October 2015 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society
Meeting date: October 12th, 2015

There were 17 members and 3 visitors present. Our President, Michael Pabst, called the meeting to order.

Old Business:
Scott Gregory gave us an update on the September Gem & Mineral Show. He and Dean gave a huge thank you to the members who sacrificed their weekend and spent long hours to help.

Positive notes:
  • This was our largest show to date in terms of vendors, with 19 present.
  • There were not as many visitors (around 300) as there have been in prior years, but they were those that attended made the vendors’ presence worthwhile
    • There were four other festivals/events in the area this weekend - this is believed to have negatively impacted attendance
  • The setup was acceptable, with an area for our members to take a break
  • The club made a profit of $2,577.60 (partially due to the fact that we set up the tables ourselves which saved over $500)
  • Several vendors have already promised to return next year

Things to do better:
  • Next year’s dates will be Sept 23 – 25, 2016
  • We need more advertising and earlier notices to radios, online, etc.
  • We need more members to help – there were only 6 or 7 members who spent over 25 hours each volunteering at the show
  • Set up tables on Thursday night so the vendors can move in more easily on Friday
  • Have more education opportunities – suggestions were to have the Stone Carving Guild, have more member displays giving information, how-to tips on collecting, etc.

Info for 2017:
  • We will have approximately the same dates in 2017
  • This will be the 50th presentation of the show, so it needs to be a huge event!

New Business:
  1. An email has been sent out about the Richmond club mineral swap on Nov 14th. See also other event announcements from clubs in our region in the Members’ Area Reminders page.
  2. Dean will try to have a trip to the Dixie mine near Vesuvius in Feb or March. (We need to be cognizant of hunting seasons, snowfall, creepy crawlers, and weed overgrowth. Last year’s trip had to be canceled due to deep snow cover.)
  3. Jack has information on getting and mounting lights for display cases. See link in the Members’ Area for details.

The next rock shop opening will be November 14th.

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Program Report:
Mike gave us a wonderful presentation titled “Symposium on the Dixie Mine” with photos he’s taken of micro-minerals.

Most of them came from the Dixie Mine and were the collections of Dean Hostetter, Tom Tucker, and David Fryhauff.

The Vesuvius mine produced iron and magnesium from 1800 to 1906. The vein is approximately 4 to 25 feet thick, 1200’ long, and as far down as 175’.

Several minerals have been found there of importance – Dufrénite, Natrodufrénite (a new find), strengite, Kidwellite, and Rockbridgeite.

Most of these are fairly rare on the earth, and occur here as micro-sized crystals.

Mike’s photos were absolutely amazing. He also had some samples for us to study firsthand under stereomicroscopes.

Here is
a link to the slides Mike prepared and presented - please note this is a large PDF file due to the many outstanding pictures Mike took and shared with us, but it is WELL worth the time to view.

November: The program will be presented by Scott Duresky who will talk to us about the Rutherford Mine, one of the most interesting pegmatite mines in Virginia (now closed). Additional information about the locality can be found on the Mindat site or in this reproduction of a Journal of the Mineralogical Society of America article. Images of materials collected from the site and of the mine can be accessed here.

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 - October 2015:
The second industrial-grade lamp for the Genie cabmaking machine was installed, so two people working on the machine concurrently will not have to share the available light.

A replacement set of all six wheels for the Genie has also been acquired and will be installed when Leo judges all the “tread” has been worn off the current set.

This session, we had Jack working on some recently acquired materials, including slabbing some red lace agate and cabbing some blue adventurine quartz. Also did some pre-forming on some sample pietersite scraps that look promising. Another new material was Sieber “agate”. This is in actuality glass slag from a copper-smelting operation in Germany some 600 years ago. All the fun of working with obsidian, but a slate blue color!

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.

Michael also worked on a blue quartz cab, but this was from a Virginia location.

Lauren tried her hand with some unakite and jadeite on the Genie and produced some very nice results.

Charlie put some time in on blue tiger eye cabs and added to his stockpile of slabs for future endeavors.

Blue quartz was the stone of the day, as Dan and Tommy also had some to work up into cabs, but they also included some amazonite and other materials in their efforts.

Late in the session, we experienced a power interruption to the small slab saw that disabled it for the last hour or so. None of the circuit breakers we have access to were tripped, so further investigation will be needed.

The next rock shop session will be Saturday, November 14th, 2015.


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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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