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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