BC opal Wulfenite

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Rocks & Minerals
Rockhounding and prospecting articles & stories.

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Tucson 2004 - fifty years on
This article celebrated the golden anniversary of the greatest rock & mineral show, and wow!, was there a lot of gold to see.

Indian zeolite.

Arizona dreaming the Tucson Gem Show 2003
This article appeared in the Spring 2003 BC Rockhounder. There was much new and exciting material, notably from China, where huge new mineral sources are coming on stream.

Giant ammonite.

Tucson two-O-O-two
This article appeared in the June 2002 BC Rockhounder, and was the annual report on what's cool and what's hot in Tucson, AZ at the Spring Trade Show.

Paul Obenich and his discovery
Ocean jasper defined

Encounters with a prospector
This article appeared in the March 2002 BC Rockhounder, and seemed to take wings from there, being reprinted in magazines as far away as Australia and the UK.

George Swanson
George Swanson - prospector

Between a rock and a hard place
This article appeared in the Spring 2001 Edition of the Canadian Rockhound on-line magazine, and described the development of a hands-on teaching site where children could experience the thrill of learning how to hunt for fossils.

Excavating fossils.

BC Encyclopedia
The BC Encyclopedia, published by Harbour Publishing in October 2000, is a massive work (it weighs over 4kg) covering every aspect of the province, from mining to Margaret Sinclair. I was invited to write the entry for our provincial stone, nephrite jade.

Jade jewelry
Jade is BC's Provincial gem.

In 1998 after attending the Rendezvous (see below) I wrote a story about rockhounding for Beautiful BC Magazine. It was over a year before it was published, but as always, Editor Bryan McGill did an incredible job with the color photographs, which I can't reproduce here. Too bad.

Whitesail agate

Western Canadian Gemstone Newsletter
Rick founded and edits the Western Canadian Gemstone Newsletter, an online magazine designed to keep people informed about the developments in the western provinces.

Black tourmaline.

Feeling the heat in cool Tucson
Report on some of the sites and activities at the Tucson Gem Show in February 2001.This was written for the British Columbia Rockhounder's June 2001 edition.

Moroccan fossils
Moroccan fossil tent.

Around the mound at Tucson 2000
The Tucson Gem Show is an annual event in February that draws dealers and buyers to Arizona from around the world, and can justifiably claim to be "the world's greatest gem show".

As a regular attendee, I wrote this article for the BC Rockhounder quarterly.

Onyx spheres
Onyx spheres from India.

The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show - 1999
Annual report on the activities, features and new items that caught my eye at Tucson, Arizona's annual gem show.

Variscite beads.

Diamonds in the North West Territories
This report was written for the Victoria Lapidary & Mineral Society Newsletter, and described the exciting new developments taking place north of the Artctic Circle at the Ekati Mine.

Rough stone
Diamond rough from Ekati.

Why collecting rocks is more fun
than collecting stamps

This short comment was written in response to a challenge from a philatelist, and ended up in the BC Rockhounder, where it has been copied widely.

Cat-aloging stamps.

A brief geology of British Columbia
This article was written for the Canadian Rockhound, Spring 2001 edition.

British Columbia
The geological belts in BC.

Rendezvous Roundup - May 1998
I wrote this report for the BC Rockhounder quarterly as a record of the annual rendezvous, this year held at Cache Creek, a site close to the famous amethyst cliff at Scotty Creek and the amber deposits in Hat Creek.

Aragonite near Clinton, BC.

Kamloops Rendezvous 1999
I wrote this report for the BC Rockhounder quarterly to summarize the 1999 rendezvous, held in Kamloops, from where you can find opal at Savona, quartz at McGillerery, and agate and jasper everywhere.

But perhaps the area is best known for the very rare form of zeolite known as ferrierite, named after its discoverer, Walter Ferrier (1865-1950).

Rare Kamloops ferrierite.

Between a rock and the deep blue sea
This article was written for the BC Rockhounder, and described the pleasures of combining kayaking and rockhounding. There are many sea cliffs and remote sites on BC's West Coast that are more easily approached by water than by land.

Exposed red jasper
Red jasper

Texada Island - a forgotten paradise for rockhounds
This article was written for the BC Rockhounder, and was the accumulation of a number of trips to this interesting island. For over a century, Texada in Georgia Strait has produced a host of mineral wealth to those who dug into its rich slopes.

Gold on quartz
Gold on quartz.

Report on the 3rd BC Paleontological Symposium
This report was written for the BC Rockhounder, and described the symposium held at the University of Victoria in 1999, and one of the field trips to a local fossil site near Nanaimo.

Field-found fossils.

The search for shooting stars
This article was written for the Victoria Lapidary & Mineral Society Newsletter, and looked at the growing interest in meteorites, especially from the Antarctic.

Frozen in time & space.

On the trail of ozokerite
This article was written for one of the Canadian Rockhound's earliest editions in the spring of 1997, and describes one of those curious minerals that is not simply extremely rare (only two known sites world wide) but also challenges the whole definition of what a mineral is.

Once upon a time in Utah ....

Ozokerite from Utah.

Rockhounding on Vancouver Island
Since I live on Vancouver Island, I've always considered 'the island' as my home base for rockhounding. Unlike the adjoining Mainland, it has a different geological history, that makes for interesting and varied prospecting. This article was written for the Canadian Rockhound in 1997, following the publication of my book on the same topic.

A similar article appeared in The Rock & Gem in 1998.

Home of rhodonite deposits.

Mesabi story
This story was one of the first I ever wrote for the Victoria Lapidary & Mineral Society Newsletter. The editor, Barbara Smith, forwarded it to the Dowton Jury, where it won an award for geotechnical writing.

Looking west
On Salt Spring Island.

A Renaissance geologist
This report appeared in the June 2001 edition of the British Columbia Rockhounder (editor: Win Robertson), and explores a lesser known aspect of Leonardo da Vinci, that great artist (who seldom painted), innovator (who seldom finished a project) and sculptor (who has no known work completed in his own hand).

da Vinci in old age.

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