RHS1 Connector – December 2005

RHS1 Connector – December 2005

In this issue…Feature Fact — G.O.R.T.–Diamonds”The Black Orlov” –RHS1 Club News — — Rockhound Recipes and Tips, column –Travel: — CHAFFEE COUNTY, COLORADO– Feature Article, Serial, Metaphysics and History of Minerals, this issue, Garnet.



1. What is the only rock that floats in water?

2. What is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature?

Answers – 1. pumice 2. mercury


The Black Orlov
image source: Photo by Cartier


Cursed black diamond goes on display for first time in UK

The Black Orlov joins Diamonds exhibition at the Natural History Museum

A ‘cursed’ black diamond is to go on display in the UK for the first time. Known as the Black Orlov or The Eye of Brahma, the jewel’s curse allegedly began when it was removed from a Hindu idol in southern India and it is claimed to be responsible for the violent deaths of two Russian princesses. The Black Orlov will join the Diamonds exhibition at the Natural History Museum from Wednesday 21 September.

The gem’s history is clouded in mystery but legend tells of a monk removing the original rough 195-carat diamond from the eye of the Idol of Brahma at a shrine near Pondicherry, India. This sacrilege allegedly cursed all future owners of the precious stone to a violent death. In 1947 Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov and Princess Leonila Galitzine-Bariatinsky – both former owners of the Black Orlov – leapt to their deaths in apparent suicides. Fifteen years earlier J.W. Paris, the diamond dealer who imported the stone to the USA, had jumped to his death from one of New York’s tallest buildings shortly after concluding the sale of the jewel.

In an attempt to break the curse the diamond was re-cut into three separate gems and has since been owned by a succession of private owners, all of whom seem to have escaped the curse. The 67.5-carat stone, today known as the Black Orlov, is set in a 108-diamond brooch suspended from a 124 diamond necklace. After the Diamonds exhibition closes in February 2006, the Black Orlov will travel to California to make its next star appearance at the 2006 Academy Awards.

‘In the middle of the 20th century the media christened it the “Evil Death Gem” but I’ve never felt nervous about owning the Black Orlov,’ said Dennis Petimezas, the stone’s current owner. ‘I’ve spent the past year trying to discover everything I can about the stone’s melodramatic history and I’m pretty confident that the curse is broken.’

‘The intriguing legend of the Black Orlov highlights the powerful way that diamonds have captured human imagination for thousands of years,’ said Alan Hart, exhibition curator. ‘This jewel’s beauty and apparent infamy make it a fitting addition to the world’s biggest diamond exhibition.

True black diamonds are incredibly rare. Only one in 10,000 diamonds mined are coloured. Most coloured diamonds get their colour from chemical impurities or defects in the stone itself. Black diamonds are different: their colour comes from the presence of tiny mineral inclusions.

The Black Orlov’s colour is described as ‘dark gunmetal’. Recent studies have shown that these inclusions are predominantly the iron oxide minerals magnetite and haematite along with native iron itself. When these iron rich inclusions occur in a high enough proportion they can even make diamonds magnetic.

Diamonds explores one of nature’s great miracles. Showcasing some of the world’s most beautiful and spectacular white and coloured diamonds the exhibition tells the story of this remarkable stone, from deep in the Earth to the red carpet. The biggest-ever diamonds exhibition, Diamonds displays such extraordinary stones as the De Beers Millennium Star, the Incomparable and the Steinmetz Pink together for the first time. Diamonds has been made possible by the generous support of principal sponsor Steinmetz, with additional support from the Diamond Trading Company. This dazzling event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see such an astonishing array of important diamonds in one exhibition.


Visitor information
Admission: £9, £6 concessions, Family (up to five, minimum one adult) £24, FREE to under 5s
Venue: the Natural History Museum
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00-17.50, Sunday 11.00-17.50
Ticket booking: www.nhm.ac.uk/diamonds or 0870 013 0731

Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community

Global Rockhound Community


RHS1 Club News

Hello Members,

It’s been an extremely busy month for us here at RHS1. We have doubled our membership this month and are meeting some interesting people in the forums. If you have not placed your introduction in the Introduction topic, please do so. We would like to know who and where you are. Even if you are not much for chatting this will let other members know who to contact to ask questions if they plan on visiting your area.

Claudia and Ricardo have posted their pictures of the Munich show in the Gazette. You can read their trip report in either the Gazette or the “Events” topic in the forum. Looks like the show was a great success again this year. It was so much fun for them that they are off to Patagonia again,despite the weather to get more of those gorgeous agates. Can we blame them?

Meanwhile back on the “farm” work continues on the merchant center. We know it seems like this is taking a long time, but as stated earlier, this is one monster of a program John is writing for us and when it is finished, we will be able to offer members a few perks that would not have been possible just by putting up miscellaneous pages. Our aim is to offer our members any type of services they may want or need for their clubs, or websites, and even just for themselves. .You are in for a pleasant surprise soon so your patience is appreciated.

Indy has been busy with his own little surprise for us that will be on line soon, too, so stay tuned to see what that is soon.

