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Your very first rock?
  
  Index -> The histories behind mineral specimens
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2016 05:48    Post subject: Your very first rock?  

While browsing through some mineral boxes, I found a specimen worth maybe 50 Cent but nevertheless very special and precious in a specific way: My very first rock, a small pyrite from Huanzala! It must have been around 1990 when my school class went to the Mineralogical Museum of Marburg and many of us returned with a small mineral from the museum shop. I'd like to share the tiny pyrite that got me into this hobby and I would like to see if you also kept your first rocks (and what they are)!


myfirstrock.JPG
 Mineral: Pyrite
 Locality:
Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huánuco Department, Peru
 Dimensions: Specimen size 4 cm
 Description:
The first mineral I ever possessed (~1990)
 Viewed:  7249 Time(s)

myfirstrock.JPG


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Michael Shaw
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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2016 09:00    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

Tobi,

The first specimen that sparked my interest in mineral collecting was the geode pictured below. I saw it in an 1959 advertisement in Rocks & Minerals Magazine in 1959 and thought it was really cool. The dealer lived in Rochester, New York and I mailed him the $1.50. I remember I couldn't wait to get the package. Many years later, I was able to collect in this area, and we brought home many geodes lined with quartz, calcite, chalcedony, etc. Some were much larger and better quality, but the first one will always be my favorite because of the lifelong hobby it started.

Michael



0001 Calcite geode.jpg
 Mineral: Calcite
 Locality:
Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, USA
 Dimensions: 5.0 x 5.3 cm
 Description:
Typical Keokuk geode lined with sugary quartz crystals and several rhombs of colorless calcite.
 Viewed:  7206 Time(s)

0001 Calcite geode.jpg


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Dale Hallmark




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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2016 09:30    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

I do not remember the first sample I collected, and it disappeared likely 50+ years ago. For as long as I can remember I have been interested in rocks and minerals.

I remember before I was old enough to go to school, about 1960, my brother and others would collect various colored sandstones and clays from my Grandmother's farm and make "paint". We painted images on her concrete animal water trough. Grandma was not happy about that :-)

I guess what solidified my interest was taking 30 semesters of Geology at University and especially Physical Geology and Crystallography and Mineralogy. The first specimen I acquired in recent history was a fist sized sample of dog tooth spar (calcite).

The last sample I have collected is a piece of Jade (about a kilo) from British Columbia, Canada.

I have kind of been looking to add a piece of Sphalerite. While I have quite a few minerals I don't have all that many crystals.

Dale
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Dec 08, 2018 20:23    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

I will resurrect this old thread to relate an interesting story.

When I was about 13 or 14 years old, living in NYC, I had a 10 gallon fish tank with the usual tank decor. One day a childhood friend came over; upon looking into the tank he saw a rock and stated "that is prehnite from New Jersey and I will buy it from you for $5.00". I had no idea what he was talking about, but sold him that rock. That was my very first encounter with collectible minerals. While I knew nothing of minerals, he was a youthful knowledgeable mineral collector. During that day together we talked of rock collecting and conspired to ask our parents to take us to the New Jersey Sterling Hill locality, but it was never to be. We were friends thru high school in NYC and then went our separate ways.

What makes this whole story really interesting is the fact that his name was Jonathan Marks and he became a NYC attorney. He was Mark David Chapman's defense attorney. In 1980 Chapman murdered Beatle member John Lennon.

Over the years I have looked for Jonathan's name in many mineral collecting venues and asked many dealers, but no one knows of him in relation to minerals; I guess he no longer collects..... BOB
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Dale Hallmark




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PostPosted: Dec 08, 2018 20:45    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

Reiteration:

I am almost 64 years old so my first rock was a long time ago. May not remember my first rocks accurately but ...My grandmother owned a small inactive farm and I spent a lot of time there. The geology varied greatly in a small distance and there was an older house that had burned down in front of my Grandmother's house sometime in the 1920's. So my first rocks were slag glass, melted pewter and broken crock fragments :-) I spent many hours hunting glass and crock fragments and attempting to put them back together.

