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Monthly Newsletter of

SVGMS Meeting Notes: April 2015

Intro: President Michael Pabst called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. There were 25 members present, and 4 visitors.

Old Business: 1. Minutes were approved from March.

2. Thanks to Charles for the refreshments tonight. No one signed up for snacks in May. Anyone can sign up to bring snacks for a monthly meeting by clicking this website:

New Business: 1. Jilly Weigel announced she will host a wire wrapping class on May 16 during rock shop hours. RSVP to  please! The first 8 people to sign up will get in. Absolute beginners get first preference. I can only take 8 because of the amount of individual attention needed. I’ll do another refresher class later.

Here’s what you will need: Jewelry pliers: chain nose, round nose, side cutters. Flat nose are nice to have too but not absolutely necessary; paper and pencil; fine tip marker; masking tape; ruler; a cabochon for wrapping, oval, round, or teardrop shape, with a flat back. I’ll bring a few along for purchase if you don’t have any (cheap, under $5); wire: copper, bronze or sterling, 21 or 22 gauge, SQUARE and HALF ROUND. No “Artistic Wire” please unless you are used to working with it. We found last year that it was heard to work with. If you don’t have wire, don’t worry, she’ll have a few packs with enough to wrap a cab for $3 each.

2. If you’d like to present a program, please talk to an officer at a meeting or sign up on this site:

3. Be sure to keep up with our website and our Face Book page “Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society” for updates and information.

Program: Several members had a “show and tell” of special minerals they have collected. There were some awesome minerals to view under Mike’s bioscope; Leo had some beautiful rutilated quartz; Jack had some lovely agates & very rare Victoria stone which had been handmade by a secret process that unfortunately died with the inventor; and Larry had some great quartz crystals.

We also enjoyed watching a DVD from the PBS collection on “Mineral Explorers”. Tonight’s episode took place in amethyst mines in Bolivia. There were some huge crystals that are mined, and some of the best quality specimens in the world are found there.

Next Meeting: Monday, May 11th at 7:30pm at the Waynesboro Church of the Brethren. The meeting will be a special treat for us!! Tony Nikischer of Excalibur Minerals ( in Charlottesville will present a talk about minerals from Russia. Tony has been collecting minerals for over 50 years, and has specimens of over 80% of the world’s minerals. His foundation “adopted” as an out-reach program to promote mineralogy to the public. The non-profit website has photos and information about location, classification, and composition of over ½ million minerals.

Looking Ahead: June 8th meeting will be an auction/sale/give away event. (cash only) If you have minerals that you want to donate to the auction, please label them as such in bags/boxes. Those you wish to give away or sell yourself, also label accordingly. The money raised will go to our scholarship program at the JMU geology department to be used for the student’s education projects.

July meeting: There will be no program, but we will have our annual picnic at Coyner Park in Waynesboro. Bring a dish to share! It will be at 6:30 July 13th.

September: From Dean: We are on schedule for our Annual Gem & Mineral Show on Sept. 18 – 20th at Augusta Expo. I need people willing to help.

Where I need help is people to 1. Contact local school district and college science departments. 2. Online advertising and pay advertising. 3. Distribution of flyers and mailing list from prior year’s show.  4. Members should plan to contribute to the displays. We will hopefully have a demonstration of how to do this one month before the show.5. We need folks to man the check in booth – collect money, answer questions, etc. 6. We need folks to assist vendors throughout the process.

Let’s all plan on making this a successful show – many hands make light work!!! Thanks.


Monthly Newsletter of

 July 2012



DATEMonday, July 9 th

LOCATION:  COYNER SPRINGS PARK, 2091 Lyndhurst Drive, Waynesboro

TIME: 6:30 PM (This is earlier than we normally meet). Rain or shine!!!

DIRECTIONS:  Drive south on Rt 340 toward Stuarts Draft. Turn left on State Route 631 (Ladd Rd).  Go about 1.5 miles; Ladd Road changes to Lyndhurst Road. The park in on the left.

The picnic will be rain or shine, under the 30×40 shelter with picnic tables.  Bring food (pot luck) and a beverage to share!  Please bring you own utensils/cups/plates/napkins.  The club will provide the fun.  Suggest you check the park out on line; this is a very nice picnic area.  Bring rocks to swap or stories to tell.

