VoL XXXVI, No. 2--- February 1999

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents

Rip Van Winkle ..................................... Ken Kruschke
Member Recognition ............................. Colleen Megann
Petrified Wood Seminar ......................... Ed (Marty) Isch
CFMS Earth Science Studies at zzyzx ... Bill (Izzie) Burns
Help Wanted ........................................ Ken Kruschke
Field Trips - North ................................. Chuck McKie
"Y' all flock to Turlock" ........................... Rosemarie Young
Display Tips .......................................... Pat LaRue
Great Programs .................................... Marion Fowler
CFMS Historian's Report ....................... Shirley Leeson
Practice Safety when traveling with pets.. Richard Pankey
In One Day ........................................... from Ghost Sh 2/96 via Amador Nugget 12/98
More Interesting Mining Facts ................ from The Rock Bag via The Agatizer

To return to the Table of Contents, select CFMSNEWSFEB9 on the navigation bar.


RIP VAN WINKLE

by Ken Kruschke, CFMS President
CFMS President

We Americans are an easy going people; you might say sort of a sleeping giant. We generally feel that our lawmakers.... city, county, state, and federal, represent us in a fair and even-handed way with little or no help or say so from us. Unfortunately, this is not the way it always works. Small fringe groups with a dedicated following can use this easygoing way of ours to their advantage. They come on as the good guys in the white hats saving the world from, or for, whatever their beliefs are. The spin on their causes is well financed and well done and of course they do convert some people to their beliefs.

These groups know what gets the attention of elected officials, from the dog catcher to the president of our land... ballots cast on Election Day. They need votes to get into power and to stay in power. If a group can convince a candidate they can deliver a large block of votes and then do, the candidate owes them big time. Votes are paid for by favors.

The individuals in these groups donate money for campaigns and they call on their candidates by mail, fax, e-mail, telegraph, telephone, and personal visits to communicate what they have on their minds. When Election Day arrives, these people all cast their ballots as a block. With the small percentage of registered voters casting ballots, it's no wonder that a small group can have its own way.

They communicate with candidates and public officials, we don't. They vote, and we don't.

We need to make ourselves aware of the things going on, not only in our backyard, but also in every backyard in the United States. Communication between people of like' persuasions across our land is a must. The lawmakers we elect to office need to know our views on issues they vote on in other states, just as voters in other states make their views about issues in our state known to their elected lawmakers.

There are organizations that track issues relevant to us. They need us to communicate with lawmakers, and they need money to defray expenses of their labors.

The silent majority, whether it's apathy or not taking the time and making the effort to communicate, registering to vote, and voting, are letting themselves be pushed around.

Freedom is not free. It was bought and paid for with blood and sacrifices. We can each help keep our freedoms alive and well with a little time, effort, and money.



MEMBER RECOGNITION

By Colleen Mcgann

I am still excited about sharing with all CFMS clubs, the folks you will be selecting for Member Recognition nominee(s) for 1999. This is such a special way to award the people in our clubs who make that extra contribution to the continuing interest in our communities for earth science studies and artistic creativity with rocks. Last month, I presented a number of members who were recognized for their contributions, yet I have no new names to mention this month. Please help me by taking the time during your next club Board meeting to choose your nominee(s) for this year. I look forward to filling this section with names in all the rest of 1999.



PETRIFIED WOOD SEMINAR

by Ed (Marty) Isch

Kern County Mineral Society will again hold a Wood Seminar.

DATE: April 16,17, and 18,1999

April 16 - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
April 17 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April 18 - 9 a.m. to 12 noon

WHERE:

Kern County Fair Grounds
1142 South P Street
Bakersfield, California

PRICE: - $40.00 per person

TEACHER: - Walt Wright

RV - Full hook up available at $10.00 per night

Info and Registration:

Ed or Martie Isch
11800 Brockridge Ct.
Bakersfield, CA 93312
(805) 5894954



CFMS EARTH SCIENCE STUDIES at ZZYZX

by The Committee

The weeklong Earth Science Studies at Soda Springs, known as ZZYZX, is from April 11 to 18, 1999.

This is a unique opportunity to learn lapidary arts from talented instructors. Soda Springs is located 50 miles northeast of Barstow on ZZYZX Road. Facilities are adequate with ample room for RV's. There are no hookups

Workshops include cabochons, soft stone carving, bead stringing, silver smithing, and solderless wire fabrication. There are also field trips for collecting and sight seeing, and programs to fill the evenings.

Three meals a day are served, also food and beverage is sent out on the field trips.

The Earth Science Studies have been very popular in past years, with many attending year after year, for the fellowship and to improve their skills. There is an enrollment form in this newsletter. NOTE We, the committee, are looking forward to more new people. Try it -- you will like it.

The Committee
Bill & Izzie Bums
Ray & Florence Meisenheimer



HELP WANTED

by Ken Kruschke, CFMS President

I would like to contact or be contacted by someone in CFMS land who has a background in Public Relations and or Advertising. If you are interested, or know someone who may fit the bill, call me or give me their name and I will call them.

