RHS1 Connector – August 2005

RHS1 Connector – August 2005


The terms “hardness” and “toughness” are sometimes confused when comparing the qualities of gemstones, and there is a great deal of difference. Diamond is by far the hardest of gemstones, for it will scratch, cut or polish any other stone. But, for toughness (resistance to chipping and breaking), jade has diamond beat. A diamond will easily cut or scratch jade, but a jade hammer can in turn crush a diamond to powder. It is the cross matted structure of jade that makes it nearly impossibly to break. If you drop a solid jade cabochon on cement and it breaks, better check, it probably wasn’t jade. The Chinese used jade for anvils, just as we use steel, and sometimes the same anvil was used for generations. Jade for axes and hammer-line tools, centuries ago, was a practical, useful and highly valued material.

This article was contributed by the Willamette Agate and Mineral Society of Oregon.

Editors note:  If you have never been rockhunting in Oregon you have missed a truly exciting and rewarding experience.  You can learn more about the Oregon rockhounding  experience by visiting The Willamette Agate and Mineral Society’s website at:



Meteorites are fast becoming a popularly hunted stone, not just because of hunter fascination,  but also because of the increasing monetary value of the rocks. Universities and Scientists are stepping up the study of the “space rocks” and that adds up to good prices for the sale by finders.

While spectacular to watch, many burn up burn completely before hitting the earth. But don’t lose hope.  It is estimated that seven and a half thousand do strike each year so there is no shortage of material to hunt.  The more recent the stone’s impact with earth, the more valuable it is. Universities are eager to get fresh material which hasn’t had time to be contaminated by earth elements and microbes.  You can reasonably expect to receive between 10 cents and $1.50 per gram for the stones, however, up to $5,000.00 has been paid for some stones.  Prices are determined by size, variety, and authenticity.

When setting out to hunt meteorites it may be worth noting that according to federal domain, stones found on public land belong to the Smithsonian Institute.  This is not written in the Code of Federal Regulation, however, and a laxed enough attitude exists that has allowed many finders to retain a portion of ownership.  Rocks found on private lands belong to whoever finds them, as long as there are no issues with hunting on the property.  It is up to the hunter to make sure they are not hunting in prohibited areas just as for any other variety of rocks.  Some countries will not allow meteorites to be exported at all, so if you are intending to hunt on foreign soil, you may want to check the laws of that country first.

Meteorites can be hard to identify but there are some tips you can follow to help you find and identify them. Of course, you need to find them before you can identify them, so it makes sense to start in areas that will be most likely to produce a find.  The surface of the meteorite, especially more recent falls, is a dark crust which sometimes contains flow lines from the friction of the atmosphere on the heated rock as it falls.  It makes sense to look in areas that the indigenous rocks are a light color. Better yet, you may want to look in areas that have few or no indigenous rocks such as ice fields, glaciers, barren desert areas and sand dunes where a dark rock will stand out.  Meteor craters are a common sense place to look as well, but do make sure that the area is legally accessible before you start a hunt there.

Metal detectors are of real help in finding meteorites due to the high content of iron and nickel in these stones.  This metal content also makes the meteorite heavier than the average stone.  Most meteorites will attract magnets so you will want to add one to your field supplies.  By tying a string on the magnet you can eliminate the need to bend over every time you want to check a rock that makes your metal detector sound.  Once you do find a meteorite, you will want to scour the area of your find as it is usual to find meteorites in a “strewn field”  for many explode in the atmosphere and can scatter the debris for quite a ways.

If  you are one of the fortunate few who actually see the meteorite hit, you will want to record all information such as the color of the falling “star”, the angle of descent, landmarks, time, date, sounds, and so forth for authentication and scientific research.  Your local University will be able to advise you with any questions you have about authenticating or selling your find.

If you are buying a meteorite, do make sure it is authenticated or you may find yourself paying for an ordinary piece of hematite or other look alike counterfeit.

The book “Rocks From Space” by O. Richard Norton, is an excellent resource guide to learning more about meteorites and how to hunt for them.


