Monday, December 5, 2016

November Field Trip Report

by Club Member Anita Williams

We met as usual in the Visitor Center parking lot on a beautiful fall morning.  Promptly at 8:30 am the vehicle caravan departed heading south towards Lordsburg.  We regrouped at the Pilot station on I-10 fueling up with gas ($.30 cheaper than Silver, but that’s no surprise), coffee and/or breakfast.  There was some "de-fueling" too although we were told there is a rest stop right in Hachita that could accommodate folks in need.

We were heading for the abandoned Apache Mine in the Apache Hills south of Hachita.  We accessed the mine area after a four mile drive on a dirt road.  The area had numerous tailing piles and some trenches and a few debris filled shafts.  Of course the group gathered their buckets and hammers and scattered across the area in search of rock/ minerals samples.

The following data was taken from an article by Wofgang Elston, Mining Districts of Hildago County, NM, in NMGS, 17th Field Conference.  The Apache mine started production in the 1880’s.  Between 1880 and 1929 the mine shipped low-grade malachite in calcite to smelters in El Paso and Douglas to be used as flux in the smelting process.   From 1929 on there has been some production and sporatic exploration.  The mineral deposit was formed during the Laramide (late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age: the time of the uplift of the Rocky Mountains) and was associated with an igneous intrusion in the Apache Mountains.  The associated fluids formed what is called a contact metasomatic deposit.  This caused the limestone formation to be altered/replaced by mineralizing solutions.  The alteration produced the massive beds of calcite present at the mine site, and as a consequence, the beautiful calcite rhombhedrons scattered all over the area.  Other minerals found on site include malachite, azurite, chrysocolla and possibly turquoise. 

After collecting at the mine a few vehicles took off to look for quartz crystals farther down the dirt road.  This part of the road was a bit more challenging with a 2 wheel drive and it is not recommended.  We drove through several steep washes over several miles until we were stopped at a wash out.  Fortunately there were nice pieces of quartz and some crystal terminations scattered over the entire area.  So although we did not get to the specific location we were able to collect some nice samples.  In this area, the quartz is weathering out of the limestone so it is scattered on the surface over a large area.

We all loaded up and drove out in mass in case someone had trouble making it over some of the rougher road segments.  Happily we all made it to the pavement without incident.  There was a photo stop at the Hachita rest area prior to heading back to town with our treasures. 

December newsletter

The latest edition of the Beacon can be found here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Beacon and Club Library

Our November newsletter is available for  your viewing pleasure.  And, be sure to check out our Club Library shown on the right sidebar in About the Club.   We have a great assortment of publications available for members to borrow while at club meetings.  

Saturday, October 15, 2016

October Field Trip and Pick Nick

From Andy Anderson:  "Here are some  pictures of our Pick Nick today at our geode claim. There were 25 of us hunting geodes and as always eating."

Gold Panning Program

Thanks to Karen Blisard for supplying this photo taken at the October club meeting.  David Rinsch is demonstrating gold panning to the Club.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

A True Family Event

What does it take to make a Gem and Mineral Show a True Family Event?    Here's a short video clip all about it.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

October Newsletter

Our October Newsletter is available for your viewing pleasure. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Vendor profile - El Chivo Viejo Minerals and Lapidary

Welcome to our newest feature - Vendor Profile.   Each month we will video profile one of our 2016 Show vendors.    

We chose El Chivo Viejo, owned by Jay and Amy Penn,  for our first video profile because of the upcoming Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club's fall show.   Several of our vendors will be present at this show which is actually led by Jay, as the Show Chair.   This show is scheduled from September 30 until October 2 at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque in the Creative Arts building.    More information can be found on the show's web site.  Perhaps we will see some of you there! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Vendors are packed up!

Vendor Chair Karen Blisard says " Thanks to all our terrific vendors and members who provided them such awesome support!"

2016 show is history!

Show Chair Jeannine Weiner says " Whew! Thanks to our visitors, vendors, and members!"

Monday, September 5, 2016

Last day of show!

Today is our last day,  so come check out this wonderful show.   Open from 10 am until 4 pm.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Show Field Trips - Important information!

