Monday, July 25, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Not long until our Show!!!

Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society will hold their 33rd Annual Gem & Mineral Show at Western New Mexico University’s Intramural Gym, College Ave , Silver City, New Mexico – on Saturday September 3rd -9am -5pm – Sunday September 4th – 10am – 5pm and Monday – September 5th – 10am – 4pm. Free Admission – A great family event ! Large assortment of vendors, Wheel of Fortune, Silent Auction,  Daily Field trips for Collecting & for Geology and Mining History - Educational Displays.

July Field Trip

Submitted by Jeannine Weiner
We went on a trip to Kingston to hunt crystal Scepters. As a side attraction we stopped at the North Percha Saloon. This is located on a forest road between Kingston & Hillsboro about 7 miles north of Hwy 152.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Field Trip Report

    Hot! Hot! Hot!  Sound like a mid-June field trip in SW New Mexico?  Yes is the correct answer in case you had any doubts.
    First I have to add a comment on last month's trip to the Grandview Mine.  I did find a reference to gold production at the mine after I sent in the report.  So I just wanted to set the record straight that some gold was produced from the Grandview in its later years of production.

     The June field trip started out with the usual sign-in at the Visitor Center.  A good number of participants turned out for the trip. We all drove out Hwy 180 to the Gila turnoff, drove thru Gila and continued on to the Turkey Creek road.  This area is the Gila Fluorspar mining district which consisted of three mines, the Foster, Clum and Victoria.  The mines produced from the early 1880's (Foster) through the late 1940's.  The ore was used primarily as a flux in smelting of metal ores.  At first it was shipped to Silver City and then during the war efforts it was shipped via truck and rail to processing plants in Deming and Lordsburg until 1943.  The government contracted a mill to be built in Gila at that time.  Most of the ore was then sent to a steel mill in Pueblo, CO.  The Clum mine had a brief resurrection in the 1970's with its ore being used to produce hydrofluoric acid.  All the mines are currently abandoned.

      Fluorite or fluorspar is calcium fluoride, CaF2.  It crystalizes in isometric  forms commonly occurring as cubes and octahedrons.  It also breaks along very distinct cleavage planes.  Colors are commonly clear, purple, blue, green with yellow and pink from some locations.  It is used as a flux in smelting metals; in the manufacture of hydrofloric acid; in the manufacture of glass and enamel; and in jewelry.

      The fluorite veins in the Gila district were deposited along faults and fractures through volcanic latites from the Mogollon volcanic period.  The faulting and mineralization occurred during the development of the Barsin Caldera between 28 to 17 million years ago.

      Our first mine stop, the Foster, was not far from the road.  We all hiked in and started scouring the tailings finding lots of pieces of fluorite glittering in the sunlight. Most were clear, but some were a faint green/blue. Down the hill a little was there was a cut through the rock which lead to a blocked off adit.  HIgh angle veins of fluorite cut thru the bedrock, latite, here and with some arm-strong hammering and prying some nice samples of green and purple banded fluorite were collected.  There was plenty to share with the rest of the group.  A few samples with nice cubic crystals were also found in the area.

     Everyone toted their treasures back to the vehicles and we were off to the next location.  The road was not bad for a dirt road but a bit of a challenge in places for a sedan-type vehicle.  The second stop was touted as a drive-right-to-the-mine site, but most of us opted to park up top and hike down to the the site which wasn't too far.  Again the tailing piles were aglitter with fluorite pieces.  Some folks had great spots that they excavated with great abandon plucking up nice fluorite samples.  Others choose to work on breaking down some boulders with fluorite veins running thru them.  Again some nice samples of green with some purple were collected.  In this area there were some nice, albeit small, samples with octahedral crystal clusters.  Most of these were purple with some clear.  All had a great time hammering boulders into small rocks in the quest for a beautiful sample.

     We then continued on the road stopping at one point for Ansel to out another fluorite mine.  It was an uphill hike and we were all hot and uninterested in exploring the location.  We continued up, over and down, down, down the road into the Gila River valley.  The scenery was stunning coming down into the valley.  At the intersection of the dry creek bed we stopped and hiked to a hot springs.  Something about a hot springs in 100° weather that wasn't too appealing.  We all tested the water temperature water and decided to find the Gila River for lunch and a wade in the cool water.  It was a fine end to yet another fun field trip.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Updated Vendor List for Show


Susan & Doug Abbott, Desert Designs, Silver City, NM,   Native American jewelry, Zuni fetishes

Henry & Charlotte Andazola, Silver City, NM,   Native American jewelry

Armando Barrera, Custom Rock Cutters, Columbus, NM,  Cabs, spheres, eggs, carvings

Fred Bishop, 2 Guys Rocks, Deming, NM,   Slabs, quartz, geodes, turquoise, jewelry

Karen Blisard, Radiant Gemstones, Silver City, NM,   Jewelry, faceted stones, facet rough

Harry & Carol Bruntz, Uniquely Yours, Horizon City, TX,   Rocks, gems, minerals, display stands

Kevin Cook & Sylveen Robinson-Cook, Royal Scepter, Silver City, NM,  Books, maps, beads, jewelry

Trina & Jeff Cornell, Trina’s Rock Shop, Deming, NM,  Lapidary equipment, rough, slabs

