Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 39

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 39

Published Spring 2007

Healing Gemstones, Coloured Gemstone Report, Diamond Grading Course,
Fossil News, Lepidocrosite in Quartz, Rockwatch Guide No 1, Piece out of the Middle,
Rock 'n' Gem Shows, Strontium Minerals, Web Directory, Tubes of Escape,
School Snippets, Contemporary Jet, The Value of Nephrite, The Beauty of Opal
Cosmic Diamond, The Mysterious Beauty of Amber, Gemmology BTEC,
Shops Page, Subscribe, Shows and Classifieds.

 

Buy Issue 39, Choose Destination

Healing Gemstones

In this issue we continue the magical properties of gemstones with F & G
Feldspar
Feldspar is a group of minerals which are important in the formation of many rocks. There are a few gem varieties of feldspar, the most important of which is moonstone. All feldspars are types of aluminium silicate, with potassium, calcium, sodium or barium.
Felddspar Types:
Orthoclase feldspar is a potassium aluminium silicate. It includes the attractive but infrequently seen moonstone. MMiccrroocclinnee has the same chemical composition as orthoclase feldspar, but its crystals are in the triclinic system. It includes the gem variety amazonite. Plagioclase is an amorphous series of albite, which is sodium aluminium silicate, and anorthite which is calcium aluminium silicate. It includes the gems sunstone and labradorite. CCeelssiaann is a barium aluminium silicate which contains no gem varieties. Because of all these different types of feldspar the colours cover the full spectrum, especially when we look at stones like labradorite or rainbow moonstone. For healing it is used for self awareness and is said to help find missing items. It helps us to find unconventional ways to obtain our achievements. It promotes self-awareness and self-love. It is very protective especially while travelling. It connects to the lunar and solar properties, helping us connect with these heavenly bodies to enhance our lives on Earth. It helps seal the aura and so prevents energy loss and drain from demanding people. It is good for strengthening the back.
Chemical composition;
Orthoclase & Microcline KAlSi3O8, Albite
NaAlSi3O8, Anorthite CaAl2Si2O8, Celsian
BaAl2Si2O8. Hardness 6 to 6.5

Fluorite
Fluorite is most commonly found as sheet mass and natural octahedral growth structures. Its colour varies from brown, yellow, green, blue and purple as well as clear and in the sheet mass can be all present at once. For healing it is very powerful for removing chaotic growth patterns both mentally and physically, then helping to promote healthy and orderly growth. Fluorite promotes spiritual and psychic wholeness and development, truth, protection, and brings peace. It helps one meditate and learn to go past the “chatter” that our minds tend to generate when first learning to meditate. It can help get rid of mental blocks and similar mental issues. Clear fluorite guards against psychic attack and strengthens consciousness. Blue fluorite protects the emotions and restores emotional balance. Purple fluorite strengthens mystical insight, psychic awareness, and can open the third eye. Green fluorite is an excellent all purpose healing stone that promotes healing on all levels, especially for the heart chakra. It helps to fight off coughs, colds and flu’s and has been used successfully to treat and heal cancers. Physically it helps to strengthen the bones and teeth.
Chemical composition: CaF2 Hardness: 4

Fossil
Fossils are created when a mineral such as jasper or agate replaces the organic tissues of something that once lived or grew.They are found in many forms these days from trees, plants, sea creatures and dinosaurs. Fossils can help increase accomplishments in the area of business and add excellence to one’s environment. They also aid one in being open to change and new ideas. Traditionally, fossils have been used to aid in curing diseases and ailments of the skeletal system, bones, hands, and feet. Chemical composition: SiO2 Hardness: 6.5 to 7 (Depends on the mineral that has replaced the organic form)

Fuchsite
Fuchsite is a form of mica found mainly green in colour. It assists in personal interactions, wellness and productivity, enhancing knowledge and “right action,” particularly in the fields of holistic medicine. It can help in bringing forth information concerning herbal and holistic remedies Fuchsite is said to enhance the body’s ability to heal itself, and to increase the effectiveness of other minerals that are being used in healing.
Chemical composition:
K2(Al,Cr)4Si6Al2O20(OH,F)4 Hardness: 2 to 4

Fulgurite
Fulgurite is a natural glass, usually tubular, formed by lightning as it strikes in sand or rock. Fulgurites are high energy formations due to the nature of their birth.They are particularly noted for their ability to channel and direct energy. Fulgurites have been used to communicate with aliens and entities, or ascended beings in the spirit world. They are often used for clairaudience. Fulgurites are also used to enhance communication in the physical world, and are used as stones of leadership. They can be used to ask the universe for that which you desire to manifest; by breathing through the tubes and voicing your desires as you do so. Physically, fulgurites are used in crystal healing and folklore in treatment of the immune system, nervous system, sight, thymus, growths, and colon.
Chemical
composition: SiO2 Hardness: 7

Garnet
Garnet is found in various growth structures; commonly as rhombic dodecahedrons, trapezohedrons, or a mixture of these two forms, rarely as hexoctahedrons, also as coarse or fine massive granular. It can be found in all colours except blue. Garnet is a stone of romantic love and passion. It can be used to enhance sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy.
It is said to bring positive thoughts and boosts energy, and be excellent for manifestation. It can also assist with success in one’s career and building one’s self-confidence. It is a very protective and grounding stone and can be used for gentle spiritual healing. Garnet has been used to heal the blood, heart and lungs as well as the bones and nervous system. Garnet is associated primarily with the root chakra, but also with other chakras depending on its colour.
Chemical composition:A3B2(SiO4)3 Hardness: 6.5 to 7.5

Girasol
Girasol is opalized quartz found in crystallised mass form and is a cloudy blue white colour. It is a stone of gentle but powerful energy and can enhance and mirror feelings. This makes it excellent for visualization, imagination, lucid dreaming, and channelling. Girasol enhances communication skills allowing you to freely speak your thoughts that you’ve been holding back. Girasol encourages and enhances creativity promoting joy and happiness. It is a powerful healing stone that works in a strong but gentle way enhancing healing on all levels. Girasol is particularly helpful for metabolic disorders like diabetes as well as fatigue and chronic fatigue syndromes.
Chemical composition: SiO2 Hardness: 7
Gold
Gold is a soft metal found as nuggets and granules. Its colour is bright metallic yellow (golden). Gold can balance energy fields, and is beneficial for opening and balancing the solar plexus chakra. It can remove negative energy from the chakras and when used with other stones, helps to enhance their energy and draw it into the body. It has been used to bring abundance of wealth, happiness and good feelings. Gold is a mineral of spirituality, understanding, and attunement to nature. It attracts positive energy and is a great healing mineral. It strengthens aids with courage and helps to conqueror fear. It is a magical metal that enhances beauty and was revered by the Incas for its mystical properties.
Chemical composition:
Au Hardness: 2.5 to 3

Gypsum
Gypsum also known as satin spar is a variety of selenite that grows in thick granular rods, fibrous masses and needle like clusters of cloudy white columns. Gypsum is a very powerful cleanser of the aura, chakras and mind. When used like a wand to stroke over the body it removes negative energies, releases blockages and other unwanted energies. It opens the mind, expands the consciousness and puts the mind in a ready state for visionary work. It is a powerful channel for white light and with intension can be used to channel healing energy into the body. When used on the crown chakra gypsum brings light down into the body activating the chakras as it passes through them. It brings clarity and focus of mind and enables spiritual communication. Physically it helps to produce strong bones and bring elasticity to the skin.
Chemical Composition: Ca(SO4)·2(H2O) Harness:
Rondie Evans

 Mysterious beauty of amber

Being a first year gemmology student I am interested in all the wonderful gems and minerals and amber is among my favourites. Easily accessible in Poland, my country of origin, it was probably the first gem that made me curious enough to start asking questions about it…
Very early in my childhood I was playing with pine’s resin imagining it would soon turn to amber and the biggest attraction during holidays by the Baltic Sea was going to the beach after the storm and collecting small pieces of this gem. My child’s imagination was also stimulated with the story of the mysteriously lost Amber Room. It was not long ago that my knowledge about this organic material shaped up in a more scientific rather than romantic way.
The formation of amber is dependent on the production of tree resin under the conditions enabling the preservation of the hardened resin. There are around 20 rich deposits of amber in the world, among which the two major ones are Dominican Republic and Baltic Sea.

