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General Meeting - April 7, 2014

The General Meeting of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society was called to order by President Diane Braswell at 7:35 p.m. Visitors and new members were recognized and welcomed to the meeting.


The speaker was Ron Gibbs, a geologist and mining engineer employed by Freeport- McMoRan Copper & Gold in Oro Valley. Ron is one of the main authors of the next edition of Minerals of Arizona and has written articles for Mineralogical Record, Rocks and Minerals and Mineralien-Welt. He has also presented talks at symposiums and annual meetings of several micromineral groups around the country. He discovered an unknown lead aluminum silicate which has been approved as the new mineral “rongibbsite.” Ron’s topic was “Micromineral Collecting, Bigger Isn’t Always Better.” Beginning in 1667 the newly invented microscope was used to study minute bodies and around 1880 the micromineral hobby started. Microminerals may be unmounted or temporary mounted leaving them available for further studies or they may be permanently mounted in protective containers. Some aspects of micromineral collecting are it requires study and a deeper knowledge of mineralogy, takes less space, costs less, and variety as some are not available as large specimens. Collectors need a good hand lens, binocular microscope, trimmer, collecting gear and cleaning tools. The simple rules of field collecting are leave no dump untouched, never give up, don’t forget personal protective equipment, obey all signs, use a good hand lens and experience the joy and wonder. Ron followed with photographs of many beautiful micromineral specimens.

Next month’s meeting will feature an auction of mineral specimens with a story or interesting history.


Many thanks to Carol Johnston and Bill Hodgson for providing the refreshments which included turkey pastrami, cheese, crackers, jelly beans and wonderful homemade carrot cupcakes.


Field Trips: Kerry Towe reported successful collecting for those attending the three recent field trips to Mission Mine, Purple Passion & Monarch Mines and to Rowley Mine. April 26th and 27th trip will be to the Oceanview Mine for tourmaline, kunzite and aquamarine. Collecting will be from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A fee of $25 is due at sign-up. A trip to a Variscite Mine west of Tonopah, Nevada will be Memorial weekend or the following weekend.


Educational Class: Bill Shelton’s topic will be “Dioptase, Wulfenite and Hemimorphite” on Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m.

Summer Pot Lucks: There is a sign-up sheet in the back room to host a pot luck. TGMS may be used as the site.

Community Outreach: Diane Braswell attended a meeting Friday, April 4th, in Phoenix for people interested in earth sciences education in schools. Marty Zimmerman will provide kits, rocks and training for TGMS volunteers who are interested in going into schools with rock bags for the students and a kit for the teacher. The volunteer would teach the class and leave the kit for the teacher to use with future classes. This involves mainly 3rd grade through high school, but the program has been taken to children as young as pre-K. Also, the Boy Scouts have a geology badge and this program meets all the needs for getting the badge. A suggestion was made to place minerals/rocks in school libraries also.

U of A Mineral Museum: Diane made a brief mention regarding pending receipt of a collection from New Jersey.


Carol Johnston, as meeting host, made the first choice. Drawing winners were Bob Lind, Rebecca Stanton, Janet Rupp and Martha Erdem.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Reynolds, Recording Secretary

General Meeting - March 3, 2014

The General Meeting of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society was called to order by President Diane Braswell at 7:30 p.m. There were no visitors and new members present.


Shaunna Morrison is a third year graduate student with Dr. Bob Downs at the University of Arizona and is a NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science team member. She spoke on “Mars and its Minerals” starting with the launch of the Curiosity Rover in November 2011 and the challenges/concerns about the new landing system on Curiosity. The trip took eight months and touch-down was August 5, 2012. The goal is to examine the lower reaches of Mount Sharp using the Che-Min instrument to define the chemical composition of the Mars surface using x- ray diffraction. She showed video clips of various stages from development of Curiosity to diffraction patterns, received from the Rover, one of which shows there was water on Mars at one time.

Shaunna also thanked the TGMS membership for the scholarship she received and spoke of how helpful it was.


Bob and Elaine Royer provided the refreshments of fruit, carrots, tomatoes and cookies. Thanks to both!


