— October 2020 —
Table of Contents
- Prez Says
- Wishing Everyone Well
- Shop Suggestions
- Bench Tips
- HGMS Annual Show
- SCFMS Meeting
- Club Membership Forms
- Fredericksburg Rockhounds Minutes
- This Month’s Events
- Birthstone & Flowers
- Newsletter Hard Copies & Mail-Outs
- Club Info
- Club Officers and Committee Chairs
- Monthly Meeting Map
- Newsletter Articles and Club Info
- Print This Newsletter
I’ll start with a little good news. Buzzy Hughes won the Rolling Rock Club Treasure Chest. The drawing was held at the Fort Worth gem show last month.
Our show in January is still being considered if possible. I have received 8 dealer contracts for this year’s show. One of the things we would need to be able to have the show this year is people to work at the club booth and silent auction.
Talking to a number of our club members that usually work at the club booth, there are several concerns. Several of them have let me know that they do not feel comfortable working this year. There is also a concern about insurance, do we need to be covered for Covid-19. Members that have worked at the show in past years please call me at 325-248-1067, I would be interested in hearing your comments. If you are going to the HEB stop and share your thoughts with Sara.
As far as our meeting the Golden Hub is still closed to activities. Their website say’s they will be closed until further notice. One option for a Nov. meeting would be to have it outdoors, maybe where we have the annual picnic. Let me know if that would work for you? Call me any time.
I hope to see everyone soon.
Wishing Everyone Well
As you all are no doubt aware, we are under a global pandemic brought upon by a coronavirus named COVID-19. We want everyone to stay safe during this crisis and since it is ever-changing (even by the hour!) here some places you can go online to keep up to date regarding COVID-19.
This first link is for the World Health Organization’s advice for the public:
Next up is a link for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The last two links are specifically relevant for us Texans and they go directly to Department of State Health Service on the Texas.gov website:
May we all gather soon and hunt rocks. Be safe everybody!
— Compiled by Bernice D. Schilling —
For a lubricant in slab and trim saws, radiator antifreeze can be used as a cooling agent. It has no odor and will not rust your saw or evaporate. In addition, it lubricates well and being very soluble in water, is easier to clean from the rocks and your hands…AFMS Newsletter
When cleaning oil from your slab saw, put a shopping bag inside another one and put them into a five gallon can. Drain the oil into the sacks. After a day or two, the oil will filter through the bags and will be clean and ready to re-use… Chips and Facets
Add a couple of tablespoons of liquid detergent to your cutting oil, — if your saw has a plastic lid, this will be the first time you have been able to see through the top after cutting your slab…The Tumble Rumble
After slabbing or trimming, all OIL should be removed from material by soaking in a strong solution of dish-washing detergent. Laundry detergents should never be used, since they all contain bleaches that will affect the color of many gemstones. Dishwashing detergents do not contain bleaches which can cause film and dullness, but rather they are made to break down oils, fats, and greases… Strata Gems
When working with soft stones such as marble, onyx or Howlite, soak it in water a day or two before cutting it in oil. The oil will not soak in and this will result in a much better finish when the polishing is done… Breccia
Cutting for “sheen” on obsidian! Cut at an angle of about 50 degrees to the stripe of flow lines to insure a good sheen in the finished product…Rockhound’s Rag
Because jade does not have the abrasive quality of some material, it does not wear away the metal bond on diamond saw blades. Consequently, the blades glaze when you cut jade, and it becomes necessary to clean and dress the saw blade by cutting through a building brick or a piece of discarded 200 grit wheel… Chip ‘N Tumble
There are three ways to cut palm root and each one will give a different effect. All palm root seems to have a ring of agate around the eye and a colored center. First, you can cut it right down the center. This gives the palm root a wood-grain effect that is striking but it does not show the eye. Second, you can cut squarely across the grain and bring out the round eyes. Lastly, you can cut it diagonally and get an elliptical eye effect. All will give patterns that make showy cabs…The Polished Slab
Save wear and tear on your expensive diamond trim saw blade and cut your agate or jasper slab with a glass cutter. Use one with a carbide wheel, not tungsten, and put a, good handle on it so you can bear down hard. Use pliers to break the slab along the scored lines …The Agatizer
Trim sawing: Instead of pushing the slab into the blade and letting the oil spatter all over you — turn the whole unit around so that the saw blade rotates away from you. Then stand to the back side of it and pull the slab into the blade. You can see what you are doing better, and your goggles do not get all oil splattered…The Agatizer
When your wheel has worn down quite a bit, increase the R.P.M. of the machine. In doing this you will compensate for wheel wear, there by maintaining grinding efficiency. . .The Tumble Rumble
One excellent method used to sharpen saw blades is to mix cement — No Sand — and water in a milk carton. Let harden and cut three or four slices to clean and sharpen the blade. . .The Diggers Digest
When cutting petrified wood, cut across the grain for beauty. Sanding should always go with the grain to avoid tearing. If the grain is badly mixed, it is necessary to hand rub to polish. You can produce an excellent finish with dry crocus cloth and about an hour of hard rubbing before polishing…Strata Gems
In sawing geodes or agate-filled nodules, first look for the largest dome on the specimen. This dome was in the upright position when the specimen was forming. Saw through this largest dome, and it is likely you will expose the best “picture” or surface. If the specimen is elongated or egg-shaped, saw length-wise in order to obtain the best exposure. . . Rocks and Gems
Keep your diamond saw blade rotating in the same directions and occasionally to sharpen it make a couple of cuts through a piece of Obsidian. – 1975 San Fernando Valley Mineral and Gem Society Via CFMS Newsletter August 2020
- Schilling, Bernice D. “Shop Suggestions” SCFMS Newsletter, Sept—Oct 2020, reprinted with perpetual permission.
