Newsletter, October 2020


Proposed 2021 Slate of Club Officers



                     President:                        Chris Ward


                              1st Vice President:          Jeff Dengrove


                              2nd Vice President          Lavere Schmidt


                              Treasurer:                      Shellie Van Winkle


                              Secretary:                       Bob Dearborn


                              Federation Director:      Bob Knox

 During our upcoming December 2020 Zoom meeting, the membership will be asked to vote in our 2021 Board of Directors. The current board members have graciously agreed to continuing serving through 2021 however we will ask for any further nominations from the floor before the vote and any nominations received will be added to the roster before the final vote. Any adult member can be nominated for any position. We encourage new voices with new ideas to join the board to help propel our club to the next level.

Chris Ward - Editor

Del Air Bulletin Board     Del Air Bulletin Board

Upcoming Club Shows

Due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, all scheduled club shows through the end of 2020 have been cancelled. The first scheduled show of 2021 is the Antioch Lapidary Jewelry, Gem & Rock Show currently set for February 20-21, 2021 at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th St, Antioch, CA - Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily. This show is subject to change or cancellation depending on State guidelines in place at that time. Show information to be updated again in our December 2020 issue.

Chris Ward - Editor


Our October ‘Zoom’ Meeting

We had a very respectable turnout of 26 members for our first Zoom meeting since the pandemic began back in March. Our program was “Rock Box Exchanges with Other Clubs” and highlighted over 30 beautiful specimens we received from the Riverton, Wyoming club in exchange for a box of native California specimens we sent them. Information on how to go about an exchange with another club was detailed. Each Wyoming specimen was highlighted and at the end, the membership was given an opportunity to enter into a 31 day-long holiday raffle beginning December 1 and continuing each day through December 31. A winner of one of these specimens will be chosen each day. It was announced the tickets will be $1.00 each with no limit on the number of tickets that can be purchased. So far, we have sold 180 tickets. The deadline to purchase is Monday Nov. 23. It was further announced club members Jaclyn Wright and Doug Vito will be the Hosts for our future Zoom meetings with much gratitude from the board for doing so. Peggy Donner gave her Sunshine Report announcing October birthdays and anniversaries. Bob Knox announced CFMS Fall Business Meeting news and gave a brief educational report on Plesiosaurs and sharing some highly detailed models with the group. Maxine Dearborn from our Education Outreach Team advised if anyone with young children were in need of a “Beginners Rock & Mineral Sample Collection” to contact her and she can make that happen. Not much to report from our secretary or treasurer due to Covid19 limitations.

Chris Ward - Editor