Monday, October 3, 2011

Rolling Stones Awards Funds to GCEC

The Rolling Stones Board recently awarded Gila Conservation Education Center (GCEC) a check in the amount of $500.00 to be used for the education of students at the Gila Water Festival. For those of you that are not aware of it, the Rolling Stones in the spring of each year has a station at the GCEC Water Festival in which we acquaint the students with information and techniques on how and where to pan for gold. It is a very popular station at the water festival. Students pan for gold (aka brass BB’s) and many of the kids take their treasures home with them.

The Board of the Rolling Stones decided that the GCEC is a worthwhile cause as it educates the students of Grant County in the Ecology and Geology of the Gila River. The award will be used to purchase supplies and to help with transportation costs for the project.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Club Assists Geology Program At WNMU

At the regular meeting of the Rolling Stones Gem & Mineral Society in 
September a check for $500.00 was presented to Dr Mary Dowse, Professor 
of Geology at Western New Mexico University.  The recent Gem&  Mineral 
Show at the Business & Conference Center is held each year to raise 
funds to provide scholarships for Geology Students at WNMU and other 
educational projects in Silver City and New Mexico.  The Rolling Stones 
are committed to helping students, faculty and the general public learn 
more about geology and the earth sciences. 
Dr. Dowse stated after she was presented with the check by Marcia Fisch, 
Rolling Stones Treasurer, "The recent donation from the Rolling Stones 
Gem and Mineral Society will help to defray some of the extra costs of 
field trips for students.  This fall's donation will cover some of the 
costs of a joint trip with faculty and students from the School of 
Education.  The goal is to strengthen future teachers knowledge and 
interest in geology and encourage them to consider including activities 
related to geology when they begin teaching.  I am deeply grateful for 
the continuing support of the Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society for 
students in the Geology Program at WNMU."
Club Treasurer Marcia Fisch presents check to Dr. Dowse

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great Vendors At Show

By Karen Blisard - Club member and Vendor Manager

An exciting array of rocks, minerals, fossils, gems and jewelry will be on display at the Grant County Business and Conference Center Labor Day weekend.  The occasion is the 28th Annual Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Show.  There will be a total of 45 vendors, 13 of whom are new to the show.   Twelve of the vendors are from the Silver City area, and six are from Deming.  Vendors are coming from all over New Mexico, as well as from Texas, Arizona, California, Arkansas, and even from China.

Mineral and fossil specimens are an important part of every gem and mineral show.   Veteran dealer John Scully of Scully’s Minerals in Albuquerque offers a variety of specimens from New Mexico such as azurite, rainbow fluorite and Triassic cycad wood replaced by copper minerals.  He and his wife Laurie travel to places like Brazil, Namibia, Madagascar, Morocco, and the Dominican Republic to purchase specimens at the source.   Specimens include topaz, tourmaline, dioptase, Brandberg amethyst quartz, as well as many others.

One of the new vendors is Tom Hales of Tom Hales Minerals in Deming.  He features minerals and cutting rough from the USA, Mexico, Canada and many worldwide locations.   The minerals range in size from thumbnail specimens (over 2,000 in stock) to large cabinet specimens.  He specializes in Mexican minerals and has many rare and beautiful examples.

In addition, a group of mineral dealers from Jinan, China will provide a new source of exotic specimens.  The Jinan Chinese Mineral Trading Company specializes in gathering minerals directly from mines all over China.

A large selection of jewelry, both silver and gold, and featuring cabochons and faceted stones, will be on display.  Karen Blisard, of Radiant Gemstones in Silver City, is primarily a facetor of gemstones, and displays jewelry made with gemstones she has cut herself.  She also has a wide variety of rings and earrings featuring commercially faceted stones set in silver.

Another long-time vendor, Sharon Szymanski from SanTan, AZ, will be selling jewelry (fine as well as costume).  She also offers rock carvings from around the world, wood carvings from Bali, as well as collectibles for the home. 

For the lapidary enthusiasts, there will be rough material for cutting, as well as lapidary equipment and supplies.   For those who like to make their own jewelry, there will be all kinds of beads and pearls, and of course, faceted stones and finished cabochons.  

An exciting addition to the show is wildlife artist Tony Zenan from Cottonwood, AZ.  Tony paints beautiful portraits of animals and birds on slabs of agate and petrified wood.  Local artist Barbara Nance will be displaying rock carvings and sculptures.  

The show this year should be bigger and better than ever.  The show is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday September 3rd and 4th, and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday September 5th.

The members of the Grant County Rolling Stones look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vendor Opportunities - last minute!

We have a couple of last-minute cancellations.    If you are interested in being a vendor, please call Karen Blisard at 575-654-5034.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Show Field Trips

By Kyle Meredith

The Grant County Rolling Stones Annual Gem and Mineral Show is a popular event where people come to buy and sell mineral specimens, jewelry, lapidary equipment, and other rock-related items each year over Labor Day Weekend. In addition to buying and selling, there are fascinating displays of local and museum-quality rocks and minerals. 