The resin can be produced by various conifer and some tropical trees.The production of it is probably a defence mechanism that trees developed against insects and disease. Moreover when the tree is injured, a resin acts in a similar way to a scab on the human body, as it is excreted, covering the wound and then it hardens. Thanks to this property amber could preserve some incredible inclusions such as spiders, little insects or even a lizard. Inclusions of that type are relatively rare and therefore they are sought after.
Amber can be used in jewellery as well as in the production of decorative objects such as sculptures, chess sets, candleholders to name a few. In the Baroque period the carving of this material was very popular, which resulted in many incredible works of art, among which The Amber Room is probably the most splendid one. The creation of the room was requested by the King of Prussia, Frederic I and it was first carried out by Gottfried Wolffram and Eosander von Göthe. However after the disagreement between the two artists the work moved to the then German city of Gdaƒsk. In 1713 The Amber Room was presented in its full glory in the royal palace at Berlin, and later it was offered as a gift to the Russian Tsar, Peter the Great.The room was put up in the Summer Palace and in 1763 the last finishing touches were carried out. The Amber Room was described as ‘one of the Wonders of the World’1, but unfortunately it cannot be admired today. In 1941 the Germans marched into Leningrad and it is believed that The Amber Room was then transported to the Prussian Fine Art Museum under Alfred Rohde’s discretion. It was moved again after that and that is when all trace of The Amber Room disappeared. Since then there were many speculations regarding the place where it could be hidden, but the mystery remains unsolved. We may not ever know the true story behind The Amber Room as there are no signs of it. What we are left with today is the reconstruction works of The Amber Room based on eighty six photographs and many descriptions, and a hope that the universal beauty of this semiprecious gem will give justice to the lost Baroque work of Art.

Lepidocrosite in Quartz

hope this article will help clear up some of the confusion surrounding the very fine, needle like inclusions in Quartz. Lepidocrosite is undoubtedly a wonderful creation of nature that is often confused with Rutile.
I am convinced the sight of this beautiful mineral and its associations will leave you awestruck.Take a close look at the long strands that are found in clear quartz in what is often referred to as Super Seven Quartz. These crystals often appear to almost glow with both fiery red and glistening black crystal strands, often rival the other well known beauty of fine gold or silver Rutile needles seemingly suspended in an often water clear quartz. Lepidocrosite, as mentioned above can be red, purple or brown shading into black; this is both the charm and also a clue to the origins. As you have probably guessed, Lepidocrosite is in fact a colourful variety of Goethite as a hydrated iron oxide, (see the illustration of Lepidocrosite on Goethite from Spain). Other named varieties are Akaganite and Feroxyhyate, If you are feeling confused, we will ignore the other two rare varieties as they require very specialised equipment for investigation!.
Lepidocrosite often occurs together with bright black plates of Haematite, sometimes in the presence of purple Amethyst, what a combination! In a very different sample from Siberia, you can see thin brown and red mica like plates of Goethite, together with shiny black Haematite, both examples exhibit a similar platy structure of Lepidocrosite, here shading from red to black. Technically this mineral group is known as hydrated Iron oxide, a polymorph of Goethite, having the same overall chemistry but a different crystal form. When strands of Lepidocrosite are found, seemingly floating inside clear Quartz, they frequently outline a quartz crystal phantom. When existing as fine strands these are often elongated sometimes twisted strings, easily recognised, especially when found in water clear quartz. The golden tufts often found in Amethyst are actually yet another variety of Goethite and not the golden sprays of Cacoxenite. The mineral Cacoxenite, is known as a different type of mineral, in fact it is classed as a phosphate mineral; as such it is said to never be found inside Quartz. There seems to be plenty of room for confusion here, not least because Cacoxenite is also listed as one of the seven minerals in Super Seven Quartz. Out of interest, Quartz has another accomplice that is called Moganite, only recently found (1970’s), this is yet another Silicon dioxide mineral, but has a different crystal form to quartz;
it is very difficult to distinguish Moganite from the usual Quartz and Chalcedony. Apparently this mineral occurs in microscopic twisted strands, as Lepidocrosite is also found in more visible twisted strands, is their a possible link? Moganite apparently comprises approximately 10% of any Quartz or Chalcedony, usually found in Agates. The varieties of Quartz with Lepidocrosite crystals inside that are frequently mentioned are listed here.

Harlequin Quartz
Harlequin quartz from Madagascar, displays its beauty in the random inclusion of the Iron rich minerals as bright red flakes and slender strings such as Lepidocrosite, found together with lustrous black Haematite. When the beauty of Lepidocrosite became better known, it has also been reported as appearing in several other locations, including Namibia (Brandberg), Siberia and Brazil.

Fire Quartz
Fire quartz is the name used for the variety of quartz that contains this magical mineral, usually as bright red platy mica like inclusions, as opposed to the String like form. Fire quartz is also often confused with rutile quartz that is coloured by fine needles of red Rutile. There is also a Mexican fire agate that is occasionally called Fire Quartz (a Chalcedony).

Raspberry Quartz
Another colloquial name; this has fallen out of favour due to a manufactured material being given this name in order to increase its commercial value. Cherry Quartz or more recently Galaxy Quartz is the name that should be applied to this decorative material; it is not Quartz and looks man made and as such it often feels warm to the touch.

Strawberry Quartz
Yet another colloquially named variety of quartz, this has thin flakes of bright red Lepidocrosite and is often found in cut and polished quartz cabochons from Brazil. This particular quartz is sometimes accompanied by an unidentified green flaky material in examples from Brazil, another diagnostic and visually stunning combination.

Super Seven Quartz
The large variety of Inclusions found in some Quartz crystals from Espiritos-du-Santos, Minas Gerais, Brazil, are sold by crystal healing fans as either Super Seven Quartz or Melody Stone. Here the Lepidocrosite crystals appear as long thin strands, amongst a combination of Amethyst, Smoky and Clear Quartz. This variety of quartz is said to contain the metaphysical power of all three subtypes of quartz, Amethyst, Smoky and Clear, even when none can be seen? In addition these crystals are said to act as a host for Lepidocrosite, Rutile (unconfirmed), Haematite and strangely Cacoxenite, (probably a bright yellow variety of Goethite)? A similar combination of mineral types has been found in Agate slices.

Brandberg Quartz
Strange Lepidocrosite flakes and strings also occur in the often-patchy variety of Amethyst to be found in material from the Brandberg Mountains, Namibia. These are found here together with fluid inclusions and wispy veils, as well as Amethyst, smoky and clear quartz.

Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 34

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 34

Published Winter 2005

Contents: Crystal Skulls, Living Space within Quartz, John Hamer Collection,
Coloured Gemstone Report, Fossil News, Ghosts, Phantoms & Veils, Minas Gerais,
Manufacturin Diamonds, Hardness< Burma Ruby Mines Co,
Pearls are in Vogue, Bismuth Minerals, Letters,
Shops Page, Rock 'n' Gem Shows Subscribe, Shows & Classifieds.

Buy Issue 34, Choose Destination

 ..Coloured Gemstone Market Report..

regular feature provided by R M Weare & Co

A new source of Amethyst is being produced from a deposit in Northern Cambodia. The stones being produced have a lavender hue, with pink undertones, and more brilliance than traditional sources from Brazil and Zambia. The deposit is located on the isolated Laos-Cambodia border and production is on a, as yet, small scale.
The recent Bangkok Gem and Jewellery Fair has highlighted the difficulty to source good quality cut gem material in Sapphire and Ruby. China's unequalled ability to cheaply cut material is forcing cutters in the established cutting centres of India and Thailand to compete by producing higher production rates at decreased costs, the result being a decrease in the cost of commercial goods and premiums on top quality material.
There has been a lot of interest in the new sources of pink sapphires and star rubies that have recently started production in Madagascar. Appraisal of these sources is currently being carried out by the International Coloured Gemstone Association and Madagascar's Service des Mines.
Pakistan's strong showing at the Bangkok Gem and Jewellery Show was aimed at increasing the industry knowledge of the vast range of gemstones that are available from within the country. Pakistan is already recognised as a source for Peridot, Ruby, Aquamarine, Tourmaline, Kunzite, and Lapis Lazuli, but it also has major sources of pink beryl's, diopside, epidote, garnets (of most varieties), moonstone, quartz, sphene, and zoisite.
A new source of sapphire in Malawi is producing good quality calibrated material. Reportedly similar in appearance to Thai Sapphire, production will increase when more of the extracted material is heat-treated. The United States company behind this, Columbia Gem House Inc, is to market the material with a range of selling tools to support the brand.
There have been many requests for cheaper pink stones, as pink sapphire prices continue to rise. Of particular interest to designers have been vivid pink Tourmalines and Rubelltites, particularly in cushion shapes. Morganite and Kunzite are still popular, but there has been a noted shift towards deeper colours with enquires for Bixbite and other unusual stones. Pink Cubic Zirconia sales are very strong. As predicted, emerald and peridot have been very popular over the summer period, especially in larger emerald cut stones. There has been increasing interest in opaque greens particularly in Jadeite and Chrysoprase Conna- Mara marble has been mentioned more than a few times as well! Paler coloured blue stones are in demand with requirements for Apatite and Zircon being of note.The lack of security in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is still keeping prices high. However, cost-conscious customers are showing reluctance to pay the higher price for the better material, and there has been an increasing acceptance for lower quality material. The popularity of lapis means that eventually the higher asking price will prevail.
Fine goods and large sizes in some categories are fetching much higher prices as a consequence of diminished supply. It is often difficult to find these stones even when money is not the limiting factor. Quite simply, the rough is not being found from which to cut the desired top grades, or large items, or both. As a result, many commonplace gemstones above a certain size leap in price.

Crystal Skulls

Over the last decade there has been a large interest in the origins of crystal skulls; how they were made and what they were used for. But if we take a deeper look into the history of man, we can see traces of this mystery dating back to our ancestors. Albeit few priest or shamans that used them in the days of old their use is clearly evident.
The skull symbol represents many things, but its  main aspects are protection, knowledge, life- force and death. These three qualities we can easily see when we look at what the skulls functions are during the life of a human. The skulls first and major priority is to protect the brain from physical damage, a very sensitive and
delicate organ for all its power, that once harmed can lead to complete disability as in a major accident or partial loss of control after a minor injury. The brain is where we house all our
collective knowledge in the form of memories. From an early age we learn from direct experience through interaction with life as well as from others experiences via reading and
verbal teachings. This knowledge has been passed down through generations and brought us to this modern age. Many ancient medical as well as shamanic belief systems thought that the life force of a human was stored in the brain. Finally the skull is only ever seen after someone has died and so represents death. This was always seen as change and the opening to new pathways and not as a bad omen. The belief in the powers of the skull are what led shamans and ancient orders of priests to use this symbol during rituals and ceremonies.
Some even created beautiful works of art such as the "Anna Mitchell Hedges" skull which is a life size skull carved completely out of quartz.
It is this skull that has caused such a stir over the recent years as science has been unable, through analysis and experiments, to label it in their parameters as the workmanship is so great they can't even date it or explain how it could have been made.
There are many theories that the skull was passed down through generations and each polished the skull a level further with fine clothes until it was complete. Being made out of quartz adds another dimension to the skull.
 Quartz crystal has huge and almost limitless powers, it can store and transmit energy, it can be programmed to do specific tasks as well as purify, magnify and transmute energy. This makes the Crystal Skull a very powerful tool to  use indeed, especially in the field of crystal healing and it's in this field that I wish to work with and look at in this talk. The hardest part is to find a crystal skull that resonates with you, there are many to be found but finding the right one can take time. Once you have a crystal skull it will have to be cleansed and dedicated to you. This is best done using flowing water over the skull as you channel the intent of any unwanted energies leaving the skull with the water. Then holding the skull in your left hand place the right hand over the skull and program it with the dedication to the good of all, to protect you in a sphere of bright white light, and lastly add the personnel line that you wish the crystal skull to work on for you. For example if you have a bad back you can ask the skull to help you heal your back.

Once this is complete, the skull will continue to emanate its healing energies and help to you until the programming is cleansed and you start again.

It is a good idea to make a shrine to place the skull on, maybe with a picture of you as well as other power items such as other crystals, herbs, incense, candles and bells. This will all help to create a more powerful energy to work with. Once this is all set up, all that's left to do is to find time each day to sit and meditate in front of the shrine, or to remove the skull and sit somewhere peaceful with it. Twenty to thirty minutes a day is a good time to spend in practice. While sitting start by looking deep into the crystal skulls eyes and allow yourself to relax; taking deep breaths and sighing the air out can help. Imagine yourself sat inside your crystal skull, feeling protected and relaxed, at ease with yourself and everyone else in your life. Let the healing energy of the crystal skull emana rough you. Sit with your back t and your hands cupped in your lap th the crystal skull cradled in them. With your eyes closed try to keep your internal focus on the crystal skull, remembering the sensations that you felt while looking deep into its eyes. If this is too strenuous, it is also possible to lay down with the crystal skull placed on the floor just above your head looking down your body; this also allows the healing energy of the skull to pass down into the body. This can be enhanced by placing quartz crystals in a circle around you; pointing inwards, at least 4 are needed but 6 or 8 are better.
This is an aerial view of the crystal healing grid to be used. The arrows represent the crystal points the tip of the crystal the arrow head. The eclipse represents the crystal skull and the text where you would lay down to heal. This would be a very powerful way to work with a crystal skull.Again for the best results its best to practice daily for 20 minutes and is much better than doing 2 hours once a week. As with all crystal practice it is a very personnel experience, you may find it helpful to keep a journal of your experiences as this will show you the progress you are making. Most of all remember to enjoy the experience, healing is gentle and fun, not all serious!
Lastly I would like to mention that there are many gemstone skulls available, and each gemstone type will have different healing properties according to its nature. The pictures show a few that are available, sugilite, smokey quartz and aqua aura.
R Evans