New members, please be aware that you can have your events, ads, and articles posted in the Gazette, which is syndicated. There is also a public view forum that you can post these in at the bottom of the forums. You are also fee to submit articles to the monthly newsletter.
Speaking of the newsletter, if you would like to receive monthly notices that the new issue of the newsletter has been posted, you can subscribe to that at http:www.rockhoundstation1.net/wp/ .

I have seen that new people do post ads in various appropriate forums, but don’t seem to notice that they can post them to the public in the Gazette as well. Be sure to read the “Club Business” forum to find all the different services available to you and how to use them. Using the Gazette is as easy a emailing your information to me so don’t miss opportunities to get your word out!!

If you have any questions about using RHS1 services, please feel free to email or PM me in the forums. I am more than glad to help you out.



Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community




One of the most phenomenal vacation spots a rockhound could ever visit is Chaffee County, Colorado. The main road that leads South from Buena Vista to Salida is commonly known as the Highway of the Fourteener’s and if you are inclined to loving spectacular scenery there is nothing like the views of the 14,000 foot peaks stretched the length of this verdant valley highway – except the view from the top of one of them.

About eight miles south of Buena Vista, looming up 14,269 feet, is the well renowned aquamarine bearing Mt. Antero. The summit of Antero is the highest gem location in the United states. While this mountain is famous for aquamarine there are many other minerals to be found there. Smokey and clear quartz crystals, bright blue beryl, apatite, feldspar, fluorite, deep orange and sherry topaz, and beryl are also prizes to be won by the strident hunter.

Mt. Antero
image source: Recreation.Gov


The road that leads up the mountain is extremely narrow and difficult with many rocks to get over and many harrowing switchbacks with the edge of the road sporting sheer drops of thousands of feet in some places. Even the most experienced mountain drivers have been known to abandon vehicles on Antero. Many people opt to hike the road rather than drive it.

Another consideration when going to such altitudes is weather, which is quickly changeable. Ninety degrees and sunny at one point during the day is no guarantee that you won’t need a winter jacket just a bit later, and by dark you will definitely need one. Electrical storms can come up on you with startling speed and above timberline is nowhere to be when that happens. You must remain alert at all times when above timberline and must be able to get out quickly when storms roll in. If you are not interested in tackling a fourteener, there is no need to worry, there are many gem locations in Chaffee County that are much less rigorous, yet very productive. One of these better known areas is Ruby Hill.

Ruby hill is almost directly across the main highway from Antero and is accessible from Johnson Village. Here those who are less motivated for a hard drive and climb can easily entertain themselves collecting garnets while taking in the view of the higher altitudes. The garnets are so plentiful in some spots that you can collect them just by scooping the sand from under the gem bearing rocks into a screen, then picking the gems out. While many of these are small they are beautifully colored, and an occasional nicely sized stone can be found by the persistent hunter. It is possible here, too, to pick a topaz from the lot here and there. Garnets can also be found in some quantity at the South base of Mount Princeton.

Mount Princeton.
image source: Recreation.Gov


Other places in Chaffee County produce geodes, agates, amethyst, and a host of other interesting minerals. No matter what your gem hunting appetite, you are sure to enjoy a late summer trip down the Highway of the Fourteener’s.


Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community



Pumpkins are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. At this time of year, pumpkins are also very cheap. Here are some recipes to make use of these pumpkins.

Note: to make puree from fresh pumpkin, cut the pumpkin in half and remove pulp and seeds. Save seeds. Scrape out the pumpkin and place in Dutch oven and place over coals for 40-45 minutes. Puree pumpkin with fork and proceed with recipe.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 c raw pumpkin seeds
2 t olive or vegetable oil
salt to taste
Other seasonings: garlic powder, cayenne pepper, seasoning salt or Cajun seasonings

Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with oil and seasonings of your choice. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on foil, cover with another piece of foil and crimp edges to make packet. Bake on coals for about 45 minutes, turning foil packet frequently, until seeds are golden brown. Remove foil packet carefully and put aside to cool. Open and enjoy.

Pumpkin Dip

2 c canned or fresh pureed pumpkin
1 c brown sugar (or 1/2 c Splenda)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1 package cream Cheese, softened

Place pumpkin puree and cream cheese in a bowl and mix well. Add other ingredients until smooth and creamy. Chill at least four hours or overnight. Serve with fruit bread, crackers, or celery, carrots and apple slices.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

1 bay leaf
1/3 c chopped onion
1 t minced garlic
1 t curry powder
2 T butter or margarine
1 c pureed pumpkin (or about 1/2 can of pumpkin)
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t sugar (or Splenda)
2 c veggie broth or bullion (I use water and veggie cubes)
1-1/2 c milk
1 T cornstarch (or arrow root or tapioca powder to thicken)
2 T heavy cream (optional)
chopped chives (as decoration)

In a pot over hot cooking coals, cook onion, garlic, and curry in butter or margarine for a few minutes until onion is tender. Add pumpkin, nutmeg, sugar and the bay leaf and stir. Add broth and bring to a boil. Move pot away from hottest coals and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Stir in 1 cup of the milk and cook for a few minutes. In a cup, stir together the remaining milk and the cornstarch until dissolved, and then add it to the pot. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

To serve, remove from heat, swirl the cream on top and garnish with chives. Pour into individual serving bowls or cups. Serves 4 – 6 people.