Us kids used to go to a small canyon on the property and harvest colored clays, white, purple, yellow and a reddish color. In another place on the property we harvested various friable sandstones, mostly yellows and white. We used the clays and sandstone mixed with water to paint and draw pictures on my Grandmother's cement cattle watering troughs. She was not a fan of our art :-) Thought it might hurt her cattle that drank from there.

The limestones there were very impure and we got many pieces of siderite (I think) that were alterations of pyrite. At least they still had the structure. All of which I found out about many years later. There were also Native American artifacts on the property that we collected as we could.

Never did become a Geologist although I completed 30 semester hours of Geology at University but I did become a Hydrologist. I have been a geology fan and amateur collector ever since.

I am mostly attracted to large and very large samples of common minerals and minerals that have a long history of use by man for other uses than jewelry.

I like all the SIO2 minerals and all common minerals, especially minerals that you would find in a university classroom setting. I do have a few more exotic species but not really many crystals. I like metamict minerals too.

Dale
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Le Snelling




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PostPosted: Dec 08, 2018 21:33    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

I'm 67. In 1954 my family joined the Palomar Gem & Mineral Club. It was a great family club. I can't remember my first rock per se but I do remember my first field trip. It took place when I was 7 or 8. My dad took us to Quartzite AZ to a collecting locality called Quartz Hill. There my dad dug into a large quartz vein from which we took 500 lbs of quartz. I still have a significant amount of that quartz in my collection including a couple of 12" plates. One of my cherished possessions is a snap shot of my Dad, my sister Janet and myself at the dig.


0002_002.jpg
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0002_002.jpg


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Dale Hallmark




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PostPosted: Dec 08, 2018 21:37    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

don't forget the dog :-)

Dale
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Le Snelling




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PostPosted: Dec 08, 2018 22:12    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

That was not our dog. It must have been from another family camped near our site. I should also mention that
my sister Barbara was behind the camera. Mom wasn't along. This definitely wasn't, her thing! The Palomar Gem & Mineral Club is still in existence although it is no longer the large family club it once was. It is located in Escondido California in the heart of the Pala Mining District of San Diego County.
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Bob




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 01:35    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

I am currently a member of the Palomar Gem and Mineral Club. And like most clubs, we are all aging too fast, and don't have much success at attracting "large families", or even small families. I'm sure that if an entire family wanted to join our club, we would accept them. But getting the kids away from their cellphones for ANY length of time, has become impossible.

I'm 72, and like you, it was in 1954 when I found my first rock. I lived in Pennsylvania then, and I had found a plant fossil.
More recently, I have gone on to find the so-called "Los Angeles" Mars-rock meteorite.
My club members call me "Meteorite Bob", because I was that "expert" on Pawn Stars.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 05:07    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

Our ages are telling of something that has been discussed elsewhere on this Forum - if the younger generations are as interested in Nature, let alone minerals, as we were! As for their phones, they are clearly addicted and I can only think of someone inventing a game [Pokomon type?] customized for their location to get them to go to locations that contain interesting minerals or geology for 'points' and hope they develop some interest...but I digress from the issue at hand [I'm 68].

I can't remember my 'first' rock put on my shelf as a collection, but it must have been aged 5 - likely less. I do remember a science-teacher friend of my parents bringing me a box of about 30 minerals [and fairly decent ones, at that!] as a birthday present when I was 6. They are all in my collection still. I know I by that time had about 70-100 rocks and minerals on a table in the basement. At 7 I directed my parents to take me on my first mineral expedition - and it was no 'dog' of a location....we lived not too far from Franklin, N.J. [3 hour drive] and I loaded up the car with ~ 60 lbs of wonderful specimens for which I had to pay [very little] by the pound.....some still are in my collection and include large franklinite xx and other goodies from the area! At 8 I had my first 'by accident' find....my parents and I were hiking in up-state New York and there were pegmatites. Just off of an established trail I saw a HUGE quartz XX and could barely carry it back to the car. It was about 30 lbs, milky quartz, but had all faces - if long weathered and ignored by thousands of others who walked that trail..... My collection now is huge, as I have about 60% self-collected materials that I find hard to part with - as well as bought/traded/gifted minerals.

