Thursday, February 25, 2016

March 2016 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

Mar 2016 
03: General Meeting: 7:30 pm in our regular meeting room 
13: Daylight Savings Time Begins: Set those clocks ahead one hour! 
17: Board Meeting: 7:30 pm at the Dearborn’s home. 
17: St Patrick’s Day: Show your Irish pride! 
20: 1st Day of Spring: Time to plant those spring bulbs.  
27: Easter Sunday: Jelly Beans & Marshmallow Peeps!
General Meeting: Thursday March 03, 2016 
The meeting begins at 7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at:
Northridge United Methodist Church - 9650 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324 Guests Are Always Welcome At Our Meetings & Events.
March 2016 Program: The Changing Gemstone and Bead Industries. Gemstones: New Finds, Fakes, Created, Dyed & Enhanced. 
Presented by: Ken Rogers
Join us for an evening with Ken Rogers who will speak on the changes in the gemstone and bead industry plus how they affect jewelers, beaders, lapidary enthusiasts and consumers.

On February 17, 1972 Nixon went to China, opened trade, and in doing so, woke up the "Sleeping Dragon". While China expanded its industrial growth it looked to its own natural resources, including historic and craft industries. China opened and expanded their mines, including Turquoise and many other gem stones. They retrained their craftsmen and developed new, modern, bead and gem cutting and carving facilities. As time went on, the Chinese started designing and manufacturing new gemstones in their factories. The Chinese went as far as buying up gem mines in its neighboring countries and territories. Soon, the Chinese were able to control much of the world’s gem and bead market. 

In his illustrated talk, Ken will discuss what has happened in Asia, where it is going, and how it will affect us, here in the U.S. Then, Ken will go on to expose and discuss some of the new, dyed, enhanced and misnamed and factory manufactured gemstones.

Ken Rogers has been recognized as one of the "go to" people for questions about gemstone beads. Ken has been a rockhound since he was 10, cut his first gemstone cabochon at age 15, and learned silversmithing and jewelry making in his high school art class. Ken had a 30 year career as a photojournalist, working for the world's top magazines and corporations. When the photographic world converted from film to digital media, Ken returned to the gem and jewelry world to manage a Beverly Hills jewelry store and several gem bead companies. Since then Ken has returned to creating his own gem bead jewelry, consulting, lecturing, and helping friends with their businesses. Ken has been a member of the Bead Society L.A. for the past 15 years and the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club for 10 years.
Grab Bag Fill Day Report: Feb 20, 2016
                                                          By Chris Ward – Editor
 It was warm and sunny when we arrived at the Dearborn’s home at 9:30 am on Saturday February 20th to fill grab bags for our upcoming 2016 Education Outreach season. Bob Knox and Marilyn Murata were my travelling companions and fellow volunteers that morning and we were met by Bob & Maxine Dearborn, Jim & Shellie VanWinkle and Michael Tschacher. We started filling bags and were soon joined by Hiro Matsuo, Dennis Miller, Linda Barrozo, Keri Dearborn and Michael Lawshe with Bodie the dog. Within 2 hours we had filled over 700 bags with high quality rock, petrified wood and fossil corals among other things. The kids are going to be really pleased this year! Afterwards, Maxine put on a luncheon feast for all thirteen of us consisting of a green salad with every topping imaginable and a variety of dressings followed by boneless chicken and rice in a delicious cream sauce. We had ice tea, fresh lemonade and coffee. Dessert consisted of a huge platter of homemade brownies and a big bowl of freshly sliced fruit. We talked and laughed and shared rockhounding stories and had a really good time. The board sends out a huge thank you to the thirteen volunteers for their time and positive enthusiasm in getting this seemingly monumental task completed in such a short amount of time. A special thank you goes out to Bob & Maxine for their extraordinary hospitality during this club event.
Alternative Field Trip Opportunity
71st Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show
Fri, Sat, & Sun March 4 thru 6 2016 from 9 am to 5 pm daily

Earl Warren Showgrounds located in Santa Barbara at Highway 101 and Las Positas Road. General admission is $14; seniors, students with ID and advance group sales (min 25) are $12; children 12 and under are free with an adult.

If you have never attended this show, do yourself a favor and go. It will knock your socks off! Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. I guarantee you will not regret it.
Support Our Hobby....Attend A Local Show.....
March 4 - 6: NEWARK, CA
Mineral & Gem Society of Castro Valley
Newark Pavilion
6430 Thornton Avenue
Hours: Fri & Sat 10 - 6; Sun 10 - 5
Contact: Cathy Miller, (510) 887-9007

March 5 - 6: ARCADIA, CA
Monrovia Rockhounds
Los Angeles Arboretum-Ayres Hall
301 Baldwin Avenue
Hours: 9:00 - 4:30 daily
Contact: Jo Anna Ritchey, (626) 358-1624,