Hope to see you everyone!

 Bob Helt/Secretary

June Announcement

Club members are invite

2012 EFMLS Region IV Picnic and Rock Swap

Hosted by the Southern Maryland Rock and Mineral Club and Carl Miller, EFMLS Region IV Vice President

Hello Rockhounds in EFMLS Region IV!!!

You are ALL cordially invited to the 2012 Region IV Picnic and Rock Swap to be held in Southern Maryland on Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 9am to 3pm at Gilbert Run Park, 13140 Charles Street, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622.  This park is 40 miles southeast of Washington (only 35 miles from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge).  Other travel distances: Baltimore 70, Richmond 85, Manassas 70, Staunton 150, Norfolk 170, Lynchburg 175.

The venue is a shaded, hill-top pavilion with 15 picnic tables in the woods above a 60 acre lake.  There is a large 100″ by 36″ brick grill at one end of the pavilion, and there are separate full restroom facilities for men and women on the other end.  A 100-foot path with steps leads to the pavilion from a reserved paved parking lot.  Vehicles may also drive up a short gravel road to unload at the top (no parking at the top.)

This is a Potluck picnic so please bring picnic food to share.

Due to a limited budget for this event, we are asking area clubs to help by donating and bringing specific items.  Please let us know which items you are willing to furnish by August 20th via email to (visit here for more) and we will post who volunteers to bring what by email as soon as we find out.  We need the following:

    1. Soft drinks (no alcohol in the park) / bottled water / iced tea – enough for 100 people

    2. Four large coolers with 100 pounds of crushed ice

    3. Hotdogs & buns for 50 people (Richmond Gem and Mineral Society volunteered to do this one)

    4. Hamburgers with buns for 75 people

    5. Condiments – ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo

    6. Plastic cups & plates / plastic utensils / napkins for 125 people

    7. Approx 20 lb charcoal & starter fluid, grilling utensils, and a volunteer cook.

Guests are welcome.  Other activities in this Park include a 2 mile walking path around the lake, fishing (license required), boat rental, playground, horseshoe pits (one by our pavilion), volleyball, and concession stand.

Approximate schedule of events as follows:

    8:00 am – pavilion available for our use

    9:00 am to 12 noon – swapping of rock, mineral and fossil specimens

    12:00 noon to 1:00 pm – picnic lunch for all

    1:00 pm (or after lunch) – doorprizes drawn followed by the auction

(All attendees are kindly requested to donate labeled mineral or fossil specimens for doorprizes and auction)

    2:00 pm – swapping continues until 3 pm.

    3:00 pm – picnic over / clean-up area / drive home safely

Other Info:    $4 per vehicle “Daily Use Fee” will be collected at the Park Entrance.

Optional – You may wish to bring camping chairs for your comfort.

Region IV Treasure Box – As before, there will be the Treasure Box that everyone can take stuff from – for FREE.  The theme has always been: “One person’s ‘extras’ may be another person’s treasure.”  Please bring lots of your “extras” (e.g. specimens, cabbing material, and other rock related items) to put in the Treasure Box.  It is great fun, and who knows?  You may really find a super treasure!

Please forward all 2012 Region IV Picnic/Swap related questions/comments to Dave Lines by email at or by phone at ….

Directions: (Recommend “Mapquest” to La Plata on U.S. Rt.301, then follow below)

    1. Take U.S. Rte 301 to La Plata from south or north, then

    2. Turn EAST on MD Rte 6 (Charles Street) and follow thru town and beyond.

    3. Go 9.0 miles – Look for brown Gilbert Run Park sign – Park Entrance is on LEFT.

    4. After paying $4 per vehicle Daily Use Fee, continue STRAIGHT through Park Entrance BEARING LEFT

    5. Go 0.3 miles to paved parking area on RIGHT for Hilltop Pavilion.

    6. You may drive your vehicle to the top to unload and then re-park in the paved parking lot below Pavilion

    7. Follow path up to the Pavilion

Bonus field trip info:

Several excellent fossil hunting sites (open to the public) are within 30 miles of the picnic location.  Low tide on the Chesapeake Bay at Matoaka Beach Cabins is 3:18 pm (Fee: $4/adult, $2/child under 12).  Low tide at Purse State Park on the Potomac River is 7:58 pm (sunset is 7:49 pm.  Fee: free).