Grant County Rolling Stone 2016 Gem & Mineral Show
Saturday September 3RD - 1:00PM – GEODE CLAIM  This trip will be to the club’s geode claim off of Bear Mountain Road. The road is fine for all vehicles up to the turn off of the claim. At that point High Clearance vehicles are recommended. There has been new ground worked up and will provide all participants with the opportunity to locate whole or partial agate filled geodes also known as Thunder Eggs. Small shovels or digging tools will be helpful and also a bag or bucket to carry home your treasures. Meet in the hall at the entrance of the gym. If you don’t have a High Clearance Vehicle, see if you can catch a ride with someone who does. This trip will last about 2 hours.
Sunday September 4th – 10:00 am – Silver City Range  This trip will be to the Silver City Range just south of Bear Mountain. Access through Forest Service Road 862 will take us along the spine of the range. Rocks we will encounter will include ocean deposits with coral and bivalve fossils, sedimentary sandstone rocks and metamorphosed rocks with collectable scarn minerals. The road is a rough one lane so carpooling with high clearance vehicles is advised. Meet in the hall at the entrance of the gym. This trip will last about 2 ½ hours.  
Sunday September 4th – 1:00 pm – 49rs Gold Club
This trip will be to the 49rs Pinos Altos claim where we will teach prospecting a creek for a place to mine. We will show different types of equipment in recreational gold mining and show how to use them weather permitting what types of equipment. All gold found will be distributed among the visiting participants. The trip will last between 2 to 3 hours. The claim is located directly off of the paved road and any vehicle can make it there. Meet in the hall at the entrance of the gym.
The Silver City 49rs will have an area for gold panning demonstrations and information about their club at the show. They will be available each day of the show from 10am to 4pm. They will also have some different types of equipment on display.

Monday September 5th – 11:00am – Amethyst
This trip will be up Boston Hill to collect local Amethyst. This will require a 6 tenths of a mile hike up a somewhat steep and rocky trail. There will be several rest stops on the way for those who need it. To get to the colorful crystals some digging will be required. A small shovel, rock hammer and chisel will also be helpful. There are a lot of clear crystals on the surface to collect for those who do not wish to dig.


Sunday, August 14, 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, August 9, 2016

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.

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.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

May Newsletter

Be sure to check out our May Beacon which is chock-full of information!    It contains updated information about our Gem and Mineral Show, as always, scheduled for Labor Day Weekend.  There is also a great article about the upcoming Club field trip on May 21.  Every Rock Hound should check out the Field Trip Safety Checklist included in this issue.   

Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Newsletter

Our newsletter for the month of April is now available.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

February Field trip to the Bootheel

Submitted by Club VP - Anita Williams
(Click to enlarge images)
The Club February field trip met up at the Visitor Center and then headed out down to Lordsburg. From there we headed due south and drove thru the Animas Valley down to the boot heel and the Coronado National Forest. 
The collecting locations are in the Guadalupe Mountains which are composed of Tertiary aged volcanoclastics and sediments within the Geronimo Trail Caldera. The volcanics are very silica rich and produced abundant rhyolites, chalcedony and quartz. 

The first stop was in Clanton Canyon just inside the Forest boundary.  We parked and walked south scouting the hill and the stream bed.  This whole area was the scene of active volcanic and hot spring activity.  We found some great metamorphic rocks some with small garnets, lots of chalcedony and some great yard rocks.

The next stop was further up the canyon and up a side road to a place called Black Dam.  This area is host to more chalcedony and chalcedony filled geodes.  The area east of the parking area and down a gully produced a lot of nice geodes which were already opened.  Lots of material may produce geodes, but they have to be cut.  I did not take the time to explore much more of the site, but there is likely a very large area where the geodes, some of them quite nice, can be found.


March Newsletter

The March issue of the Beacon is now available 
for your reading pleasure. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

FAQ - Where can I go rockhounding around Silver City

Welcome to the first post of our most frequently asked questions. This response was written by Club Member and Show Chair Jeannine Weiner.  

