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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