 Fossil News

A collection of fossil snippets from around the world, by S Cohen
From Bill Brysons 'A short history of nearly everything' about the rivalry between American dinosaur hunters Cope and Marsh. "They had much in common. Both were spoiled, driven, self-centred, quarrelsome, jealous, mistrustful and ever unhappy. Between them they changed the world of palaeontology. They began as friends and admirers even naming fossil species after other and spent a pleasant week together in 1868. However something then went wrong between them - nobody is quite sure what — and by the following year they had developed an enmity that would grow into consummate hatred over the next three decades. It is probably safe to say that no two people in the natural sciences have ever despised each other more. Marsh, the elder of the two by eight years, was a retiring and bookish fellow, with a trim beard and dapper manner, who spent little time in the field and was seldom very good at finding things when he was there. On a visit to the famous dinosaur fields of Como Bluff, Wyoming, he failed to notice the bones that were, in the words of one historian 'lying everywhere like logs'. But he had the means to buy anything he wanted. Although he came from a modest background, his uncle was the supremely rich and extraordinarily indulgent financier George Peabody. When Marsh showed an interest in natural history Peabody had a museum built for him atYale and provided funds sufficient for him to fill it with almost whatever took his fancy. Cope was born more directly into privilege - his father was a rich Philadelphia businessman - and was by far the more adventurous of the two. In the summer of 1876 in Montana, while George Armstrong Custer and his troops were being cut down at Little Big Horn, Cope was out hunting for bones nearby. When it was pointed out to him that this was probably not the most prudent time to be taking treasures from Indian lands, Cope thought for a minute and decided to press on anyway. He was having too good a season. At one point he ran into a party of suspicious Crow Indians but he managed to win them over by repeatedly taking out and replacing his false teeth.

For a decade or so Marsh and Cope's mutual dislike primarily took the form of quiet sniping, but in 1877 it erupted into grandiose dimensions. In that year a Colorado schoolteacher named Arthur Lakes found bones near Morrison while out hiking with a friend. Recognising the bones as coming from a `gigantic' saurian, Lakes thoughtfully dispatched some samples to both Marsh and Cope. A delighted Cope sent Lakes $100 for his trouble and asked him not to tell anyone of his discovery, especially Marsh. Confused, Lakes now asked Marsh to pass the bones on to Cope, Marsh did so, but it was an affront that he would never forget. It also marked the start of a war between the two that became increasingly bitter, underhand and often ridiculous. It sometimes stooped to one team's diggers throwing rocks at the others team. Cope was caught at one point prising open crates that belonged to Marsh. They insulted each other in print and poured scorn on each other's results. Seldom, perhaps never — has science been driven forward more swiftly and successfully by animosity. Over the next several years the two men between them increased the average number of known dinosaur species in America from nine to almost one hundred and fifty. Nearly every dinosaur that the average person can name — stegosaurus, brontosaurus, diplodocus, and triceratops — was found by one or the other of them. Unfortunately they worked in such reckless haste that they often failed to note that a new discovery was sometimes already known. Between them they managed to discover a species called Unitatheres anceps no fewer than twenty two times. It took years to sort out some of the classification messes they made. Some are not sorted out yet.

Of the two Cope's scientific legacy was much the more substantial. In a breathtakingly industrious career, he wrote fourteen hundred learned papers and described almost thirteen hundred new species of fossil (of all types, not just dinosaur) — more than double Marsh's output in both cases. Cope might have done ever more but unfortunately he went into a rather precipitous descent in his later years. Having inherited a fortune in 1875 he invested unwisely in silver and lost everything. He ended up living in a single room in a Philadelphia boarding house, surrounded by books, papers and bones. Marsh by contrast finished his days in a splendid mansion in New Haven. Cope died in 1897, Marsh two years later. In his final years, Cope developed one other interesting obsession. It became his earnest wish to be declared the type specimen for Homo sapiens — that is, to have his bones be the official set for the human race. Normally the type specimen of a species is the first set of bones found but since no first set of Homo sapiens bones exist there was a vacancy which Cope desired to fill.

Cope willed his bones to a learned society in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, after his bones were prepared and assembled it was found that they showed signs of incipient syphilis, hardly a feature one would wish to preserve in type specimen for one's own race. So Cope's petition and his bones were quietly shelved. There is still no type specimen for modern human".

The last curator of Yale's Peabody museum started by Marsh was Professor John Ostram who died in July. He sparked fierce debate by demonstrating that dinosaurs bore more affinities with birds than with lizards and suggested that birds were direct descendants of dinosaurs. When fossil hunting in Mongolia in 1984 he found a small carnivorous dinosaur with large sickle shaped claws and powerful hind legs, which he named Deinonychus, meaning terrible claw. He described the beast as a raptor that hunted in packs and killed its prey by leaping, killing and slashing with its claws. This behaviour he deduced indicated an agile animal capable of considerable bursts of speed, suggesting it had a high metabolic rate, and was probably warm blooded. At the time this was considered new and revolutionary by some and heresy by many more. In the 1970's he compared dinosaurs to Archaeopteryx, the oldest known bird (like) fossil, noting 200 shared anatomical features between carnivorous dinosaurs (therapods) and birds — including a wishbone, swivelling wrists and three forward pointing toes. He suggested in 1973 that dinosaurs might have evolved feathers for insulation, not flight, and that birds evolved from feathered dinosaurs. By now he had upset orthodox ornithologists as well as palaeontologists'.They pointed out that no fossil links between reptile like dinosaurs and birds had ever existed. Then in the 1990's well preserved feathered dinosaurs were found in Liaoming Province, China. The most impressive was Protoarchaeopteryx, a turkey sized dinosaur with long arms and legs and symmetrical quilled feathers. Feathers have to be asymmetrical to facilitate flight so this discovery probably confirmed Ostrams theory that feathers evolved for the purpose of insulation. Dinosaur research was out of fashion when Ostram began his work. His revolutionary theories did much to encourage a new interest in the field and consequently he taught many of today's leading dinosaur specialists. His theories were also responsible for the depiction of the behaviour of the nasty, mischievous velociraptors in Jurassic Park! More Birdy Dino Stuff. A fossilised dinosaur pelvis containing 2 unlaid eggs was found recently in China. Scientists say the dinosaurs reproductive system functioned more like a birds than a reptiles and it laid successive pairs of eggs, rather than a large clutch all at once. A new study suggests the hollow spaces between big bones in therapod dinosaurs may contain air sacs similar to those in birds. They allow birds to extract oxygen while breathing air out as well as in, facilitating a high metabolic rate and extended bursts of activity. Until now Palaeontologists have been sceptical of whether dinosaur anatomy would be sophisticated enough to function as modern bird lungs. From Francis Gill, Fossil Cavern, Isle of Wight.

A dromesaur dinosaur with a beak like snout, feathers and wing like limbs has been found in Patagonia, Argentina. Until now dromesaurs have only been found in Asia and North America and it was thought they didn't colonise the southern hemisphere before the ancient continents of Lawrasia and Gondwana separated about 160 million years ago. This dromesaur is 90 million years old from Richard Allinson of the Fossil Store, Preston.
Headline in the Telegraph: "Biplane dinosaurs beat Wright Brothers by 125 million years", - such are the claims of a new study of microraptor, a small dinosaur found in Liaoming Province, China (where else?) two years ago. The 120 million year old creature weighed about 1 kilo, was under a metre long, with a bony tail and flight feathers on its front and back limbs. Because dinosaur limbs cannot be splayed sideways the creature could not have extended its rear limbs to form a wing directly behind its front wings, like a dragonfly does. More likely and more aerodynamically stable would have been a rear wing held lower than the front wing, similar to the configuration of an early biplane. A computer analysis has microraptor launching itself from a high branch and falling head first until it reached a speed that created sufficient lift for it to swoop upwards and land in the branches of another tree, all without having to flap its wings. The study concludes "it is intriguing to contemplate that perhaps avian flight, like aircraft evolution went through a biplane stage before a monoplane system was introduced.