Our Next meeting will be Monday, June 11th at 7:30 PM

Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, 364 Bridge Road, lower parking lot.

Program: How to identify minerals by Scott Steele. Apply the techniques discussed at the May meeting to identify all those rocks you have piled up at home.

Below are the minutes of the May 14, 2012, Club Meeting (Bob Helt, secretary)

                                        14 May 2012 CLUB MINUTES

The meeting was called to order by Club President, Kelly Lane.  Attendance: 22 members


– Linda Corwin gave an update on the club’s display at the Waynesboro Library. The display will be open through the end of June. Thanks to all who donated items.

– Discussion held on selling one table (space not currently under contract) to a vendor at the upcoming October show. Motion made and approved. Dean Hostetter will notify the vendor. Show dates are Saturday, October 6th (10 to 6 pm) and Sunday, October 7th (12 to 5pm).

-Thanks to Feather Stein who provided refreshments.

Program “The Physical Properties of Minerals” by Club Geologist, Scott Gregory. A mini geology class on everything from minerals to: crystal shapes, habits, color, luster, phenomena, streak, cleavage, hardness and unique physical properties. All who attended received a handout for quick reference. Do you remember what “chatoyancy” means?

Interim Update:

-Memorial Service for longtime club member, R Charles McLear was held on May 24th at Basic United Methodist Church, Waynesboro, VA.  The Club sent flowers.

-Wow- For those members who attended the Walking Tour of Downtown Charlottesville titled “Geology of the Building Stones” by club member, Mary Loose DeViney, what a treat!  But not to worry if you missed the event, Mary has agreed to present the talk at a future club meeting.

-Staunton Librarian saw the display at the Waynesboro Library and asked if the Club would like to do a display at the Staunton Library.


April              Show and Tell                                    Dean Hostetter           

May              Scott Gregory                                    Feather Stein

June 11th      Scott Steele                                       Leo Cloutier

July 9th         Club Picnic                                         Club members

Don’t forget, the club workshop, co-located to the Church, will be open the Saturday following the meeting (16 June) from 9-12 for use by all paid club members.  Leo Cloutier will be on hand to help folks and demonstrate equipment operation.


Monthly Newsletter of the
Our Next meeting will be Monday,May 14th, 7:30 PM

Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, 364 Bridge Road, lower parking lot.

MAY PROGRAM:  Scott Gregory(club geologist) on something interesting. Not sure what he is going to talk about but you don’t want to miss the program.

Below are minutes of the April 9th, 2012 Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society meeting (Bob Helt Secretary)

                                                    April 9, 2012 CLUB MINUTES

The meeting was called to order by Club Treasurer, Scott Gregory.  21 members and 3 three guests attended.


– Scott Gregory found a home for the extra chairs in the club workroom.

– Dean Hostetter mailed the contract forms to all the dealers for the annual October show. — Remember we all need to help Dean pull this together as it takes a good amount of time and effort to make the show a success.

– Dean provided refreshments.

– Feather Stein volunteered to provide refreshments for the May meeting. THANKS

-The club may be asked to present a program to Wintergreen Resort on Virginia Minerals, per Dean.

– Field trip update: (Dean Hostetter):

            Samples were brought in from the Wintergreen Copper Mine. A great selection of specimens of malecite, chalcopyrite, etc. If you can climb the hill, this is always an interesting collecting opportunity with several old mine sites.

            Planned trip scheduled for the American Rutile Quarry, Roseland, VA on April 28th.

Per Dean we are waiting for Dr. Kearns (JMU) to get back to the club on access to the Staunton Quarry.

Program was SHOW AND TELL: This has been a club favorite and for those who attended it was again most fun. Stories were told, specimens displayed, jeweler making highlighted and photography explained.  Thanks to all who participated.

                    PROGRAM                                   REFRESHMENTS

April            Show and Tell                               Patricia Rhodenhizer            

May            Scott Gregory                               Feather Stein

June            Open                                            Open

July             Club Picnic                                    All club members

 Don’t forget, the club workshop, co-located to the Church, will be open the Saturday following the meeting (19 May) from 9-12 for use by all paid club members.  Leo Cloutier will be on hand to help folks and demonstrate equipment operation. I have attached two photos from the 14 April workshop.




