RHS1 Connector – January 2008

RHS1 Connector – January 2008

In this issue...Triviawizard…DebraCruz…TREASURE…Odyssey-Marine…FEATURE ARTICLE…REFINE SILVER AT HOME?… THOM’S COLUMN… Rockhound Recipes and Tips… TRAVEL…MOROCCO.. FEATURE ARTICLE… Meet the members… —RHS1 News.

Happy New Year… Everyone ! …Indiana -O)


Little Known Facts.

Taj Mahal in March 2004.
Trivia wizard, Debra Cruz, is back to celebrate the new year with us with some interesting but little known facts to keep our minds busy while we sit by the fire and gaze at the cinder block.
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair, though it is unknown why.
  • Nine of the rarest gems known to man: Painite, Serendibite, Poudretteite, Grandidierite, Majorite, Jeremejevite, Taaffeite, Musgravite, and Benitoite.
  • One of the richest deposits of top-quality limestone is in southern Indiana. This sturdy, beautiful Indiana limestone was used to build New York City’s Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center as well as the Pentagon, the U.S. Treasury, a dozen other government buildings in Washington D.C. as well as 14 state capitols.
  • 62% of all gold currently mined was found in just 4 countries.
  • 55% of all silver currently mined was found in just 4 countries.
  • 56% of all copper currently mined was found in just 4 countries.
  • 50% of all zinc currently mined was found in just 4 countries.
  • limestone is used to neutralize sulfur oxide gases,neutralize PCB sludge, stabilize sludge from sewage and desulfurization plants, remove phosphorus and nitrogen, control odor, kill bacteria, aid in the clarification of waste water, and neutralize acid rain and acid drainage.
  • Water purification systems use silver to kill bacteria.
  • Zeolite minerals are used to stabilize ammonium and potassium in soil, odor control, purification of gases and air byadsorbing gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonium, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, formaldehyde, and mercaptan, used in hazardous waste cleanup, nuclear waste cleanup, and to remove ammonium in water.
  • Gold does not corrode, crumble, or tarnish whatever the conditions, and is unaffected by moisture, oxygen or ordinary acids, thereby making it virtually indestructible.
  • The famous Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institute and sent to them in the U.S. Mail for $145.29.
  • The largest iron meteorite found on Earth is in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It weighs in at about 15fi tons.
  • Scientists have found rocks in the Minnesota River Valley and various locations in northern Minnesota that are between 3.5-3.7 billion years old.
  • Red Beryl: Image credit Roger Weller Cochise College:
  • A red emerald, or red beryl, which it is most commonly known as, was discovered in the Wah Wah mountains in Utah. It is so rare that for every 150,000 diamonds, there is only one red beryl. The average price is $2,000 per carat.
  • If you add together the average monetary value of elements in the average persons body. You would come to a total of about $4.50.
  • The Earth is not the only planet that contains salt, it has also been found on Mars.
  • The best quality of marble in the U.S. comes from Vermont.
  • The capitol building in Colorado was built using “Beulah Red” marble. This rare red marble was found only in Colorado and every bit was used in building the capitol. If the marble in the capitol building is damaged, it cannot be replaced, since there has been no more of this rare red marble found anywhere else in the world.
  • Unfortunately, the marble on the Taj Mahal is being slowly destroyed by the surrounding pollution in India. UNESCO is looking for ways to preserve this beautiful building.
  • Arizona is the leading producer of copper.

    Grand Canyon.
  • A part of the Grand Canyon has a thousand foot thick seam of marble, hence it name, Marble Canyon.

* ALERT *****

Paleontological Resources Preservation Act

The bill is S-320 in the Senate HE 554 in Congress.

It is the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act and it is a threat to your right and mine to hunt fossils on public lands. It is getting close to a vote and might pass as is if you don’t write to your legislators and tell them how you feel about their plan to criminalize fossil hunting unless you have a permit. Permits, of course, are only issued to those who are “authorized” , meaning that if you are not affiliated with the right special interest groups, you can’t hunt.

