In this issue…Feature Fact –World’s biggest crystals– — Rockhound Recipes and Tips, column –Travel: — – Feature Article, Serial, Metaphysics and History of Minerals, this issue, Diamond.
FUN FACT OF THE MONTH — A SUPER FACT
An RHS1 Exclusive Interview
CRYSTAL CAVES –
THE DISCOVERY OF THE EARTH’S LARGEST CRYSTALS
If you have been keeping up with the RHS1 Gazette, you may already know about the discovery of giant crystals in the Niaca Mountains. When I came across the website I was just totally blown away. At first I thought it was a joke but while reading the page it became evident that this find was the real thing! The website is pretty informative, but I just couldn’t help emailing to the photographer, Richard D. Fisher, and finding out just a tad more. After all, it’s not everyday you dig into 30 foot and larger crystals – or even get to witness such a phenomena.
RHS1: Did anyone know they were drilling into a cavern or minerals or was the whole event a total surprise?
Richard Fisher: There is a major fault running through the center of the Naica Mountains. They were afraid to pierce the fault for fear of flooding the existing tunnels. It did not come as a total surprise when they pierced a new cavern with selenite crystals as the mine is world famous for these outstanding and large specimens of selenite. What did come as a complete surprise was the immense size and shape of the new crystal discovery. These crystals were perhaps more than three times larger than any pervious discovered crystals in the Naica mine and in fact anywhere in the world.
RHS1: Do you think there might be more places just like this one or is this most likely a one of a kind? If more might exist is it likely they will be in the same general vicinity or do you see them cropping up in other parts of the world?
Richard Fisher: It is certainly possible more crystals of this magnitude will be found at Naica. It is very unlikely that crystals of this size will be found elsewhere although some similar much relatively smaller selenite crystals have been found in Spain. On the other side of the Naica fault there is still a very large ore body to be mined so there is a very good chance more large crystals will be found in time.
Richard Fisher: The mine is owned by the Penoles Mining Company, the second largest in Mexico and one of the largest in the world.
RHS1: What are the owner’s plans for the cave?
Richard Fisher: The mining company is primarily interested in mining zinc and lead ore and this is one of their more profitable mines. They intend to continue mining operations and any discoveries of crystals giant or otherwise are considered a nuisance more or less. It is said that the mining company has sold the rights to explore the discoveries of any further crystals to a “scientific” exploration team from Europe.
RHS1: Is this possibly an 8th wonder of the world?
Richard Fisher: If the crystals from this mine had been preserved in their original pristine state it certainly would have been the discovery of one of the most phenomenal natural features on earth.
RHS1: Anything more you might like to tell a globe of avid rockhounds about the cave?
Richard Fisher: Yes, I would like to find a partner to help me market art quality prints of the giant crystals. When I first had the opportunity to photograph them in their pristine state they were truly remarkable and I was very fortunate to obtain these photographs before any damage had occurred. In fact, the reason I was invited into the cave was because they were unable to obtain any photographs at all. After studying the challenges presented I made the decision to go very low tech instead of the high tech direction. As it turned out, this made my photographing efforts successful. I did pass along my technique to several other photographers but most subsequent explorers have opted to try high tech solutions to the photographic problems and have generally been unsuccessful in that regard. Therefore, I know that crystal lovers would very much like to possess art quality prints that are from the era when the caves were first opened and in pristine condition. My photographs are also done in a very natural way that had no negative effects on the crystals or their environment.
Richard also sent me his first hand personal experience of photographing these wonders and I would much like to share. I don’t think anything I can say or tell you would do the whole experience justice after hearing it in his own words. You will probably agree after reading this:
Dear Sally, I have been asked for my “feelings” concerning the crystal caves. Now that I have had a few moments break from my deadline in publishing my next book, perhaps I can share with you some insights. Here is a little story from beginning to end of the exploration.
When I was first approached with an invitation to photograph the newly discovered crystal cave I was not at all interested. I had done some cave photography when I was in college several decades earlier and while they were artistically pleasing I had never pursued caving due to the closed social nature of the caving club. I did not enjoy the clickish social atmosphere but was very interested and astounded by the beauty found in unexplored virgin caves nonetheless. I did a few articles about caves that I had photographed but quickly became aware that the photographs could potentially lead to the exploitation and damage of these unique natural treasures. I did not want to be a part of anything like that.
