March 2016 Program Information

March 2016 Program

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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