The bill includes cash incentives for turning in anyone in possession of a fossil, but I didn’t see anywhere that a person finding a fossil and turning it over to the “right” institutions that they get rewarded for the find. From what I can see this is just going to lead to more haphazard fines and arrests such as those going on in Florida. Anyone picking up anything goes to jail if they decide to take you. Period. No controls are set for what can be decided to be considered illegal.

I am trying to figure out how “public land” got construed to mean “qualified interest groups only”. It does, though, bring to mind all of those unfortunate people in Florida who have been fined and jailed for picking up isolated artifacts that even the special interest factions admitted no interest in.

Below are some links that we would like to urge you to read, then write to your legislators to tell them how you feel. It’s your land. Well, its supposed to be anyway. You pay the bills. If you own a fossil it may also mean it is your headache if someone wants to report you for having it no matter how or where you got it. It’s up to each of us to tell our legislators how we feel about these bills BEFORE the damage is done. Let them know right away where and how you feel the bill fails us.

I S – 320/HR 554 – Paleontological Resources Preservation Act


Quote from BEMS, Seattle Washington, December Issue, Page 7

Access To Public Lands

by John Wright, AFMS Conservation & Legislation Chair

Well, you better wake up and get interested, because each time our adversaries win, they are encouraged to try for even more and one day they may be plotting to close areas in your own neighborhood. Another and probably more important reason is that if we join with other clubs in our efforts to safeguard public access to federal and state lands, we all gain strength in unity and numbers and can stop a lot of these idiotic restrictions. My wife and I recently attended a meeting conducted by the U.S. Forestry Service regarding road closures in a local National Forest area………………………………

Something is going on that smells a little bit “environmentally” fishy. According to ALAA (American Lands Access Association) many of the agencies and governing bodies at local, state, and federal levels do not always keep the public informed about plans that could ultimately restrict access to public lands. When they do let you know, normally through public hearings, the plans are usually complete and the “mind set” is to prevail. Often changes are made without any prior notification or public input and it’s not surprising that this is done on purpose to prevent public interference. I have just briefly touched on some of the problems that are confronting us, but I think it is enough to give you an idea of what needs to be done.

Once you have finished reviewing the links here is where you can find contact information for your legislators. Don’t forget to send a copy to Pelosi while you are at it.


This is OUR Land and WE pay for it. Let’s take it back.

Odyssey Marine Exploration

Greg Stemm Appointed as Chairman and CEO

Greg Stemm
Tampa, FL – January 7, 2008 – The Board of Directors of Odyssey Marine Exploration (NasdaqCM:OMEX), the world leader in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, has appointed Odyssey Co-founder Greg Stemm to the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board effective January 3, 2008. The Board also appointed two new directors, Mark D. Gordon and Bradford B. Baker, and selected Dr. David Bederman to serve as Lead Director effective January 1, 2008.

Stemm will replace Co-founder John C. Morris as CEO and Chairman who on January 3, 2008 transitioned to a consulting role with Odyssey Marine Exploration.

“John Morris and I have worked together as a team building Odyssey from the ground up into the leading shipwreck exploration company in the world,” commented Greg Stemm, incoming CEO and Chairman. “Throughout the years, John has been an invaluable friend and an integral contributor to the Company’s successful development. Today, Odyssey is in the strongest position, both financially and strategically, that we have ever been in, and I am confident that the momentum will continue uninterrupted. I am very pleased to have the benefit of John’s strategic thinking and input as he continues to serve Odyssey as a consultant.”

“As many of our friends and investors know, I have been dealing with serious health issues for some time now. I have therefore made the decision that it is in Odyssey’s best interest that Greg takes over my offices. I am very proud of what we have built over the years, and with Greg at the helm I feel fully confident about the Company’s future. I am excited to still be able to serve Odyssey by providing ongoing consulting services, and by continuing to maintain a substantial amount of my personal assets in the Company,” said John C. Morris, outgoing CEO and Chairman.