Infinitely better to be addicted to natural objects, such as minerals, than a computer screen of simulated 'nature'......
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Catahoula




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 10:05    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

I am fairly new to this group and it is posts like this that inspire me. Thank you all for your stories. When my children were 4-8 we went on "adventures" in the mountains and deserts of California. When in the Mojave, we collected rocks, as this was just about the only thing to do out there. When my son turned 16 we unearthed a pocket of bi-color tourmaline and smoky quartz. That threw fuel on the fire. Today he is 18 and my daughter 21. She is off to University at Berkeley but my son stayed local and we spend a good amount of time in the desert looking for royal imperial jasper, opals, chalcedony and other "treasures". I have tried my hand at cutting and polishing, but nothing compares to the natural beauty.

Attached is my 2.2lb bi-color/ watermelon (it has been called both) found in that first pocket.

I do want to note that I visited the renowned Pasadena Gem and Mineral Club a few years back. It was drier and more crusty than the rocks. I tried to engage in conversation with the members, but they were not interested. I did not look or talk like them and they did not make an effort to foster a connection. It sounds as if the Palomar club would have been a better first stop. My advice to clubs is to engage with people. It is a Club, a gathering, a congregation. If you aspire to younger members, you need to inspire them to be part of your community. Best to all.



IMG_2091.jpg
 Mineral: Bi-color or watermelon tourmaline
 Locality:
California, USA
 Dimensions: 17.7cm x 5.08cm (2.2lbs)
 Description:
While this gem has the green sheath covering of a watermelon tourmaline, its inner core is banded like a bi-color. The image is back-lit, but the color continues further up the spear, then goes dark, reoccurring as green in the top 1". I would appreciate any information the group may have on this type of tourmaline.
 Viewed:  3145 Time(s)

IMG_2091.jpg


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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 11:43    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

A one Kg tourmaline, let alone a bi-color one, is a great first find!...or second or.....
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Catahoula




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 11:53    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

Thank you Peter. this was the content of that first pocket. I have been trying to recreate it ever since!


IMG_1691.jpg
 Description:
 Viewed:  3129 Time(s)

IMG_1691.jpg


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vic rzonca




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 14:04    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

I got my start at five or six, with a small green rock in the pile of crushed stone my dad got for our driveway. I knew I had found an emerald, of course I didn't know what an emerald was, but this bit of green rock was one. My first collected specimen. Well, I tracked down the source of that pile. I still collect in that quarry, still picking up bits of green rock, correctly identified as prehnite. My next transforming event was in 6th grade, 11 or 12 years old. I was in Mr. Ramashko's science class and we had a kind of show and tell. Kenneth Twining brought in a handful of Herkimer diamonds and passed them around, I could not understand how these things could be found in the dirt! Thanks to Ken and his dad I was able to feel the thrill of discovery and the fever of the hunt. Finding amazing things, formed by invisible forces in unexplored places. What could be more captivating?


IMG_0451_2.jpg
 Description:
Not the first, prehnite none the less.
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IMG_0451_2.jpg


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Richard Arseneau




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 18:49    Post subject: Re: Your very first rock?  

Certainly not my first "rock", but the first I collected myself with visible crystals. I found a lot of this material while on my honeymoon, along the side of the road on the Cabot Trail. Small Garnets in Phyllite. My wife actually let me put a 30-pound slab in the trunk to bring home.


garnet.jpg
 Mineral: Garnet Group
 Locality:
Northern Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
 Dimensions: 5.5 X 4 cm
 Description:
Largest garnet, 3 mm
 Viewed:  3065 Time(s)

garnet.jpg


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