I’m coming to Silver City. Where can I go rock hounding nearby?
For those of you that are not familiar with our fine city and all the opportunities to rock hound around here, let me give you some ideas.
First you could invest in some of the wonderful books that have been written on rock hounding New Mexico. They list several places in our county and of course all over our state. You can stop by the Royal Scepter Gem and Mineral shop at 1801 Little Walnut Rd. here in town and inquire there. The owner also stocks the books in her shop. Check the past field trips on this website to get ideas.  There are so many places it would be hard to list them all, but here are few very close to town.
The first site is right in town and that would be Boston Hill. This is a city owned property and was mined for Manganese back in the day. There are many trail heads leading up the hill and all are clearly marked at said trail heads and along the way. There are various types of rock, crystals and fossils up there. My favorite area is along the east rim.
The second site is really good for fossils. Take Alabama St. to the north from where it intersects with Hwy 180. That will turn into Cottage San Rd. Stay to the left at the “Y”.  At approx. 2.2 miles after the pavement ends you should find Forest Rd. 838. That would be a good place to start looking. You can also look along the side’s main road. You should find Crinoid stems small horn corals and brachiopods.
The third spot is out of town a little ways. Take Hwy 180 east and then east on Hwy 152 and then north on Hwy 356. This is the Hanover-Fierro Mining Area. As you travel north past the Hanover Post office and several houses you will begin to see old mine tailing along the west side of the road. Here you can find serpentine, chrysacolla, and lots of others. It is not recommended that you try to climb the tailing pile. It is very steep and the rocks are not stable. You can find plenty of great rock along the base.  
Remember safety first! Even though these places are close to town and easy to get to, it’s always best if someone is with you and you let someone know where you’re going and if you’re here in the summer, wear a hat and bring plenty of water. Remember that our elevation is close to 6000 feet and that can be hard on some that come from lower altitudes.
If you would like to go on a field trip with our club, we go out every third Saturday of the month.  That information is also available at the Royal Scepter, or come to our meeting the 2nd Thursday of the month at the Senior Center at 204 W. Victoria St.  

Enjoy your visit to wonderful town and Happy Rock Hounding!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Februrary Newsletter

The February Beacon is hot off the presses.  Check it out.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Ash Canyon January 2016 Field Trip

 Contributed by Anita Williams

The monthly field trip for January was to Red Rock, NM.  We had a beautiful day and a nice turnout, including many new members.  Ansel took us through the Burro Mts to get to our destination.  The dirt roads were in good shape with a little snow and ice on the shady sections of the road.  We popped right out on the road to Red Rock and proceeded to go through “town” and over to Ash Creek.  The countryside was actually lush, on southwest New Mexico standards, thanks to all the snow and rainfall we’ve had. 
 Our target was finding ricolite in the drainage downstream from the actual outcrop of the rock.  We all parked at the gate and then spread out across the small valley.  This area has been picked over by rock hounds for years, but we were still able to find some small specimens showing very nice color and banding.  At the very least there were beautiful colors of rocks and pebbles which were collected for tumbling, cutting and rock garden display.  One piece of fossil wood was found that probably washed out from the overburden above the creek bank.
Ricolite is variety of serpentine also known as “verd-antique.”  It is green and banded with a variety of colors including yellow, blue, black, and white.  The rock polishes beautifully.  In fact it was mined in the late 1800’s and fashioned into items such as ash trays and lamp bases. It was also used as decorative stone is some buildings in Chicago.  Mrs. L.J. Cadwell of Chicago is credited with giving the name ricolite to the stone (Mineral Resources,1892, p.411).  This information was taken from Minerals of New Mexico, revised ed. 1959, by Stuart Northrop.
We gathered back at the vehicles for lunch and since it was still early in the day decided to go to another nearby location to collect psilomelane  It was an abandoned manganese mine called the Commadore.  We followed Dan to the location, parked the cars and did an easy hike to an area which had been trenched.
The psilomelane was easy to spot since it was black and was “intruded” into the bedded conglomerates throughout the area.  There were pieces of the ore lying on the surface, but some of the prettier samples were the psilomelane intruding the conglomerates and producing a breccia of black rock with colorful fragments of rock floating in it.  There were some chalcedony roses found in the area too.  It was a fun spot to collect and explore.
We all collected our buckets and bags and headed back to the parking area.  Smiles all around.  It was a good day rockhounding.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Gem and Mineral Show Update

It's another year, and another Gem and Mineral Show.   Show Vendor Coordinator Karen Blisard reports:

The dates for this year's show are September 3, 4, 5 with set-up on September 2 The show will be in the Intramural Gym at Western NM University.  Contracts for returning vendors will go out about March 1, due back April 1.  After that, we will know if we have room for new vendors.  We have quite a long waiting list, but I am happy to add new vendors to that waiting list.  We do add new vendors based on adding variety to our show
.  As usual Show hours are 9am to 5 pm on Saturday,  10am to 5 pm on Sunday,  and 10am to 4 pm on Monday. 

January Beacon available and New Poll

Happy New Year to all our readers!   Our first newsletter of the year is ready for your reading enjoyment.  

In addition, we are trying to get a better sense of who you are, our readers, so as to better focus our content. Please vote on the new poll on the right side-bar.  You may click on as many categories as apply to you.   Thank you!

Updated Library List

Thanks to a recent donation from a club member, we've added a number of new publications to our Club Library, reports our librarian, Jeannine Weiner.   Check out our new revised Library Contents.