March 2016 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society
Meeting date: March 14th, 2016

There were 24 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 using information provided in emails from the club secretary.

2. Debbie Grimm gave an update on the next mineral show on Sept 23-25 at 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.

New Business:
1. A big thank you to the “secret cookie monster”. The cookies were great.

2. Scott Duresky will contact Dean about some suggestions for field trips that may be held in the next few months. Some possible sites are Sugar Grove, WV; Dixie Mine (closed, but tailings are there); and the town of Stanley, VA.

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Program Report:
We appreciated the information presented by Wayne Peterson, a club member, who did a presentation about a field trip that he and his wife, Brenda, took to Diamond Hill Mine in SC. 

They did detailed research on the mine for a few months before going there. He explained that the area formed millions of years ago from material that was washed from the mountains of the Blue Ridge to form an alluvial plain, and later volcanic activity formed minerals.

The mine was used in the early 1800s, and was opened in 1945 for visitors. (There is a fee to visit there.) Wayne met the owner of the mine, and mined for two days. 

He had samples from the site – from a one-pound quartz with manganese to a 300-pounder he rolled in on a cart! He also shared photos of the minerals, including some “wow” samples from the mine owner.

Wayne wrote about the trip for Rock and Gem and it was published in the
September, 2014 issue.

Wayne is a “prospector” and gave us some tips to follow when seeking samples:

  • Peruse the overall area first
  • Look for differences in colors & patterns of the soil, embankments and structures
  • Be careful when cleaning samples, as some may dissolve in water or common solvents
  • Study the geology of the area prior to the visit
  • Use our access to the JMU Geology Lab or other local sources to help identify unknowns

Thanks, Wayne, for a great program!

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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 and our Facebook page Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society for updates and information.

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Notes from The Rock Shop - March 2016:
The Rock Shop was open for its monthly session on Saturday, March 19th, 2016.

Nine 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”.

Shayna and Eleanor continued work on locally-sourced and found materials.

Charles cut some slabs of blue tiger-eye and petrified wood and started cabbing them.

Jack spent some time finishing up cabs and pre-forms begun during prior sessions, and also cutting some slabs of Regency Rose agate he was fortunate to acquire.

Heather and Ilana furthered their lapidary efforts on some jasper and tiger-eye. They are starting to see how one material reacts differently to the cabbing process versus another, and how to adjust techniques to accommodate this.

Justin and Kimberly brought in some rose quartz, lapis lazuli, petrified wood, and granite to work with and they were able to get some nice results from it by the end of the session.

Linda took on some wonderstone (rhyolite) and was able to get a nice finish on it despite its relative softness.

Some discussions were held about improving the storage of the show display cases so additional room for equipment can be freed up. Available power continues to be an issue, as we have to juggle equipment and circuits to avoid tripping a circuit breaker during a motor start-up.

The next rock shop session will be Saturday, April 16th, 2016.


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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

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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:

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