Greg Stemm has served as Executive Vice President and as a member of the Board of Directors since May 1994, and as Co-Chairman since February 2006. Mr. Stemm has extensive experience in managing all aspects of shipwreck exploration operations since entering the field in 1986, including deep-ocean search and robotic archaeological excavation on a number of projects. A pioneer in the emerging field of deep-ocean exploration, he has played a primary role in the development of new technologies and the development of private sector standards for underwater cultural heritage resource management. A panelist at the 1998 Law of the Sea Institute, Stemm was appointed for four consecutive terms to the United States delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) expert meeting to negotiate the “Draft Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.”

Stemm was selected as a Fellow of the Explorers Club, and was the founder and past president of the Professional Shipwreck Explorers Association (ProSEA). He also served as a founding director (1986 93) and international president (1992 93) of YEO (Young Entrepreneurs Organization) and was also a founding member of the World Entrepreneurs Organization, where he served on the International Board of Directors (1997 98).

Mark D. Gordon, current Odyssey President and Chief Operating Officer, and Brad Baker both joined the Odyssey Board of Directors on January 1, 2008.

Mark D. Gordon joined Odyssey Marine Exploration in January 2005. He was appointed Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development in January 2007, and President and Chief Operating Officer in October 2007. Prior to joining Odyssey Gordon owned and managed four different entrepreneurial ventures from 1987 to 2003 including Synergy Networks which he sold to the Rockefeller Group in 2003. He subsequently served as President of Rockefeller Group Technology Services Mid Atlantic (RGTSMA), a member of Rockefeller Group International, from September 2003 to December 2004.

Brad Baker re-joined the Odyssey Board of Directors after a successful first tenure from 1997, prior to the Company going public, until his resignation in 2000. A nationally recognized business leader, manager, and strategist who has successfully guided several companies through explosive growth, Mr. Baker currently serves as CEO of Nexus Biometrics, Inc., a leading fingerprint biometric company he founded in 2004. He is also President of Bramar Developers, Inc., a large scale real estate development company which he founded in 1998. Mr. Baker will be serving on the compensation, audit and governance committees.

In addition, Dr. David Bederman, one of the world’s leading admiralty lawyers and a professor of law at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia has been named Lead Director. A board member since January 2006, he will continue to serve on the governance and compensation committees and also assist the Chairman of the Board with board management and leadership.

About Odyssey Marine Exploration

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) is engaged in the exploration of deep-water shipwrecks and uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive deep-ocean search and archaeological recovery operations around the world. Odyssey discovered the Civil War era shipwreck of the SS Republic in 2003 and recovered over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the site nearly 1,700 feet deep. In May 2007, the Company announced the largest historic deep-ocean treasure recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins, weighing 17 tons, from a Colonial era site code-named “Black Swan.” Odyssey has several shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world.

Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to collectors, the general public and students through its webstore, exhibits, books, videos, merchandise, and educational programs. Odyssey’s “SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure” exhibit is currently on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, FL. For details on the Company’s activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit www.shipwreck.net.

For additional information, please contact Natja Igney, Odyssey’s Manager of Corporate Communications, at 813-876-1776.

SS Republic is a registered trademark of Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc

Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in “Risk Factors” in the Part I, Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Odyssey Marine Exploration P.O. Box 320057 Tampa, FL 33679-2057 www.shipwreck.net

RHS1 Members News

Happy New Year! The snow has been coming down pretty heavily here in the NE United States. It is late at night and the blanket is unmarred and trees are coated in white. The land and forests sparkle in the moonlight. It is peaceful and ungodly beautiful. The air is crisp and stings my cheeks above the scarf wrapped around my mouth and nose and I can feel the chill through my coat as I watch my dog romping happily through the little white hills which have drifted across the lawn.

I smile and sigh and think to myself “Damn I wish this stuff would go away so I could go rock hunting!”

