B.C. Vol. 12 Spring 2009 Rockhounder Tierney Crystals & Crafts أ¾Petri! ed Wood أ¾Quartz Crystals أ¾Tumbled

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  • Spring 2009 | 1


    Editor: Win Robertson winrob@shaw.ca (250) 376-4878 #62401 Ord Rd. Kamloops, BC V2B 7V8

    Cover Photo: Warren Bobiak's Disidaro Agate. Photo By Quinn Gregory

    Vol. 12 Spring 2009

    Design & Layout: Hayley Roy hayley_689@hotmail.com (250) 828-0965 Kamloops, BC V2E 2J1

    Printing: Sure Kamloops Print & Copy Centre (250) 554-1322 552 Tranquille Rd. Kamloops, BC

    Published Quarterly By the British Columbia Lapidary Society

    20739 39th Avenue, Langley, BC V3A 2V7 Tel: (604) 532-0582 E-mail: bcls@cia.com www.lapidary.bc.ca

    Contents Mineral Notes: Silver 4 Daddy Day Care: Dinosaur Eggs 6 Fifty Years & Still Going Strong: Fraser Valley Club 8 Canada’s Stonehenge 10 The History Of Lapidary: Part I 12 A Field Guide to Mineral Collectors 16 Petrifi ed Wood 18 What the Hell Happened? 19 Drusy Quartz: Always One of a Kind 20 Colourful Rhyolite & Jasper 22 Field Trip 25 McGowan's War 26 Around the Clubs 27 Club Shows 34 Colonel Moody & The Port Next Door 36 Lost & Found Treasures 39

  • 2 | B.C. Rockhounder Spring 2009 | 3

    Finally spring is here and the Gem Show is around the corner. Cam Bacon and his committee have prepared a great show for 2009. Demand for club display space is up and requests for dealer space have created a signifi cant waiting list. The Gem Show committee is looking seriously at alternate venues and we will hear more from them in the future. By now most of you will have heard of Access BC. This new group has begun serious lobbying efforts to increase access to public forest lands. Please give them your support for this worthwhile endeavor. Congratulations to Mary Warko and the group from the Northern Zone who have been working extremely hard to protect good rockhounding areas for the future. Conditional mineral reserves can be set aside for rockhounding without the cost of actually staking a claim. Less work, less upkeep, no cost and permanent status, it’s all good. There will be a workshop at rendezvous with more information about the conditional reserves. Rendezvous will be here soon. The 1120 club is hosting in Winfi eld and I know we will have a great time. I hope to see all of you there. This is my last Presidents message and I want to write that it has been a privilege and pleasure to serve as your president. Thank you very much.

    Happy Rockhounding! Walt Pinder

    President’s Message

    Tierney Crystals & Crafts Petrifi ed Wood Quartz Crystals Tumbled Stones Mineral Specimens Amethyst Brazilian Agate

    Suite 101-3351 Kingsway Vancouver, BC V5R 5K6

    Lapis Gems Lapidary Precious, Semi-Precious Stones & Minerals

    Mohammad Yarzadeh M. Homayon

    27 Roy’s Square (Yonge & Bloor) Toronto, ON M4Y 2W4

    Tel: (416) 944-3123 Fax: (416) 944-3309

    hayley roy graphic designer

    250.828.0965 hayley_689@hotmail.com

    logo design publication layout art & illustration

    Shows and By Appointment

    Frank & Bett y Tierney Tel: (604) 435-6777

    You have heard the wail of the siren As an ambulance sped down the street And mayhap you've heard the lion's deep roar Down in Africa's grim desert heat.

    Or the piercing cry of the tiger At night as he stalks his prey Or the locomotive's high shrill whistle As it sped through the night on its way.

    But these sounds sink to a whisper You've heard naught, I assure you, till I've told Of the blood-curdling cry of the Kee Bird In the Arctic's cruel frigid cold.

    This bird looks just like a buzzard It's large, it's hideous, it's bold In the night as it circles the North Pole Crying, Kee, Kee, Keerist but it's cold.

    The, Eskimos tucked away in their igloos Toss fretfully in their sleep While their Huskies asleep in a snow bank Start burrowing way down deep.

    For this cry is so awe inspiring It freezes the blood I'm told As the Kee Bird fl ies in the Arctic Crying Kee Kee Keerist but it's cold.

    The Mounties, abroad in their dog sleds, Visiting these wards of the Crown Often hear this cry and stare skywards With a fi erce and sullen frown.

