Monday, October 14, 2013

For those with mining claims

We recieved the following post that might be interesting to some.

Dear Webmaster,

I wanted to reach out to you because we are currently seeking some potential cast members for a potential Season 3 of The Weather Channel's "Prospectors" a hit television series about miners and their incredible finds as they battle the elements to uncover valuable minerals and gems.
Here is a link to the show's website:

We are seeking miners in the Southwest with claims who are available to dig this winter. Great energy is a plus and a passion for mining is a must. In addition we're looking for miners who dig as their full-time profession as opposed to those who mine as a hobby. 

I am hopeful that you and or members of your Gem & Mineral Club may know miners in your area currently working. Would love to chat with you on the phone if it's convenient for you. Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested in participating. I am happy to answer any questions as well.
Many thanks for your time.

Sarah Finley
High Noon Entertainment
303-872-8598 (office)
303-872-8701 (fax) 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A couple bits of news

Submitted by Lee Stockman

Two Items for your attention:

1.  At our meeting tomorrow evening, September 12, Mary Dowse will present a program on her trip to Australia. 

Here is her description of what she will talk about:

"Mary Dowse, Professor of Geology at Western and world traveler, will present a program about her visit to Australia in the Summer of 2012. She spent a week in the Pilbara in Western Australia, sleeping in the bush and looking at very old rocks which she will tell us about. After a week of meetings in Brisbane she headed for the Great Barrier Reef to study learn more about reefs and swim with sharks, little ones."

As always Mary's talks are most informative and entertaining.

2.  Jeannine Weiner, Club Historian would like for  people that took pictures at the show to get them to her so she can put together a slide show for the web page as well as the archives. Maybe those with pictures  could burn them to a CD and bring them to the meeting.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August Field Trip

by Jeannine Weiner

Our August Field trip took us south on Hwy 90 to a mine just south of the Continental Divide Campground.  The mine, name unknown, was not very deep and was lined with very hard rock. We were able to go in without any fear of it caving in. There was quite a bit of Chrysocolla and maybe Malachite on the walls and we attempted to chisel some of it out. It turned out to be a very difficult process. We did finally manage to get a few nice pieces. There was also some Dendrite in the area and that for me proved to be a bonus! The view and the weather couldn't have been better! We had a wonderful outing.  Here are a few photos.  

Monday, August 26, 2013


Friday, August. 30 -

  •  8:00 am - 11:00 am - Club members set up Show facilities
  • 11:30 am - Pizza and beverages offered to club members
  • 11:00 am - 5:00 pm - Vendor set-up with member assistance
  •  5:00 pm - Doors to Show locked 
Saturday, August 31 -
  • 7:00 am - Doors open for vendor set-up 
  • 9:00 am - Show opens to public (NO early birds) 
  • 9:00 am - Education field trip departs 
  • 1:00 pm - Collecting field trip departs
  • 5:00 pm - Doors to Show locked 

Sunday, September 1 -

  •  9:00 am - Doors open for vendor set-up
  • 10:00 am - Show opens to Public (NO early birds)
  •  9:00 am - Education field trip departs  
  • 1:00 pm - Collecting field trip departs
  •  5:00 pm - Doors to Show locked
  •  5:30 pm - Vendor-Member Dinner

Monday, September 2 -
  •  9:00 am - Doors open for Vendor Set-up 
  • 10:00 am - Show opens to Public (NO early birds)
  •  9:00 am - Education Field Trip 
  • 1:00 pm - Collecting Field Trip departs 
  • 1:00 pm - Terry Humble Mine Tour departs   CANCELED
  •  4:00 pm - Doors to Show locked 
  • 4:00 pm - Vendor take-down with member assistance


Morning field trips will depart from the entrance to the gem and mineral show at 9:00 a.m.
Afternoon field trips will depart from the entrance at 1:00 p.m.



Saturday’s morning trip will be an educational tour with Mary Dowse that will introduce participants to the dominant kinds of rocks found in Silver City and weave the story of the region’s geologic history. We will be driving west, stopping at several locations where the rocks tell the story. The route will be suitable for any vehicle, and there will not be a lot of walking.
On Saturday afternoon we’ll drive out Highway 180 past Gila to look for fluorite on Turkey Creek Road. The last several miles will be on a rough gravel road, so high clearance is recommended. The best hunting involves a short but difficult and strenuous hike up a steep ravine, but small samples can usually be found near the road. Afterwards, you may enjoy a short drive down to cool your feet in the Gila River.


Sylveen Cook’s Sunday morning adventure will cover early mining areas and practices near Pinos Altos, the site of Grant County’s 1860s gold rush that included the noted historical figure, George Hearst. Driving should be no problem, but some walking over uneven terrain may be involved.

