AFMS Program Presentation Competition 2016

American Federation of Mineralogical Societies - logo.The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies has announced a Program Competition in their latest newsletter, describing the benefits as:

There are real “rewards and recognition” for winners. Cash prizes defray production costs, an award certificate and pin are presented to the winners, and information about all winners is published in newsletters and magazines. But more important, each winning program is duplicated and distributed to the seven Regional Libraries,making the winning programs available to Clubs across the country — giving their members a chance to enjoy and learn from them for many years.

The group has contributed in the past, and it would be exciting to be recognized for some of our outstanding educators and programs.

The Competition recognizes and rewards authors of presentations about the Earth Sciences. The programs are then shared with other clubs across the country. The programs or presentations may consist of digital presentations (PowerPoint) and materials (PDF) or video, 30-40 minutes in length.

There are four classes for entries:

  1. Educational
  2. Field Collecting
  3. Hot to Do It
  4. Just for Juniors (young people)

The judges are looking for:

  • Accuracy and educational value
  • Quality of photography and visuals
  • Completeness of Story (but not too much)
  • Narration that moves well from one image to the next
  • Explore an area of interest or demonstrate ideas and techniques for use
  • Well-crafted title, credits, and “the end” slides

The awards include $200 cash prize for the highest, $100 for other placements, and winners will be announced at the AFMS Awards Banquet.

If you are interested in entering the contest, let us know. We’d love to help you make it the best. Talk to a board member at the next meeting or contact us. For more information, check your latest AFMS newsletter.

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Jade: Did You Know There are More Than Two Types?

The following is by Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club member Taylor Hunt. if you would like to contribute to our newsletter and website with articles on various rocks, minerals, and gems, please contact us.

The gemstone jadeite generally forms as a result of the plate tectonic process of subduction. Jade made from jadeite forms when supercritical fluids from subducting oceanic crust condense in the overlying man-tel wedge (the “wedge” is all the sediments swept up, piled and squeezed between the subducting oceanic plate and a continental mass), between 20 & 60 km deep in the Earth. Jadeite deposits thus mark the loca-tion of exhumed fossil subduction zones.

A new term PTG’s, plate tectonic gemstone, and jadeite is one PTG currently recognized. For various reasons most PTG’s are found in rocks or continental plates considered young to planet Earth. Most are no older than the formation of the supercontinent of Rodinia or 1,000 ma yr. Petrotectonic indicators that form deep in the Earth have the added advantage that their record is unlikely to be obliterated by erosion. Recognition of the PTG’s links modern concepts of plate tectonics to economic gemstones deposits and the ancient concepts of beauty, and may aid in exploration for new deposits.

Any mineral or stone beautiful enough to be sought, mined and sold for its beauty alone is a gemstone. The subclass of rocks and minerals that comprise gemstones—whether precious or semi-precious—has mostly been established since antiquity. Humans have sought and prized gemstones since thousands of years be-fore the science of geology was established. Because gemstones are rare by definition, the geological conditions that produce them must have been exceptional. Thus, there is a confluence of economic, aesthetic and academic interest in gemstones. Jade — specifically the variety jadeite — is the characteristic beautiful product of normal oceanic lithosphere subduction.

The following images are from Wiki Commons and Flickr contributors, used under copyright and public domain free image licenses.

Jade is a term ascribed to two different materials with similar properties, toughness, and beauty that evolved in usage and significance from toolstones for axes, choppers and hammers to one of the most highly revered gemstones in the world. As a tool, jade was employed during the Paleolithic (stone age, before 3500 BCE) but was raised to high symbolic stature as a gemstone in proto—Chinese Hongshan and Liangzhu cultures by 3500 BCE, and in the Jom’on culture of Japan by 3000 BCE, and in Central America by the Olmec of the Early Formative period by at least 1500 BCE and later in the Mayan civilization. Hard jade (jadeitite) or “ying yu” in Chinese consists predominately of pyroxene minerals, jadeite (Na,Al,Si2,O8), while soft jade (nephrite jade) “ruan yu” come from amphibole minerals of tremolite-actinolite [Ca2(Mg,Fe)5,Si8O22(OH)2]. The term jade was derived from the Spanish “piedra de yjada” (loin stone) for talismans worn by the Aztec to ease abdominal pain, but was mistranslated to the word jade. In New Zealand, nephrite jade is sometimes called greenstone and was a favorite of the Maoris. Continue reading “Jade: Did You Know There are More Than Two Types?”

Adopt-a-Mineral at the Rice Northwest Museum – Fluorite

The Rice has a great program called Adopt-a-Mineral, allowing the public to donate to the museum by adopting a rock and mineral. The following article is about one of those minerals, fluorite, available for adoption now.

Fluorite (AM 29, AM 30)

Carlo Galeani Napione named the mineral fluorite in the late 1700s. The name derives from the Latin “fleure”, meaning flow, because it is commonly used as a flux. Fluorite is a halide, in which a metal is bonded to one of the halogen elements (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine).

The following images are used courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Fluorite is commonly translucent and found with a vitreous (glassy) luster. It has many colors including, green, purple, yellow, pink, brown and colorless. Its streak (color of the powdered mineral) is white. Fluorite has a hardness of ~4 and is the hardness reference species on Mohs’ scale. It is a brittle mineral, and it will fracture and break along perfect cubic and octahedral cleavage planes. Fluorite usually occurs as cubes, although it can also be found as octahedra (8-faced crystals), and rarely as dodecahedra (12-faced crystals). Sometimes these forms can be found combined in single crystals. When not seen as large crystalline specimens, fluorite is usu-ally massive, or an aggregate of very small cubes. Continue reading “Adopt-a-Mineral at the Rice Northwest Museum – Fluorite”