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Posted 07/10/12: I would like to see:
1) An article or series covering the various fee collecting sites across the U.S. and possibly internationally (or at least within the continent).
2) A series of articles covering the geologic interests and collecting opportunities of each of the 50 states (+ DC), including their rocks, minerals and fossils and locales for collecting.
3) I have enjoyed articles on classic jaspers and classic agates for collectors very much. There is much more to be expanded on in this area.
4) Certain regions (i.e., Australia, Madagascar, China, Africa, Brazil, Argentina, the jaspers/rhyolites of Oregon/Idaho) are rich in lapidary material, gem material, and/or minerals that are totally unique to that area. Some article have been done on the minerals of Britain and Mexico, but there is a lot of room for many more interesting and informative articles in this area. I’d love a story about Australia’s Print Rock, for example.
5) Picture rocks (not just rocks with patterns) like owl agate would be a great article. I have some unusual ones that I’d be happy to photograph and add to the article (including a side view of the face of Jesus that has never been published before – truly amazing).
6) My main interest is in field collecting to add to my own collection. The field trip articles are my favorites.
Posted 08/04/10: I would like to see a good article on micromounting. Other than the purchase price of the microscope, it is a good way to collect minerals for those on a budget or with little storage space.
Posted 11/09/09: I would like to see an article on dyeing agate and where you can purchase the chemicals.
Posted 10/21/09: Is it reasonable to suggest an article bringing we new rockhounders up to date on ways to be safe in the back country, maintain contact with society in case of breakdowns or medical emergencies? I have a cell phone, but it loses signals easily in the mountains. Is a satellite phone purchase or rental a good answer? Please provide cost information, references to internet sites, etc. Or are there other ways other than notifying relatives and friends you will be in an approximate area (you know how hard it is to stay on track and schedule when chasing that elusive special rock)?
Posted 09/25/09: I recently searched your Web site for any mention of Petoskey stones, but found none. These stones are fossilized coral dating from the Devonian and are found in the lower peninsula of Michigan. They can be made into beautiful jewelry and coffee-table decorative objects, and there are a number of people in the Petoskey/Traverse City, Michigan, area you could interview for an article. A number of jewelry stores carry these stones(http://www.minersnorth.com/contact2.htm and http://www.alleycatbead.com/?gclid=CJ738fijgJ0CFRINDQodD3rfaQ are two) and could probably supply you with good photos and contacts for more information.
Posted 08/26/09: Even though I have not done a great deal of self collecting I can live vicariously through the articles of those who do. As far as the lapidary articles are concerned, I have found them to be helpful with my own love of the hobby. I would find it intriguing to see articles that follow a stone from discovery to jewelry from time to time.
Posted 05/29/09: I and my parents have just returned from N. E. Missouri, where we went to look for geodes at The Sheffler Rock Shop and Geode Mine. This is an interesting story. After 60 years of owning their property, the state comes in and claims eminent domain and takes a large portion of the property in order to put in a stretch of highway. Mrs. Sheffler–”the geode lady,” as she’s affectionately known–grew up in nearby Keokuk, Iowa. She and her son Tim ran the shop up until the time it closed. There is a ton of information out there about the closing of the shop and mine. What there’s not alot of however, is information about how the shop and mine are still very much open. I was just there and it is open. I didn’t have the opportunity to see the original shop–didn’t hear about it till it was to late. Tim runs the shop and mine. He is a very friendly; we talked with him for quite a while. He really knows his rocks. I think it would cool for you to do an article on the Sheffler Rock Shop and Geode Mine not just to let everyone know that they are open, but to help him grow his business.
Sheffler Rock Shop, RR1 Box 171, Alexandria, MO 63430, (660) 754 – 1134; email@example.com
Posted 07/30/08: President and 3rd Generation Owner of Leading U.S. Rock & Mineral Gallery Available for Interviews about Surge in High-End Collecting. Born and raised in the world of gems and minerals, Dennis Tanjeloff is the third-generation owner and President of Astro Gallery of Gems on Madison Avenue in New York City, one of the largest gem and mineral galleries in the world. Tanjeloff, who has been known to travel around the world in pursuit of newly-discovered specimens, serves as curator and special consultant to many of the world’s most valuable private rock and mineral collections. Tanjeloff is considered to be among the world’s most knowledgeable gem and mineral experts and would be available for an introductory telephone discussion about the surge in ultra high-end rock and mineral collecting.
For further information and high-resolution images, contact Adam Mazur at (212) 843-8073.
Posted 07/30/08: When I go agate collecting in the Apache Creek area of New Mexico, I stay at Apache Creek Deaf and Youth Ranch. The people at the ranch have a free campground and some cabins. They don’t charge, but work off donations to the ranch. They also hold agate claims that they allow people to collect on, as well as giving directions to other areas. I would think it would make a good story for the magazine. Contact the director, Craig Lang, at (575) 533-6823. If that is busy, and it is near meal times, he may be in the kitchen, (575) 533-6820. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Harry Bruntz, El Paso, Texas
Posted 10/26/07: I would be interested in an article on how to work fire agate. It seems that a lot would have to be freeform, but how close to the fire can one get without destroying the stone? There must be a bunch of good tips stored in the minds of your writers.
Posted 07/17/07: I buy and sell a few gemstones on the Internet. I am always hearing about how there are so many imitations of stones like turquoise, onyx, lapis, and others being made and sent from Thailand and China. I have not been buying and selling stones for very long, but have never run into these imitations. All of the stones I buy come from both China and Thailand. I just thought maybe there could be some discussion and maybe some pictures of these imitations. How to recognize them and how to avoid finding ourselves in the position of falling prey to these imitations.
Posted 12/29/06: I think it would be interesting to have an article on how different colors can be achieved when a rock is heat treated and what methods are used. Not thinking in terms of “precious” gems (facetable), but rock materials that we generally slab, cab, carve or make into beads. We already know yellow tiger’s-eye will turn red, but variscite can change to purple and Indonesian coral can become more colorful by heating. Beyond these examples, I imagine there are many more that different folks have experimented with.