Sunday afternoon we head up to our geode claim where a little digging may turn up some nodules with banded (fortification) agate in whites, blues, grays, and sometimes a splash of orange. Often you can find great little samples on the surface if you’re not into hard labor. The gravel road up to Bear Mountain is usually passable by all vehicles, but rainy weather can make it treacherous. The walking terrain is uneven, but not particularly challenging. Further down the road (high clearance from this point on) you can look for more agate and a few fossils.


Jack Cunningham will show Monday morning participants some of the oldest rocks on earth during a geological road trip from Acklin Canyon (near Mimbres) along highways 152 and 180 to Chloride Flat and Silver City. We will caravan in our own vehicles with roadside stops—no walking necessary.

Our Monday afternoon collecting trip will be a short drive east on Highway 180 to look for Ft. Bayard orthoclase crystals. We will park just off the pavement and hike about ¾ of a mile to the collecting area near Twin Sisters Creek. The terrain is uneven but not difficult. Some low hill climbing is optional.


As a bonus field trip for the Annual Gem and Mineral Show, the Grant County Rolling Stones has invited Terry Humble, local author and historian, back this year to give his popular tour of area mines. The approximately two-hour bus ride (with no bathroom breaks—sorry!) will stop at various historical mines and sites where Terry will inform and amuse you with stories of the past.

The tour will leave from the entrance of the Show at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Labor Day, September 2. We will not be taking advance reservations, but space on the bus is limited so show up early.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

ONLY A WEEK AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!

The Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society presents our 30th Annual Gem and Mineral Show on Labor Day weekend. It will be at the Grant County Business and Conference Center, 3031 Hwy 180 E, Silver City (next to Ace Hardware). The free show, a great family event, will be open on Saturday August 31 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, on Sunday September 1 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Monday September 2 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Lions Club “restaurant” will sell food and drinks.
This year’s show will feature over forty vendors from New Mexico, Arizona and California. They will display a wide variety of rocks, minerals, gems, beads, and lapidary tools and equipment, as well as many different kinds of jewelry. For kids of all ages, there is the Wheel of Fortune, where every spin wins a prize. A Silent Auction of rock and mineral specimens will be held throughout the show. Educational displays will be provided by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and by NMSU's Zuhl Collection.

Experts will lead daily field trips to local sites, weather permitting. Morning trips will be educational, featuring local geology and mining history. Afternoon trips will allow opportunities for digging and collecting rocks and minerals. Participants should bring a vehicle fueled for visiting the sites, plus plenty of drinking water.

See the following posts for a list of all the terrific vendors and additional information about the field trips.   We hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

2013 Gem and Mineral Show Vendors Announced!

We have some really terrific vendors on tap for the upcoming Gem and Mineral Show over Labor Day Weekend in Silver City, New Mexico.  Here they are:

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, bears, buffalos

Ed & Dawn Bell, Bell Custom Jewelry, Livingston, TX,   Jewelry, cabs

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

Greg &  Ann Capatch, Collectible Crystals & Copper, Sedona, AZ,   Minerals, crystals, copper splash

Wade Cave, Silver City, NM,   Jewelry, minerals

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

Ginger Coombs, Silver City, NM,   Jewelry, cabs, geodes

Maury & Judy Crawford, Southwest Designs, Deming, NM,  Slabs, wire-wrap, gourd jewelry

Leah Criss, Bobcriss, Tucson, AZ,   Beads, silver jewelry

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

Ashlee Fischer, Solo-La, Silver City, NM,   Jewelry w/ Czech glass beads

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

Abdul Gardezy, Brilliant design, Chandler, AZ,  Fine gems and jewelry

Charles & Pat Grimes, Roadrunner Gems, Silver City, NM,  Cabs, slab, jewelry, rock samples

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

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

Joe Harris, NM Joe’s Trading Post, Silver City, NM,  Native American 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 Gems and Minerals, Litchfield Park, AZ,  Jewelry, gems, minerals, carvings

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

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

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

Barbara Nance, Stonewalker Studio, Silver City, NM,   Stone sculpture

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

Jose Nunez, Canutillo, TX,  Minerals

John & Connie Partridge, JBP Minerals, Tucson, AZ,  Minerals, rocks

Jay and Amy Penn, El Chivo Viejo, Albuquerque, NM,  Minerals, slabs

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

Jose Maunel Romero, Opalos Romero, Tucson, AZ,  Fire opal, fire agate, rainbow obsidian, carvings

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

Tracy Stump, Tracy’s Silver & Gold, Phoenix, AZ,   Jewelry

Sharon & Bill Szymanski, Never Enough Karats, San Tan Valley, AZ,  Jewelry, collectibles

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

Tony Zenan, Znaniecki Collection, Cottonwood, AZ,   Wildlife paintings on slabs

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Special Tour at the Gem and Mineral Show

As a bonus field trip for the Annual Gem and Mineral Show, the Grant County Rolling Stones has invited Terry Humble, local author and historian, back this year to give his popular tour of area mines.  The approximately two-hour bus ride (with no bathroom breaks - sorry!) will stop at various historical mines and sites where Terry will inform and amuse you with stories of the past.  