Roy Shepherd has been a fossil enthusiast since the age of 4. Two years ago he created discoveringfossils.co.uk which has descriptions of fossil sites and information about collecting, preparation and identification of fossils. It has been endorsed and recommended by English Nature, especially for its advice about responsible collecting. It gets about 4000 hits a week. For a more extensive list of over 150 fossil sites, check uk.fossils.co.uk this gets about 11000 hits a week.

A prolific fauna of carboniferous trees and ferns has been exposed in the village of Brymbo (pronounced Brumbo) near Wrexham. Following the demolition of its old steelworks. Plans are afoot to create a geology trail, a rockface display showing fossil trees rising from their coal seam base and a collecting area where children can search through 200 tons of fossil rich rock.

In August' National Geographic the top 7
dinosaur sites were listed as
1, Liaoming Province, China (unique preservation, feathered dinosaurs, all sorts of weird new stuff, 120 million years old)
2, Bahariya Oasis, Egypt (huge old dinosaurs roaming steamy mangrove swamps, 97 million years old)
3, Alberta, Canada (biggest species diversity of any site and vast herds of horned and duck billed dinosaurs, 70 million years old)
4, San Juan Province, Argentina (the dawn of the dinosaurs, some of the oldest known remains, 230 million years old)
5, Ukhaa Tolgod , Mongolia (prolific, fabulous preservation, 80 million years old)
6, Isle of Wight, UK (where some of the first discoveries were made and still capable of yielding a surprise, 110 million years old)
7, Western United States (lots and lots of big stuff, 150 million years old)

Ghosts, Phantoms & Veils

I have not joined an occult or become a ghost buster, these are actually terms used for features within quartz crystals.
Ghosts
Substantial additional crystals can often be seen within a single quartz crystal, usually emanating from the base. These separate crystals denote a change in the previous level of growth; these changes are nearly always in line with the true apex of the crystal. There is a strong tendency to cut and polish these giving an artificial crystal, usually to enhance the attractiveness and therefore the commercial value. Ghost crystals can be partial and offset with only part of a crystal visible. Fortunately, crystals that have been cut always have a bevel around the base.

Phantoms
More substantial layers within a quartz crystal can often give an indication of the prior existence of a previous crystal form. They provide seemingly substantial divisions and also act as attraction for other inclusions; they could also have electrostatic implications. The crystal divisions are reasonably substantial and can also contain bubbles of gas or fluid, either singly or together. Often phantoms will act as catalysts for the further attraction of small particles of Iron or Calcium. Readers should also see the article on Colloidal particles.
Phantoms can often be clearly seen as fine green layers and therefore they are most probably of Chlorite. When included layers are quite substantial, they lead on to what are referred to as rows of "library shelves.

Veils
These are often delineated within a crystal as slightly opaque fine sheets; these can be flat or corrugated. Veils are not always obviously associated with the quartz crystals structure but should not be confused with fractures. They can be found together with inclusions of Rutile, when needles seem to grow either through the veils or even emanate from them. They range from insubstantial impressions, to more substantial veils and usually denote a change in the speed of crystal growth. ". Other more substantial inclusions such as dendrites and floating crystals, of which there are many, will also have to wait for a later article.
Barry Taylor

Living Space Within Quartz

When looking at quartz inclusions under the microscope, I was intrigued by certain structures I could see. I thought about the general shape of these very small inclusions and started to think, "the structures somehow looked familiar".
I remembered then that I had seen similar looking microscopic structures before, I realised that they had also looked similar to the possible bacteria photographed inside a meteorite from Mars. Yes, I did feel for a moment this was a crazy idea, but then I remembered two other observations that seemed to add weight to my thinking.
Firstly, I remembered that when looking at some gold depOsits in South Africa, it was reported that microbes could have played a part in concentrating some of the Gold. Secondly, I recalled the discovery of volcanic chimneys called black smokers, deep down on the sea floor. These volcanic vents are found on underwater hot fissures located on the margins of tectonic plates near to spreading ridges. The microbes discovered there were actually flourishing in extreme environments. Also we already know that bacteria can live in very hot conditions, at very high atmospheric pressures and they can even live on sulphur. Bacteria it is also reported can be found deep within the Earths crust; perhaps my line of thinking was not as far fetched as I first thought!
I asked myself the simple question,"Why are these inclusions all the same diameter? Even large clumps, appear to be composed of minute individual worm like concentrations of these structural elements. If mineral particles exist; surely they should be of random diameters? If you can, I would urge you to take a closer look at the fine inclusions found in some quartz.Yes, the notion may seem a little far-fetched, but to help us it is reported that at one stage quartz must exist as non-solid gel. For a microbe, such a non-crystalline soup, rich in the essential mineral elements, would provide an ideal breeding ground!
Barry Taylor

The John Homer Collection

"For the time I was here I was suspended in wonder" Museum visitor book July 2005
The late John Hamer of Ingleton, a potholer and mineral collector, who lived to be over 90 years of age, collected during his long life one of the most superb and extensive mineral collections known in the North of England.
The total collection exceeds 2000 specimens and includes beautiful ruby crystals from Myanmar and spectacular tourmaline crystals embedded in quartz from Brazil. But perhaps the most important specimens are those collected from long disused mines in the Lake District, where mineral collecting is now banned, and other regions of northern England. John Hamer rescued superb irreplaceable specimens from these sites, collecting them before deterioration from exposure to the elements occurred.
The entire collectionwas saved and removed to the Museum where it has been catalogued. This invaluable reference collection is available for research and enjoyment by both geologists and those who are just fascinated by beautiful minerals.
A spectacular display from the collection together with a complete catalogue, original note books, display charts and a map locating mine sites are featured as a new permanent display at Kendal Museum.

Spiritual crystals

A crystal or crystalline material is a mineral that is made up of atoms that are arranged in an orderly, regularly repeating pattern.
Most healing stones are crystalline.