Approval of Minutes: MOTION: To approve the minutes of the January 6, 2014 General Meeting as written and distributed with the announcement for this meeting. Seconded and approved.
Field Trips: Kerry Towe reported that the March 7 trip to the Mission Mine will be to two areas. Meet at the mine office at the west end of Pima Mine Road. Collecting will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. For the March 16 trip to the Purple Passion Mine, meet in Wickenburg at the Mc Donald’s at 10:00 a.m. The fee is $20, half to be paid by TGMS. Areas visited will be the Hogan Claim, Monarch Hill, Amethyst Hill and the Purple Passion. April 5 trip to the Rowley Mine, meet at the mine at 10:00 a.m. which is off of Painted Rocks Road about half a mile. Fee is $15, $5 of which will be paid by TGMS. April 26-27, is the trip to the Oceanview Mine in California. Collection fee for one day is $50. TGMS will pay half for one day only. Possible minerals include tourmaline, kunzite and aquamarine. A trip to Tonopah, Nevada for turquoise will be Memorial Day weekend or the following weekend. For members who wish to join the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Society, they will have a trip June 21-22 to Colorado for smoky quartz.


2015 Show: MOTION: To approve having a 2015 Show. Seconded and approved.

Helen Serras-Herman is home from the hospital and today is her birthday. Please sign the card for her.

UA Mineral Museum: A collector from New Jersey has donated his collection to the museum.


Bob Royer, as meeting host, made the first choice. Drawing winners were Jerry Foley, Martha Erdem, Fred Pfarrius and Denis Menard.

Reminder: Specimens with a story wanted for the May auction. Proceeds will go to the Show case fund.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Reynolds, Recording Secretary


General Meeting - February 10, 2014

The General Meeting of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society was called to order by President Diane Braswell at 7:30 p.m. Everyone was welcomed to the meeting and thanked for attending.


John Callahan announced that the program for the May meeting will be a specimen auction. He is asking that specimens with a story or history be donated for the auction. Please check your collections and see if you have an interesting specimen to donate.


“The Forgotten Caves of Bisbee, Arizona” was the topic of speaker Richard (Dick) Graeme, a Bisbee native from a pioneer family that arrived in Bisbee in 1883. By six years of age, Dick was going into the mines (often alone by candlelight) and collecting minerals, some of which are still part of his 5000 plus Bisbee specimen collection. He is a U of A graduate in Geological Engineering, worked underground as a miner for 12 years and as the resident Geologist of the Copper Queen Mine. When Bisbee closed in 1975, he was transferred to Ajo, where he left geology and went into management. He is currently in charge of a $6 billion copper project in the high Andes of Peru.

There were hundreds of caves in western district of the Bisbee area with a great variety of mineral deposits. The Copper Queen was associated with a cave of very rich, almost pure malachite. More ore bodies and more caves were found, all sulfur oxidation in origin and all very large. The mined caves have now been filled or collapsed.


Refreshments were provided by Jo Anne Sam and Sandy Clover and included cake and a variety of cookies. Many thanks!


Field Trips: Kerry Towe reported that the January 25th trip to the Silverbell Mine was a good collecting site and 30 members were allowed in. March 7th will be a trip to the Mission Mine and there are 27 people on the list. The Purple Passion trip will be March 16 instead of February 22nd. There is a $20 fee with half being paid by TGMS. The owner will take the group to four mines, ending at the Purple Passion. April 25-26 will be to the Oceanview Mine for tourmaline. The collecting fee is $50 with half being paid by TGMS. May 3rd will be the Rowley with a $15 fee. June 7th Carlisle Mine Dumps in New Mexico. July (no date) will be a trip to Orange Bluff, New Mexico. Kerry is also working on a trip back to the Broken Arrow in Tonopah, Nevada for turquoise which will be in time frame of the last two weeks of June or first two weeks of July. Collecting fee is $100.

Helen Serras-Herman is in St. Joseph’s hospital following back surgery. We all wish her well and a speedy recovery.

Diane Braswell thanked Wayne Klement and his crew for getting the new cases together and the linings made and installed. Great job!

Members are encouraged to contribute to the new Case Endowment Fund.


Community Outreach: Nothing new to report.

UA Mineral Museum: A new exhibit, “The Best of Arizona Collectors,” is opening and all are encouraged to see the exhibit.

Tucson Botanical Gardens: Friday and Saturday, February 15-16, at 9:00 a.m. there will be a sale of Harrison Yocum’s rocks.


Sandy Clover, as meeting host, made the first choice. Drawing winners were Denise Nelson, Gene Kenyon, Barb Mastoff and Nanci Johnson.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Reynolds, Recording Secretary

General Meeting - January 13, 2014

The General Meeting of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society was called to order by President Diane Braswell at 7:30 p.m. Visitors and new members were recognized and welcomed to the meeting.


Paul Colburn, the “Geode Kid”, from Deming, New Mexico died last November. He was known to many members of TGMS.