For the newbies out there, I have been running a series on mineral identification on the Gazette. You will find a new “Mineral Identification” section in the Photo Gallery that corresponds to each of the ID articles, too. You might want to check that out if you are confused about identifying minerals or about the mineral properties listed in gem guides. You can find previous articles in the series in the “learning center” category section on the right side of the Gazette page. Might as well study up now while the snow is flying so you’ll be ready for hunting season.

Looking for advertising? If you look at the front page, main menu page, and all other pages of that design on RHS1, you will see square ads on the right. We have spots available for your ad. Active members who buy ad space on these pages get the 6th month free.

Need a webpage for your club or other rockhound interests but don’t know how to build one? Getting hijacked by your current host and don’t know what to do about it? You can have one built and hosted right on the RHS1 Network. Can your host give you instant traffic? We can. We can build your page and will host it right here where you can be seen and don’t have to worry about the sharks in the Internet waters that hijack their customers sites to advertise their own programs and products. Just drop us a line and we will be glad to discuss your needs and our low prices with you.

Need a forum? Members can get a forum space free in the RHS1 Network forums. Contact us to find out more.

Are you a member with your own rockhound related website and just aren’t sure how to market it? Advice is free and all you need to do is ask.

Remember RHS1 isn’t here to compete with rockhounds we’re here to HELP them.

That’s it for this month friends. See you in the forums.



With the economy taking a nosedive and economic forecasts being the equivalent of weather forecasts which advise us to “take an umbrella” we thought that a technique for processing silver from expert Mircko Dividovic would be a nice read for the new year.

How To Refine Silver Using Household Chemicals

Throughout history silver has played a major role in all aspects of society. It has been used as a metal of choice for currencies, barter and trade. The bourgeois used it as a metering wealth status. Advances in medicine, electronics and others, are made largely to unique properties of silver. Silver, along side with gold, are the two precious metals sought after. The supplies are dwindling, while the demand is reaching an all time high.

Not surprisingly, the price of silver has more than tripled in recent years. Both silver and gold are the commodity to hedge against the falling dollar. It is becoming a “must-have” in personal investment portfolios.

Scrap silver is all around us. It comes from variety of sources with diversified metal purity. This article is designed to refine your own silver using readily available household chemicals. The methods you are about to be introduced to will produce more than 99% of pure silver!

The first step in refining is to dissolve the silver. The best way is to use dilute Nitric Acid. Good concentration is around 40 – 50%. Concentrated Nitric Acid is one chemical that will be hard to obtain. Since 9/11 the availability of Nitric Acid has been drastically reduced and for a good reason. Nitric Acid is one of the main components to make explosives.

For our refining purpose we will need relatively small amount of Nitric Acid. To make this, we will use concentrated Sulfuric Acid. Sulfuric Acid is commonly used as a liquid drain opener, readily available from any hardware store. The one that we will use is more than 95 percent pure. The second ingredient needed is Sodium Nitrate. It is readily available fertilizer from any gardening store.

Pour 200ml of hot distilled water to a pre-heated 1liter Pyrex container, 1 quart mason jar will work. Add approx. 400 gm of Sodium Nitrate to dissolve (Potassium Nitrate can be used as well). Once the Nitrate is completely dissolved allow it to cool down well below the boiling point, but still hot. To this solution SLOWLY add 110 ml conc. Sulfuric Acid while stirring. Do not allow the solution to boil. Cool the solution to room temperature.

Place the jar in the freezer and allow the solution to reach ~ -5 degrees Celsius. Once all of the precipitate has settled, pour off the solution to a glass container with a tightly sealed lid. Discard the precipitate. (Make sure not to transfer any of the sulfate salt) You have just made over 300ml of ~ 50% Nitric Acid.

Fair Word Of Caution! You are dealing with concentrated acids. Take all safety precautions when dealing with concentrated acids. Make sure you wear rubber gloves, face shield and protective clothing. If you spill any of the acid, wash with plenty of water. To refine Silver, dissolve several ounces of scrap metal in Nitric Acid. This will take some time, but make sure that all of the metal is in solution. Heating the solution will speed up the reaction. Do Not Boil.