One exciting facet of the show includes field trips offered each of the three days. The morning trips are set up to take rock hounds to nearby locations to look for and collect rocks and minerals for display or working into pieces of jewelry. This year for the first time we are offering afternoon tours with knowledgeable guides who will provide information about the underlying geology and history of our area. 

Morning trips will depart from the Show venue at 9:00 a.m., and afternoon tours will depart at 1:00 p.m. 

On Saturday morning, September 3rd, we will be going to Saddlerock Canyon in the Burro Mountains where we will find dark gray limestone nodules with golden iron sulfide crystals embedded inside. They can be cut and polished into impressive cabochons. The area also offers occasional fossils including ammonites, and many people have carried out some curious yard rocks. The drive takes about 20 minutes from town. There will be some driving in a sandy wash but high clearance is probably not necessary. The walk from your vehicle is relatively easy up a draw over natural terrain not more than a half mile. Saturday afternoon's tour will be led by Dr. Mary Dowse. This field trip will look at the layers exposed along Highway 152 from Fort Bayard to the Mimbres. Participants will see different kinds of rocks of nearly all of the geologic ages of the Earth, and will have the opportunity to collect fossils as well. The trip will visit outcrops along the highway and there will be a limited amount of walking along the highway or up to the outcrops.

Sunday, September 4th, we'll head south of the Cooke's Range to the Green Spar Mine to look for a variety of different stones, including colorful banded rhyolite suitable to cut and polish, fluorite, and attractive yard rocks. WARNING: In past years we have encountered trappers, so it is advisable to leave your dogs behind or have them closely monitored on a leash. The road definitely requires a high-clearance vehicle and good tires. The terrain is (unsurprisingly) rocky, and there are steep slopes. Sunday afternoon you can join Kevin and/or Sylveen Cook (proprietors of Royal Scepter Gems and Minerals) for a walking tour of the geology and ore deposits of the Boston Hill Manganese District. The nice exposures there and the relationship of that deposit to similar settings at Lone Mountain and Georgetown will be a great hands-on learning experience about the regional ore deposition. It requires a short drive across town. The walk is on a winding, sloping path with little shade. 

 Monday morning, September 5th, we'll take a quick trip down the road toward Ft. Bayard to look for orthoclase crystals. We'll be parking right by the highway, and the walk is an easy trail of about a half mile with some low hills to explore. Monday afternoon will be a bus tour of local mines, so space is limited to first come, first served. 

 All morning trips will depart from the Grant County Business and Conference Center in Silver City on Highway 180 East (next to Ace Hardware) at 9:00. Afternoon trips will leave at 1:00. Carpooling is recommended when possible. Rain can cause a trip to be canceled, but it's best to show up if you think there's any doubt. Most morning trips are over by lunchtime, but it's always a good idea to bring snacks or a lunch and plenty of water. A rock hammer and bag or bucket are suggested for each trip.

You may email for more information.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Agate Rendezvous 2011

The Chaparral Rockhounds from Roswell, NM invite all rockhounds to join them for their annual event August 27 through September 5, 2011 at Apache Creek.   It includes 7 days of fun activities, that could easily be combined with a visit down to Silver City for the Labor Day Weekend Show.    More details here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not long till our annual show!

The Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society
28th Annual Gem and Mineral Show

Labor Day Weekend
September 3, 4, and 5, 2011
10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm on Monday.

Grant County Business and Conference Center.
180 US Highway East in Silver City (next to Ace Hardware)

A great FREE family event 
Wheel of Fortune and Silent Auction
Large assortment of vendors, several new entries this year.

Ever-popular rockhounding trips at 9AM each day
New this year, educational trips at 1PM each day

Food services provided by the Silver City Lions Club
Educational displays from NM Institute of Mining & Technology & NMSU’s Zuhl Collection

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thank You Mama's Minerals

We would like to give a big thanks to Mama’s Minerals in Albuquerque for their generous monetary donation to our Club. We are currently studying ways in which to use this donation to further the interest of Rockhounding in New Mexico.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rockhound State Park

Attention all rockhounds:
The New Mexico State Parks Division (NMSPD) has proposed to disallow rockhounding in Rockhound State Park near Deming, New Mexico.   Rockhound State Park is best known for its fantastic thundereggs, some with multicolored agate in addition to well-formed quartz crystals.  Also scattered about the park are rocks and minerals of volcanic and hydrothermal origin; including quartz, chalcedony, agate, common opal and banded and brecciated rhyolite. The 1,100 acre park was established in 1966 as the first in the United States that allowed collecting of rocks and minerals for personal use. 

Check out the new proposed Management Plan .   Comments on the proposal must be received by April 18, 2011.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rolling Stones Visit Shakespeare

 by Lee Stockman,  Club VP

Grant County and the Silver City area is the most mineralized part of New Mexico but that does not keep the Rolling Stones from occasionally slipping across the county line on one of our monthly field trips.  In February, Trip Leader, Ansel Walters set up a visit to the old Silver mining town of Shakespeare, down in Hidalgo County.  One might argue that this trip was in keeping with the Grant County part of the Rolling Stones name, since, at the time that Shakespeare was a boom town it was still in Grant County.