William Ascarza gave a presentation on “Arizona Mining History”. Arizona is the 6th largest state and has 246 historic mining districts. Mining has been the cornerstone to the economic development of Arizona for over 150 years. Copper had a $4.6 billion impact on the state’s economy at the end of 2011. There is a northwest trending belt of metallic mineralization across the state. In the southeast area, copper with its associated minerals is predominant. The central area has gold and the northwest area has uranium and vanadium. Since 1910 Arizona mines produce approximately 65% of the nation’s copper and are number six in the world. The earliest mining was done by Native Americans for coal and turquoise. In 1736 silver slabs were discovered in Arizona approximately 15 miles south of Arizona in Mexico. Silver mines in southern Arizona were mined until Mexico became independent and abandoned the missions. After that, mining halted due to Apaches and resumed approximately in 1850. Bill has written five books and writes the column “Mine Tales” for the Arizona Daily Star. He is an archivist at the University of Arizona College of Law, an historian, researcher and active member of TGMS. He also leads backcountry study tours organized through Pima Community College.


Refreshments were provided by Denis Menard and included pot roast, mashed potatoes, fruit, cookies and sweet breads. Many thanks to Denis.


To approve the November and December, 2013 General Meeting minutes as published in Rock Talk. Seconded and approved.


Field Trips: January 25th to the Silverbell Mine has a limit of 30 people. February 22nd to the Purple Passion Mine; there is a $10 fee. March 7th to the Mission Mine; sign-up will be available at the February meeting. April 27th to the Oceanview Mine in California for tourmaline, morganite and aquamarine; there is a $20 fee to collect from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; be at the gate by 10:30 a.m. May 31st to New Mexico.

Janelle Cortright announced that the American Federation/Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies is sponsoring a field trip to Terry, Montana July 30th to August 4th for cretaceous sea fossils, dinosaur fossils and agate on the Yellowstone River gravel beds. TGMS is a member of the American Federation which qualifies members to attend. For information, contact Doug True at dtruefossils12@yahoo.com. There is also a trip sponsored by the Seaman Museum and Copper Country Minerals in Houghton, Michigan in August.

December 2014 TGMS Sale: Jo Anne Sam announced that many of the tables are already reserved. She thanked Janelle Cortright for all her hard work on the 2013 sale.

Case Endowment: Forms are in the back room for anyone wanting to participate. The contribution is $500 per case and includes a permanent plaque with the name of the honored/remembered individual and the sponsor’s name.


Education Class: Bill Shelton’s class on “Show Business” will be Tuesday, January 7th at 7:00 p.m. at TGMS.

Community Outreach: Shirley Wetmore will be giving classes on earth sciences at the school behind TGMS.

Miner’s Coop Rock Show: Kino Sports Complex has been taken back by the city so the show will be January 31-February 16 at 6107 N. Travel Center Drive off I-10, exit 250. There will be rock dealers, jewelry designers and artists. Parking is free.


Denis Menard, as meeting host, made the first choice. Drawing winners were Pete Peterson, Louis Pill, Michael Hollonbeck and Herb Ross.

Next Meeting: 2nd Monday in February which is the week of the Show.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Reynolds, Recording Secretary


Board Meeting - November 9, 2013

Present: Ellen Alexander, Diane Braswell, John Callahan, Alrene Hibben, Bob O’Donnell and Marilyn Reynolds. Madison Barkley present via Facetime.

Absent: Mark Ascher, Mark Marikos

Staff: Pat McClain

Guest: Paul Harter

The Board Meeting was called to order by President Diane Braswell at 8:40 a.m. in the TGMS Conference Room. The purpose was to review the bids received for construction of new Show cases and to make a decision on which company to be awarded the contract.

Bids were received from the following companies: Omega Tool and Mold, Swiss & Martin, Crossroads Custom Cabinetry, and Wood Intrigue. All bids were reviewed and discussed at length, including items included in bid price, extras added and warranty. Crossroads Custom Cabinetry also submitted a bid for an alternative design in addition to a bid for the design per specifications sent to bidders. A prototype for the alternative design was sent to TGMS for Board review.


A motion was made to accept the Crossroads bid for 80 48” cases of the style depicted on the bid set of plans. The motion was amended to accept the bid for the alternate design instead of the bid design. The amended motion was sec- onded and passed.

Case Lighting

The Board previously appropriated $18,000 for LED lights for 120 cases. These have been ordered from China and are due to arrive in December.

Case Storage Follow-Up

Cool Box can hold up to 5000 pounds in the 8 ft x 8 ft x 20 ft storage container. Meeting was adjourned at 10:10 a.m.

