RHS1 Connector – June 2007

RHS1 Connector – June 2007

In this issue…Feature Article: -The Antikythera Mechanism -: “Haunted House” Treasure Hunting— : – Rockhound Recipes and Tips: -Thom’s column — Feature Article: – Meet the members; —Travel:- Utah; —RHS1 News.

The Black Orlov
image source: Photo by Cartier


Black Diamonds Out of This World

Scientists now believe that black diamonds are from interstellar space. The idea is not a new one. It has been noted that black diamonds are never found in areas where other diamonds are found. In fact they occur only in two places, . Brazil and Central Africa. The composition, which is porous and contains many metals, just doesn’t sync with origination from the locations they are found. Worldwide, the environment the conventional diamond is found is almost identical, and not even close to the same as that of black diamonds. These and other inconsistencies have kept scientists guessing about possible origins.

Recent results of testing a crystal with infrared radiation gave readings which were consistent with interstellar origins. It is thought that the diamonds may well have been a kilometer or over in size when they hit. That’s one gem of an asteroid!


The Antikythera Mechanism
Reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens (made by Robert J. Deroski, based on Derek J. de Solla Price.
You may have already heard of the enigma of the Antikythera Mechanism. It is a geared mechanism that was found by Greek divers in 1901 off the coast of Antikythera. Since it’s discovery much study has gone into unraveling the mystery of the exquisitely designed machine. The piece is an enigma as it was dated to have been created at least 2100 years ago and while there were many ideas about what such a machine fashioned so long ago might have been used for, no one knew for sure.

Even in the state in which the mechanism was discovered, the precision of the craftsmanship of the toothed bronze gear wheels was more than impressive. Putting together the puzzle of how the three main pieces and dozens of fragments fit together was itself a difficult task. It was presumed to be a machine used for astronomy. The extent of which it has been found to be useful in astronomy, though, is utterly baffling. Results of reconstruction have shown that there were 37 gears. Only 31 have been accounted for.

Modern technology has now allowed us to understand the truly astonishing nature of this mechanical enigma. Scientists recently used new three-dimensional X-ray computation tomography and high-resolution surface imaging technologies to study the mechanism. These technologies allowed them to look into the layers without risking damage beyond that incurred through lying under the sea for over two thousand years. It also allowed them to read inscriptions that had not been accessible before yet did much toward helping to solve the puzzle of the machine.

Lying under the sea for over two thousand years
Functions they found the machine capable of include:
  • 365-day Calendar, automatically factored in leap year.
  • Calculated Metonic cycle 19 year moon cycle
  • Gave the Callippic cycle (4 metonic cycles minus one day)
  • Reconciles the solar year with the lunar cycle
  • Factors in uneven movement of moon in sky due to elliptical orbit
  • Predicts lunar and solar eclipses
  • Shows times when Stars and constellations rise and fall

The reason these functions are causing an upheaval of our understanding of the ancients, is that it was thought that technology of this advanced nature was not possible until well over a millennium later. While Cicero had written accounts of these machines, no evidence had ever been seen that they indeed existed. We now know that they did, and it is possible that they existed as early as 300 BC.

While the workings of the machine are no longer a mystery, where it came or who made it may always be unknown. One idea, was purported that it may have been the work of Hipparcos, an astronomer of note who lived in Rhodes in during the 2nd century BC. Jars and coins from his homeland of Rhodes were pulled from the wreckage as the Antikythera mechanism. Scientists now have the task not only of answering questions of who built this machine, but that of what else did these people know.


Tips for “Haunted House” Treasure Hunting.

A “Haunted House”.
Who can say they can drive by an abandoned house and not feel a tingle of need to stop and get the metal detector out of the trunk? Depending on the age and condition of the house the possibilities differ somewhat, but in any condition there is a possibility of a wealth of great surprises there.