Our Next meeting will be Monday,  April 9 th at 7:30 PM, Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, 364 Bridge Road, lower parking lot.


Bring something club related you found, bought, traded, made or just a good story to share with club members.  This is your chance for 5 minutes of rock fame !!!!!!

12 March 2012 CLUB MINUTES

The meeting was called to order by Club President, Kelly Lane. 21 members attended. 


Leo Cloutier stated all electrical work was completed in the workshop at the cost of $175.  Motion made and approved to pay the bill.

Dean Hostetter is working on getting new contracts for our annual October Rock & Mineral show.  If you would like a table or know anyone who might be interested, please let Dean know.

Jack Glen was able to obtain a set of PDF(s) cabochon templates for use by all club members.  The templates were developed and produced by Toney Manella from his post to Rock Tumbling Hobby (RTH) forum.  Permission was granted to distribute these to SVGMS members as long as we specify that RTH was the source.  Home page for RTH which covers all aspects of the lapidary hobby is:

It was agreed that we would set up a separate roster (see below) for members to volunteer to provide refreshments for the monthly Club meeting. This would be greatly appreciated.  Refreshments don’t have to be home made; just about anything from a bag or box will be welcomed.  We have a volunteer for the April meeting

 PROGRAM:  Scott Gregory (club geologist) served as auctioneer to auction off excess rocks and minerals we have had for years in the club workshop. Scott put in a lot of time and effort sorting and organizing the excess material and we made over $450.  There were 46 assorted boxes or single items for sale and the bidding was generous. We all had a great time and many folks went home with new additions to their collections. Thanks Scott

Don’t forget your 2012 Annual Dues (Jan 01 to Dec 31) are $10.00 per family.  Make check payable to Shenandoah Valley Gem & Mineral Society, Attention: SVGMS Treasurer, 508 West Main Street, Waynesboro, VA 22980 and/or pay annual dues at the meeting.


April        Show and Tell      Patricia Rhodenhizer

May         Scott Gregory 


July          Club Picnic Potluck-Members bring your favorite dish.

NOTE:  THE CLUB WORKSHOP WILL BE OPEN SATURDAY 14 APRIL (WEATHER PERMITTING). Loe Cloutier will be on hand to help folks use a variety of rock saws, grinding and polishing equipment. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to cut, polish and cab.

Monthly Newsletter of



 Our Next meeting will be Monday, March 12th, 7:30 PM, Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, 364 Bridge Road, lower parking lot.

For the program we will be auctioning off excess rocks and minerals we have had for years in the club workshop.  Scott Gregory (club geologist) will be sorting, organizing and most importantly identifying all the materiel for the auction,

Plan to bring money and have fun bidding.  Who knows what treasures Scott will identify?

                                                          13 February 2012 CLUB MINUTES

The meeting was called to order by Club Vice President, Scott Steele.  Approximately 30 members and guests attended.  Kelly Lane arrived late and assumed duties of the President.


Don’t forget your 2012 dues are do NOW and can be sent with the contact form (previously attached to the February club update email) to the NEW address below and/or bring to the March 12th meeting.

Per Leo Cloutier: Workshop electrical work was completed by the Church and possibly at no cost to the club.

Motion made and approved for the club to hold an auction to sell-off non essential rocks we have stored in the workshop. Scott Gregory agreed to take the lead to inventory and sort through the material.

The special hike and James Madison University field trips previously announced were hugh successes. Over 40 folks attended the special hike and 28 people attended the JMU trip. THANKS DEAN HOSTETTER.

Stay tuned as some very exciting and new field trip opportunities, identified by several club members, are being investigated by Dean.  This should be a great year for field trips.

We may want to invite Dr. Lance Kearns (JMU) to the Staunton quarry to look at unique material found in a previously unknown dyke.

Program by Bob Helt: Club members were paired off into groups of two and given a desk bell to ring if they knew the correct answer to the 40 geology/earth science related questions. Next year, if I do this again, we might have to have a geology review session as the highest group only scored 4-5 correct questions.  And I might add some of the answers were “waco”. I hope everyone had as good a time as I did in preparing the questions. Thanks for participating in the first club Trivia quiz.

 NOTE 1: Don’t forget (weather permitting) the club workshop, co-located next to the Church, will be open the Saturday following the meeting (March 17th) from 9-12 for use by all paid club members.