Respectfully submitted by
Marilyn V. Reynolds, Recording Secretary

Board Meeting - September 30, 2013

Present: Ellen Alexander, Mark Ascher, Diane Braswell, John Callahan, Alrene Hibben, Mark Marikos, Bob O’Donnell and Marilyn Reynolds.

Absent: Madison Barkley

Staff: Pat McClain

The Board Meeting was called to order by President Diane Braswell at 6:35 p.m. in the TGMS Conference Room.

Minutes Approval

Minutes of the April 22, 2013, June 4, 2013 and July 8, 2013 Board Meetings were presented. MOTION: To approve the minutes as written. Seconded and approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Income YTD is $132,309.74. Expenses YTD are $29,614.52.

Old Business

The purpose of the meeting was to update everyone on the cases and related information.

Show floor plan:

A new arrangement gives more dealers a corner to increase room for attendees to view the products displayed. There will be an increase in dealer fees of approximately 5%. The exhibits will be more centralized and some of the center aisles will be carpeted. There will be new carpet in the Arena also. To increase comfort and eye appeal, there will be benches and greenery in the exhibit areas as well as umbrellas hanging from the ceiling.

Case lighting

LED lights from China were selected. The cost is $150 per case for 120 cases totaling $18,000 plus shipping and tax. MOTION: To approve the expenditure for lights. Seconded and approved.

Case blueprints

Robert Johnson from GLHN is drawing blueprints for 30 1/2 inch, 48 inch and 66 inch cases which will be ready in two weeks. Paul Harter has written a “Request for Bids” letter to go out with copies of the blueprints to cabinet makers. Bids are to be submitted to TGMS within ten days of receipt of the blueprints.

Donation letter and form have been approved: With donations of $500.00, a plaque bearing donor’s name, or the name of someone they wish to honor, will be placed on a case. Tuller Trophy will make the plaques which will be routered into the case front.


Information from three national chain storage facilities, Cool Box Portable Storage, 1-800-Pack Rat and PODS, was presented. Case storage will depend on the size and weight of the new cases and the weight capacity and climate control of the storage boxes. One or two new trailers are also needed and that search is continuing.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by
Marilyn V. Reynolds, Recording Secretary

General Meeting - Dec. 3, 2012

The General Meeting of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society was called to order by President Mark Ascher at 7:35 p.m. Visitors and new members were recognized and welcomed to the meeting.


Wolfgang Mueller gave a presentation on “Arizona Gemstones.” He is a retired geologist who has done field collecting of minerals and whose specialization in ore mineralogy led him into the lapidary field. Wolfgang and his wife Diana specialize in cutting spheres, eggs, and cabochons utilizing less common materials. Their cabochons are incorporated into Diana’s jewelry. Arizona produces the greatest variety of gemstones of all the states which he presented in a list of Arizona Minerals A – Z. He displayed a map of Arizona gem localities most of which are near copper mines. He categorized the minerals as metals, quartzes, jaspers and agates, and leftovers, and described the minerals found in each category at different localities. Photographs of beautiful, polished examples from each category and locality were shown. He also gave tips on “Beware and Be Aware” with examples of manmade and simulated “gemstones.”


Bill Hodgson, Co-Chair with Carol Johnston for the Exhibit Hall Information Booth: This is a good place for new members to start volunteering. Shifts are four hours long and benefits are a parking permit, meal voucher for the day worked and a tee shirt. These benefits apply to all volunteers working four or more hours.

Ed Schaffer, Co-Chair with Jim Etzwiler for the Galleria Information and Sales Booth: Set up is Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sales items include tee shirts, posters, hats, water bottles, tote bags and other items. More volunteers are needed. Anyone interested can sign up in the office.

Dick Gottfried, Chair for School Visits: Need help Friday morning when the schools bring students to the Show to help show them around. Volunteers are also needed to help put together the packages that are given to the schools prior to the visits and to deliver them to some of the schools.

Nancy Howard, Co-Chair with husband John Howard, for Security: Need volunteers to help with move in on Wednesday and move out on Sunday. This involves being a presence in the area to help prevent problems.

Mark Ascher, Chair for Micromounts: Little boxes are needed for specimens for attendees to take home.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys are needed for the Tucson Firefighters to distribute to children for Christmas. Food donations for the Community Food Bank are also needed. Donations can be brought to the Christmas Party on December 19th.

BREAK: Abe and Norma Lackow provided the refreshments including cookies, cake, fruit and vegetables. Many thanks to them.