Fresh Pumpkin Stew

4 c fresh pumpkin pulp, diced
2 c dried navy beans, soaked overnight in 5 cups water then drained
2 medium yellow onions, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
3 c fresh corn cut off the cob or 3 c frozen corn
6 large tomatoes peeled and diced (or one 28 oz. can tomatoes, diced)
6 T tomato paste
1-1/2 T dried or 3 T fresh Basil
1/2 T dried or 3 T fresh Oregano
2 bay leaves
3/4 t black pepper or to taste
1 t dried or 2 t fresh Marjoram
1 T salt

In a large Dutch oven, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Put drained navy beans, diced pumpkin pulp, and seasonings (except salt) in Dutch oven with enough water to cover about 2 inches above ingredients. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or until beans are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, corn and salt. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes more. If the stew becomes too dry at any point, add water or beer or wine.

Stick-y Cake

1 roll of canned ready to cook biscuits
1/2 c sugar (or Splenda)
5 t cinnamon
1 stick butter (or margarine)
1 green stick or camping fork
tin foil

Melt butter in aluminum foil or pan, keep warm. Mix cinnamon and sugar on piece of aluminum foil or plate. Open biscuits and roll into one long strip, roll this strip around stick or fork. Hold stick over fire without touching flames, cooking until light golden brown. When dough moves easily without sticking, it is done. Unroll carefully, drip butter on or roll dough in butter, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture.

To serve, roll up again and eat. If you have not had enough pumpkin, you can dip the rolled up cake in pumpkin dip (above). Either way, you should provide lots of napkins or keep a towel handy.

Happy Holidays, Y’all …

Keep on Rocking ..

Eileen Trainor


“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



This months Gem: Garnet

Birthstone: January .

Zodiac: Aquarius

The name “Garnet” comes from the Latin “granatum” meaning pomegranate, the seeds of which the gems are thought to resemble. Garnets are not a particular single stone, but a group of gems that share the same basic complex silicate structure. Each chemical difference in this structure produces a different form of Garnet. Popularly known variations of the garnet include; the Grossular, colorless, orange, green; the Pyrope, traditional red to black and blue color changing; the Almandite, reddish brown; the Andradite, brown, black, and green; the Spessartite, orange, pink, brown. While the red and green garnets are most widely recognized, garnets come in just about all colors except blue, although the color changing garnet, can be seen as blue at some angles in some lights. While burgandy red garnets have traditionally been the most popular, the emerald green variety is actually the most valuable. The hardness of garnet varies with the variety of the stones, but all are generally inexpensive and easily cared for. In cleaning ultrasonic cleaners can be used although traditional soap and water does a perfectly fine job. Exposure to extreme changes in temperature should be avoided in the care of the stone.

The Garnet enjoys a long prestigious history. It has been used by humans for over 5,000 years. Garnet jewelry dating back to 3,200 B.C. has been uncovered in Egypt, where it was used in talismans and amulets, and to light the path for the soul of the deceased. In Samaria, Sweden, and other parts of the world garnet jewelry has been uncovered from as early as 2,300 B.C.

Garnet is one of the gemstones in the BreastPlate of Aaron (Exodus 28: 17-21). It is said that King Solomon wore garnet into battle as a talisman against harm, and it is also thought to be the gemstone that was used by Noah to light the way for the ark. The fourth heaven of the Koran is made of carbuncle, an early word for garnet and Native American Indians revere the gem as being sacred. The knowledge and use of garnet has been recorded by ancient cultures all over the world.

By the middle ages garnet had become a widely known and treasured stone of Royalty. It was worsen and used by the wives and daughters of the Russian Czars. The jewel was used by the Churches of Europe and considered on a level equivalent to the ruby. Crusaders used garnet as an amulet for protection in battle, and travelers used it for protection of their health and against thieves. It also was felt to be a safety from snake bites.

The Hunzas army in the 1890’s used garnet bullets to replace lead when fighting the British army as they felt garnet to be more deadly than traditional bullets. In recent years the wide availability of garnet has made non gem quality stones useful industrially for making emery and other abrasives.

Medicinally garnet is used, as many red stones, against ailments of the blood. Taken internally it is said to aliviate blood poisoning, and energize tired blood, and fighting hear disease. It is also used in curing lung disease, incontinence, joint swelling, and to generally cleanse the body of impurities and give strength.

Metaphysically the garnet is an important crystal. While each particular type of garnet has its specific uses, they all have basic focuses in the same realms. Garnets are typically used to purify and energize, giving vitality to both the body and spirit. They heighten meditation, psychic awareness, and intuitive ability. They inspire love while dispelling fear and feelings of loneliness and insecurity.

As a talisman they will fend off evil spirits, and warn of impending misfortune, and dispell bad dreams. Wearing garnet is also a means of drawing money to yourself. Wearing garnets while gambling or conducting business transactions will strengthen the potential of the situation to produce monitory gain. A gift of garnet is a gift of strength, protection, and prosperity for it’s wearer.