Once you have any permissions you may need to hunt the property you might want to start inside. You can put your metal detector aside for the time being when inside the house. Nails, pipes, and other metals in the home can make hunting with the detector a real headache depending on the model of machine you are using. There is a lot you can check out inside without it. Be very careful as you explore. Old boards rot and it’s not unusual to step on an area of floor that will give way under your weight, so watch where you are going very carefully. If you are in an old mountain cabin, you might even have a mine shaft under the floor boards. Many prospectors built their cabins right around their mine shafts. These shafts may be just as deep and deadly as any others you encounter in mining areas, so do not take lightly the fact you need to know where it is safe to step and what is under those boards.
You will want to look under boards that are not nailed down anyway. Loose boards are sometimes hiding places.

Another “Haunted House”.
Houses sometimes change owners many times, and depending upon the craftiness of a resident, some treasures may remain hidden throughout successions of inhabitants. If a home is new enough to have electrical outlets, take the covers off. False outlets are great places to stash loot. Walls, as well as floor boards can contain hiding places. Check walls closely for boards or bricks that are not fastened solidly, or for creases that have uniformly shaped seams. A friend of mine found a nice little storage unit that had been covered with wallpaper in one home he explored. If there is carpeting check for lumps or places where the carpet is not nailed down, or for seams that might hide something underneath. My grandfather used to hide quite sizable sums of money under the carpet in his home.

Check for secret passages and rooms in closets, basements, or storage areas. I lived in a home in Burke Canyon, Idaho for several months before I found a secret room in it. The back of the home had a storage room, a hall of sorts, that ran across the entire length of the back of the house. The back of the house itself sat right against the side of the mountain. One day I leaned against one of the walls and it opened up. What a surprise! There was nothing valuable in the room, but think of the possibilities. It is not uncommon for older homes to have rooms with false walls or floors.

Basements in old homes sometimes contain areas that are dirt rather than cement or wood. You will want to run a metal detector over these areas. It is not uncommon for such rooms, which were often used for storing produce such as potatoes, to have been also used for hiding valuables. Crawl spaces with dirt flooring are also excellent places to use your metal detector. You will probably have to sort through sounds from pipes and old wiring and such.

Once you have exhausted all possibilities inside a home, don’t overlook the yard. Under porches you can find coins, jewelry, or other small items that people may have dropped while fumbling with door knobs or keys. Settlers often buried possessions on either side of doors or porches. Anything that can be pried up or moved, such as large decorative rocks in gardens or stepping stones in pathways, should be viewed as a possible hiding spot. The ground near fences and trees or anywhere there is something that could be used to mark a location should be run over thoroughly with the metal detector.

If there has ever been a property where someone has searched and not turned up, at the very least, a few old coins, it isn’t something they are talking about very loudly. Most old homesteads still have at least a few remnants that previous residents have unwittingly left behind or died without informing anyone else about. You just never know where someone lost something from their pockets, either. It’s even possible that a few years down the road someone might just find something you lost from your own pockets while searching.

Rock Hound Station 1

Global Rockhound Community

RHS1 Members News

For anyone who has had reciprocal links on RHS1:
We have taken down our linking program. It had become a security problem. We still have our directory, though. If your site is relevant to RHS1 viewers you can send an email with a request to be included if you aren’t already. Please keep requests in existing categories. If you don’t think your topic fits in any of the categories, please feel free to suggest one. We reserve the right to turn down any site we find inappropriate. Do not feel offended if your site is not accepted. It just means you should be looking for other websites that are closer to your subject to post your link to. If your site is accepted, we would appreciate a link back.


If you have been paying attention, a few members have figured out the value of announcing their shows in the Gazette. It’s a great way for those of you who have clubs to get the word out around the Internet without having to pay anyone for advertising. You can submit any other club announcements or just tell about your club or website. It is free advertising. Use those dollars at the Pro Shop or to get a book from our merchants instead.

To those of you who have gotten some strange emails from us, relax. It wasn’t sent by us. Seems like we have become popular enough to have idiots that don’t understand that not everyone is interested in their spams and scams spoofing our email. Maybe its just someone who is ticked off that we don’t allow spammers to ruin the forum for all our members. Whatever. If you are just as bored with them as we are, just delete it and maybe they’ll just get bored and go away, too. One last note for the month is to member Deborah Hanna:

I sure hope someone can answer your questions in the “Rock and Gem” forum pretty soon. Frankly, I wasn’t aware that they had collectible rocks in Virginia.