Field Trips: Kerry Towe announced December 8th is the field trip to Granite Gap and Joy Valley. Meet at TGMS at 7:30 a.m. January 7th there will be a trip to the Tiger Mine. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Minute Mart in San Manuel across from the BHP office. Depending on the number of people the owner will allow, it may be necessary to schedule a second trip. More information will be forthcoming. March 2nd will be a trip to a new area at the Silverbell Mine.

Christmas Party: Carol Johnston encouraged everyone to attend the party on Wednesday, December 19th. The dinner will be catered by Oregano’s and the All Bill Band plus Mindy will provide the entertainment. Happy hour starts at 5:30 p.m. BYOB. Dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. and the entertainment at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Hosts are needed to provide refreshments for the February meeting. This is a large meeting and the club provides a larger reimbursement for expenses. Please volunteer for this important meeting. We have many visitors from all over the United States and many other countries who are here for the Show.


Bill Shelton’s Education Class: Wednesday, December 12th from 7:00 – 8:30 P.M. The topic will be “Amblygonite, Anglesite, and Arsenopyrite”.

Sale: December 1st – 8th at Arizona Lapidary Gem & Rough, Inc. at 4699 E. Pima.

Mark Candee: The 100 year anniversary show Minerals of Arizona at the U of A Mineral Museum will be closing the 3rd week of December. This is a world class exhibit and all are encouraged to view it before it closes. The new exhibit will be Minerals of China: Ancient and New. Museum hours are Monday- Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

DRAWING FOR DOOR PRIZES: First choice went to Abe and Norma Lackow for hosting the meeting. Drawing winners were Ed Schaffer, Alrene Hibben, Luis Pill, Sugar White and Ron Johnson.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Reynolds, Recording Secretary 

General Meeting - Nov. 5, 2012

The General Meeting of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society was called to order by President Mark Ascher at 7:30 p.m. Visitors and new members were recognized and welcomed to the meeting.

PROGRAM: Gene Schlepp spoke on “The Good Old Days of Mineral Collecting”. His talk was highlighted with old photos from mines in Southern Arizona, specimens he collected in the respective mines and stories of his experiences. He collected in mines that are now well known including the 79 Mine, Tiger, Total Wreck, Defiance, Red Cloud, Old Yuma and Glove Mines, as well as others. Gene and his wife, Jackie, started Western Minerals in Tucson in 1965 and are still active dealers contributing fine specimens to collectors and museums throughout the world. He joined TGMS at the age of 15 and has served as President, Vice- President, Director and is on the Show Committee.


Mark Ascher, Micromount Symposium Co-Chair: There will be a symposium on Friday at the Show with an opportunity to see and trade specimens.

Dick Gottfried, School Visits Chair: Volunteers are needed to help with the children on Friday.

John Cesar, Arena Chair: Need three more volunteers to help with move-in morning and with move-out parking.

Gloria Quigg, Publicity Chair: Busy with various advertising venues and will have news teams visiting the Show.

Jim Bleess, Lectures & Seminars Chair: There will be some great speakers. Please attend the lectures.

BREAK: Refreshments were provided by Pat McClain, Rose Marques and Diane and Mike Braswell. Many thanks to them for stepping up and filling a gap in the refreshment schedule.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MOTION: To approve the September 20 and October 1 minutes as published in Rock Talk. Seconded and approved.


Field Trips: Kerry Towe announced the meeting time for the Mission Mine trip is 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot by the mine office. The group will leave the office at 9:00 a.m. December 8th meet at TGMS at 7:30 a.m. for a trip to Granite Gap, NM for fluorescent material and some beryllium and on to Joy Valley for fire agate. There will be a trip March 2, 2013 to a new area of the Silverbell Mine. Kerry is trying to set up a

trip to the Tiger Mine in January and is looking

into a California site for benitoite.
Christmas Party: Wednesday, December 19
th will

be catered by Oregano’s. Social hour will start at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. The entertainment will be the All Bill Band Plus Mindy which will start at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Meeting Hosts: Volunteers are needed for the December, January, February and May meetings. There is a sign-up sheet in the back room. The host at each meeting will have first choice of a door prize.

December 1st Annual Mineral, Fossil, Jewelry, Art & Craft Sale: There are three slots open. Please call the office if interested in having a table.

Bill Shelton’s Education Class: Wednesday, November 14th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. will be on “Current Events and Information on Color and Chemistry on Eight Different Gemstones.”

DRAWING FOR DOOR PRIZES: Winners were Diane Braswell for hosting the meeting. Drawing winners were Zachary Carducci, Wes Osborn, Luis Pill, Kerry Towe and Wolf Schuh.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Reynolds, Recording Secretary