Some people believe that crystals have the metaphysical power of healing, by using certain crystal methods. It is said that crystal healing can help a number of physical problems. However this relies on the innate powers of the healing crystals.
Crystals and healing
Crystals were first used in the legendary lost city Atlantis, through the ancient Mayan and Hebrew civilizations, and including Far Eastern and Native American cultures, crystals and gemstones have been used both in spiritual rituals and as aids to physical healing. They became very important to the people of that civilization who believed in their capacity to store and amplify any power source fed into them- physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.
However, today the practice of using stones and crystals continues. Not only with the aboriginal shamans of Australia who use stones to commune with the spirits, but with ordinary people across the world who claim extraordinary results!
Practitioners of modern-day crystal therapy believe that the stones' ability to work as conductors allow them to focus energy via a person's thoughts to stimulate healing — both physical and non-physical. But no one seems to know exactly how crystals work!
How to use the crystals?
"Your commitment to the crystal is part of the healing process". Crystals are used in meditation and spiritual ceremonies, laid on the body during types of massage or bodywork, when a person is resting, or placed in drinking or bathing waters. It is claimed that an odd number of facets on the stone aid in healing, while an even number of facets create the best energizers.
Red, yellow, and orange stones are said to produce energy, clear and aquamarine stones are healers, and lavender and blue-violet stones create calming effect.
The length of time to obtain the effects desired is depended upon the quality of the crystal (size, colour, and energy charge), location of wear, duration, and the crystals appropriateness to your healing issue. Below is a picture of different gemstones that are commonly used as healers, and a list of five known crystals and their reputed benefits...
Amethyst The "Master healing crystal" purifies and transmutes negativity. Amethyst provides protection and balance during transition periods. It reduces anger, impatience and nightmares.
Rose Quartz The "love stone". It is a master healer and it enhances meditation and healing by harmonizing and balancing energy fluctuations. It's good to wear in a chaotic or crisis situation. It is the stone of gentle love bringing peace and calm to relationships. The "woman's stone". Red coral encourages a passionate energy, and stimulates and strengthens the female reproductive organs through tissue regeneration. It's not to be used with high blood pressure. It's also good for your blood, heart, and bone regeneration.
Amber A -`:gentle stone". A fossilised tree resin that is very soothing and calming to the nerves. It allows the body to heal itself by absorbing and transmuting negative energy to positive energy. It also transmutes the energy of physical vitality towards the activation of unconditional love.
The `grief stone". Apache tears (transparent obsidian) allows for tears to be shed, stimulating emotional spontaneity and the release of barriers that prevent you from experiencing deep sorrow.
Note that it's not a total guarantee that crystals are healers; it all depends on belief!
Sophie Lesetedi

Welcome to this Issue's selection of articles from the HND second year students at the University of Central England, in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.

We have articles from 6 students: Stuart Galbraith, Kate Slovak, Sonny Kearney, Dan Rumbol, Sophie Lesetedi and, our international visitor from China, Gong Zhen. I'm sure you will enjoy the insight of these young people into the world of Gemmology. For any further information regarding either this course or any of the Gemmology or Diamond Grading courses run at the University, please see my advertisement for contact information. Happy Gemmology!

Minas Gerais
AN ABUNDANT LAND OF GEMSTONES & MINERALS
Brazil produces the greatest variety of gems & semi-precious stones in the world, including diamonds, emeralds, quartzes, alexandrite, chrysoberyls & topaz.
Mining is very much part of the Brazilian culture and a way of life. It is fascinating to know that about 40% of Brazilian territory has crystal rocks which may have pegmatite pipes, the gem and mineral bearing deposits.
Some of the most special gemstones in the world have come from a region near the city of Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais (the name literally means general mines) an area that produces 80% of Brazil's precious gems and minerals.
Minas Gerais was formed mainly by colonists who searched for veins of gold and gemstones and set up mining settlements in the area.The gold and diamond rushes helped boost the occupation in the state and led to the foundation of several new towns and villages. In the 17th century Mariana became the first capital; but later this moved to Vila Rica (meaning rich village), which became the biggest city in Brazil. As the gold mines were exhausted over the 19th century, the city lost its importance. It was renamed Ouro Preto (black gold) and remained the capital until the construction of the all-new, planned city of Belo Horizonte at the turn of the 20th century.
As Minas Gerais probably has the greatest number of pegmatite pipes in the world, it has in turn got a great number of mines that have produced many of the greatest gem crystal specimens of tourmaline, aquamarine and kunzite. These mines include the primary (pegmatite's) deposits at Cruzeiro, Jonas, and Corrego do Urucum, and the secondary (alluvial) deposits at Barra de Salinas, and the Pioneer mine in the Tres Barros region near Marambaia. In the Itabera region of the state there are a couple of emerald bearing mines- Belmont and Piteiras, both alluvial and underground. Much of the mining is done underneath the emerald bearing rock, allowing gravity to do much of the work. The emeralds are hosted in a magnesium rich biotite called phlogopite; referred to as "black wall zones". At the base of Mount Ibituruma sits Governador Valadares. Here there is not only a national centre, recognised for both the cutting and trading of coloured gemstones, but also the Navigator mine, known for producing mica and feldspar. In 2000, a pocket was discovered containing a variety of minerals. Since then four more pockets have been found, which has made this mine famous for blue-green tourmaline. Gem deposits are generally found at random in Brazil as there has been limited research into the prospective gem laden gravels and so discovery of large deposits has almost always been accidental. Consequently Minas Gerais, and Brazil in general, continues to have an immense gemstone potential, particularly as there are lots of pegmatite pipes still not mined.
Therefore the biggest deposit ever could be waiting to be discovered and who knows, possibly a new gemstone that will rock the gemmology world, just like tanzanite did in the 60's. The future is also positive now that the country offers a favourable atmosphere for the entry of efficient and well-organised gem mining companies, due to deregulations by the government and advancements in geological and geophysical prospecting.
Stuart Galbraith DGA

Manufacturing of Diamonds

Manufacturing is the correct terminology for describing the fashioning of a rough diamond crystal.
A small amount of science is required in fashioning a diamond crystal to achieve its true brilliance and fire. Total internal reflection (T.I.R) is the result gained by cutting a crystal to diamond's ideal proportions.
There are four stages that are used to fashion diamond crystals: 1. Design & Marking 2. Dividing 3. Shaping 4. Faceting & Polishing These Four Stages are taken into account when trying to achieve maximum profit and yield from the rough crystal.

Design & Marking
A designer will inspect a diamond crystal and mark it where he/she thinks where it should be divided to achieve max profit and yield. Various aspects such as shape of crystal, colour, inclusions and weight have to be considered for by the designer.

Dividing
Once the crystal has been marked using a permanent marker the crystal has to be divided. It can be divided in a number of ways. The most common are: Cleaving, Sawing and Laser Cutting.

Shaping
A process called bruting is used to achieve the initial rough shape required from the crystal. It is done by abrading one diamond with another. A type of lathe is used to bring the crystals together in a back and forth motion. Before machinery this process was done by hand but didn't achieve good circular results.

Faceting & polishing Faceting
and polishing is the final and most complex stage. 57 facets are applied or 58 (if a culet is present). Very little equipment is needed but in depth knowledge and experience is required. A Scaife, Tang and Dop are the three main pieces of equipment used in diamond faceting and polishing. A scaife is made of cast iron and is a flat circular disc with one or two spindles. Most are 30-40cm in diameter and around 2cm thick . the spindles are belt driven by a motor at approximately 2900rpm. The tang and dop are what holds the diamond onto the scaife. The tang has a tripod design, which holds the dop that holds the diamond. Modern dops are usually adjustable so that the diamond can be held with ease.

The polishing of a round brilliant
There are two stages in polishing a brilliant cut stone. The first is done by a crossworker whose job it is to apply the first 18 facets. The crossworker gets the basic shape of the stone. He/she applies the table facet, four bezels and four corners to the crown of the stone. Four facets are placed to the pavilion. A culet may be applied at this stage. The stone is then passed to a brillianteer who applies 40 facets to the stone. If cut to diamonds ideal proportions the stone will exhibit balanced amounts of brilliance and fore.
Daniel Rumbol

Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 29

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Published Autumn 2004

Contents: Crystals that Protect Pt 2, Nodules and Concretions, Mineralien Borse,
Fossil News, Mercury Minerals, Geotourism in Lanzarote Pt 2,
Gemstone Market Report, Letters, Shops Page,
Back Issues, Bright Shiny Things,
Rock 'n' Gem Date Shows and Classifieds.

