April 2016 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society
Meeting date: April 11th, 2016

There were 21 members and 2 visitors present. President Michael Pabst called the meeting to order.

Old Business:
1. Scott Duresky reported that the “Rock Rappers” group is going well, and that the next meeting will be at the home of Wayne and Brenda. The group is enjoying looking at, sharing, and discussing micro- and macro-minerals. For more information, please contact him at or call him at  The group has decided to meet every other month.

2. There was an interesting discussion about field trips. Scott D. suggested that instead of formal field trips set up by the whole club, that small groups would set up trips that would accommodate those interested and capable of attending. It was also suggested that members could attend field trips set up by other mineral groups in VA or even MD. Members would be informed of these by email as information is received.

3. It was suggested that we set up displays in Augusta County libraries – both actual specimens and/or photographs because one of our purposes as a club is to educate the public about minerals. These displays can also be used to publicize the annual show.

4. Dean had sign up lists for volunteering to help at the show.

New Business:
Continue working on getting volunteers for the show.

❖ ❖ ❖

Program Report:
Thank you to Scott Duresky for presenting a very informative program about the periodic table called “Chemical Elements and the Chemistry of Earth”.

He presented many samples of pure elements, which we got to touch, and a few that were on the table to observe.

He explained that all the elements were produced during the formation of the stars in our universe.

Our human body needs 27 of the 118 known elements (the last twenty or so are man-made).

Some of the most interesting were:

  • Scandium - a rare metal with a melting point of 2806 °F & boiling point 5137 °F
  • Arsenic - which is very toxic
  • Selenium - which could be lethal to us if ingested in large amounts, but which controls many of the enzymes in our bodies
  • Tungsten - a very heavy metal used in incandescent bulbs
  • Gold - possibly the most useful element.

Scott gave uses and location for many of his samples.

❖ ❖ ❖

Next Meeting: Monday, May 9th at 7:30 pm at the Waynesboro Church of the Brethren.

Jack Glenn will present a program/demo called “Rock Tumbling: Good/Fast/Cheap - Pick Any Two”.

Raw materials, equipment, and samples of finished items will be provided for review during and after the presentation.

If you’d like to present a program, please talk to an officer at a meeting or sign up at this link:

Anyone can sign up to bring snacks for a monthly meeting by clicking this link:

Be sure to keep up with our website
www.shenandoahvalleyrockclub.org and our Facebook page Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society for updates and information.

❖ ❖ ❖

Notes from The Rock Shop - April 2016:
The Rock Shop was open for its monthly session on Saturday, April 16th, 2016.

Seven members attended to work on various projects. We continue to enjoy the presence of new members coming in to try their hands with their initial lapidary attempts. Everyone is uniformly pleased with the results they are able to achieve working with the club’s first-rate equipment and mentoring by the “old hands”.

Kim explored some materials Jack provided, including some Sarape agate and Noreena jasper. Turns out the Sarape agate should get some stabilizing to avoid having a fracture develop further, so finishing it up was deferred until it can be stabilized. It was interesting to see the hematite streaks in the Noreena appear as the stone got closer and closer to the final polish stage.

Justin did some cabbing with some materials found in one of the ‘miscellaneous” bins at the shop, including some rose quartz and soapstone. He had some Amazonite and ‘borrowed’ some sodalite, thus getting in some practice on a wide range of materials.

Linda continued working with pieces of the blue quartz she had collected, sawing some slabs and starting to work those down to cabs. The “fractious” nature of blue quartz became apparent, unfortunately. One nice teardrop-shaped cab was produced, though!

Pat had a piece of jade procured long ago she was able to get polished down. Pat is an example of an old-school lapidarist who learned on silicon carbide grinding wheels and this was her first time using diamond grinding and polishing wheels. It looks like diamonds are another girl’s best friend ;-)

Heather and Ilana furthered their lapidary efforts on some petrified wood and labradorite.

Heather was able to make the most out of some tumbling-sized chunks of labradorite by re-sawing them to mini-slabs and “following the flash” One piece turned out very favorably

Ilana learned how to use a dop stick to control a smaller cab and she was able to get a great result on the piece of petrified wood she worked. . Time ran out on her as she was finishing up the initial pre-forming on some Richolite serpentine - to be continued next session.

Jack took advantage of the slab saws’ availability and cut several slabs of fancy jasper and gem water agate, both materials from India. Looking forward to seeing some finished cabs from these slabs!

Everyone took part in the cleanup and the shop was left in good order for the next session, which will be Saturday, May 14th, 2016.


❖ ❖ ❖

Volunteers for Refreshments, 2016:
February: TBD <<--NEED A VOLUNTEER!!
May: Jilly Weigel
July: N/A - Club Picnic
December: N/A - Club Christmas Dinner

Deborah Grimm, Secretary

❖ ❖ ❖

Club Officers and Staff 2016
President – Michael Pabst
Vice President – Leo Cloutier
Show Co-Chairs – Dean Hostetter
Educational Outreach -- Deborah Grimm
Secretary/Newsletter -- Deborah Grimm
Field Trip Coordinator - Dean Hostetter
Treasurer – Scott Gregory
Web Site Coordinator – Jack Glenn

Club web site:
Club Facebook page:
Club email: svgem-min-club@live.com

Pasted Graphic 8