    For odd things happen in the Arctic And many weird tales they have told But their voices drop to a whisper At the cry, Kee, Kee, Keerist but it's cold.

    Share your trips and knowledge by sending an article to the Rockhounder!

    Submit articles for the next issue by July 10, 2009 to: Win Robertson, 6 – 2401 Ord Road Kamloops, BC V2B 7V8

    My thanks to all that have submitted articles and club news for publication. They are greatly appreciated and enjoyed by our readers.

  • 4 | B.C. Rockhounder Spring 2009 | 5

    Crystals Books Cut Stones Minerals

    Sterling Silver/Gold Filled Metals Classes in Silversmithing & Wireworks

    New & Used Equipment

    Mountain Gems Ltd. Lapidary & Jewellery Supplies

    4611 Hastings Street Burnaby, BC V5K 2K6

    Phone: 604-298-5883 Fax: 604-298-2669 Toll Free: 1-888-593-1888

    Tues—Fri: 10am—6pm Sat & Sun: 11am—5pm Closed Mondays and Holidays


    While 56 or 57 times cheaper than gold on the commodities market, silver is likely 57 or 56 times less common in mineral collectors’ showcases. The reasons may be several, but two are outstanding. First and most important is the susceptibility of silver and several silver-containing species to darken by surface exposure to sulfur or light. Silver’s behavior, in a crystal or a spoon, limits its popularity among collectors and dinner-party throwers alike. Second, in the last century, there haven’t been many good crystals of silver species found. Although mineral books, such as Dana’s 6th (or 7th?) and Bideaux’s Handbook of Mineralogy, list many localities for silver, and while in a 300- year perspective this may be true, these books make silver seem too common. There once were many mines producing silver specimens, but lists, like those in Dana and Bideaux, are pretty meaningless in terms of current specimen production, for practically none of the mines of past centuries are sources of specimens today: as mines deepen, the veins soon become less rich, open pockets diminish, and everything con-spires to minimize specimen recovery. Silver in most or normal veins is of little or no collector worth: the specimens from Cobalt, Ontario, for example, are just ugly black masses. In some cases, silver may assume the form of elongated, often skeletal or dendritic crystals, often

    penetrating calcite; collectors may enjoy these specimens sliced and polished. With the likelihood of tarnish soon taking over the silver surfaces, however, when sliced, these specimens had best be promptly lacquered. Collectors do have some sources of interest. There are two major but completely unlike silver specimen sources with specimens of very different growth habits: the wires from Könsberg, Norway, and the crystals of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Könsberg was the world’s greatest silver specimen mine, with its magnifi cent, twisting wires rising practically alone in the exhibit circuit. So abundant at one time was silver at this mine that Norway’s king established a mint in Köngsberg, where, still maintained, is a museum with fabulous examples. It is an unusual silver vein, containing little ore other than silver and silver sulfi de. Associated gangue minerals are few: barite, zeolites, and somewhat important, spectacular octahedral fl uorite and abundant, large acanthite, née argentite. (For readers not familiar with silver sulfi des, orthorhombic acanthite is a silver sulfi de crystallizing from solutions cooler than 173°C solutions. Usually, the separating sulfi de, growing at a higher temperature, is cubic and has been long known as argentite. Restacking its atoms, argentite’s paramorphism to acanthite occurs spontaneously when vein temperature falls

    below 173°C.) Though hardly a non-Mexican collector would venture to put anything but a Köngsberg wire in a competitive case, there are, and were (Mexico, Peru, and, once, Germany) lesser sources of wire silvers. Pachuca and especially Batopilas (Mexico) were good sources. All the wire silvers fi nd errant airborne sulfur most welcome, however, and Quick-Dip’s shine is regrettably shortlived. The silver wires of Norway and other localities seem to rise from a fl oor. We have other examples of minerals growing up or out from various porous bases: gypsum “horns” on cavern walls; chalcanthite and H2O needles rise as slender rods in copper mines and over frosty mud fl ats. Hunting a solution of this observation, we note that the wires usually seem to spring from a gray metallic mineral surface, generally the octahedral face of a one-time argentite crystal. There seems to be a catalytic extraction of silver from ore- forming solutions taking place at that interface as the wires twist and climb, each doubtless a single crystal, one or dozens fused in a parallel bundle. Perhaps this happens when the sulfur emissions diminish. In any case, what is suggested is that an argentite-acanthite presence is essential to the development of wires. The Michigan occurrence is quite different: there seems to be little or no silver sulfi de, so there are no wires. Instead,

    there are well-formed crystals, which terminate grouped copper crystals. Growing as c