Be prepared to have essential tools & tips ready for your Herkimer Diamonds rockhounding trip. Necessary tools for rockhounding include: a good Estwing crack hammer, small chisels, wedges, buckets, and a wire screen. Basic Tips include: Bring plenty of mosquito repellent, snacks & water, ear & eye protection, gloves, and check the Weather! A small 1200+ watt generator and power breaker will greatly increase your odds of finding large Herkimer Diamond pockets. A 4-6 foot long pry bar is also a great tool to have handy when trying to leverage against large stubborn rocks. For the more serious miner, a 65lb Jackhammer which can be rented at local hardware stores. “Professionals” often use set up water pumps during the rainy mining season and also as the escavation depth gets closer to the water table. Local miners will often trade lesser findings with a bit of friendly talk and easily show off their best finds of the day. Mining is hard work, be prepared for 3-4 hrs of serious rockhounding. Enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the nature, enjoy the wonderment and delight when you discover Herkimer Diamonds! It’s a great time to turn off your phone and absorb the outdoors.
Are all Herkimer Diamonds double-terminated quartz crystals? The answer is yes. Does that make all double-terminated quartz crystals Herkimer diamonds then? The answer is no. Herkimer refers to the location of these unusual quartz clusters found in hollow “pockets”. Herkimer County is about a 4 and a half hours drive north of New York City. The name Herkimer comes from an American Revolution General named Nicholas Herkimer who died in battle in 1777.
The San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club proudly presents:
Annual Summer Gem & Mineral Show!
Saturday June 18th, 2016, 10am to 5pm
& Sunday June 19th, 2016, 10am to 5pm
Located at the Cambria Vet’s Hall (1000 Main Street)
Free Parking, Admission, & Door Prizes
Featuring vendors selling a fantastic array of gems, minerals, fossils, jewelry,
jade, beads, crystals, meteorites, lapidary-related items & display supplies.
The San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club holds two shows per year. The annual June gem & mineral show is held on Father’s Day Weekend.
This year, due to the closure of the historic Cayucos Vet’s Hall, the Summer gem & mineral show will be held at the Cambria Vet’s Hall. Admission is always free and we give away some wonderful door prizes donated by the vendors. To learn more about the club, check out the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral homepage at www.slogem.org.
Jacksonville Gem and Mineral Society
Saturday May 21st, 2016
3733 Crown Point Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32257
Wise to bring cash as many vendors do not accept credit cards.
10am – 5pm
Free Admittance & Parking
Local Artists – Antique Jewelry – Polymer Clay – Precious Metal Clay – Hand Crafted Faceted Gemstones – Beads – Crafts – Gems – Crystals – Healing Stones – Minerals – Fossils – Artist made Glass Beads – Unique One of Kind Hand Made Jewelry
For more information contact: Jason Hamilton @ 904-294-4744 (cell phone or text messages)
If you are a local vendor wanting to show your merchandise contact Jason Hamilton at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Learn more about the Jacksonville Gem and Mineral Society and their terrific educational events they host all year!
The American Geode team visited abandoned ghost town Centralia, PA to explore this old coal town that had been abandoned, demolished and condemned in the 1990s due to an underground coal mine fire raging since the early 1960s.
Centralia can still be discovered on a map, which is what Joe and Charles followed for a different kind of rockhound adventure. First, how to get to Centralia, PA? We drove on I-80 from Pittsburgh and took the exit for Route 15 South. Route 15 South connects to Route 61, and then you are on your way to Centralia. Passing through coal country, one notices distinctive elements in the towns whose livelihood once depended, or still relies on coal. Many hill sides are open. You drive past a hill with an exposed side, stripped to the anthracite inside. At the base of these hills in many towns are coal mining operations with industrial equipment with the kind of large scale wheels taller in their diameter than a 6 foot tall man. The houses in the towns along Route 61 are row style. Small houses were built side by side in a row for the coal miners and their families so they could remain close to the mine.
While driving Route 61, a sign that you are near Centralia is when the highway turns red. At a point, the entirety of Route 61 is red as it has been covered with flame-retardant substances. At that point you can see that upkeep of the medians, and the shoulders of the road was abandoned years ago. Overgrowth, old light-posts, no light posts and vintage street signs remain.
Part of the Centralia mine fire destroyed a section of Route 61, and it was abandoned and built up at two different points in the area to completely cut off admission to Old Route 61. We were able to find where Old Route 61 was when we came up on this cemetery, and the large yellow arrow sign that directs you away from the area where Old Route 61 was blocked off.
Wear comfortable shoes, or boots before this hike mind you. American Geode had been in business meetings that day, this rockhound adventure was not planned with our usual high measure of advance preparation, and we were both in expensive dress shoes.
Once you enter Old Route 61 you see a large crack in the street. This crack was caused by the underground mine fire. The area is covered in coal mines and shafts, and many of those shafts were wildcat mines. Illegal mining was common in the area because the anthracite in Centralia is very high quality.
Back to the underground mine fire that has been raging since the early 1960s, the Old Route 61 buckles and cracks in areas where the heat from the underground fire destroyed the stability and integrity of the road. The fire has moved however, and we did not notice or feel any warmth or heat emanating from Old Route 61. In fact, while the American Geode team was exploring Centralia we encountered a group of 5 teenagers with spray paint cans, two separate couples holding hands for a romantic (?) walk, and we even met a TV production team from Ukraine were were reporting on Centralia and the mine fire disaster!
As you walk along Old Route 61, as the photos will attest, you see that nearly every square foot of Old Route 61 is covered in street art and graffiti. We took photos of the street art we liked the most, or found most unusual.
Had we been wearing the right shoes, had a walking stick and our usual rockhound kit with us, American Geode would have ventured off Old Route 61 to explore Centralia for fissures of rising steam. One thing you notice when in Centralia is the lack of wildlife. You hear no birds, and you see no birds in the area. While the area around Centralia is enjoying spring time, tulips blossoming, trees greening, and weeds sprouting, in Centralia the trees and foliage are grey, and struggling to bud, and nothing is flowering.
We walked the length of Old Route 61, observing and occasionally admiring the street art and graffiti, and then returned to our cars. When you leave Centralia, on the new Route 61, your road is still red, and you know you have left Centralia when Route 61 turns the normal, expected shade of black asphalt, and you notice that the shoulders of the road are manicured and green with grass.
Reference for further reading about Centralia courtesy of the New York Times:
A great gem, jewelry, fossil and mineral show coming to beautiful Holland, Michigan by our friends with the Tulip City Gem and Mineral Club.
This is an excellent group of skilled, knowledgable and fun rockhounds and gem, mineral and fossil professionals. Some of the best in the mineral business will be at this gem and mineral show that attracts the world class dealers and collectors, as well as academics, rockhounds, families and casual collectors.
Be sure to “tell ’em American Geode sen’cha!” The good folks at the entrance will get a kick out of hearing that you are also friends with American Geode. American Geode has spent time in Holland, on our own proprietary prospecting missions and we attest to the beauty of Michigan, and the fun you can have at this show. Plan your trip in advance and take advantage of the state and national parks, museums and historic landmarks in the area.