The Cochise County Rock

Monthly Newsletter of the Sunsites Gem & Mineral Club

“Finding and Grinding Rocks in Cochise County, Arizona since 1962”

May 2007

This issue edited by Don Hammer


May Meeting – Monday the 14th at 7 pm at the Sunsites Community Center

Dr. John Ware will speak on “Indigenous Agriculture in the Southwest” at the May meeting of the Sunsites Gem & Mineral Club. Dr. Ware is a Southwestern archaeologist whose research and publications focus on prehistoric archeology, ethnography, and ethnohistory. He is currently completing a book on Pueblo Indian social history that summarizes recent research on the Colorado Plateau and Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Ware graduated from Prescott College in 1973 and holds advanced degrees (MA and PhD) in Anthropology from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Since 2001 he has served as executive director of the Amerind Foundation in Dragoon.

April Field Trip

Twenty three members and one guest assembled at Bent Spur Cafe at 8:00 am on a cool Saturday April 14 and headed for Rucker Canyon arriving at the Smith ranch in a beautiful park south of Rucker Canyon at 9. We found huge piles of broken up red jasper and several pieces of druzzie left by the miners extracting lead deposited in jasper. A few of the more ambitious loaded up some boulders and most had all the rock they wanted by 10:30 when Paul decided to try to get the prettiest rock on the mountain – a huge drusy specimen. With lots of help and Walt’s pickup they managed to get it down and loaded into Don’s pickup. Many pickups were riding noticeably lower on the way out. And Don’s was leaning because they loaded both large boulders on one side. I think everyone got all the jasper they could ask for, a pleasantly warm day (T-shirts by 10) and a very beautiful setting combined to make it a special field trip. We thank Paul McKnight for finding a great location. And since we were nearby some of us left some money at the 2nd annual Elfrida swap meet on the return.

May Field Trip

We will go to the mountains south of Davis Road. Meet at 9 am on Sunday May 20 at the intersection of Highway 80 and Davis Road south of Tombstone. There is ample parking along the south side of Davis Road about ¼ mile east of the intersection – look for two small bright blue buildings. We will leave at 9:15 to go a few miles east on Davis Road and then south to the mountains. We will be collecting at an old flourite mine that has dark purple and green flourite, bacon rhyolite and quartz crystals. You will need a high clearance vehicle and we will be doing some heavy rock breaking or extracting as well as lighter digging. Bring digging and breaking tools, bags or pails, lunch, water, lawn chairs, hats, shade and sunscreen. Please arrange for car pooling at the meeting or by phone. The landowner is willing to let us come in as group but he does not want any of us to contact him for individual trips at some future date. As a reminder our field trip rules prohibit open toed shoes and short pants or shorts. Wear long trousers and boots.

Gem and Mineral Club Meeting Minutes

April 9,2007

President Paul McKnight called the meeting to order. Visitors, guests, and new members were introduced. Butch Kohler was a visitor, and Roxene Nicolaus was a new member.

The minutes to the March meeting were published in the newsletter. With no additions or corrections, Bob Fenner made a motion to accept the minutes. Irvin Pontious seconded the motion, motion carried. New nametags printed by Don Hammer were handed out. They will be turned in at the end of the meeting, and reissued each meeting. Walter Sigel gave the treasurer’s report. The only change was a deposit from membership dues for $20.

Paul told us that the annual membership to the Sunsites Community Assoc. went up from $20 to $25. Since this is a budgeted expense, the membership needs to vote on the change. Irvin made a motion to adjust this expense. Don seconded the motion, motion carried.

Don told us about the upcoming Field Trip planned for Sat April 14. We will meet at the intersection of Rt. 191 and Rt. 181 at the old Bent Spur Café at 8am. We will leave at 8:15, and then travel to the intersection of Rucker Canyon Rd. to a ranch in the Swisshelm Mts. to find Red and Yellow Jasper. If it rains, the trip is canceled.

Paul announced the schedule for the remainder of this season’s activities. Jane Swartz will be our speaker at the May meeting. The summer picnic is being planned for June 16. It will start with a tour of Eurofresh in Willcox, and then to a local picnic area. Hanni Sigel will finalize plans by the May meeting.

Don gave us an update on the saw he purchased for possible club use. He has been unable to clean it well enough to be used in the lapidary classroom. He will keep it for his own use, and continue the search for one for the club. Lapidary classes have moved to Monday afternoon.

Robert Miller has a display of rocks and minerals for us to view during intermission. Bob Fenner also brought samples of what can be found on the May field trip to Davis Rd. Members were reminded of the correspondence available for viewing such as newsletters from RM Fed. There is also a Rock and Mineral Show in Patagonia on April 21-22. The raffle will be held during intermission. Garnett Rodgers donated a rock from the Rowley Mine. There are also geology books for sale. After intermission, we will watch a video on the Making of the Continent: Yellowstone. Irvin made a motion to adjourn, Floyd seconded the motion, motion carried. Rosita Pontious supplied refreshments.