NOTE 2.  I have attached a page from the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical & Lapidary Society March 12 news letter that identifies interesting internet resources.

                                  Bob Helt/Club Secretary

Monthly Newsletter of

    February 2012 February update

Don’t forget our meeting Monday, February 13th, 7:30 PM

Waynesboro Church of the Brethren

364 Bridge Road, lower parking lot.

Program:  Rock Trivia by Bob Helt.  This will be a first for the club — come prepared to have fun.

For those of you who missed the JMU field trip we had a great time.  Dr. Kearns was, as always, an excellent host.  Twenty eight members attended and we all had an opportunity to purchase rock/mineral specimens at a reasonable price, to have our unknowns identified, and to tour the world class JMU mineral museum.  Since our visit last year, JMU has acquired over $200K of new specimens.

Dr Kearns was most appreciative of the club’s financial contributions. Our club has been the longest standing club to support JMU, and he verbally expressed his appreciation for our continued support to the JMU Geology Department and JMU geology students.

Don’t forget your 2012 dues are do NOW and can be sent with the attached contact form to the NEW address and/or bring to the meeting Monday night.  If mailed to our former Treasurer’s address, it will be forwarded.

Annual Dues (Jan 01 to Dec 31) are $10.00 (per family)

Make Check Payable to:

Shenandoah Valley Gem & Mineral Society

Attention: SVGMS Treasurer

508 West Main Street

Waynesboro, VA 22980


Monthly Newsletter of

January 2012 Minutes and upcoming events

Our Next meeting will be Monday,February 13th, 7:30 PM, Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, 364 Bridge Road, lower parking lot.

The program will be “Rock Trivia” by Bob Helt.  This will be a first for the club; come prepared to have fun.  Ring the bell and win the prize !!!

                                                        9 JANUARY 2012 CLUB MINUTES

The meeting was called to order by Club President, Kelly Lane;  19 members attending.

New Business/Discussion

Leo Coutier stated the Club had put 3K into a CD in 1986 and funds had grown to 5K.  All together with savings, we have approximately 10K in the Club account and suggestions were made by various members for useof funds.

Motion made and approved for Leo to look into putting in a new circuit for the club workshop.  He will check with the church, etc to see what is necessary and approximate cost.

Suggestions were also made to improve the workshop lighting and get rid of the old chairs.

A second motion was made and approved to sell-off non essential rocks we have stored in the workshop. It was agreed to keep high grade specimens available for display at various events such as schools, etc. and to possibly use as door prizes.  Scott Gregory agreed to inventory and sort through the material.

Upcoming events

SPECIAL HIKE: We will be going to Vesuvius for a special “hike” on Jan. 28th. There may be some collecting, may be some history to learn, and there may be some neat mines to see.  For details, please respond to Dean (—).

FIELD TRIP: James Madison University, Saturday February 11; 8:00 AM to Noon. Respond to Dean by 8 February.

Note: the above two events were sent via email by Field Trip Coordinator Dean Hostetter.  If you did not receive these notices or need additional info let me know (—-).

PROGRAM  BY Michael Pabst:Mike has taken his hobby of mineral photography to the highest level.  The photographs andnarrative were outstanding. He started by showing the work of Stephan Wolfsried (German photographer) followed by his photographs explaining in detail how they were taken.The specimens were quite small, 2-6mm, but outstandingly beautiful when photographed showing excellent clarity and field of view.  Each specimen was identified by: mineral name, composition, location and size.  Mike answered questions and explained to the inexperienced audience how to take pictures and the advantages of  using a bellow, etc.  Mike started his interest in photography by looking at pretty rocks under the microscope and continues to hold meetings at his house for interested micro-mounters.  In addition to the photo display, Mike brought in a microscope and specimens to look at.  What an interesting and informative presentation.   Bob Helt/Secretary

                                 Club Officers 2012

President – Kelly Lane (—-)                                   

Vice President – Scott Steele

Show Co-Chairs – Dean Hostetter and all club members       

Educational Outreach – Linda Corwin, Bob Helt

Secretary/Newsletter – Bob Helt (–)                     

Field Trip Coordinator – Dean Hostetter (—)

Treasurer – Scott Gregory

                                Club’s web site:

                                Club’s email:




Monthly Newsletter of




Monthly Newsletter of