Minerals

1917 Geologic Maps

kansas city missouri geologic mapShow-Me Rockhounds member Dan Snow has provided these geologic maps of Kansas City from 1917 which contain topographical, geological, and cross-sectional data. The maps show where to find several different types of rocks common to this area. They are also a great way to see how Jackson County has changed in the last 100 years. The maps are in PDF format and are very high resolution, so please zoom in!

Cross Sections (21 MB)
Jackson County (55 MB)
Kansas City (53 MB)

Cuprosklodowskite

This is from the Musonoi Extension mine, near Kolwezi, Shaba Province, Zaire, from the collection of Michael Scott. The Rruff Project used single-crystal X-ray diffraction to confirm the identity of the cuprosklodowskite. It is basically Sklodowskite (named after Marie Sklodowska Curie) that contains copper.

More info: http://rruff.info/cuprosklodowskite/display=default/

Cave Formations Show Evidence of Fire

stalactites inside a cave

Drip water in Yonderup Cave contains evidence of an aboveground fire. Credit: Andy Baker/U. New South Wales

Stalactites and stalagmites form in caves when water that contains dissolved minerals (such as calcium carbonate) drips from the ceiling. Scientists can analyze the 18O/16O ratios (isotopes of oxygen) in the stalactites and see how the temperature changed as they were formed. A team led by Andy Baker, Gurinder Nagra, and Pauline C. Treble of the University of New South Wales, Australia discovered that Yonderup Cave had a lot more 18O than they expected. Since having more 18O is associated with higher temperatures at the time of formation[1], it could have been interpreded as one of the largest climate changes in the last 2 million years.

But, there was a wildfire in 2005 and a large tree died right on top of the cave. Baker’s team believes that this is what actually caused the increased 18O concentration. This is important for anybody else trying to use these oxygen isotopes to determine ancient temperatures, because if they get a very warm result it might have been caused by a forest fire instead.

[1]It’s a little more complicated than that. Read the whole article here: http://cen.acs.org/articles/94/i30/Cave-dripwater-contain-fire-evidence.html and check Baker’s website for more interesting stuff about how he researches caves to learn about past climates.

Carborundum

iridescent purple and green silicon carbide

In Mark Sherwood’s case at the Spring 2017 show. Photo by Stephanie Reed

At Mark Sherwood’s talk “Earth Science… Facts, Frauds and Scams” he mentioned carborundum (also spelled carborundrum). It is made of silicon carbide, but it is not a natural mineral that you can find in the ground. If you want to find some carborundum, look in a chimney. At an iron foundry, the carbon and silicon in the smoke rise and precipitate on the inside of the chimney. When the chimney is cleaned, they find these nice silicon carbide deposits. They are iridescent and pretty enough to buy, but don’t be fooled. Some sellers will say that carborundrum or moissanite and pretend like it is from some secret mine or even a meteorite, but it is really a man-made mineral.

Note: Moissanite is a naturally occurring silicon carbide, but it is very rare and it doesn’t look like the specimen pictured above. It actually looks like tiny green glass crystals. They are usually heat treated to increase clarity. If so, the seller needs to disclose that the specimen has been heated or they are being fraudulent. Buyer beware.

Spring 2017 Gem Show Photos

The Spring 2017 Gem and Mineral Show was very successful. The parking lot was filled to capacity and we made over $3000 for the scholarship fund. I think it helped that it was so cold on Saturday, because people wanted to do something indoors. Here are some of the highlights.

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My favorite exhibit: The Earth’s Rainbow by Maple Woods Community College. It shows minerals of every color and how they get their colors. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Geological features of Missouri made out of minerals by Susan Judy (Stone Quilt Design) Unfortunately, it was already sold when I saw it. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Mr. Bones was wondering what was so interesting on this person’s phone. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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David and Stephanie Reed showing off the new Association banner. Photo by Bob

