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For well over a century, the Pala district has been one of the most important gem producing areas in the U.S. and, in recent years, the Oceanview mine has been making headlines in the gem and mineral world for its production of exquisite kunzite crystals and cut stones.
Join us for an exciting day (10 am to 3 pm on site) at the Oceanview and Pala Chief mines, where we will enjoy a tour of the underground workings at Oceanview and be able to collect from recently excavated material from the gem pocket zone. Note that the Oceanview underground workings are quite extensive and require strenuous walking; you must be in good physical condition. A jeep tour of the historic Pala Chief mine is also included. Tony Kampf and Alyssa Morgan will be on hand to provide geological and mineralogical commentary. More information on this flyer (click here)
Gem kunzite from Oceanview mine. Photo credit: Mark Mauthner.
Location (please, note the change in location of the lecture!): Times Mirror Room (by the staff entrance) at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Parking: Ample free parking is available in the new Museum Car Park at the corner of Exposition Blvd and Bill Robertson Drive (NW corner of the NHM building). Enter the parking lot from Bill Robertson Drive and enter museum through the staff entrance at the SW corner of the building.
The lecture is free, but because of limited space, reservations are necessary. More information on this flyer (click here).
Summary: Let’s face it, the ability to tell whether a mineral specimen is the best of its kind – or even a half-way decent rock – is not an easy skill to develop. You need to learn, independent of the person trying to sell you a specimen, just how good it is and how it compares to others of its kind. In olden times (prior to the advent of the Internet), the only way to do this was to spend years traveling around to museums, private collections and producing localities and memorizing what the best specimens looked like and/or taking pictures of them. You could also try your hand at buying and selling mineral specimens, thereby being able to hold lots of real specimens in your hands, and also learning first-hand through the School of Hard Knocks how to avoid getting taken. Doing lots of perusing of mineral magazines and books, is something you could (and still should) do, but that is a slow process and usually isn’t very helpful in learning current specimen values. Today the whole mineral world is on your doorstep (actually your computer) via the Internet. In this interactive demonstration, Rock will introduce you to one of the main sources of mineralogical information on the internet and show you how to use it. There are web-based projects afoot that will let you shortcut what used to take years of hard work and hard knocks in honing your mineral specimen acumen. If you know Rock, you know that you can expect this program to be liberally sprinkled with his special brand of humor, witticism, and poignant insights.
Rock Currier, owner/proprietor of Jewel Tunnel Imports has again agreed to open his immense Baldwin Park warehouse to Gem & Mineral Council members and their guests for a very special open house. What makes this warehouse so special is its content – an amazing variety and quantity of rocks, minerals, lapidary, jewelry – all at true wholesale prices (Jewel Tunnel Imports does not sell to the public). For more information, click here.
Photo credit: Jewel Tunnel Import.
For any additional information about these events, please contact the Gem & Mineral Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or (213) 763-3326.
Also going on now:
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) is pleased to present for the first time on exhibition The Lady Heart Diamond Collection from February 1 to November 30, 2013. Each of the five diamonds in this exceedingly rare collection is a different amazing color: red, pink, orange, yellow and blue. The stones are all heart-shaped in cut, ranging in weight from 1.71 to 2.28 carats. They are set in separate pieces of jewelry set in gold, custom designed for this temporary exhibition in NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall “Gem Vault.”
The Lady Orquidea is a 2.00 carat Fancy Vivid Orange diamond heart mounted in a heart shaped bezel accented with pave white diamonds. Vivid orange diamonds are believed to be the rarest of the colored diamonds. Pure orange natural diamonds are extremely scarce and can only be classified as such if there is no trace of brown in the stone.