The tour will leave from the entrance of the Show at 1:00 pm on Monday, Labor Day, September 2nd.  We will not be taking advance reservations, so show up early.  Space on the bus is limited.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summertime field trip fun

From Jeannine Weiner - club member

Here are a few pictures from the trips we took in May & June.  

The first pictures are from Bear Mountain were we went to find fossils. We had a little trouble finding the right spot, but when we did we found sea shell fossils and also coral. The close up is of the coral that Wendy found, the biggest of the bunch. As you can see from the one clean spot, that was all that was sticking out of the ground. Careful digging unearthed the rest.

The second set is from our trip to Mule Creek. We stopped along the way to see what we could find in the ledge by the road. We did find a few Apache Tears. We continued up and went to look for Crystals. We found several small to nice sized ones. From there we went back out of Mule Creek to the wash and found an abundance of Apache Tears.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2013 Gem and Mineral Show Vendors

We are very pleased to announce that our vendor list is full for the upcoming Labor Day weekend show.  We have several new vendors this year, so we're looking forward to making some new friends and seeing some new material!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mark Your Calendars!

Grant County Rolling Stones
 30th Annual Gem and Mineral Show

3031 US Hwy 180 East, Silver City, NM

2013 Labor Day Weekend – Free Admission - No Early or Late Admissions

Saturday August 31 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday September 1 – 10 am to 5 pm
Monday, Labor Day September 2 – 10 am to 4 pm

Daily Field Trips – for Collecting – for Local Geology and Mining History

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Josh’s Birthday Rockhounding Campout (with Kyle and Greg and Lola) by Kyle Meredith

Our first leg of the trip took us to T or C to find banded rhyolite (candy rock) on TV Tower Hill.  To get there we had to drive through a culvert under I-25.  Greg went first and scraped his camper a little, but Josh and I made it without touching.  We found some good rhyolite, but not as good as at the Green Spar Mine on Fluorite Ridge or down by Gage.  

Then we headed back through town on NM Hwy 51, past Elephant Butte Dam (which we’d never seen before—what lake?), but before we got to Engle we turned south toward some arbitrary GPS coordinates I had interpreted from a vague map in New Mexico Rockhounding.  Amazingly, Josh found most of a petrified tree lying in an outcrop where there was very little other petrified wood to be found.  Someone had taken away the easiest sections nearest the top of the tree, but with perseverance we excavated the next section down and carried it what I estimate to be a quarter mile (or more) back to the camper.  The best we could do was 50-100 feet, then drop it and go back for the rest of our stuff.  I still wonder if my hernia operation is intact.

We had one more questionable location to check for agate and wood, but with that earlier score—and being near happy hour—we decided to drive past it, on to the carnelian site.  We camped on top of the ridge, had our gin and tonics, and began finding carnelian almost as soon as we looked down on the ground.  We also saw mysterious piles of rock.  The first one we saw looked like an old, abandoned fire ring, but then we saw more than we could count all over the landscape.  We considered several hypotheses as to what they might be, including shallow graves at a battlefield or agave roasting pits. 

That afternoon and the next morning we searched far and wide for carnelian with fair success, then headed back toward the main road where, unbeknownst to us until we saw it from our campsite, lay the Spaceport.  (We continued to find carnelian at every stop along the way—generally no bigger than the end of your thumb.)  We were only allowed to take pictures of the Spaceport from the parking lot, then drove on down the road toward Hatch to look for a place to stop for lunch.  When we had asked the sentry at the gate if there was a cafĂ© in Upham (it IS on the map) he looked like we had just arrived  from outer space.  Down the dusty road we were surprised to see a parking area with a kiosk and signage for El Camino Real so we pulled over there, fixed a quick lunch, then walked the 3-mile round trip to the escarpment where we expected to see piles of broken wagons and bleached bones.  The only evidence of the trail was swales, but the interpretive signs helped us imagine traveling along the Jornada del Muerto.  The weather we experienced must have been about the very best they could have hoped for.

The next goal of our trip was to find a place to camp near the saddle above the Palm Park (barite) Mine on the other side of the mountains (northeast of Hatch).  With maps and GPS we managed to get into a high arroyo sheltered from the wind that had begun to blow through the wide valley.  It was as close as I had hoped to be (about a mile from the summit) and as far as we wanted to drive.  Again we found some banded rhyolite worth collecting, but nothing you’d drive all the way there to find.  The next morning we hiked up the road to the saddle and looked for the little quartz scepters we had found before, walking up from the Palm Park Mine.  We got back to the trucks before lunchtime and relaxed with a beer before heading back down into the valley and the road that took us to the Tonuco exit just south of Rincon.  After having fish tacos at Fidencio’s in Hatch, we headed home.  Couldn’t have asked for a better time in Southwest New Mexico.

