June 2015 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society
Meeting date: June 8th, 2015

Vice President Leo Cloutier called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. There were 20 members present and 4 visitors.

Old Business:
1. Minutes were approved from May.
2. Thanks to Pat for the refreshments tonight.

Everyone’s bringing refreshments in July, since it’s our annual picnic! Anyone can sign up to bring snacks for a monthly meeting by clicking this link:

New Business:
1. Shayna Diamond will have a Beginners Class for setting faceted stones on this Saturday, June 13th at noon. Meet at the rock shop, and you will leave from there – it will be held outside, weather permitting.

2. Scott requested that as many members as possible do display cases for the show.

It was suggested that those members who make a case be entered in a raffle and the winner would perhaps be given a subscription to a mineral magazine, etc.

We also discussed having children 12 and under vote for their favorite case, and the winner would get some type of certificate “Best in Show” etc.

There was a consensus not to have the cases judged in any way.

3. There was some discussion about having interested members taking a class at some point to be
MSHA certified. This would allow those members to visit quarries, etc. that would otherwise be off -limits.

Wayne Peterson agreed to find out some more information. He also brought some samples of rainbow hematite to share.

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

5. Be sure to keep up with our website
www.shenandoahvalleyrockclub.org and our Face Book page “Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society” for updates and information.

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Program Report:
Our treasurer, Scott Gregory, presented information about presentation cases for the Gem & Mineral Show in September.

He had a sample display case, and gave everyone a handout guide.

He said that this is a club tradition which sparks interest to the public to perhaps join the club, or pursue an interest in collecting.

In years past, 20 to 30 cases were shown, so we’d like to get back to that number.

The club owns cases to borrow. REgarding these cases, he made these points:

  • Some cases use thin, fragile class covers. If a member wishes to replace this with Plexiglas, the club will reimburse the cost. This would be safer for the public.
  • Less is more. Use painted wooden blocks, Styrofoam blocks covered in felt, etc to mount the samples. Do not crowd the box. Be sure to LABEL all specimens.
  • Use photos or short info sheets for valuable specimens rather than having the actual item.
  • Create a theme, such as “Minerals are not rocks”, “Stages in making jewelry or cabochons”, “Fossils”, “Minerals from club field trips”, “Minerals from VA”.

Follow these links to obtain some information about how to do display boxes:


August meeting: More info later. We are hoping for a talk on faceting by our past President, Kelly Lane. If you see Kelly at the picnic, you might want to ‘encourage’ him a little bit!

September: From Dean - We are on schedule for our Annual Gem & Mineral Show on Sept. 18 - 20th at Augusta Expo.

How you can help - we need people who will:
• Volunteer to spread the word about the show
• Have some fun sitting at the entrance door welcoming visitors and telling them about how much fun collecting minerals can be. (We need 2 volunteers for each hour of the show)
• Visit with our vendors and share some “home cookin’’ on our Friday night potluck
• Assist vendors during show – bring them a bottle of water, etc.
• If you like working with kids, help with our “digging area” or donate some mineral treasures for the little ones to find

If you have questions about how to help, contact Dean at deanboy@ntelos.net. Let’s all plan on making this a successful show – many hands make light work!!! Thanks!

October: TBD

November: Scott Duresky will talk to us about the Rutherford Mine, one of the most interesting pegmatite mines in Virginia

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Notes from The Rock Shop - June 2015:
The Rock Shop was open for its monthly session on Saturday, June 13th, 2015. Six members attended to work on various projects.

Charlie put some more miles on the small slab saw, getting some slabs out of some petrified wood rough. He then went on to turn these into some real pretty cabs. Goes to show you it doesn’t have to be exotic materials to turn out a pretty cab.

Shayna’s getting to the home stretch with the materials she collected on her property. Our identification (which is less that certain, more like an educated guess) is that one is something unakite-like and the other is epidote in quartz. Whatever they are, they are becoming very attractive cabochons.

Tommy and Dan spent the session at the Genie working several pieces of stock they had, and got some time on the 14” slab saw to ready some other materials for future sessions.

Michael carried on with working some amazonite he collected at
The Morefield Mine, Amelia Courthouse VA on a recent trip. He moved on to some amethyst after that. In addition, he used the 24” slab saw to shape up a pair of bookends from an interesting piece of rough.

Jack had a piece of Washington blue-green jade to slab on the 14” saw and was able to get several slabs cut. Turns out the piece has a fault through it in that direction, so the slabs separated during cutting. The good news is they separated into still-cabbable-sized chunks, so their destiny is clear. While the saw was doing its work, he tested the Titan cabbing machine on something called Monet Stone. This is supposedly a mix of variscite and serpentine, and this first sample augurs well. He then made a mess with some chalcopyrite, so back to the drawing board there.

A couple of new pictures of this session’s results are posted in the Results picture gallery
here, along with prior examples.

Leo made sure everyone got good results and concluded the session with something they can show off and some experience to go with it.

The next Rock Shop date is Saturday, July 18th, 2015 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. The facility is open to all members and free to use (but we ask for a contribution to the Repairs and Supplies Tip Jar on the central bench if you can make one)


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July Meeting - Monday, July 13th at 6:30 PM
Annual picnic - all the details

Program: No program, just good eats and good times (and a few mosquitos).
It’s at Coyner Park in Waynesboro. Bring a dish to share. We don’t have a business meeting, just lots of fun and talk about gems & minerals! You are welcome to bring items for “show and tell” or to swap with others

Refreshments: Everyone brings something to share; the club provides some fried chicken and picnic necessities

Volunteers for Refreshments, 2015:
February: Deborah Grimm & Pat Lantz
Jilly Weigel
July: N/A - Club Picnic
December: N/A - Club Christmas Dinner

Deborah Grimm, Secretary

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Club Officers and Staff 2015
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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