RHS1 Connector – September 2007

RHS1 Connector – September 2007

In this issue...DIAMOND HUNTING…UPDATE… “Earthwatch Earthquake”… THOM’S COLUMN… Rockhound Recipes and Tips… FEATURE ARTICLE… Rockhound Travel Tips.. FEATURE ARTICLE… Meet the members… —RHS1 News.

On display in Hellas City Mars the 2,500,000 carat diamond the”Star of Mars”
The largest diamond ever found on Mars… Image credit Hellas news service.



When out in the field rock hunting, we all hope for that great strike. Bringing home any stone of significance is a good feeling, but a BIG great stone can cause some major ecstasy for the avid hunter. Now, we aren’t giving you information on the biggest gemstone finds to be mean and make you feel like your last exciting find wasn’t anything much. We just thought you’d like to know what the record finds of various stones are. With that said – just imagine being the one who unearthed these award winners.


  • Aquamarine – 520,000 carats – Brazil
  • Emerald – 86,136 carats – Brazil
  • Gold Nugget – 7,560 ounces – Australia
  • Jade – 63,307 pounds – Canada
  • Opal – 34,215 carats – Australia
  • Sapphire – 63,000 carats – Myanmar
  • Silver Nugget – 2750 Troy pounds – Mexico
  • Topaz – 21,327 carats – Brazil
  • Turquoise – 218 pounds – USA
  • WORLDS LARGEST CRYSTALS – Are Selenite crystals from the Niaca mine in Mexico. For more information about these crystals (and some rather astounding photos) go to the newsletter archives at the bottom of the page and click the August 2006 issue or click the image below.

Now if you are wondering why the world’s largest diamond didn’t make our list – read a bit further and find out some rather interesting information about the world’s largest diamond.

World’s Largest Diamond?

The reported find on August 27th of a 7,000 carat diamond is creating quite a buzz through the gem world in the last week. The stone was reportedly found by a South African mining company.

The stone is reported by News.scotsman.com as being the size of a coconut. At least that is what can be told from pictures. The stone is in a bank vault where no one has had access to it and it is only pictures that the world has to go by at this time.

Pictures of the stone have caused questions as Bret Jolly, the property developer that sent a photograph of the stone to the Cape Times had reported the picture had been taken in a car but the background made it evident that the picture was taken in a room and not a car.

The stone has not been tested either, but it is reported that the form is definitely that of a diamond, but without testing there is no way to be sure. Some experts are skeptical about the authenticity as pictures show it to be light green which is in itself a very rare find. Secrecy about this type of discovery is not unusual in the industry, however, as there are many factors to consider when dealing with such an astounding find.

There is much legal red tape for Jolly to contend with in dealing with the diamond. Not only does the diamond itself need to be authenticated, but so does the place it was found as there are laws against selling stones from sites that aren’t registered. There is also a procedure called the Kimberly Process that Jolly will have to contend with. This is a process in place to stem the sale of African diamonds to fund its wars.

For now we and the entire diamond industry are forced to wait for the announcement of authentication of the “diamond”. If it is found real, it is not only the largest diamond to ever have been found, but a very rare variety as well and worth millions of dollars. So we will watch to find out if we are reporting the world’s largest diamond. If it is found to be the real thing, we can then watch to see who scrambles for ownership of the wonder.

RHS1 Members News

I will catch up with the news in the next edition. As I have just moved to Michigan…Now I am moving to Colorado…Phew!

Round round get around

I get around


Get around round round I get around

I get around

I’m gettin’ bugged driving up and down this same old state
I gotta finda new place where the rocks are great…

Rockin’ the Third Rock – and the 4th.




(or a hillbillies guide to the open air market)

 grilled fish

Have you ever been driving down the road and seen a dead animal? Have you ever thought how good it would be in a stew? Well neither have I, so here’s a kickin recipe for grilled fish instead.
  • 1 and a half whole fish, cleaned and scaled
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves Lemon Oil Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Half a cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • Quarter of teaspoon white pepper

Season the cavities of the fish with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasoning in with your fingers.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, and beat them vigorously with a fork or whisk them until they are well mixed.

Let the sauce stand at room temperature for one hour before using.

Using a brush, baste the outside of the fish and the grids of a hinged grill with some of the lemon oil sauce.