Equally, the folks who had been attempting to photograph the crystal giants were excellent photographers in their own right and I doubted that I could improve on their dark and fuzzy images. The tourism department, however, continued to encourage me to take on the project and after several months I finally agreed.
At that point I made a study of how previous attempts in taking the photographs were done, what exactly the conditions in the cave were, and then began to study how miners in deep hot mines approach their work. What was immediately apparent from this research is that the miners in the deep underground gold and diamond its of South Africa probably had the best techniques for handling the inhumane conditions that they faced. I determined that in every way possible I would follow their example and use the methods South African miners. While I was provided with big clunky boots I quickly became aware that they were rough on the crystals and opted for more crystal friendly low tech shoes like the miners in South Africa wear.
The short story is that I used a low tech approach with not only my own personal dress and technique but also the same approach when preparing my cameras for this extreme encounter. I will not go into the specific techniques that I developed but I will say that being in harmony with the natural condition of the giant crystals was successful.
Many “expert” cave and mine photographers made the attempt to photo the crystals subsequent to my explorations with mixed and in most cases poor success. They vastly underestimated the conditions of the crystal cave environment. Now, they are experimenting with firefighting and space suits. While some photographs do show the crystals adequately this is over kill and do not show humanity in an environmentally harmony with the crystals themselves as I have been able to do.
I subsequently made 5 or 6 expeditions into the caves improving my technique with each visit.
On my first entry into the hottest of the caverns I had a personal epiphany. When I first entered, my body screamed “you are on fire, run, run, run back to the entry, back to life, back to comfort!” My mind however advised “be calm, relax, and see. Becalm your emotions control your fear.”
It was hard to see in there as of course it was completely black except for my headlamp pierced a thin beam of weak light that was quickly dispersed by the mist surrounding the crystals. I could faintly see huge trees that made me feel like I did as a young boy hiking through the rain in the redwood forest of northern California. That environment was also harsh, yet cold, and damp encouraging the human traveler to seek shelter in a comfortable cabin by the fireplace. Here in the crystal cave while the scenery held the same aw of a redwood forest in a blinding rainstorm, the effect of the heat was completely the opposite and even more powerful survival instinct kept screaming from my physical existence “get out now!”.
The crystals in their own way said to me “if you can survive and thrive in our environment, you can share in our beauty.” I just kept thinking that thought again and again as the moments ticked past. On the first journey into the hottest of the three caves I could last a total of 8 minutes, on the second entry perhaps 5 minutes, and the last foray into the white hot darkness I could just dash in, take a few final shots and then dash out. The crystals motivated me much like extreme canyons to throw thoughts of safety and comfort aside and try to actually see them and at the same time manage the mechanical camera and the film in such a way as to ultimately be successful. Days later as I reviewed images taken in total darkness of which I could see very little, the true splendor of these feminine selenite pillars revealed themselves, rewarding my patience and perseverance.
As my trips progressed over that next year, the mine changed management for the crystal access and I began to see that the direction was toward the objective of mining with is the expectation and profit from the mineral wealth of the vein that produced this one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon. It was with great sadness that I realized that the crystals would perhaps not be preserved, ultimately. This place is after all owned by some of the richest men on earth and it is their purpose, as is their historical legacy, to exploit the earth’s resources in the pursuit of power and unbelievable wealth.
Due to the extremely hot nature of the crystalline environment the caves have been closed to tourism. There were a number of people who collapsed and had to be evacuated almost immediately after entering the caves and this became too much of a liability burden for the mining company. Since the caves have been closed, I am not aware of further preservation efforts and would not like to comment out of ignorance on what might have become of the many virgin panoramas that I was blessed to see and photograph.
Know that the conservation efforts for the Crystal Cave of the Giants has met with mixed results. At various times some materials have been removed but the immense size of the largest pieces has protected them as they are much too large to move even with the huge mechanical equipment used in modern mining. As the caves have been opened to ventilation the temperature and particularly the humidity has dropped so photography has become much more normalized. One can expect to see new photos of space suited men wondering about the crystals like miniature alien creatures in a giant geode in the near future.