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Cretaceous fossils from Kansas, displayed by KU. The iridescent baculite is especially nice. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Selenite crystal from Kansas. I sold it at the Association Booth. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Shea Oak slab in UMKC’s petrified wood exhibit. This specimen usually lives at the Sutton Museum at UMKC. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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A blue morpho butterfly seen at Butterflies by God. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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The Bead Society had a lot of great cases. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Keshi pearls (i.e. non-nucleated pearls) from Avian Oasis. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Jeanna and Jim in foreground, Chet and Bob in background. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Agatized Dinosaur bone from the Morrison Formation in Utah, seen at Science Leads the Way. We met the person who found it. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Australian Boulder Opal cabs from Dreaming Down Under. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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This otherworldly glass sculpture was at Madagascar Gemstones. Photo by Stephanie Reed

Joplin Mining Equipment

In November 2016, we went to see Marv Dahmen’s collection of vintage Joplin/Tri-State mining equipment and minerals. He talked about it for 5 hours but there was never a dull moment. We managed to record some of it, although it was so long Stephanie and David ran out of space on their phones. Here are some photos.

learning

Everyone listening to Marv. Photo by Stephanie Reed

driveway

Ore buckets as far as the eye can see! Photo by David Reed

crank

Ore crusher. Photo by Stephanie Reed

picher-museum

Most of the things outside are from the Picher Museum. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Ore buckets, a crucible, and one of the only 2 remaining drill bit buckets. They were sold for scrap metal when the Picher Museum was having hard times. Marv got them from the scrap metal place. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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This is not an ore bucket. This is a dewatering bucket. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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The inside of a dewatering bucket has a plunger inside. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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A drill. Photo by David Reed

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Photo by David Reed

calcium-carbide

Calcium carbide and some lamps. Photo by David Reed

pushers

These long scoops are used to clean out the holes before putting in the dynamite. If you hit some debris while loading the dynamite it might explode. Photo by David Reed

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Wooden paddles for opening boxes of dynamite. It is too dangerous to use a metal implement. Photo by David Reed

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Lamps, containers of carbide, and mortars and pestles. Photo by David Reed

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An impressive display of blasting caps. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Guy’s dropper lamps. These were used before carbide lamps were invented. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Marv in his workshop. On the table are some slabs that will soon be cut into cabs, and there is a curved plate that can be coated with ink and used to label boxes of Hercules dynamite (with removable plates for dates, lot numbers, etc.). Bucyrus Erie is a mining equipment company. Photo by David Reed

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Marv also makes jewelry. Photo by David Reed

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Some of his freshly tumbled rocks. Photo by David Reed

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Part of Marv’s rock collection. Photo by David Reed

jasper

Lots of Owyhee Jasper from Oregon and Idaho. Photo by David Reed

crimper

A device for crimping blasting caps. It is extremely rare. Photo by David Reed

pigtail

This is a pigtail, which is a blacksmith-made hook for ore buckets. It is specially curved so that the bucket won’t fall off while it is being raised up. Photo by David Reed

Thank you Marv for inviting us on your property and into your home to see your amazing collection!

Gem Show Pictures Fall 2016

KCI Expo Center outside building

The Gem and Mineral Show was once again at the KCI Expo Center

selling rocks and books convention customers

The view from behind the Association booth.

yellow keokuk geode

This yellow geode is from Keokuk in St. Francisville. They call it “Lemoness”.

crinoid Scyphocrinites elegans fossil from Morocco

This huge crinoid (Scyphocrinites elegans) fossil is from Morocco.

kansas fossils

There were also fossils from Kansas available.

tiny beads in tubes

Plenty of beads for sale at the show.

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Fossil Brittle Star from Morocco, sold by Schooler’s Minerals. Fun fact: a brittle star is from the class Ophiurida and starfish are from the class Asteroidea, so they are not really related to starfish at all.

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Bob models an official Association apron and holds a pufferfish.

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The preserved pufferfish close up. It is hollow and light as a feather. I don’t think anyone bought it so it will be for sale again in March.

books about minerals and gem cutting for sale

Some of the mineral, fossil, and jewelry-related books we had for sale this year.

carved mineral skulls

Carved skulls made of semi-precious minerals.

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Is this a giant dinosaur showing off a giant agate, or a very small dinosaur with a tiny agate?

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Martin selling pottery that he made

men packing items for storage

Everything is packed up into our big blue cube until the next show.