Filter the solution using several coffee filters, keeping the clear solution. The Silver dissolved is in the form of Silver Nitrate.

The easiest way to get the Silver to drop out of the solution is to use Copper. Copper pipe, plate or any piece of solid copper will do. Suspend the Copper, using household twine in the acid solution. A white-grayish precipitate will start to accumulate around the copper. Tap gently the suspended Copper, and the Silver precipitate will sink to the bottom. What you are doing here is replacing the Silver Nitrate with Copper Nitrate, causing Silver to drop out of the solution.

Allow the solution to sit overnight and all of the precipitate will settle to the bottom.

The remaining solution should be crystal-blue in color. If not, use more Copper to get all of the Silver out. Filter the solution using several coffee filters, this time keeping the precipitate. Wash it several times using distilled water. There should not be any blue Copper Nitrate around the filter. Discard the spent solution and dry the filtrate. This precipitate is Silver. Place the dry precipitate in a crucible or a small graphite container. In a circular motion, using a torch, melt the precipitate in nuggets or the desired shape.

The result is over 99% pure Silver!

Silver-Mexico: Image credit Roger Weller Cochise College:
Mirko Davidovic; formal education in Chemical Eng Tech.,Biochemistry and Psychology.

Thanks David this will be a lot of help to our ametuer (and even some professional) lapidary artists and jewelry artisans.


As the economy continues to nosedive and economic forecasts not being bright, many are headed back out to the field to hunt their own wealth. It’s a good idea if you know how to hunt for gold. If you would love to join the new gold rush but just don’t know much about where or how to start, Stan Grist has just the information that can put you on top of the gold prospecting game and he’s more than happy to share it with you. Why let your boss decide your income if you can find your own?:



Canadian CoffeeWell Sal made me come in from working on my tan in the hot sun and write an article for you this month. O.K. so in reality it’s 12 degrees out and my fingers are frozen to the keyboard so I can’t type. After pouring some kerosene on them and lighting them up to thaw them out I decided to make a good cup of coffee and try to warm up. Naturally I went with this Canadian coffee recipe I happen to have.

Who knew they liked whiskey and maple syrup in their coffee.

Well I didn’t and till I tried it I never would of thought it was that good. The maple syrup gives it a sweetness that is quite different from sugar as it imparts a nice mapley flavor as well. The whiskey will, in the winter give you a nice warm feeling after being out in the cold.

  • Quarter c Maple syrup; pure
  • Half c Rye whiskey
  • 3 c Coffee; hot, black, double strength


  • Threequarters c Whipping cream
  • 4 ts Maple syrup; pure

Whip cream with maple syrup just up until soft mounds; set aside.

Divide maple syrup and whiskey among 4 warmed heatproof glass mugs or goblets.

Pour in coffee to 1 inch of top; spoon topping over coffee.

About Thom…

Thom Meyer is a retired professional chef who has a degree in Culinary Arts – Also an avid camper and most importantly a person who likes to eat. Lately he has been involved in marketing and building websites when not using WordPress for them, a process of which in some circles he is considered an authority. Among his many websites that he maintains are www.recipes-4-all.com and www.wp-revealed.com

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”
Hunter S. Thompson



Map compliments of HoboTraveler.com

Merzuga Dunes.
This month M Youseff of Morocco is here to tell us a bit about his country and take us on photo tour of some of the sights and minerals that his country has to offer:

I live in Erfoud City in Errachidia province, situated in Southeastern Morocco. This area is varied in its geology: high Atlas mountains where it snows, old short mountain, sand dunes. Concerning the weather, here where i am it is an oasis in a dry desert, very hot in summer and cold in winter with sandstorms during the fall. Inhabitants here are all Muslims, very tolerant, and Muslims here used to live side by side with the Jewish for many centuries. People are nice and the area is touristic, thousands of foreigners visit here, especially the sand dunes in Merzouga village. In Erfoud city there are lots of very good Hotels as well as in Merzouga. In Erfoud there is only one small Museum owned by a dealer but it has very good things, mostly Fossils.