March 5 - 6: VENTURA, CA
Ventura Gem & Mineral Society
Ventura County Fairgrounds
10 West Harbor Blvd.
Hours: Sat 10 - 5; Sun 10 - 4
Contact: Show Chair, (805) 312-8467
Website: www.vgms.or

March 12 - 13: SAN MARINO, CA
Pasadena Lapidary Society
San Marino Masonic Center
3130 Huntington Drive
Hours: Sat 10 - 6, Sun 10 - 5
Contact: Marcia Goetz, (626) 260-7239

March 12 - 13: SPRECKELS, CA,
Spreckel's Veterans Hall
5th & Llano Streets
Hours: 10 - 5 daily
Contact: Karin Salomon, (831) 375-5233
March 12 - 13: TURLOCK, CA
Mother Lode Mineral Society, Modesto
Stanislaus County Fairgrounds
900 North Broadway
Hours: 10 - 5 daily
Contacts: Bud & Terry McMillin, (209) 524-3494

March 19 - 20: LEMOORE, CA
Lemoore Gem & Mineral Society
Lemoore Trinity Hall
470 Champion Street
Hours: Sat 10 - 6; Sun 10 - 4
Contact: Christopher Wertinberger, (559) 309-3433

March 26 - 27: ANGELS CAMP, CA
Calaveras Gem & Mineral Society
Calaveras County Fairgrounds
101 Frogtown Road
Hours: Sat 10 - 5; Sun 10 - 4
Contact: Dave Muster

March 2016 Something of the Month: “A Brief History of Gemstone Cutting”
Prehistoric Stonecutting: It’s no mystery that people have been transforming stone since prehistoric times. This was the age where man learned how to make different tools out of stone. The difference here is they didn’t have the fancy stone cutting tools lapidaries rely on today. Instead, they would use one stone to fashion the other stone into whatever they wanted to create. They began to make observations about stone hardness and other properties that affected how easily they could be shaped. By about 3,000 BC, man was able to take drab green serpentine rocks and transform them into cylinders. No matter which ancient civilization you choose, you’ll find stone cutting within all of their recorded histories. Pictures abound in history books of amulets, beads, scarabs, and other items fashioned from stone, but when did faceting begin? While the practice seems to have started in the 1300s, it didn’t get in full swing until the 1400s. This is when a variety of tools were developed to aid in the process – grinding wheels, polishing techniques, and even the experimentation with cutting the stones into different shapes. 
The Profession Takes Off: It was in the late 1400s when gem cutting became a sought after skill. And back then, the place to be was Idar-Oberstein, Germany, then considered the gem cutting capital of the world. Historians believe that although history books say this is when it all started in this tiny town, gem cutting was occurring here well before it was actually documented. Miners close to Idar and Oberstein were finding agates, taking them to be cut into sculptures and cabochons. Mining with assistance from machines began in this area in the late 1400s, which is what led to the title of gem cutting capital of the world. So many more stones were being mined that they needed many more gem cutters. And they came! By the beginning of the 18th century approximately 15 gem cutting shops were located in Idar-Oberstein alone! By the start of the 19th century, that number doubled – this coincided with Germans heading to Brazil and finding substantial agate deposits which they then returned to town with in order for it all to be cut. At the end of the 1800s, the 15 gem cutting shops had increased to over 150! 
Where Was The Inspiration? It really isn’t known how someone discovered the art of faceting to make a gemstone appear more beautiful. However, some believe it was those crystals found in nature possessing natural facets. Perhaps someone picked up a crystal like this and thought, “Wow, that’s really pretty and sparkly. I wonder if I can recreate this on my own.” Jewelry in Europe during the late 13th and early 14th centuries increasingly featured faceted gemstones. But once the horizontally turning cutting wheel was invented, faceting started becoming more precise and elaborate. This is when gem cutters started harnessing the power of light, playing with different ideas and coming up with extraordinary shapes and geometric patterns. And we’d already displayed a fascination with patterns – Euclid’s principles of mathematics and even the geometric architectural patterns of the medieval times are quite similar to the faceting patterns of those gemstones during the Renaissance. No matter how complex a faceting pattern appears, it is always symmetrical. The challenge for these early gem cutters, charged with faceting a symmetrical pattern (a challenge in and of itself), was working with the refractive properties of any given mineral. Certain faceting can actually make a stone less brilliant, so they needed to be very careful. 
Conclusion: We could delve into the details about each cut and who created it, but that is a lengthy history for sure. Since the beginning of time, man has been fascinated with fashioning stones found within the earth into different objects. What started as a purposeful tool transformed into a decorative embellishment that sparkled and shined. Without the lapidary, this just would not be possible. They are constantly trying to come up with new shapes and ideas each and every day, innovating the industry even more.
(courtesy of
77th CFMS Show & Convention
September 16-18, 2016
Placerville, CA
Location: El Dorado County Fairgrounds 
100 Placerville Drive 
Placerville, CA 
Hours: Fri - Sun 10 - 5
Website coming soon! ****************************************************