— Brad Smith —
DO BEZELS SHRINK — The engineer in me says there’s no reason a bezel should shrink when I solder it onto a base plate, but I sometimes find that the stone won’t quite fit into the bezel that was perfect just before soldering.
If that ever happens to you, here’s a fix that usually works for those times when there’s just a minor problem. I file or sand the stone down a little around its base. For soft cabs like turquoise, lapis, jet or Howlite, you can use a sanding stick. Harder cabs like jasper or agates will require a diamond file. In a pinch, a ruby nail file from the drugstore will work.
There are two important things to remember when doing this. First, you can only make a minor adjustment to the stone’s size. All filing or sanding must be hidden by the bezel because it takes the polish off the stone.
Secondly, remember to round off all sharp edges on the bottom of the stone. A sharp edge here might sit on a little extra solder that’s in the bottom joint of your bezel. Just a little bump here can put enough stress the stone to risk breakage when you burnish the bezel down over the stone.
RAISING A CABOCHON — When a cabochon sits too low in a bezel, the bezel can hide a lot of the stone. The solution is to either sand down the bezel height or boost up the stone. But if you choose to raise it up, the question is what is the best material to use?
I was taught to use fine sawdust but now think that might be a problem when used in rings. I reason that rings will frequently get wet, which would cause the sawdust to swell in size and push the stone against the bezel. Then when the sawdust dries out, the stone would be a little loose.
In any case, I now prefer to insert a flat sheet to boost up my stones. It can be a scrap of metal or some plastic from product packaging or old credit cards. In either case, just cut a piece to loosely fit into the bezel and drop in the stone (with some dental floss) to check its height.
TRANSPARENT CABS — When bezel setting a transparent cabochon in silver, I usually cut out the back of the bezel to allow background light to show off the colors and patterns in the stone. If this is not possible or appropriate, I worry that the silver bezel will tarnish under the stone and will ruin its brilliance. What to do?
My solution is one extra step before setting the stone. I place a piece of thin silver Mylar plastic under the stone to act as a mirror that will never tarnish. Mylar is readily available in craft and gift wrap stores, or in a pinch from a party balloon supplier. You may even want to experiment with using colored or patterned Mylar (i.e. diffraction pattern) under some stones.
Learn New Jewelry Tricks and Techniques with Brad’s Jewelry-Making Books Amazon.com/author/bradfordsmith
- Smith, Brad. “Bench Tips” SCFMS Newsletter, Sept—Oct 2020, reprinted with perpetual permission.
HGMS Annual Show
The Houston Gem & Mineral Society is GOING VIRTUAL for the Annual Gem, Mineral, Jewelry & Fossil Show for 2020.
The HGMS Annual Show is a well-loved and well-attended event. Club members, schools, scouts, volunteers, vendors, and the general public look forward to the Annual Show every year.
Given the uncertain outlook in regard to the Covid-19 pandemic, holding an in-person show in 2020 is not a viable option and so the annual show that is usually held at the Humble Civic Center is in the process of being moved to an online platform which will enable our attendees to:
- Purchase materials from our dealers
- Participate in live chat rooms and interviews with experts
- Increase knowledge with educational and demonstration videos
- Enter raffles and giveaways
- We look forward to seeing you online in November.
Please keep an eye on the HGMS website for updates as more details are announced.
SCFMS MEETING OCTOBER 10, 2020 10:00 AM to be held online via Zoom
Due to the restrictions put in place over the last few months, we will e holding our SCFMS Meeting online this year via ZOOM. We encourage everyone to participate this year as it may be one of the only times this meeting won’t require travel! Please familiarize yourself with Zoom prior to October 10 so we can cut down on “technical issue” time.
Meeting links with passcodes will be emailed to all SCFMS Club Presidents on record, SCFMS Executive Officers, SCFMS District Vice Presidents, SCFMS Committee Chairmen, and any person responsible for submitting an annual report for the convention. Please verify your Officer listings are current in the directory. If they are not, please click on this link http://www.scfms.net/forms/OFFICER_FORM_fillable-saveable.pdf to complete the form and submit it to the appropriate people PRIOR to October 10. This is critical in insuring we have the correct name and email addresses to send links to.
The Club Presidents are permitted to share the link/passcode with their current club members with the understanding that the President (or their Designated Delegate) is the only one authorized to vote, introduce a topic, propose an idea, etc. The club member will be designated as viewers only.
If someone from another region or AFMS wishes to attend, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or an Executive Officer so we get the link to you in time.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are NOT a Club President but will be representing your club for the meeting, we MUST have a SIGNED Delegate Form from your Club President prior to October 10.