Richard said that he feels very blessed that John Ross of the Smithsonian Magazine took an interest and published an article called Crystal Moonbeams April 2002. He continues to try to open a dialog between the Smithsonian and the Penoles Mining Company concerning the public education about the earth’s largest crystals.
Richard D. Fisher
email address: email@example.com
P.O. Box 86492
Tucson, AZ 85754
Thanks so much Richard for your time and the insiders view. You have gotten to experience the dream of rockhounds worldwide and we appreciate your sharing it with us here at RHS1.
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community
TREASURE HUNTING – OLD CHARTER SALVAGE
What’s going on now?
As you might have read earlier this month in the Gazette, Old Charter’s excavation of the exciting San Salvador treasure is still being held up because of a thoughtless act by someone pilfering a canon and anchor (and dropping them off on the lawn at the Archaeology Research Center). Holy cow.
Rather than sit and wait around until the politicians get everything set to go there again, the crew of Old Charter is off to 2 other exciting finds they have been invited to help with the excavation of. Both were found with the same recovery equipment used to locate the San Salvador treasure.
Don, we are grateful that you will be keeping us entertained with some other great stuff during the intermission from the San Salvador dig. Of course, we hope that things are cleared up and set to go there very soon.
Bon Voyage, guys.
NEWS FLASH! …**300 TONS OF GOLD!**
Received by RHS1 as we publish.
Don did send us a spectacular pic of what’s going on at the “Run for the Hills” expedition. He has this to say about it —
“There’s about 300 Tons more where that came from…you gotta love Modern Technology…and few Ancient One’s as well. ”
If you would like to find out more about Rob Kryder’s Expeditions, here is his URL.
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community
Hi again rockhounds of the world.
As you might have noticed, there are a lot of things changing and going on at RHS1 these days. We have a great Shopping Center hooked up for you to visit with some very unique stuff for any kind of scientific or outdoor interests. We also are in the process of exploring Mars. ??. Hahaha – that will all be explained very soon so just relax and enjoy the reading for now.
I have completed a free report for you folks who are interested in rock and gem hunting but have no clue of how to get started. Of course, joining the forum isn’t a bad idea for that either. We have plenty of experienced people browsing around in there who will be happy to help you out if you have questions about their local areas or own lines of crafting expertise.
There will be a second free report soon on Rock and Gem businesses. You may have to wait for that one just a spell. I am typing my fingers off trying to get everything out to you between a lot of goings on in my real world. One of the goings on is a trip to Prineville, Oregon where a few of the RHS1 members and myself included, will be scouring the countryside for the best gemstones the area has to offer. Who will get the find of the weekend? That remains to be seen.
Remember folks – if you have any news that you want out to the world, be sure and drop me an email about it and I will make sure personally that it gets into our syndicated Gazette.
If you are planning any trips that require airfare or hotels this season, make sure to check out the RHS1 Travel Center (listed in the Shopping Center). We have some pretty impressive pricing going on there folks. If you are having a Rock and Gem event, drop me a line – we might be able to get you some rebates on hotels and/or airfare for booking your out of town participants through us. It’s an easy way to generate some club funding.
That’s all for now. Keep tabs on the Gazette between newsletters to find out of any current events here or elsewhere in the world of rockhounds and treasure hunters
. Keep on Rockin’ the Third Rock
ROCKHOUND RECIPES & TIPS
Cooking with Herbs
Most RVs have a little space where you may grow fresh herbs in small pots. I grow basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme and parsley on my windowsill and then place them in the sink when we are on the road. You will also find fresh herbs at most grocery stores; and, for those in the know, you can pick wild herbs growing in the fields.
1/2 C fresh basil
1/2 C fresh parsley
3 T fresh oregano
2 T fresh thyme
1/4 C olive oil
3 T pine nuts
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in blender. Pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and blend until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Serve as a topping for pasta of any type, use hot or cold. Serves four.
Tomato Basil Sauce
2 t olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch dried thyme
fresh black pepper to taste
28 oz can diced tomatoes (or use fresh)
1 T tomato paste
1/3 C coconut milk
1/2 C fresh basil, chopped
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the thyme, salt and black pepper, stir. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and simmer three more minutes. Add the basil and turn heat off, let sit a couple of minutes before serving. Use as a topping for pasta of any type, served hot or cold. Serves four.