If anyone else knows about Virginia, I bet she’d be real happy if you could help her out.

That’s it for now.

Life’s Short. Rock Hard.



“Easy Chicken Dinner “

So you are just finishing up a long day of gem hunting and exploring. All you want to do is relax and eat. But you can’t do both if you have to fix dinner. So what do you do?

Well, you take this easy meal out of your cooler. Throw it on the coals of your fire and sit back and relax.

  • 1 Chicken breast, bone in or boneless, skin off.
  • Sliced vegetables, your choice (more on that in a minute)
  • Paprika rub or your favorite barbecue sauce
  • vegetable oil (if using the paprika rub)
  • Aluminum foil

First you want to select vegetables that are of similar texture. So Onions and Peppers would go good together as would Squash and Mushrooms.

Cut off a big piece of foil and fold it in half so you have two layers.
If you are using the paprika rub, then rub your chicken breast with the vegetable oil.
Next coat your breast on both sides with the rub or with the barbecue sauce.
Slice your vegetables into equal size slices.
Place the breast in the center of the foil, then layer the veggies on top of the chicken.
Pull the edges of the foil over it all and fold them together forming an aluminum bag around your meal.
Keep it in the frig or cooler till your ready to cook.
To cook just place on your fire’s coals, chicken layer to the bottom.
Depending on how hot your coals are it can take from a half hour or longer for everything to cook.
Just take it off the coals and carefully unfold the foil edges to check doneness.

Enjoy your dinner.

Oh ya, here’s the paprika rub recipe.

  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika

Mix ingredients together, it’s that easy.

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

Rock Hound Station 1

Global Rockhound Community

TRAVEL : UTAH Rockhounding in Utah

Geological wonders and rocks and minerals to suit every state await the rockhound in Utah. Natural stone arches and pillars, balancing rocks, and even a jetty of pink water dot the landscapes throughout the state. Petroglyphs and relics tell of the ancient human civilizations and fossils tell stories of creatures who once inhabited the lands.

Red Beryl
The most popular and well known of the rockhound interests in Utah is Topaz Mountain in Juab County. While Topaz is the main attraction at Topaz mountain, it is far from the only one as hunters can come away with prizes of amethyst, quartz, fluorite, calcite along with several other varieties of mineral. The lucky hunter can also win specimens of the rare red beryl, which can be found in only two places on earth. While most of these crystals are small, a stone large enough to facet can be worth more than gold! A carat of red beryl can be worth thousands of dollars.

Red Beryl: Scale.
Not too far down the road from Topaz Mountain lies the Dugway Geode Beds. These geodes, for the most part, run in the 2 – 3 inch range but larger finds are not uncommon. Do take warning that care must be taken while digging to avoid cave-ins. It is easy to dig safely and makes much sense to do so. Agate lovers can have a terrific day at Agate Hill not too far down the road from Topaz mountain, too.

Topaz mountain
In Milliard County just to the North of Juab, sunstones can be retrieved from Sunstone Knoll, and quartz can be found at Crystal Peak and several other locations. In Amasa Valley at the top of the Sawtooth range, amethyst and garnet can be found as well as quartz. Milliard county also brags some of the best locations trilobite fossils in the nation.

While Juab and Milliard counties contain the most well known of the Utah rockhound sites, the places you can find great minerals and gems are in no way limited to these counties. The state is littered with areas producing agates, petrified wood, jaspers, crystals, and fossils.

Ghost town enthusiasts will have no problem finding sites to explore in Utah. A local inquiry in any county will provide enough locations to keep you occupied for as long as you want. Do note that many of these areas are old mining camps or towns and many open mines and shafts remain.

They are not safe not even a little. Under no circumstances should you go into a mining tunnel or shaft. Do not ever stand on anything over a shaft and be careful near the edges as they are known to cave in. Shafts and tunnels often have poisonous gases that you can’t smell but only a few whiffs and you are done. They also are not natural land features and are not solid. Collapses and false bottoms are not uncommon. Rotting timbers and blasted rock cannot be trusted. Undetonated explosives can erupt without warning if accidentally jostled. Keep your exploring outside of these open death traps. Be extremely careful of old cabins in these areas, too. Sometimes they were built around mine shafts and rotting floor boards can be the only cover for a shaft directly underneath.