Club Membership Forms
Membership application forms for the Fredericksburg Rockhounds are now available to download and print from our website. Please navigate to the new Resources Page located at this address:
Once there, simply click the link for the 2018 Membership Form to download or print a PDF copy.
Fredericksburg Rockhounds Meeting Minutes
There are no minutes for this month’s meeting as it was cancelled due the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This Month’s Events
*** With health guidelines issued concerning the COVID-19 virus, most shows and events are being cancelled and rescheduled. Before making your plans, please use the information provided in each listing to contact the presenters to verify the status of the event. As always, BE SAFE! ***
There are no events that we are aware of for this month.
- For more shows at later dates, or outside Texas, visit www.rockngem.com
October’s Birthstone & Flowers
The October birthstone is the opal; the flowers are the marigold and the cosmos.
The word opal is rooted in both Latin (opalus — “precious jewel”) and Greek (opallios — “to see a change in color”). The term opallios is an apt description as opals tend to reflect a vast array of colors depending on the source of light.
Marigolds are symbols of contentment and warmth. They can grow anywhere from six inches in height to over five feet depending on the variety.
Cosmos, the other October flower, stands for order, peace, and serenity. They are annuals that are a good choice for your garden if you want to attract birds, bees, and butterflies.
- Majoros, Martie. “October Birthstone: Color and Meaning.” Almanac.com. Yankee Publishing, Inc. n.d. September 18, 2018.
- “October Birth Flowers.” Alamanac.com. Yankee Publishing, Inc. n.d. September 18, 2018.
- Robert Thompson — October 2
- Robert Mitchell — October 6
- Mack Brice — October 8
- Meredith Ott — October 8
- Brenda Smith, HLM — October 11
- Edward Beauford — October 13
- Glenn Thompson, HLM — October 16
- Marilyn West — October 23
- Maggie Chavez — October 29
- Crystal Jensen — October 29
*Bernice Snyder’s name was misspelled in the last newsletter. The correct entry for her birthday is: Bernice Snyder — September 28th.
— Please note: If we missed your birthday or have listed it incorrectly, please let us know so we can correct it! email@example.com
Newsletter Hard Copies & Mail-Outs
The club will no longer mail out hard copies of the newsletter to members. Those who have provided the club with an email address will continue to receive notifications via email when the newsletter is published for viewing online.
To print your own copy of this edition of the newsletter, go to the section titled “Print This Newsletter” and follow the simple directions.
If you need a hard copy of the newsletter each month and cannot access the online newsletters — http://fredericksburgrockhounds.org/newsletter/ — to print your own, then please let an officer of the club know and arrangements can be made to assist you.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us.
— Josh Hazer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your ad here for $25/year
For more information, please contact the newsletter editors by emailing us at:
- Purpose of the Fredericksburg Rockhounds:
To share knowledge and appreciation of gems, minerals, fossils, and other natural wonders, and the art of jewelry making. We do this through educational monthly meetings, field trips, an annual gem, mineral, & fossil show, and donations to schools. We’re affiliated with the American Federation of Mineral Societies, and the South Central Federation of Mineral Societies.
- Membership and Meetings:
We meet at 7:00 P.M. on the first Monday of each month at the Golden Hub Senior Center, 1009 N Lincoln, Fredericksburg, Texas (except in June, when we have our annual picnic). See map, below.
- Annual dues are $3 for juniors (under 19 years), $8 for individuals, and $15 for families; due in January.
- Newsletter correspondence and newsletter advertising: email@example.com
- All other correspondence: Fredericksburg Rockhounds, 412 S. Adams St, Fredericksburg TX 78624
- Visit our website at fredericksburgrockhounds.org for more club info, field trip news, club photos, resources, and previous newsletters.
Club Officers and Committee Chairs
Club Officers for 2020:
- President: Frank Rowell
- 1st Vice President: Steve Perez – (817) 404-9789
- 2nd Vice President: Joe DeHoyos
- Past President: Lee Adams – (830) 796-8890
- Treasurer: Jim Gedeon – (830) 456-5419
- Secretary: Brenda Smith – (830) 895-9630
- Programs: Joe DeHoyos
- Field Trips: Patti Felts – (325) 247-6040
and Sam Rodgers – (210) 240-7721
- Hospitality: Susan Olson – (830) 997-8516
- Membership: Virginia Adian – (830) 755-6105
- Historian: Sara Verstuyft – (830) 998-7350
- Media Equipment: John Crone – (830) 990-9823
- Annual Show: Vacant
- Newsletter: Josh Hazer
Monthly Meeting Map
Newsletter Articles and Club Info
Articles for each month’s newsletter must be received by the 15th of the month.
Send them to your newsletter editor via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also use the form on our Contact Page to submit your articles:
A copy of the Club MEMBERSHIP LIST is available TO MEMBERS ONLY, via email (or paper mail if necessary). Contact Virginia Adian at email@example.com or 830-755-6105
The Club CONSTITUTION & BY-LAWS are posted on our website: fredericksburgrockhounds.org/constitution