When the charcoal or fire’s coals are hot, put the fish in the hinged grill and set the grill over the coals. Turning the grill over frequently, baste the fish each time, until the fish are cooked.

Takes about 20 minutes of cooking time.

Put the fish on a platter, sprinkle with the remaining sauce, and garnish with the oregano.

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


Have you ever had to travel to a region for some reason other than rockhounding only to find out after returning that you could have done some great hunting in your spare time while you were there? After all, who knew that there were Lake Superior agates in Kansas, Fairburn agates in Nebraska, or geodes in Illinois? It’s not uncommon for good hunting locations not to be publicized – especially when territory isn’t known well by troops of rockhounds.

Growing up in Michigan, I found some beautiful Petoskey stones on the beaches of East Tawas. They weren’t generally known to be there, but there they were. Later on when I told people about them they insisted that I had my location wrong. With a bit of preparation you won’t ever need to miss a hunt because you don’t realize an area is packed with just the type of treasures you’d never expect to find there. By using just a few strategies when planning your trip you might be able to schedule an exciting hunt into even a boring business jaunt.

First, check the internet if you have access. Google “rockhounding in…..[where you are going]” or “rock and gem hunting in….{where you are going]”. That search might turn up a comment in a forum somewhere or a generally hidden trip report from someone who had some luck in that location. Also check reference books at a local bookstore or library. If you don’t find anything in these resources it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is nothing to find in that location.

Order a BLM or other government geological map or rockhound map of the area ahead of time. These maps can lead you to some great hunting sites for material that might not be publicized. They can also give clues to geological formations that may contain material you would like to hunt. When you order your map you may also want to request information about the local laws regarding gemstone and fossil hunting in your chosen location. Whatever the location, you will have laws to contend with and they can vary from location to location. The BLM office may also know of little known but publically accessible locations that have produced material in the past even if not in notable quantity.

Call the Chamber of Commerce in your destination area and ask if they have information about gemstone occurrences in that area or if they have a local rock and gem club or rock shop. If no clubs exist in that particular area you can search the internet at home or the library to find the closest one. Contact information for clubs on the internet may be out of date but you can get the new contact information by calling the Chamber of Commerce at the town the club is listed in. Libraries often have phone books from around the country which information about rock shops can be located; however, the local rock club might not be there or it may be under a name which you won’t know. Local museums are often an overlooked source of information. The museum doesn’t have to be a mining museum. If there were specimens collected locally or a rockhound of note in the town, they may just have some valuable yet not well known information for you.

If all of these resources fail to produce results, don’t be disappointed. There may still be small deposits of material in the area that just have never been brought to attention. Your best bet to find these is by talking with locals or just getting out and hunting areas that look promising.

If you are going by car it is needless to point out that you should take rockhound equipment with you. If you are going by plane it is very unlikely that you will be allowed to board with a rock pick in your bag. If you have someone to receive packages you can send some light equipment to yourself so you will have it at your destination or call the airport and ask how you need to package it to have it accepted for storage with other luggage that doesn’t go on board with you.

Some towns will have rental shops where you can rent items that will be usable. You will want to call ahead to find out if they stock what you are interested in. Hardware or discount stores might have some inexpensive tools you can improvise with. Department store chains carry mostly the same stock from area to area so if you see something in your local store that you can buy but not take on a plane, all you need to do is find out if there is a store in that area. The customer service desk can tell you if there is one near there.

In this day and age there are still plenty of locations that just aren’t popularly known yet and it can be quite thrilling to go to a place you expected nothing from and make a great find. By doing some homework before you go you can be finding specimens instead of spending all of your time looking for tools or asking questions – or worse, missing a unique hunting site.



This month we are featuring Jeff Allmond (member Xsivejeff). If you have been reading the forums you know that Jeff has joined the RHS1 forum network and is busy building a great map site for us all.

So, of course, we want to know who he is and what his motivation is for compiling a site of rockhound site maps for us. Now we already figured he was a pretty unique guy – but what he has to tell us about himself just proves that we are right when we think so. With that said – here’s what Jeff has to tell us about himself and his new obsession.