Tomato Basil Couscous
2 t vegetable or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C fresh basil, chopped
1 1/4 C water or vegetable stock
1 C couscous
1 C chopped tomatoes
1/4 C chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Cook garlic for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add water or stock and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in tomatoes, fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste. This recipe can also be made ahead and kept refrigerated overnight. Serves four.
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 C onions, chopped
1/4 C green onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/8 red wine vinegar
3 tomato juice
1/2 C iced black olives
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot pepper sauce to taste
1 T cilantro, chopped
In a blender, puree 1/2 of the tomatoes, onions, celery, cucumber and peppers. Pour puree into a large bowl. Stir in vinegar, tomato juice, olives, remaining chopped vegetables and cilantro. Season the soup with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Chill the soup until ready to serve. Serves four.
About the Author of Rocking Recipes Eileen Trainor (“aka” CyberCelt) earns a living as a writer, webmaster, teacher and trainer. Please visit her RVing website http://USAer.com and advertising website http://CoolAdz.com. She maintains three blogs: http://cooladzine.blogspot.com, http://advertising-for-success.blogspot.com and http://usaer.blogspot.com. If you have any requests for special topics on cooking, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on Rocking in the Free World!
About the Author of Rocking Recipes
Eileen Trainor (“aka” CyberCelt) earns a living as a writer, webmaster, teacher and trainer. Please visit her RVing websiteUSAer.com and advertising website. CoolAdz.com
She maintains three blogs: CoolAdzine.blogspot.com CoolAdzine.blogspot.com andUSAer.blogspot.com
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr”.
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community
FEATURE ARTICLE – SERIAL
METAPHYSICS AND THE HISTORY OF MINERALS
Zodiac: Leo (Talismanic stone)
Diamonds are pure carbon and are the hardest mineral known on earth, being 9 on Mohs scale of hardness. This does not mean that you cannot shatter a diamond. Many great stones are lost when gem hunters mistakenly think that if a found stone is a diamond it will not break when smacked with a hammer. Ouch. While white diamonds are the most popular and well known of the gem’s colors, they actually come in an array of colors including red, pink, blue, green, orange, yellow, and more.
The word “diamond” is from the Greek ” adamas” meaning indestructible or unconquerable. Diamonds were first used in India about 3,000 years ago as a talisman against evil and protector in battle. Early civilizations thought that diamonds were chips from stars or tears of the Gods and that they held special powers over love, wealth, and power. Cupid’s arrow was lined with diamonds in mythology. Because of the hardness of the stone and difficulties of cutting and polishing it, as well as the rarity, early civilizations did not cherish the diamond. The popularity of the stone grew in the dark and middle ages.
St. Hildegarde wrote that diamonds would cure illness when held in the hands while making the sign of the cross. Unfortunately for Pope Clement, this remedy did not work for him. Diamonds were exclusive to kings until the 1400’s. They wore them to convey strength, power, and invincibility. In 1477 Archduke Maximilian started the tradition of the diamond for an engagement ring when he presented one to his love, Mary of Burgundy,
In the middle ages the monetary value of the diamond became appealing and mining efforts flourished. Mine owners started myths that diamonds were poisonous to keep miners from smuggling them from mine by swallowing them. The largest diamond rush ever took place at Orange River in South Africa during the 1800’s – about the time America was experiencing its California Gold Rush.
Medicinally diamonds have been used to treat afflictions of the head and the testicles. In extreme cases it is used for the kidneys as well. It has also been used as an energizer. The blue light in the gemstone is believed to help against glaucoma. Diamonds are also credited for promoting longevity. Before its popularity as a gemstone diamonds were used for detoxifying the body.
Metaphysically the diamond is used to open the crown chakara. It is a used with other crystals as a catalyst to increase the other crystal’s powers. It will heighten all energies, including the negative ones and the thoughts and feelings of others. To receive the benefits of these energies the diamond must be worn against the skin. Before working with diamonds it is important that they be cleansed thoroughly as they will absorb the energies of all around it.
The gift of diamonds is a gift of love and trust.