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  • The Polished Slab

    Presidents Message


    Calendar 4

    Bulletin Board 5

    SNGMS Meeting dates & Direc-tions to Shop


    Classes 8

    Kids Club 8

    Shop Report 9

    Birthday, New Members and Sunshine


    Upcoming Shows 11

    Inside this issue:

    Presidents Message Upcoming Events

    Jan 2 Board Meeting

    Jan 6 - General Meeting, Moose Lodge

    See calendar on page 4 for shop hours, classes, trips, meetings, and other SNGMS events and classes

    See page 8 for details on scheduled classes and instructor contact


    from Sue Moore

    S o u t h e r n N e v a d a G e m & M i n e r a l S o c i e t y

    What a great party!

    For everyone who attended our Annual Awards Banquet, I hope you didnt go away hungry. What an awesome assortment of great food. Thank you to everyone who brought dishes to the dinner.

    I know that for most of you, the remainder of this month, you will be involved in making and distributing gifts for friends and loved ones. There is still time to come up with lapidary based gifts. A great idea for beginners is to fashion a cabochon and attach it to a hat (a la Kidd Rock). The shop is warm and cozy and a great place to meet with and trade skills with your fellow rock hounds, so come on down!

    The first order of business for the 2014 Board of Directors is to fill the Committee positions. If you are interested in being on or leading a Committee in 2014, please contact any Board member and throw your hat in the ring. One of the items that I would like to address is the feasibility of hosting a rock and gem show here in Las Vegas. The cost of using the big hotels and convention centers is prohibitive, but I would like to investigate other options, like school multipurpose rooms, VFW, American Legion rooms, or anything else that the research committee can come up with. We wont know until we develop a summary of the availability of various rental sites in the Valley. Boulder City should be considered also.

    Next, we need to establish the 1st quarter field trips. We welcome all requests and suggestions. Bill and I will be going to Quartzsite for the Powwow, which is January 22nd through 26th, this year. The field trips provided by the Quartzsite Roadrunners are a lot of fun. I have been on most of them, so feel free to ask any questions regarding the trips. Bill and I have been camping in the privately owned area, which is at the west end of Main Street, just past the Revival Tent. The cost is $5.00/day, but the convenience is worth it. There are no bathrooms or water (you are dry camping), but the Loves across I-10 has bathrooms and showers.

    Thank you for putting your faith in me as President. I look forward to an interesting and fun 2014 of rock-hounding, faceting, cabbing, silver-smithing, beading, wire wrapping and all of the rest of the skills that are available to our membership. Come join me.

    Volume 73 Issue 12 December 2013

  • PAGE 2 T H E P O L I S H E D S L A B D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3


    POLISH OPALS WITHOUT MACHINERY Via: Strata Gem, September 2010 Opal is a hydrated silica with varying amounts of moisture. Its hardness varies from 5.5 to 6.5. This method of cutting and polishing opal practically eliminates fracturing from heat. There are four basic steps in shaping and polishing: 1. Sanding off the matrix on both sides to locate the best fire. 2. Rough shaping the stone. 3. Sanding and pre-polishing, which result in the final shaping and size. 4. Final polishing the gemstone. SUPPLIES NEEDED 1. A carborundum stone, double grit, sold by most hardware stores. 2. Wet or dry sand paper, 400- and 600-grit 3. A piece of inner tube, 6" square. 4. Two pieces of corduroy or velvet material, 6" square. 5. Polishing agent, Tripoli or tin oxide 6. Aluminum pie pan 7. Dop stick and household glue or cement. INSTRUCTIONS: Place carborundum stone on the inner tube in the pan, course side up. Pour water on the stone until some stands on top. Always work opal on a very wet stone. With a circular motion, grind on both sides to reveal the best fires. Mark size of desired stone on the back of the opal and grind down to size. When size has been obtained, wash opal, carborundum stone, inner tube, and pan. Do this between each process. Now the opal is ready to be dopped. Use a cold dop of household cement. Coat the end of the dop stick. Also coat the back of the opal. Let it set a minute, and then press together. Stand in modeling clay or other support to dry, about eight hours. When the opal is set on the dop stick, use the coarse side of the carborundum to shape the opal. Wash all equipment. Then this time, using the fine side of the stone, sand out all the scratches, wash, and proceed. Go through this process first using the 400-, then the 600-sanding paper. The opal should have a pre-polish on it. For the final polish, use the same process with the tin oxide. A little Linde A may be added to the tin oxide if you wish. To remove the stone when finished, soak overnight in water and the stone will come loose. Good luck, and may you have a beautiful stone. Malachite, turquoise, chrysocolla, as well as many other stones under 6.5 hardness may be polished with this method.