We welcome new members George and Roxene Nicolaus.

Wanted: Rocks. Bring one or more of your favorite rocks to the meeting to be included in the rock raffle. We thank the Fenners, Blandins, Henri vandenBos, the Edgetts, Paul McKnight and Garnett Rogers for our highly successful raffles.

Anyone with suggestions for speakers or program topics or field trip sites please contact one of the officers.

Name Tags

Please bring your name tags to the meetings and wear them. We will re-institute the procedure of keeping name tags in our locker, bringing them out before each meeting and storing them in the locker after each meeting. We have many new members and we need to facilitate getting to know each other.

Lapidary and Silversmithing

Interested in lapidary? We have a 12 noon on Monday and a Saturday afternoon session – call Irvin Pontious – 824-0110. Silver smithing meets at 3 pm Monday – call Keith McRobert 826-3745. Irvin will have a signup sheet for lapidary during the summer at the May meeting. If you miss the meeting call Irvin.

Club Calendar


14 Regular Meeting – Host – Cindy Weller – Program: John Ware on Indigenous Agriculture in the SW

20 Field Trip

31 Board Meeting


16 Eurofresh Tour and Picnic


Field Trip


Field Trip

30 Board Meeting


10 Regular Meeting – Host Ilse-Rose Edgett

15 Field Trip

27 Board Meeting


8 Regular Meeting

14 Field Trip


1 Board Meeting

12 Regular Meeting

17 Field Trip

29 Board Meeting


17 Christmas Party

Upcoming Regional Events

May 5-7, 2007. Mohave County Gemstoner’s Annual Show, Kingman, Arizona 928-692-3797

June 7-10, 2007. Rocky Mountain Federation Annual Convention & Show. Roswell, NM. Hosts: Chaparral Rockhounds. Chairman: Frank Whitney 505.623.3236 This is a joint convention with the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and being this close, a real opportunity for us to see what these organizations are all about.

August 25-September 3 Agate 2007, Apache Creek, NM. Yonis Lone Eagle 505-860-2455. rockymountainrockhounds at yahoo dot com or

October 6-7, 2007 Phepps Dodge Annual Turquoise Hunt, Bisbee Mining and History Museum. 520-432-7071

October 11-13, 2007 21st Annual Quartz Crystal Dig, Mount Ida, Arkansas. 800-867-2723

October 13-14, 2007 Huachuca Gem & Mineral Show, Elks Lodge, Sierra Vista.

Club Officers for 2007

President Paul McKnight 520 824-4054

Vice-President Jack Weller 520-826-0625

Secretary Carol Pontious 520 824-0110

Treasurer Walt Sigel 520-826-1009

Delegate at Large Jack Light 520-384-4774

Hospitality Coordinator Hanni Sigel 520-826-1009

Dues are due. $10 for individual and $20 for family. Please mail your check to Sunsites Gem & Mineral Club, PO Box 87, Pearce, AZ 85625. Members with dues unpaid by March 15 will be dropped from the membership rolls.


A frequently asked question, yet requires different answers under varying conditions

One part of the answer is that “All mineral things that occur in the earth cannot be designated as being in one of the three classes of rock”. For example, mineral veins and crystals in them are really neither. They are simply “Hydrothermal Mineral Deposits”. (Hydrothermal meaning from hot water), and they crystallize from mineral bearing water in fractures and other open spaces that can exist in any type of rock.

Following up on this concept, it can be said that more crystals have probably formed in SEDIMENTARY rocks than other types. Sedimentary rocks, being nearer the surface (thus under less pressure) and quite often more porus and soluble in water are the kind to have open spaces or cavities in which crystals can grow.

Many of the most common well crystallized minerals such as calcite, gypsum, dolomite, quartz or halite have formed in sedimentary rocks. IGNEOUS rocks can also host crystals of many minerals such as quartz in geodes. Gem minerals such as topaz, beryl, tourmaline and smoky quartz are formed in pegmatites. Not to be overlooked are crystals formed in METAMORPHIC rock such as garnet, kyanite and staurolite. Probably fewer because of the high pressure making the rock more dense with fewer cavities.

Many minerals can develop in all kinds of host rock; for example, Quartz from Arkansas occurs in SEDIMENTARY rock, whereas amethyst from Brazil occurs in GEODES in volcanic rock. Smoky quartz from Colorado occurs in (IGNEOUS) pegmatites and the quartz crystals associated with pyrite, galena and other ore minerals are mostly of the “HYDROTHERMAL VEIN” structure which does not fit either of the three rock types. USGS, Denver.

A user friendly site for printable topographic maps at whatever scale you’d like is Two rock related association sites include and