Minerals

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

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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.

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Everyone listening to Marv. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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

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Ore crusher. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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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

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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

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

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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

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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.

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There were also fossils from Kansas available.

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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

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

Rutile quartz

A glowing orange sphere with long dark spines (rutiles) trapped within. They look like tufts of fur.

Photo by Stephanie Reed

Rutile quartz is quartz that contains rutile inclusions. Rutile is made of titanium dioxide and usually forms long, thin needles. It is most commonly found in quartz, though it can also be found in sapphires. The inclusions are usually gold in color and can be seen in dense parallel fibers or as scattered needles. You can see both in this specimen.

This rutilated quartz sphere is smoky quartz with rutile inclusions from Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is on display at the Rice Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon near Portland, Oregon. If you are in the area, we highly recommend this museum.

Fairburn Agates

Special guest article from Show-Me Rockhounds club members Dan and Connie Snow

Fairburn agate fortification agate

Group picture of Fairburn agates – Dan Snow

Fairburn agates are a form of microcrystalline chalcedony, 100% silicon dioxide with a hardness of 6 ½ to 7 on the Mohs scale.  They are also called fortification agates because of their banding.  They were formed approximately 300 million years ago in an ancient limestone bed of an inland sea.  To hunt Fairburn agates requires looking at every rock and turning many with a rock pick.  It is strictly surface hunting no digging, mining, cracking or breaking rocks.   The photos shown are exactly the way the agates were found, with no cutting, polishing or tumbling having been done.

Fairburn agate fortification agate

Frog Rock – Dan Snow

Fairburn Agates found by Dan and Connie Snow. Collected from the Fairburn Agate beds of South Dakota and the Oglala National Grasslands in Nebraska.

Labradorite

Labradorite has become a popular gemstone because of the unique iridescent play of color that many specimens exhibit.  Labradorite is a feldspar mineral of the plagioclase series that is most often found in mafic igneous rocks such as basalt, gabbro and norite.  Some specimens of labradorite exhibit a Schiller effect, which is a strong play of iridescent blue, green, red, orange, and yellow colors as shown in the photographs above. The Schiller effect is also seen in fire agate and mother of pearl. Labradorite is so well known for these spectacular displays of color that the phenomenon is known as “labradorescence.” Specimens with the highest quality labradorescence are often selected for use as gemstones. Labradorescence is not a display of colors reflected from the surface of a specimen. Instead, light enters the stone, strikes a twinning surface within the stone, and reflects from it. The color seen by the observer is the color of light reflected from that twinning surface. Different twinning surfaces within the stone reflect different colors of light. Light reflecting from different twinning surfaces in various parts of the stone can give the stone a multi-colored appearance.

Source: http://geology.com/gemstones/labradorite/

Minerals in Fireworks

The 4th of July fireworks that we saw last night would not be possible without minerals. Fireworks mainly contain gunpowder, which is a combination of charcoal, sulfur, and the mineral potassium nitrate. In order to create the pretty colors we are used to seeing in fireworks, mineral salts are added. This infographic from Compound Interest explains which mineral salts create which colors. If you go to the website, you can read a lot more about the chemistry of fireworks and a brief explanation of why different minerals make different colored flames.

I learned that blue fireworks are very difficult to produce because copper chloride breaks down at high temperatures, so they have to somehow keep the temperature hot enough to ignite but not so hot that the blue color vanishes. Thus, you almost never see purple fireworks because it is a combination of red and blue.

Selenite Stories

Gray selenite crystal and orange selenite crystal, both about the size of a ballpoint pen.

Photo by Stephanie Reed

Selenite is a type of gypsum that has a flat reflective surface, usually gray, clear, white, or amber. Red is an unusual color for selenite, but they do exist. It is very soft and can be scratched by a fingernail (2 on the Mohs scale). At our February meeting, two of the door prizes were these selenite crystals found by President David Reed. The amber one is from Lake Kanopolis in Kansas. The gray one is from Lake Wilson, which is also in Kansas. David went to Lake Wilson and put a small crystal in the mud. He returned 3 years later and found the large gray crystal.

One time David and Stephanie went to Kansas and found several selenite crystals somewhere near the dam at Lake Wilson. They were gray like this one pictured, but much smaller. On the April field trip to Marquette, some club members also found selenite crystals.