Rolling Stones make a mad dash for the Murphy Saloon as soon as it opens
Manny Hough, Shakespeare proprietor,  lead the 35 of so who participated in the field trip through the remains of the town and shared many interesting insights and tales.   Standing beneath the nooses in the handing room, we learned about Russian Bill who died from a “throat problem”.

The tour began with a visit to the one remaining saloon and continued into the hotel, livery stable, assay office and concluded with a visit to the museum. To learn more about the town of Shakespeare visit the February issue of the Desert Exposure at:

Manganese dendrites
Following the tour the field trip participants went on south of the old ghost town and visited several hills pockmarked with diggin’s for fluorite and other prospective minerals.  In these hills, dotted with creosote brush and cacti, many a hard working miner had followed his eye and dug where an outcropping of mineral showed promise.  Chrysocholla and other green stains told of copper minerals.  Black manganese stain led miners to dig for ore, exposing some beautiful dendrites.

Fluorescing calcite
Fluorite appears to have been the one possible commercially viable mineral dug from these hills.    In some of the holes were calcite veins interspersed with the fluorite and some of the calcite fluoresces.

 Despite a brisk wind, which occasionally made the Rolling Stones  appreciate the rocks that  had accumulated  in their pockets,  the temperatures were moderate and it was an enjoyable outing.  Thanks to Trip Leader Ansel and his crew for a  good time that was had by all.

Shop at Mama's Minerals in March and Help Our Club

Visitors to Albuquerque in March are encouraged to visit Mama's Minerals where a portion of proceeds this month will benefit our club!    The store is located at 1100 San Mateo Blvd NE at Lomas (San Mateo exit south off I-40 after Constitution).   Mama's is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year, so each month has a theme such as Prospectors in January and  Beaders in February.   March will be their Gem and Mineral Club month, and we have been selected to be one of their recipients.  Keep an eye on their web site for more information and just click on 25th Anniversary Specials and Events!   You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit the Santa Fe Plaza store at La Fonda Hotel.  Both stores are open every day.  

Mama's is a really fun place to shop, so check it out!  Spread the word and help our Club! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Supporting a Sister Club

42nd Annual Jewelry Gem & Mineral Show
Albuquerque Gem & Mineral Club
by Judy Allen, Rolling Stones Member

The Albuquerque Gem & Mineral Club will hold their 42nd Annual Jewelry, Gem & Mineral Show March 18-20, 2010 Friday and Saturday the 18th & 19th from 10am to 6pm and Sunday the 20th from 10am to 5pm. The theme is Treasures of the Earth. The Show will be at the Creative Arts Center, New Mexico State Fairgrounds, San Pedro Drive NE, Entrance 4. Admission $3.00 for Adults & Seniors, Under 13 free. Admission on Friday is $1.00. Geode Cracking, Door Prizes, Raffles, Silent Auction and much more. Keep this in mind as a great place to visit in March, and support a sister New Mexico Club.

Mary Dowse speaks to the Club

by Lee Stockman, Program Coordinator

The January Program for the Rolling Stones Meeting was presented by Dr. Mary Dowse who talked about the geology of the Gila River Drainage and its adjacent areas. Beginning in the Proterozoic and working toward the present, she discussed the accretion of the North American Continent in which several segments including the Mazatzal Provence, came together where southwestern New Mexico is today. These segments adhered and built what we know as North America.

Mary discussed the periodic ocean incursions into the area, the building and erosion of mountain ranges, violent volcanic eruptions and the effect of the spreading of the North American Continent as each contributed to what we have around us today.  The talk was an expanded version of the presentation Mary made to the Gila Symposium last year.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rockhound on the Road - visits with FSG in Cape Coral, Florida

by Marcia Andre

We had a fun evening out recently, attending a meeting of the Southwest Chapter of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths (FSG).   We've been searching for information about silver-smithing, when an internet search turned up the FSG.  We sent an email to Chapter President Robert Small who warmly invited us and welcomed us to a meeting.    This is a small, but very active group, who dispenses with business quickly in their monthly meetings.   They have a number of special activities such as regular jewelry labs at the Cape Coral Art Studio,  Sunday Fun-Days geared toward stone cutters, special competitions such as next months "Hearts and Roses" theme,  plus an extensive array of classes in silver-smithing, wire wrapping, and precious metal clay. 

We took along a few of the rack cards for our 28th Gem and Mineral Show to the meeting and told members a bit about our club.   After the meeting Alan did a show and tell with his cabs, then Robert gave us a terrific tour of the Art Studio.    Here is a link to the fall FSG newsletter that you may find interesting.  

There was lots of talk and planning about Wildacres, an event sponsored by the Eastern Federation who, like us, are AFMS affiliates.   Intrigued by this, I later researched Wildacres and learned that extensive lapidary and jewelry-making workshops are offered during two annual sessions. Here's link for more information for anyone who might be interested in Wildacres which is held in a beautiful retreat setting -

When you're on the road,  consider a visit to a fellow club.   And please do drop us a note so that we can include you in our occasional Rockhound-on-the-Road columns!