  • PAGE 4 T H E P O L I S H E D S L A B D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 PAGE 4

    January 2014

    Please contact Sue Moore to establish the 1st quarter field trips. We welcome all requests and suggestions.

    Quartzsite Show and Swapmeet:

    January 1 - February 28, 2014 Admission: All shows free and open to the public

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

    1 Shop Closed 2 Board Meeting 6 3 Shop 12-8 4 Shop 10-6

    5 Faceting 9-2 6 General

    Meeting 6

    7 Silver

    Smithing 5-8

    8 Shop 12-9 9 Metalsmtihing 3-10

    10 Shop 12-8 11 Shop 10-6

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

    8 Awards

    Banquet 12

    9 Wire

    Wrapping 5

    10 Silver

    Smithing 5-8

    11 Shop 12-9 12 Metalsmithing 3-10

    13 Shop 12-8

    14 Shop 10-6

    Kids Holiday

    Party 10-2

    15 Faceting 9-2 16 Wire

    Wrapping 5

    17 Silver

    Smithing 5-8

    18 Shop 12-9 19 Metalsmithing 3-10 20 Shop 12-8 21 Shop 10-6

    22 Faceting 9-2 23 24 Shop Closed 25 Shop Closed 26 Metalsmithing 3-10

    27 Shop 12-8 28 Shop 10-6

    29 Faceting 9-2 30 31 Shop Closed

    December 2013

  • PAGE 5 T H E P O L I S H E D S L A B D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

  • PAGE 6 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 T H E P O L I S H E D S L A B

    All the establishments featured in this section offer discounts to SNGMS members. Be sure to

    show your membership card when making a

    purchase, and say that the Southern Nevada Gem

    & Mineral Society sent you!



  • PAGE 7 T H E P O L I S H E D S L A B D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

    SNGMS General Meeting

    1st Monday of every month (2nd Monday if holiday falls on the first Monday) No meeting in December.

    Non-members welcome!

    Moose Lodge 1600 Gragson Ave.

    Food Available 5 PM ($5.00)

    Show & Sell 5-6 PM Meeting 6-8 PM

    Finding the Shop Location

    Proceeding west on Desert Inn Road, take the first right past So. Valley View Blvd. into the industrial park area. Drive past the building on your right, then jog right, then left and you will be in front of Building E.

    So. V

    alley View

    W. Sirius Ave.

    W. Desert Inn Rd.

    3111 So. Valley View Blvd,

    Building E Shop Suite 125

    SNGMS 2014 Meetings

    Jan 02 Board Jun 02 General

    06 General Jul 03 Board

    30 Board 07 General

    Feb 03 General 31 Board

    27 Board Aug 04 General

    Mar 03 General Sep 04 Board

    Apr 03 Board 08 General

    07General Oct 02 Board

    May 01 Board 06 General

    05 General 30 Board

    29 Board Nov 03 General

    Board Meetings at Shop, 3111 S. Valley View Blvd. Bldg. E. Suite 125, General Meetings at Moose Lodge, 1600 Gragson

    E. Washington Ave. N

    . Bru

    ce S


    N. L

    as V

    egas B


    Gragson Ave.

    Finding the General Meeting Location

    Proceeding south on N. Bruce St., take the left onto Gragson Ave. and proceed to the Moose Lodge parking lot on your left at 1600 Gragson Ave.

    There is a ramp available for handicapped access to the building. Once you enter the meeting room is to your right.

    Congratulations to James Sloan for winning the centerpiece contest. What a wonderful job and such beautiful work! Many hours went into carving this magnificent sculpture. It includes a variety of different stones and was hand carved. Its obvious that he put his heart into this creation.

  • PAGE 8 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 T H E P O L I S H E D S L A B

    Wire wrapping, led by Sue Moore meets on most Mondays (except for the General Meeting night). Hours for the class are 5 - 8 PM. The wire wrapping class for December is the 16th. For more information call Sue Moore at 702-348-9600.

    Beading class is 6 - 8 PM on the second Thursday of the month. The Decmeber class will be on the 12th and is the Hardware Nut Bracelet. Contact Pat Skeary at 702-459-2649 for more information.

    Silver Smithing meets every Tuesday at 5 PM. with Bill Lemmon leading the class. There is a Thursday class in basic metal smithing available as well, led by Mary Brandt meeting 3-10 PM on some Thursdays. In November the date is the 21st. Both classes are suitable f