. Concerning geology, this area is very rich in its geological and paleontological diversity, yet it is slightly prospected and exploited. The minerals we can find in the region are:

In Taouz :

  • Vanadinite,
  • Ghoethite,
  • Cerussite,
  • Quartz,
  • Siderite

In Aknif:

  • Copper ,
  • Malachite ,
  • Azurite

In Rich City:

  • Fluorite
  • Quartz

In Imilchil:

  • Epidote ,
  • Titanite ,
  • Apatite ,
  • Fluorite ,
  • Chabazite ,
  • Prehnite
  • Actinolite

In Goulmima:

  • Linarite ,
  • Brochantite
  • Copper


Crinoid pit.
Concerning fossils, we can find Crinoids and Ammonites,Starfish and Corals just few miles from Erfoud, Trilobites and Crinoids in Alnif, Echinoids and Fish fossils in Taouz, Fish fossils, different cretaceous Ammonites, and Turtules in Goulmima.

Here you can’t find any rockhounding clubs or organizations. All people connected with the Fossils and Minerals sector do that for living.

Kind Regards


Crinoid Specimen: MOROCCO.

More Pics from Morocco, Click here.

Thanks for the tour, M. Y. Your country looks like a rockhound’s paradise. Don’t be surprised if you see some RHS1 readers roaming around there soon!


Here we are at the beginning of 2008 and I would like to wish everyone at RHS1 a happy and prosperous new year. I also thought you might like to know a bit about me this time around since it is my site you have all subscribed to.

I was born and raised in Michigan where I received a BA from the University of Michigan. During my childhood I had collected a few interesting rocks and fossils, but my parents didn’t recognize my interest as something to cultivate and knew nothing about collecting. By the time I got into college my love of rocks had been forgotten and I turned to Astronomy for my sciences.

“my first find”
My rockhound self was unleashed again in Colorado, where I accidentally picked up a chunk of some pretty spectacular quartz crystals on the Cripple Creek side of Pikes Peak while walking my dog and I’ve been off and running ever since. I have hunted now in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and New York and don’t plan on stopping!

I bought my first computer in late 2004 and fumbled with learning for over half a year with it when I ran into my partners Indiana (Robert Velare) and Finhawke (John Foutz) accidentally when seeking help when the first version of RHS1 I was attempting to have built was hijacked and held for ransom. They quickly came to my aid and were able to see my vision for building a website where all those in rockhounding could get information, services, and products that others could find without having to hunt all over the net to get it.

While my vision is starting to take hold and we are able to offer more services, such as building and hosting webpages for those who don’t know how or are sick of corrupt hosts or even people who want one but just don’t feel like doing all the marketing to get it seen. But this is not the end of my vision.

It is my hope in the next year or two I will be able to host real world rock and gem shows and other real world events. Computers are awesome but ya just can’t be a rockhound without getting outside.

The best part of building RHS1 has been all of the incredible people I have met. Rockhounds turn up in places that you just plain would not have expected them just like great rocks, fossils, and gemstones do. There seems to be no corner of the country you can visit and not find some great people, shops, museums and rockhounds waiting for you to run into them. I’d love to list each I have found but just don’t know where I’d find the space and time to do so.

” Just an arts and crafts project I
entertained myself with.”
While financial circumstances brought me to New York only semi-willingly, I have found that there is no loss of treasure to be unearthed on this side of the US and more rockhounds and shops to discover. My list of where to go when the weather turns warm just continues to grow.

As RHS1 continues to grow, I will continue my travels and hope to meet as many of you in person as I possibly can. The world is an adventure, and there is no reason to let it pass by without exploration.

“My best pal, Munchie, who delighted Wayne Peterson
when we went hunting by helping him dig petrified wood. “.
To all of you out there have a wonderful and prosperous New Year and always remember —


Image and info credits for this edition:

Wikipedia: Odyssey Marine Exploration : M Youseff : Roger Weller Cochise College:

Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community