Buy Issue 29, Choose Destination

Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 38

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 38

Published Winter 2006

Contents: Healing Gemstones pt 4, Coloured Gemstone Report,
Fossil News,Dedritic Quartz and Agate, 40 Years of Agate Hunting,
letters,Rock 'n' Gem Shows, Rare Earth Element Minerals,
Tubes of Escape, Not Just Rock Crystal,
Demantoid Garnet, Padparadscha Sapphire, The Wonder of Labradorite,
Shops Page, Web Directory, Subscribe, Shows and Classifieds.

 

Buy Issue 38, Choose Destination

Rare Earth Element Minerals

The rare earth elements (REE) or lanthanides form the largest
chemically coherent group of elements in the Periodic Table.

“Rare” earth elements is a historic misnomer; persistence of the term reflected unfamiliarity rather than true rarity. Even the least abundant REE lutetium at 0.32 ppm is nearly 200 times more common than gold.While the commonest REE cerium at 64 ppm is about 5 times as abundant as lead. In mineralogy the term REE is often restricted to the lanthanides plus yttrium and lanthanum, they show very similar chemical behaviour and thus we shall treat them together here.
THE LANTHANIDE ELEMENTS
(with names and symbols)
Ytrrium,Y Lanthanum, La, Cerium, Ce Praseodymium, Pr, Neodymium, Nd Samarium, Sm, Europium, Eu Gadolinium, Gd, Terbium,Tb Dysprosium, Dy, Holium, Ho Erbium, Er, Thulium,Tm Ytterbium,Yb, Lutetium, Lu The element Promethium, Pm has no long–lived nuclei, therefore has no natural abundance. These elements have traditionally had a different naming system as compared to other minerals (recently adopted for other minerals). The name of the mineral has a suffix indicating the dominant REE in the formula e.g. bastnasite-(Ce) where known. The most abundant lanthanides are cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, and yttrium, and it is those elements that appear most frequently in mineral names.World production stands at over 107,400 thousand tons per annum. The main current producers are China, USA, India and Australia. Some of the numerous uses include catalysts, ceramics, metallurgy, electronics, TV phosphors in CRT and LCD displays, lasers, batteries, computers (in disk drives and DVD drives), permanent magnets, fibre optics, medical imaging equipment, lighter flints, polishing powders, automotive catalytic converters and lighting applications. Newer applications are found in magnetic refrigeration, fuel cells, super conductors, data storage and magnetostrictive alloys. Over 180 different minerals are known to contain essential lanthanides and this list continues to grow. Their representatives can mainly be found within the silicate, oxide, carbonate, phosphate, arsenate and halide classes.

Euxenite-(Y), (Y,Ca,Ce,U,Th)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2O6, forms orthorhombic, stout, prismatic crystals to 10 cm in size and may be flattened in character. Radiating and compact aggregates are also known. Twinned crystals are frequent. The colour is black to brownish black or greenish black with a brilliant submetallic,waxy to resinous lustre. It is opaque being translucent only on thin edges and has a yellowish, greyish or reddish brown streak. A conchoidal to subconchoidal fracture is present with a hardness of 5.5-6.5. The specific gravity ranges from 5.3 to 5.9. The mineral can be weakly radioactive. Mode of occurrence, chemistry and physical properties are useful for identification. It is a widespread species in modest quantities within granite pegmatites and as a component of detrital sands. Common associates include albite, microcline, biotite, muscovite, ilmenite, monazite, xenotime, zircon, beryl, magnetite, garnets, allanite and many others. Plentiful occurrences are known and some of these are found in Norway, Sweden, Russia, Italy, Madagascar, Brazil, Canada, USA and Australia.

Davidite-(La),
(La,Ce)(Y,U,Fe)(Ti,Fe)20(O,OH)38, is a primary mineral in high-temperature hydrothermal veins, norites, anorthosite, alkali rocks, granite pegmatites and carbonatites. Rutile, titanite, magnetite, ilmenite, apatites, tourmalines, epidote, albite, scapolite and calcite usually accompany Davidite-(La). Hexagonal rough crystals can be flattened, cuboidal or pyramidal in form.Twinned crystals are not rare. Irregular masses and grains also form. Colour ranges from black, grey, brown or reddish when altered.The lustre is vitreous to submetallic with a greyish black to dark brown streak. It is opaque, only translucent in very thin fragments. A subconchoidal to uneven fracture is noted and is brittle.The hardness is around 6 with a specific gravity of 4.3-4.4. It may be radioactive and is commonly metamict. Mode of occurrence, chemistry and physical properties are useful recognition features. Davidite-(La) is of worldwide distribution. Large crystals come from Mavusi,Tete district; at Matema and Campangula, Mozambique. Other places for samples are found in Australia, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Kazakhstan, USA and in Canada.

Fluocerite-(Ce), (Ce,La)F3, hexagonal crystals may be prismatic to tabular or flattened in habit. Intergrowth with oriented bastnasite and mutilamellar twinning is common. Massive, granular and pebble forms are also found. A prefect cleavage and a poor subconchoidal to uneven fracture are present. The hardness is between 4 and 5. The mineral may be pale yellow to colourless when fresh and reddish brown when altered. It is transparent to translucent with a vitreous to resinous lustre and pearly on cleavage surfaces. The specific gravity is high at 5.9 to 6.1. Physical, chemical and x-ray properties are used for characterization. Fluorcerite-(Ce) is a mineral of replacement bodies in zoned granite pegmatite environments and in hydrothermal deposits associated with greisenization. Bastnasite, cerianite, parisite, monazite, allenite, thorite, zircon, fluorite, microcline and quartz are frequent associates.A wide selection of sites has produced representative specimens and includes: Sweden, Norway, Germany, USA, Nigeria, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

Bastnasite-(Ce), (Ce,La)(CO3)F, is the most abundant REE-bearing mineral, typically hydrothermal, in granite, syenite and pegmatites, carbonatites, in contact-metamorphic deposits and rarely in placers. Other enticing REE minerals such as allenite-(Ce), cerianite-(Ce), synchysite-(Ce), parasite-(Ce), fluocerite-(Ce) and fluorite, barite, pyrite, glaucophane and galena can occur with bastnasite-(Ce). Hexagonal tabular to equant crystals are common, may be modified by several forms and up to 20 cm in size. Horizontal striated crystals also occur and are frequently syntaxically intergrown with several other REE minerals. Granular to massive aggregates also occur. Several poor to perfect cleavages are present with an uneven fracture. The mineral is brittle and the hardness is 4-4.5. It is wax-yellow, honey-yellow to reddish colour and is transparent, translucent to near opaque. The lustre is vitreous, greasy to pearly. Specific gravity is 4.9 to 5.2 and is strongly piezoelectric in character. Physical and chemical properties are useful characteristics. Some of the copious sources are found in Sweden, France, Turkey, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan (large crystals recently, some faceted to over 18 carats!), Madagascar, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, USA, Canada, China and elsewhere.

Tundrite-(Nd), Na3
(Nd,La)4(Ti,Nb)2(SiO4)2 (CO3)3)O4(OH).2H2O, can be found as spherulitic masses up to 5 mm in size. The mineral is brownish to greenish yellow and is translucent in character with a vitreous lustre. The hardness is 3 and the specific gravity is 4.0. It has a white streak. Chemistry, x-rays and single locality may identify this complex triclinic carbonate-silicate. Tundrite-(Nd) occurs in pegmatite veins associated with a layered nepheline syenite, and is found with microcline and arfvedsonite. Specimens have been obtained from the Ilimaussaq intrusion, Kringlerne, Kangerdluarssuk Plateau, Greenland.

