February 2016 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society
Meeting date: February 8th, 2016

There were 17 members present. Our Vice President, Leo Cloutier, called the meeting to order.

Old Business:
1. Scott Gregory, our treasurer, is still collecting $10 per family dues for the new year. Most of this money is for insurance purposes for our field trips and maintaining the lapidary equipment.

2. The field trip to JMU was quite exciting – several members brought unknown minerals for Dr. Kearns to identify. We studied micro-minerals under the microscopes, and were treated to some delicious snacks. The highlight of course, was the mineral museum, and Dr. Kearns announced that he had received a very large donation of new minerals. The donations from the club will be used for the graduate student program. A gallery of pictures taken during the trip can be found

New Business:
1. A big thank you to Charles for the delicious homemade cake and snacks tonight, and to Donna for the banana bread!

2. Leo presented some information about red diamonds from the most recent mineralogy magazine.

3. Scott Duresky reminded everyone who wants to join the “Rock Rappers” group to contact him at [redacted to protect privacy - see emailed minutes].

4. Dean presented some information about a field trip to the Vesuvius mine. He will give us a date soon - he has to check with spring hunting season, the owner, and consider the weather.

5. Dean & Scott G also gave an update on the next Gem and Mineral show on Sept 23-25 at The Augusta Expo. We will need many volunteers to help with advertising the show, and actually helping with the event. (Need at least 15 people working a few hours Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.) There will be more information at the next meeting. We will also ask members to give ideas to help promote the show.

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Program Report:
Thank you to Leonard Lantz for the very informative program about fossils.

He had many samples for us to examine from WV, VA, and several states out west.

There were many different types of corals, which were left behind when the seas that covered the US evaporated.

Leonard had several beautiful samples of the Virginia state fossil – Chesapecten jefferonius.

There was petrified wood from AZ & GA, trilobites from IN, & dinosaur bones as well as some coprolites.

Some of the WV fossils included brachiopods & stromatolites. A neat collection!!

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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.
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Notes from The Rock Shop - February 2016:
The Rock Shop was open for its monthly session on Saturday, February 13th, 2016. Eight members attended to work on various projects.

Charles continued to cut slabs off his ocean jasper rough. Even several slabs into it, he still has the majority of the rough to cut, and each slab is prettier than the one before it. Excellent find from the Spruce Pines rock show!

Jack was working on some recently acquired materials, including a test cab from a mineral from Namibia called purpurite. It is a soft stone, but cuts and polishes pretty well, and results in a unique color. He also used the smaller slab saw to begin cutting some slabs from a relatively new agate called sarape agate (named after the brightly colored Mexican blankets). Lots of bold patterns and colors throughout these slabs, so looking forward to seeing the resulting cabs.

Jilly devoted her efforts to doing the final sanding and polishing on several obsidian cabs - this is a tricky material to get all the scratches out of, since it is both highly reflective and a bit on the soft side. A couple of chrysocolla cabs made it into the mix somehow as well.

Dan and Tommy worked on a number of different materials, including many they collected in state. Dan was able to polish a nice specimen for his collection and Tommy was moving to any open machine cutting pre-forms, cabbing and polishing.

Calvin brought a spectacular piece of blue/gold tigereye to a fine finish. It had chatoyancy from multiple viewing directions and will catch the eye of anyone who comes near it.

We had two first-time shop visitors, Ilana and Heather. They brought some of their own material to work - Ilana started out with a petrified wood limb that she cut a round off of, and then polished that down to a nice finished piece. Heather began with a piece of serpentine and cut the pre-form, picked a shape and sanded it down, then polished it to final finish. Both moved on to second stones, with Ilana working a piece of amazonite and Heather some sodalite. It looks like we may have a couple of regular shop visitors coming along!.

Between the auxiliary heater and the power demands of the two saws and Titan cabbing machine on one circuit, we managed to trip one of our circuit breakers again. The time is not far off where we will need to bring in additional circuits to support the machinery. This was reported to the treasurer for planning purposes.

The next rock shop session will be Saturday, March 19th, 2016.

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

Deborah Grimm, Secretary

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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

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