Member Julian Gray Releases Book on Minerals of Georgia

Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club member, Julian Gray, recently released “Minerals of Georgia,” a long-time project with co-author Dr. Robert B. Cook, edited by Jose Santamaria.

Announced in the Examiner and in a public event at the Tellus Science Museum in Atlanta, the new book showcases the geological beauty of the minerals in the state of Georgia, and provides an exceptional educational guide for amateur geologists on the scientific makeup and locations of minerals.

Julian Gray, Executive Director of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon, previously worked at Tellus Science Museum as its curator. He was a long-time resident of Georgia and intimately familiar with its geology as a geologist, and as a hobbyist from an early age.

Called by many “the bible of Georgia mineralogy to mineral collectors,” this is the updated edition of the 1978 original book. It includes more information on new mineral discoveries, a stronger scientific narrative of each classification, and many more beautiful photographs, many taken by Julian.

He spoke to our group about agates and his upcoming book in August. Julian will be speaking at a variety of events here in Oregon as part of the book tour and promotion. We’ll announce them as they become available.

Congratulations to Julian Gray for the outstanding work he did on the book and the fantastic contribution to mineralogy.


August Meeting: Speaker Julian Gray, Executive Director of the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals

On August 13th Julian Gray did a presentation on quartz that was rich in content and dazzled us all.

He talked about how quartz is one of the most common minerals on the planet. In combination with other minerals, it forms comment rocks like granite. The term “quartz” is named for “icy cold” in Latin as it was believed to be an ice-like formation in ancient times.

Julian Gray is the Executive Director of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon. He is an expert in photomicrography, the photography of rocks, minerals, and gems under the microscope. He is also a geologist and former curator of the Tellus Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

Julian is also an author and his next book, Minerals of Georgia: Their Properties and Occurrences, will be available on in February 2016.

July 2015 Presidents Message

July really drives home that it’s summer. Long hot sunny days make us want to be outside exploring, traveling and enjoying the delights of living in Oregon. And for our July regular meeting, we’re going to do all that plus throw in a picnic too. Yes, it’s time for our annual picnic at the Rice Museum

!Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club at picnic at Rice Northwest Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Date: Thursday, July 9th. This is our regular meeting night, but we will meet at the Rice Museum.

Trailer repair Continue reading “July 2015 Presidents Message”

Rice Northwest Museum Becomes Smithsonian Affiliate

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals main building.We’re proud to announce that one of our long-time partners and affiliates, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon, has been awarded an affiliation with the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum and research center located in Washington, D.C., with affiliates and branches around the country.

According to the news article on Oregon Live, this is the second museum in Oregon to receive such an honor.

According to the release, museum co-founder Sharleen Harvey related that her parents, Richard and Helen Rice, “had great respect for the Smithsonian Institution and used their collections as a high standard for quality and beauty when building the Rice Museum collection. I believe the acceptance of the Rice Museum as a Smithsonian Affiliate signifies that they achieved their goal.”

Harvey goes on to say that the affiliation “confirms that [the Rice Museum] meets the high standards required to assist our schools and community in earth science education. It assures that visitors and supporters of the museum can have confidence in the quality and content of the exhibits, plus enjoyment in viewing fine minerals, fossils, meteorites and lapidary specimens.”

Speaking for the Smithsonian, Harold A. Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations, is quoted as saying, “The museum has a well-deserved reputation for engaging generations in earth sciences through its scholarship, exhibitions, and education programs. Our partnership offers the opportunity to underscore the importance of science as a source of inspiration in our daily lives and in the years ahead.”

The new Executive Director, Julian Gray, is a member of the Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club, and he was the driving force behind this affiliation. He will be working closely with the Smithsonian to coordinate educational opportunities and exhibits in the future.

In another news report announced in the Portland Tribune, a representative of the Smithsonian describes the new affiliation. Continue reading “Rice Northwest Museum Becomes Smithsonian Affiliate”

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Highlighted as a Destination

John Gottberg Anderson wrote a travel piece for the Central Oregon newspaper, The Bulletin, recently highlighting Washington County and the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, our favorite rock and mineral museum and a partner and affiliate of the Tualatin Valley Rock and Mineral Club. As all members know, our club was founded by the Rice family.

The article highlights the museum by describing a feature exhibit:

There are few more stunning sights in Oregon than the Rainbow Gallery of fluorescent minerals at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals.