View from Cinder Butte
First off…. a little about myself. I’m originally from North Carolina, around the Charlotte area. My family moved to Florida when I was 18. I joined the Navy at 18. I got married at 20…. have 4 boys ranging in age from 22 to 18….. married for 13 years, divorced. Currently with a wonderful lady, Diana Sherman who I have been with for 3 years now. I have 2 dogs, a Lhasa Apso/Chihuahua cross named Mickey Mouse and an Australian Terrier named Boo Boo Bear (remember Yogi? Hey Hey Boo Boo). I’ll be 46 years old this month. Hmmmm… what else. I’ve been managing a pawn and loan here in Pocatello, Idaho, called Mad Mike’s Trading Post. I’ve been here for a little over 20 years.

As a kid I was always curious, picking up odd rocks every where I found them. I always had my favorite rocks around and the little white box with the rocks glued into it with labels that parents normally buy their kids. Between the Navy and starting a family at an early age, I never had a lot of time for doing much. Now that I’ve really begun to settle down after a rather tumultuous life, I’ve really been able to get into rockhounding. I have Sundays and Mondays off and try to get out and about at least every other week.

I’ve found myself more than a bit overweight and getting out to rockhound with all the hiking and walking involved has worked wonders. I’ve dropped over 50 pounds in the last few months. As a matter of fact, as soon as I finish this up, I’m hopping into the car with Diana and heading north into Montana to Ruby Reservoir now that the levels are down to screen for some nice gemmy purplish red almandine garnets. Might even go poke around in the absolutely enormous tailing piles down Alder Gulch towards Nevada and Virginia Cities. Speaking of Diana…… she was raised a rockhound. Her father was a very avid rockhound and lapidarist who made some fantastic looking jewelry. I wish I could have met the man.


Digging the hillside for opal.
On to the Rock Picks Project. I found that a lot of the information on rockhounding locations was scattered around, sometimes vague and often inaccurate because it was from hearsay or just plain old. Having only time for day trips and maybe a weekend excursion every so often, I found I spent more time just trying to FIND some places than I did actually collecting from them. I noticed in many of the rockhounding forums that the predominant question asked by new and inexperienced rockhounds was “Where can I rockhound in my state?”. I am pretty web and computer literate so I decided somewhat on a whim to start up the project.

The more I worked on it, the more I liked the idea and the more it made sense to me. I found that the most accurate info was found in messages from fellow rockhounds who had at least recently been to a location. What better info can one have than that from someone who has been there. A lot of the rockhounding location info on many sites is simply copied from another site or gleaned from books and copied.

I wanted to try establishing a network of rockhounds around the country that would be willing to submit sites that they were personally familiar with that I could map out with an easy to use mapping system. I knew there would be very remote sites that my methods might not work too well with but my approach is targeted more at the casual rockhound or a newbie. Between the main maps and being able to actually see the terrain in Google Earth, I believe the locations become rather easy to find. In addition to the mapping, as locations begin to fill in, I’ll begin to build individual pages for each site with photos of the location, what the local offers as it looks before its prepped for display as well as tips for that location. I put in credits for the info as well as contact info so someone can go directly to a person or group who has actually been there recently.

I wanted to build a site where no matter what state you lived in, you could go to find the most accurate and usable info possible on rockhounding locations. I’ve been contacting rockhounding clubs across the nation letting them know about the project and trying to enlist aid in pinpointing locations that are out of range for me to go to myself. I know that there is a bit of controversy surrounding posting rockhounding locations in the public realm since there have been so many sites closed because of over use. The answer to the “where?” question is almost always answered by “Join a local club” and I wholeheartedly agree. But…. with easy to find info, many potential good rockhounds would be able to get their feet wet and see if rockhounding is a hobby they would actually enjoy and those who for some reason or another don’t have access to people in the know can have a reliable source of info.

There are also many who don’t have enough time to devote to being a member of an organized club because of distance or simply available time. Once bitten by the bug, many will indeed seek the company of other rockhounds to dig deeper in the mysteries of the earth.

Click the image above to discover more.


On the 13th of August the planet experience its 4th magnitude 8 earthquake in 9 months. This is an unprecedented rate of major quakes. Magnitude 8 or greater quakes happen normally only once a year if at all.

When I say normally, I am speaking of average rates since 1990. Rates of earthquakes before that date had been continually accelerating over time. You can read our Earth Watch archives to learn more about the acceleration of earthquakes in the last century and how it can be shown that there was an acceleration before world wide tracking became available.

Now we are at the end of the second quarter of the second year of our watch. The tabulated figures will be in the Gazette soon and you might find them to be eyebrow raising so stay tuned to the Gazette to find out what’s shaking.