Monazite-(Ce), (Ce,La,Nd)(PO4), can reach to 26 cm in size and over 25 kg in weight! Collectors can expect a varied and interesting crystal morphology that ranges from tabular, prismatic, equant to wedge-shaped character with affluent forms. Twinned crystals are frequent as are contact twins. Massive and granular aggregates also occur. The colour can be white, brown, red, pink, yellow, grey and greenish, and is transparent to opaque. Streak is white to pale brown and the lustre is resinous, waxy to adamantine. Several distinct to poor cleavages are noted with a parting and possess a conchiodal to uneven fracture. It is brittle and has a hardness of 5-5.5. The specific gravity varies from 4.9 to 5.4. It often exhibits the alexandrite effect.The mineral may be radioactive if thorium-rich. Monazite-(Ce) is a widespread accessory mineral of granites, syenites and their pegmatites, in fissure veins, high-grade metamorphic rocks, charnockites and in weathering zones. It is also commonly detrital in river and beach sands. It is regularly associated with zircon, xenotime, titanite, allenite, columbite, wolframite, barite, biotite, feldspars, beryl, quartz, tourmalines, uraninite, cassiterite and many REE minerals. Monoclinic habit, occurrence, physical and chemical properties are distinguishing characteristics.There are countless occurrences for excellent collector specimens. Typical of these can be located in Russia, Norway, Romania, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, France, Congo Republic, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, USA, Brazil, Bolivia, Japan, Australia and China. Only small gemstones have been cut of this material.

Monazite-(Sm), (Sm,Gd, Ce)(PO4), is the first samarium dominant mineral to be discovered. It is know from the Annie claim No. 3 pod, Greer Lake intrusion, Bird River, Greenstone Belt, Manitoba, Canada and in theBelaya Zima deposit, Sayan Mts,Tuya Republic, Russia. It occurs as miniature tabular, white to pale yellow, monoclinic crystals with a vitreous to greasy lustre. This has a white streak and is translucent in appearance. A good to distinct cleavage is noted and has a specific gravity of 5.5. The mineral is scarce and is found with manganocolumbite in a lepidolite pegmatite. Monazite-like habit, chemistry and limited occurrence contribute towards its identification.

Allenite-(Ce),
(Ca,Ce,La)2(Al,Fe,Fe)3(SiO4)(Si3O12(OH), forms monoclinic, tabular, prismatic to acicular crystals over 90 cm in length.They can show a range of different habits and polysynthetic twinning is common.Well-crystallised material is commonly metamict. Granular and massive habits are also encountered. The cleavage is imperfect to poor with a conchiodal to uneven fracture and is brittle.The hardness is 5.5-6 and the specific gravity is variable from around to 3.5 to 4.2. Various shades of brown, red and black are present, and can be colour-zoned with a vitreous, resinous to submetallic lustre. It can be translucent to opaque. The streak is grey. Physical properties, chemistry and x-rays are useful for distinguishing this species. Allenite- (Ce) is a characteristic accessory mineral of granites, granodiorites, monzonites, syenites, rarely in schists, gneisses, skarns and some contact metamorphosed limestones in large amounts. It can be a clastic member of sediments. Epidote, muscovite, fluorite, quartz, feldspars, various amphiboles, micas, chlorites, calcite, zircon, uraninite, talc and various REE minerals normally occur with allenite-(Ce). Some countries that afford good crystals or rich material follow: Greenland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, France, Germany, USA, Canada, Mexico, India, Australia, Mozambique and South Africa. Since it is often dark the mineral is seldom faceted apart from cabochons.

Keiviite-(Yb), (Yb,Y)2Si2O7, is a uncommon mineral of pegmatites and occurs with microcline, fluorite, bastnasite, higganite and wulfenite. It forms elongated platy and prismatic crystals that are monoclinic in character. Polysynthetic twinning is frequent.The mineral is colourless with a vitreous lustre. A perfect and imperfect cleavage is present. The specific gravity is high at 5.9 with a hardness of 4 to 5. Its chemistry and x-rays best identify this species. Its sole locality is Ploskaya Mt, Keivy massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia. Minerals containing the element strontium will be discussed next.
John Betterton

Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 33

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 33

Published Autumn 2005

Contents: Meditation with Crystals, Adularescence and Labradorescence,
Coloured Gemstone Report, Fossil News, Chromium Minerals, Agate,
Letters, Shops Page, Opal from Ethiopia,
Rock 'n' Gem Dates, Subscribe, Shows and Classifieds.

Buy Issue 33, Choose Destination

Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 28

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Published Summer 2004

Contents: Crystals that Protect, Fossil News, Geotourism in Lanzarote,
Antimony Minerals, Ammonites, Mineral Identification,
Shops Page, Back Issues, Strange World of Silica Generation,
Rock 'n' Gem Dates, Shows and Classifieds.

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 37

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 37

Published August 2006

Contents: Healing Gemstones pt 3, Coloured Gemstone Report,
Fossil News, Paul Butterworth, Sagenite Formation,
The "Beauties    & the Beasts", Lithium Minerals Shops, Rock 'n' Gems Shows,
A Little Bit of    Rough, Agates, Subscribe, Shows    & Classifieds.

 

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 32

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 32

Published Summer 2005

Contents: Meditation with crystals, John Hamer collection, How to cut malachite,
Spectacular fossil trees, Fossil news, Niobium and Tantalum Minerals,
Intrusive igneous rocks, Letters, Shops page,
2005 Rock 'n' Gem Dates, Shows and classified ads.

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 27

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Published Spring 2004

Contents: What is a mineral, collection of articles from HND Gemology, voguel cut crystals, books, letters, uranium minerals and more.

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 36

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 36

Published Summer 2006

Contents: Healing Gemstones pt 2, Mendip Miracle, Fossil News,
Tribute to Ken Luff, Fibrous Inclusions, Making a Chain.. (by Rolf Harris),
Tellurium Minerals, Shops Page, Kimberley Process, Letters, Subscribe
Shows and Classifieds

 

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 31

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 31

Published Spring 2005

Contents: Angelic gems,School Snippets & Seperation of natural and synthetic diamonds, Conflict diamonds, Gems & jewellery at auction,Bling Bling, What is a gemstones name?, Plasterer made good, Fossil news, Beryllium minerals, tumbling,Letters, Shops page,2005 Rock 'n' Gem Dates, Page 38 Shows and classifieds

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 26

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Published Winter 2003

Contents: Calcium minerals, fossil news, opal, light, books, the pentagram

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 35

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 35

Published Spring 2006

Contents: Healing    Gemstones, Cheltenham Show , Chameleon Diamonds ,
Coloured Gemstone Report. Fossil News,
Magical Foils, Colloidal Particles, Quick Tides,
Grantown Museum, Sodium, Minerals, Shops Page,
Jewel of the Caribbean    Letters,
2006 Rock 'n' Gem, Dates Subscribe

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 30

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 30

Published Winter 2004

Contents:Earths history in plant leaves, 2005/6 Quick Tides, School Snippets,
Gemmology heaven & The importance of inclusions, page 8 Noodle of colour,
page 9 Shell, Fossil news, Titanium Minerals, Puzzles in the rocks,
Keswick mining museum, Gemstone market report,Letters, Shops page, Angels, Shows and classifieds.

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Rock n Gem Magazine Issue 25

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Published Autumn 2003

Contents: Dragons myth or fact, what is a mineral, otavi mining triangle - collecting in Namibia, shops pages, fossils, the origin of flint

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To see a list of mineral, crystal, gemstone, fossil shows/events both UK and worldwide visit our show page, if you organise or know of a show please get in touch to list it here.

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