Step behind a blackout curtain to see otherwise colorless rocks explode into brilliant colors — emerald green, cobalt blue, fiery red, yellow, orange, pink, purple — when they are bathed in ultraviolet or “black” light.

Colors emerge as short-wave and long-wave fluorescence flows upon the rocks, activating impurities within them. Specimens of more than 500 types of minerals, about one in every seven, are known to fluoresce. They come from every continent and in virtually every color of the rainbow.

The Rainbow Gallery at Hillsboro’s Rice Northwest Museum displays a remarkable collection of fluorescent rocks. As they are bathed in short-wave and long-wave ultraviolet (or “black”) light, the rocks’ impurities are activated and these brilliant colors emerge.

The article includes interviews with Executive Director Julian Gray and Curator Leslie Moclock.

It also highlights the passion many in Washington County have for nature, and the museum.

Oregon’s Washington County, which embraces the Tualatin River Valley, is far from unknown to business travelers. Home to technology company Intel and numerous other high-tech firms, along with footwear and clothing giant Nike, it is a destination for visitors from around the world…My most memorable discovery was the Rice Northwest Museum, open weekends and Wednesday through Friday afternoons.

Richard and Helen Rice were passionate rock collectors beginning in the 1930s, when they became enamored of agates they gathered on the Oregon coast. “Richard had money at a time when there were incredible minerals to be bought,” Gray explained. “He got involved in lapidary and learned to cut and polish his finds. But it began as a hobby.”

The couple built a ranch-style, flagstone home in 1953 and raised three daughters there. They displayed their specimens in lighted cases. As the family grew and moved away, the collection took over the house, and when the senior Rices moved out, their home became a private museum. It was accorded nonprofit status in 1996, a year before its founders’ deaths.

The Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club often hold meetings and special events at the museum, and participate in most of the major festivals and events with many of our members volunteering and working hard to ensure these events are successful.

Remember, as part of your membership, admission to the Rice Northwest Museum is free.

Rice Northwest Museum Wins Educational Award in Tucson

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals took top honors and award at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show for its display on “Lead materials.”

The 2015 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is host to over a hundred thousand visitors during a week to two week period in Tucson, and exhibitors come from around the world to show off their wares and rock and mineral collections.

The Friends of Mineralogy honored the Rice Northwest Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon, as it’s “Best Educational Exhibit by an Institution.” The exhibit, put together by Curator Leslie Moclock, featured colorful examples of lead with educational material about its usage and makeup.

As part of your membership benefits with the club, member admission to the museum is free.

If you haven’t been to the museum in a while, stop in and see the changes Julian Gray and Leslie Moclock have brought to this heritage site and exceptional museum.

For the historians in our club, don’t forget that the founders of the Rice Northwest Museum, Richard and Helen Rice, founded the Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club as well.

Club Picnic 2014

Our annual club picnic is coming up next month. It is scheduled for July 24th, 2014, which is a regularly scheduled club meeting date (4th Thursday of the month) and will be at the Rice Museum.

Plan on setting up at 5 and we’ll eat at 6. The museum will stay open to allow you to tour, so bring the family and a friend or two.

This year, Taylor Hunt will be grillmaster. Be sure to offer him some assistance if you can. The picnic is a potluck, with the club providing a main dish like burgers (I don’t know what he’s planning yet, so it might be chili or chicken), buns, bottled water and coffee. Members are asked to bring a side dish to share and also bring your own plates/bowls, utensils (including ones for your shared dish) and a round table cloth would be a nice touch too.

The museum only has about 70 chairs and around 20 tables, so if you can bring a table and a few chairs, that would be helpful.

Also, we will be holding a silent auction to raise some money to cover costs for the shin-dig. If you can bring some jewelry, slabs or rough along with a written note as to what the material is, along with any info on it’s history and value, that would be appreciated.

I need some volunteers to help set up the auction tables. Please let me know if you can help with that.

Oregon Geological Snowflakes: Thundereggs on Oregon Field Guide

If you missed, check online for the Geologic Snowflake Hunters Flock to Oregon for Thundereggs episode on the Oregon Field Guide on OPB TV.

Thundereggs are the state rock of Oregon, and fascinating to collectors young, old, novice, and experienced. Producer Vince Patton and his crew showcased the Madras, Oregon, annual thunderegg digs on the Richardson Ranch just outside of Madras.

As a reminder, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, one of our affiliates and partners, has more than 1,000 thundereggs in its inventory, including the famous “Meatball,” an 800 pound thunderegg in the Northwest Mineral Gallery that has never been cracked.