References:  Gem Trails of New Mexico, James R. Mitchell.  New Mexico Rockhounding, Stephen M. Voynick
Camper in Culvert

Petrified Wood

Rock pile on Carnelian Ridge


Camino Kiosk

Road up from the Palm Park Mine

Arroyo campsite

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Club Field trip to Stein Ghost Town

On February 16, these photographs were taken on the Club field trip to Stein's Ghost town that is located just west of Lordsburg.  It looks like a terrific day enjoyed by the 20 participants, a first stop on a field trip that also included the San Simon Mine.   Thanks to Club Historian Jeannine Weiner for providing these! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Great collecting advice

Hints For Surface Collecting

When searching for translucent material, like agate, walk towards the sun; you will see the sun shine through the stone.

When looking for reflective material like crystals, have the sun behind you and the material will shine or sparkle in the sun.

If you walk sideways to the sun, look side to side for both translucent and reflective material.

If you find something good or unusual, stop and mark the spot, look up the slope and down the slope to find the source of the material. Some collectors like to pile rocks every time they find something unusual, that way they can see the fall-line of the material.

Source: Rockhound Ramblings 2/13, via The Tumbler 5/11.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Come visit the club!

Another great reader wrote wondering about visiting one of our meetings.  Here's the the response. 

Hello Reader, 

Thank you for asking about the Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society.  In answer to your first question, we encourage and welcome guests (and potential new members) to come to our meetings! You may join us at 6:00 for our potluck—just bring plates, silverware, etc., and a covered dish to share—or come around 6:45 for our usually brief meeting, then the rock draw, and lastly the program.  Our March program will be Digital Microscopy, or looking at rocks REALLY close up on the computer.
Non-members are also welcome to come on field trips as guests of members. To get an idea of what places we go and what we look for, I’d recommend going to our blog and scrolling down the right column to the newsletters.  They will provide you more information about our society than I could supply in a simple email.
Don’t be shy.  Just show up, then at the beginning of the meeting we introduce guests and new members.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions, and if you decide to join, our Treasurer Marcia Fisch will be happy to sign you up.
We hope to see you there!
Kyle Meredith
Past President, GCRSG&MS

Monday, January 28, 2013

Zuhl Collection Newsletter

An email recently received may be of interest. 

Happy New Year to All!
Lots of changes are planned for 2013 at the Zuhl Museum and behind the scenes with the collection. We hope all of you will be a part of supporting the Zuhl Collection as it takes these next steps in its evolution!
Please enjoy this month's newsletter featuring the Zuhls, the interesting science behind petrified wood, profiles on some of our very unique specimens and more!!
If you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter please have them email me at
All newsletters can also be downloaded from our
Sincerest best wishes,
Tiffany Santos  

Zuhl Museum:Home of the Zuhl Collection
"Where Rocks Come Alive"

Tiffany Santos
Director of Zuhl Collection
Dept. Geological Sciences/ MSC 3AB
New Mexico State University
P.O. Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003
office: 575-646-4714

Friday, January 4, 2013

A reader comments

We love getting comments from our readers. Here's one from Steve Loeffler in Albuquerque that we thought would be of particular interest. 

Happy Holidays!  Unfortunately, I am now living up in Albuquerque and very much miss the club's monthly meetings, field trips and activities.

 I just read through the January 2013 Rolling Stones Beacon and would like to contribute by offering a safety comment regarding the article on Page 4: Flint Knapping, which I would encourage to be shared with members.

As we all should know, buffing and polishing rocks and minerals can generate particulates that are not conducive to our health. Safety eye wear generally provides adequate protection from immediate injuries to the eyes and should be worn whenever possible. It is, however, very easy to forget that microscopic dust and fumes can also cause immediate and/or long term heath problems. That is why a good workshop design includes an air vacuum venting/filtering system to pull fumes and particulates safely away from the worker.

Knapping produces significant microscopic silica particles (among others) when the medium is flaked, and care should be taken to avoid breathing in these particles for anyone seriously considering taking up this hobby. Generally, knapping performed outdoors with a light wind blowing away from participants will suffice to carry particles safely away, however, several career knappers have cautioned me to wear a good quality filter mask when knapping indoors, or outside when no wind is occurring, to avoid inhaling and ingesting these particles. The cost and dedicated use of a good filter mask, like safety eye wear, is insignificant when compared to the insidious long-term, irreversible heath problems it can prevent. An ounce of prevention.......