More than 319,000 harp seals will be clubbed or shot to death this year in Canada.
96% . of them will be less than 3 months old, and some may even be skinned alive.
Shockingly, the hunt is subsidized by the Canadian government!
Your clicks support air time for IFAW’s TV campaign to build public
pressure against this cruel and inhumane hunt. .
Aid in the protection of the lives of these defenseless creatures at:



As the building of the new site draws to a finish,  we continue to add new features.  Members be –  aware that you will want to visit the member’s only page before buying from the sales pages to find out about your available discounts on rockhound and camping supplies and equipment, and your rebates on books and magazines.   We hope to add other areas of value for members as the club develops.  We have also additional features to the forums and photo gallery which you will want to explore.  Please be patient – we are almost finished and will be live again very soon.


For those of you going to the Yellowstone Park area, you might be interested in taking a small detour to the town of Powell, Wyoming during your trip.  Follow the highway from Yellowstone’s East gate to Cody.  You will travel about 22 miles East from Cody to Powell then  turn North onto the small town’s main street.  Go through the town and follow the road up to the “bench” area North of town.

The bench is strewn with colorful pieces of agatized wood and Indian artifacts.  In areas you will be able to walk amongst actual Indian TP rings left by our native ancestors, and at one point on the Western edge you can look down upon an ancient arrow made of rock pointing West.  The purpose of the arrow has as of yet been undiscovered.  In some of the Northern areas of the bench, you can still view pictoglyphs also left by early natives.

The bench area is open field, so you will want to be sure to take clothing to protect you in hot summer suns as temperatures can soar to over 100 degrees.  While under snow at some points of the winter months, usually December and January, the area is searchable most of the year and especially enjoyable in early spring.



Birthstone – May
Astrological stone: Taurus

The emerald is a form of beryl, related to aquamarine.  It is a bright green, the most valuable being a deep rich grass green.  A true emerald has chromium impurities.  Those with vanadium impurities are at controversy whether or not they are actual emeralds,  but they do look the same.  It is difficult to find an emerald without flaws, which are so expected they are referred to as the stone’s “jardin”.  They in no way lessen the value of the stone, which for a excellent gem will rival, and sometimes exceed,  that of a diamond.   Most emeralds are treated with resins and oils to enhance the stone, and you may expect this to be the case when buying the stone unless specifically told that it is “unenhanced”.

Emerald has played a major role in the history of gems.  It has been recognized and cherished by humans for 6,000 years and has been considered a sacred stone throughout it’s history.  The early Egyptians mined the mineral from the Cleopatra mines. ( The mines have been recovered and reopened in recent times. ) Cleopatra adorned herself with the gem, which was dedicated to the goddess Venus and represented honesty in love.  The Emperor Nero used emerald lenses while watching  gladiator tournaments to avoid eyestrain.  Royalty wore  the stones to ward off epilepsy, aid against poisonous bites, and aid their intellect and business sense.   In Bangkok a building, Wat Pra Kaew was built to house the Green Buddha, a 45 cm tall  statue with much religious significance that was crafted in the 1400’s, stolen, and recovered in the 1700’s.

Even today you can not get in to see the statue unless you follow the proper dress and traditional respects  for viewing the statue as it is still religiously significant to that culture.  It is thought that favor is bestowed to those who worship before it.

Metaphysically the stone is second to none in power.  By holding the stone under your tongue it is said you may achieve powers of prophecy, especially in the areas of love.  The stone is thought to bring intuitive truths about the honesty of  wearer’s spouse.  It supports the heart Chakra , promoting honesty, integrity, inner peace, prosperity, and sharpening the intellect.

The emerald has been revered as a power against all malady, be it illness, poisonous bites, physical danger, and even evil whether naturally occurring or directed at you.  It is a promoter of wealth, drawing money to you and sharpening your financial acuity.   It has been used to heal cancer by rubbing the stone against the effected part of the body.  Eyesight, lymph, blood, thymus have all  been said to receive extra benefit from the stone, which is used for all forms of afflictions, and will even cure bites from poisonous snakes and epilepsy.  Emerald has been known to be powdered and ingested for medicinal effects.

A gift of an emerald is a gift of trust in love and a wish for safety and prosperity for its wearer.