Jack & Marty Crawford, Silver City, NM,  Minerals

Dave Douglass, Douglass Minerals, Tucson, AZ,   Mineral specimens

Julie Dubosz, Sierra Vista, AZ,  wirewrap jewelry

Sue Fischer, Jewelry from Sue, Silver City, NM,   Silver and gold jewelry

Marge & Don Gibboney, Paintbrush jewelry, Grand Junction, CO,  wire wrap jewelry

Tom Hales, Tom’s Treasures, Deming, NM,  Minerals, gemstone rough, jewelry

Sally Hansen, Sally Rocks, Silver City, NM,  Jewelry, lapidary

Gene & Sandra Hardgrove,  Rock Art, Tucson, AZ, gemstones (facet & cab), jewelry

Allen Hebert, Glenkara, Tucson, AZ,   Gems, minerals, jewelry

Therese Higgins, The Jewelry Lady, Silver City, NM,   Jewelry, belly belts

Michael Ho, Gemstone Station, Miraloma, CA,  Beads, pearls

Bill & Linda Horton, Misty Mountain G&M, Litchfield Park, AZ,  Jewelry, gems, minerals, carvings

Gerald Howard & Jim Wines, JNE Lapidary, Dickinson, TX,  Petrified wood, knapped items

Bill & Emily Jaeger, Endless Mountain Minerals, Hereford, AZ,   Crystals, rough, specimens, jewelry

Bill Jones, Sidewinder Minerals, Aurora, CO, Minerals, fossils

Patsy & Jerry Kastner, Kastner Gems & Supply, Tucson, AZ,   Jewelry, lapidary equipt, supplies

Ron Kellner, RK Enterprises, Show Low, AZ,  Jewelry, cabs, slabs, specimens

Randy & Sally McCowan, Deming, NM,  Arrowheads, turquoise

Kim Muller, Burro Mountain Arts, Tyrone, NM,  Silver and gemstone jewelry

Blanca Murguia, BM Jewelry, El Paso, TX,  Silver & gemstone jewelry

Ken Newman, DBA Rocks, Deming, NM,  Spheres, slabs, thunder eggs

Jose Nunez, Canutillo, TX,  Minerals

Park Pang, Lily’s Beads, Tucson, AZ, Beads

Jay & Amy Penn, El Chivo Viejo, Albuquerque, NM, Minerals

David & Ruth Ann Rinsch, Dave’s Enterprises, Tyrone, NM,  Rocks, gems

Carmen & Marina Sanchez, Texas Rocks & Minerals, El Paso, TX, minerals, rocks, specimens

John Scully & Laurie Rossi, Scully’s Minerals, Fairview, NM   Minerals, fossils

Jesse, James, and Jan Searcy, Black hat Trading, Deming, NM,   Jewelry, findings, beads, carvings

Clare Thanhauser, Clare Thanhauser GG, Marietta, GA, Rough rock, gemstones, jewelry

Virginia Wilkinson, Buckhorn, NM, Jewelry and rocks

Bruce Williams & Nancy Bailey, Silver & Stone Works, Silver City, NM,   Jewelry, cabs, chain maille

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Field Trip Report to Grandview Mine

May Field Trip Report

Our field trip for May was a collecting trip to the Grandview Mine up in the Mimbres/Black Range Mountains.  We headed east on 180 from our gathering point at Walmart, turned onto 152 at Bayard and to continued east the Hwy 61 junction where we turned south for several miles.  South of San Juan we turned onto Royal John Mine road crossed the Mimbres and started gaining altitude.  We remained on Royal John Mine until we entered the National Forest where we turned left onto Silver Gulch road.  Silver Gulch was a slow-go, mostly one lane, bumpy, dirt road.  It took us farther up the mountains and through some beautiful back country and into the pines.  After about a 2 hour drive we reached an old, log prospectors cabin and stopped to look around.  There was another cabin a bit farther down the road in better condition that we also visited.  Finally we reached the end of the road and the Grandview mine dumps.

The Grandview, appropriately named by the way, was actually discovered in the early 1900's, but had no recorded production until 1933.  Although it has been called a gold mine, the only production records I could find listed the ores as lead, zinc and copper.  The primary ore minerals were sphalerite, chalcopyrite, helvite and galena.  The gangue minerals included calcite, fluorite, garnet, epidote, pyrite, and quartz.

The actual mine was an underground adit with about 1000' of drift.  The ore was hosted in a late Ordovician limestone cut by the north striking Grandview fault.  The mineralizing fluids replaced the limestone along the fractured fault zone and created the ore body.  From the production 1933 to 1951 production records, the ore was 3.71% lead, 9.4% zinc, and .22% copper.

Our trip was focused on collecting some of the nice pyrite crystals located all around the tailing piles.  So everyone spread out along the road and/or down the hill with buckets and hammers in hand in quest of the shiny mineral.  Pyrite is iron disulfate, also called fool's gold, and is a very common mineral.  It is brassy yellow and commonly forms cubes often with striations on one side.  It is also brittle and breaks unevenly.  It didn't take long for the collecting to begin.  The tailing piles were glittering with pyrite sparkling in the sunshine.  The largest pieces I saw were maybe an inch on a side, but the nicest crystals were smaller and could be found loose on the tailings or as clusters in the waste rock.  Other minerals found included clear fluorite, sphalerite and some epidote.

By afternoon folks began the trek down the bumpy road down the mountain with buckets full of mineral treasures.  It was another beautiful day in the mountains and a fun rockhounding trip.