Know where you are stepping!

The very mention of old mining camps and town has probably caught the attention of any gold prospectors reading. Utah has a long tradition of providing rewards for prospectors. Do make sure that the area you are working is not under claim and is okay to hunt. Claim owners can be quite ornery about claim jumpers. There are still plenty of opportunities for the enthusiastic prospectors in several counties in Utah.

If Archaeology is your interest, you won’t be left without interesting exploration in Utah. Indian tribes inhabiting the area for thousands of years have left a wealth of history and the historical explorer can tour mesa villages and rock art tours. Those who love high end exploration may find hitherto unknown remains. Collecting Indian artifacts is strictly prohibited, but finding and reporting old habitations, artifacts, or rock art can be rewarding nevertheless.

When planning a trip to Utah it is best to think of spring and autumn months unless you love hunting in severe heat. Most of the state, including treed areas, is desert terrain and when the sun beats down on rock and sand the heat can become so intense you can actually see the waves.

In winter months it can be bitter cold and snow cover is frequent so unless you are ready to trade your rock pick for an ice pick, northern winter months are not good times to plan a rockhound excursion. If your trip has to be in summer months you should plan your hunting from sun up to around noon at the latest. During the afternoons you can entertain your rockhounding lusts in the myriad of museums throughout the state.

The information listed here about the treasures of Utah is just a small peak into the vast assortment of locations that can entertain even the most spoiled rockhound. Even those with little interest in the rock and gem hunting fields have been known to leave Utah with crazed addictions for hunting. Take that as a warning and a promise!

Fisher towers: Utah.

Global Rockhound Community


James username Dragon – is a newer member of RHS1. He is just starting an online auction site for rockhounds and was excited to find RHS1 and sees it as a great way to advertise free, and to join the community in a bit of education and general chat as well.

If you never understood rockhounding or lapidary work as an addiction, a quick phone call to James will make the idea quite clear to you. Here is a personal hello from our new pal and a little bit of background about who he is and about his new site.

I have been into lapidary for nearly 40 years, but only recently have I pursued it as a business. I started by cutting out and trimming cabs for my mother at age 11. Between searching for minerals in the Ohio Basin and helping my mother, I earned enough to buy many unique mineral specimens. Unfortunately due to a miscommunication, my entire collection has been returned to whence it came, the earth.
My wife and I started selling ready made jewelry a few years back. We reinvested the profits into saws and rough rock to work.

I have been married for 35 years and have 2 sons. They also enjoy rockhounding and working the stones. My hobbies range from rock n roll music, photography, fishing, and my motorcycle. I am in the process of building a custom cruiser and need to sell many rocks to pay for this new obsession. As with myself, all vendors of Dragonsaye Auctions have the same goal; to make a bit of money to buy more rocks and to deliver a quality product.

I hope to meet you all at RHS1 soon and hope you enjoy my site, too!

Dragonseye.com is strictly an auction site for lapidary, rough, slabs, minerals, fossils, hand crafted precious metal jewelry, equipment and related periodicals. There are also many additional perks for sellers like no final value fees. Seeing is believing!

Also there will be a free link exchange and a banner rotation program for those who do not want to sell at an auction but may want to support the site and advertise their own website, shop etc. There will also be a banner rotation group for rock & mineral clubs with a special advertising price much lower than retail stores. This is how I will be able to keep listing fees down and never have to charge for final value fees. It’s an inexpensive way to support the site and to let the world know about your club or business as well as sell and buy on line.

We hope you enjoy your visit and tell you friends. If there is ever a problem which the customer and seller can not remedy, they can email me direct at: gollum@mdonline.net and I’ll work to resolve the issue personally. My goal is to be a great service to my rockhound community.

Image and info credits for this edition: Wikipedia: Utah Geological Survey: Roger Weller, Cochise College.

Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community