Ken Kruschke, CFMS President
(805) 871-8853
e-mail kkruschke@msn.com



FIELD TRIPS - NORTH

by Chuck McKie, Chairman
1012 Mockingbird Lane
Fairfield, CA 94533-2426
(707) 425-9030
e-mail Chuckmckie@aol.com

Combined CFMS & NBFT field trip to Monte Cristo Mountains
Memorial weekend May 28-31,1999

The planning for our CFMS field trip on the Memorial Day weekend to the Monte Cristo Mountains is progressing. I plan to be there on 27 May 1999, which is a Thursday, to set up a camp site. NOTE

We will be camping on an alluvial fan area (a gradually sloping mass of alluvium [sand , clay etc. gradually deposited by moving water, as along a river bed or the shore of a lake] that widens out like a fan from the place where a stream slows down littile by little as it enters a plain) which will accommodate a great many campers. So come one come all. A number of people have told me that they plan to join us and that they know the area and can lead us to some good collecting sites. Therefore, I figure we can divide up and have several trips to different places at the same time, so everybody will be able to participate and collect good material.

Tonopha, Nevada is about 36 miles on highway 95 toward Las Vegas. There are some motels in Tonopha in case you want to join us on the field trips but do not have a camping unit.

The "Station Casino" in Tonopha has rooms, a restaurant, and trailer/motor home spaces behind. Check in the casino for camping, very reasonable. (775) 482-3859

Names and phone numbers for other motels in Tonopha:

Best Western Motel, (775) 482-3511 - 2 people/l bed $49 (from AAA)
Jim Butler Motel, (775) 482-3577 - 2 people/ I bed $36 (from AAA)
Tonopha Chamber of Commerce (775) - 482-3859

To get to the field trip camp area, go north on Hwy 95 for 34 miles from Tonopha or from Reno area, go 6 miles south on 95 from Coaldale. Either way when you get to paved Nevada State highway 265- which goes south to Silver Peak, turn NORTH on a DIRT ROAD. Go about two miles. It is open country so you should be able to see our camping rigs. The road is good enough that all vehicles and trailers should have no difficulty. As near as I can determine from my maps, the altitude at the campsite may be about 6000 feet. And the collecting areas could be slightly higher. The temperature could get very cold at night and may get quite warm during the days, so bring coats and also light clothing.

There is a lot to collect in that area, Petrified wood, multi colored Jasper, Moss Agate, and several varieties of Rhyolite. Digging and hard rock mining is involved. Bring the necessary tools.

The price of gas in Coaldale is high. From Reno it might be a good idea to fill up in Hawthorne or (from Las Vegas), in Tonopha.

It is dry camping so bring your supplies of water and food.

A rock shop in Tonopha has some reasonably priced turquoise- at least in 1996. If you stop in, tell them Chuck McKie sent you. Maybe they won't charge you double.

We will probably have a potluck on Saturday night about 5:30 PM.

Sign in when you arrive at camp. Also SIGN out before you leave the field trip.



"Y'allflock to Turlock"

By Rosemarie Young, Chairman Non-Competitive Exhibits

Diamond Jubilee of Gems
CFMS 60th Annual Show & Convention
June 18, 19, 20, 1999
(Bulletin Editors - please copy and publish)

In this issue of the Newsletter are application forms for advance registration, competitive and non-competitive exhibit forms for the CFMS Show in Turlock next June. NOTE Please make these available to your members and encourage them to participate. We've planned a good variety of exhibits in our large display cases.

In our six-foot see-through cases you will see:

  • Lois Schumann of Visalia exhibiting faceted replicas of famous gems. See the Hope Diamond as a pendant in its beautiful necklace of complimentary stones, the Cuffinan group and several other replicas of note.
  • Phyllis Brouse, Northern California's most enthusiastic 'opalholic' will treat you to an impressive collection of opals from different regions.
  • Jim Strain will have the Strain Family swords and daggers on display. The history of these goes back to England. There are three large swords and seven daggers. Their handles are decorated with gems which, according to ancient lore, have the power to protect the wearer from various evils.

We will also have four 12-foot display cases which will feature:

  • Westward-Ho is the theme of Jim Wade's display. The early emigrants are coming by a Stagecoach and 6 (horses), a Conestoga wagon hitched to a team of spiked oxen, and there will even be an old-time hearse. Jim, who is a talented metalsmith, lapidary and carver, crafted all the work.
  • Bob Mount's display will trace the history of scrimshaw. He will exhibit some fine old ivory pieces from his collection, as well as some of his excellent work in the newer materials.
  • Pat Warner of Fresno has a variety of carvings in both soft and hard stone, along with her notable antler carvings. Pat does beautifully intricate work and teaches carving techniques to members of the Fresno Club.
  • Bruce Runner will feature a mixed display of our State Gem, Benitoite, in the rough and our State Mineral, Gold, to complement the CFMS Golden Bear and Benitoite necklace display.
  • Besides these special displays we will have a floor display of the spheres and intarsia work by Art and Rosamond Riggle of Barstow. This spectacular array of self-collected and handcrafted material is a showstopper! Check it out.

In the darkroom area of the exhibit budding, the Fluorescent Mineral Society will feature ten cases of fluorescents. The Society, dedicated to the appreciation of fluorescents, is composed of some 415 members from 44 U.S. States and 18 Countries. Jan Wittenberg, who is organizing the display, will have information about their minerals. They are also offering exhibit space in the darkroom for competition fluorescent displays.

Our large exhibit building will have room for all of these plus about 200 standard 4-foot displays. We plan to have a great show with lots of good 'Mother Lode' hospitality.

Won't you join us?



DISPLAY TIPS"
By Pat LaRue, Rules Committee

Visitors to gem and mineral shows always seem to "zero in" on the really outstanding displays and hardly look at some of the others. How have some exhibitors managed to catch your attention and "made" you stop and look at what they chose to display? If you look closely at the overall picture a case tries to convey, you may pick up some hints.

Look at the background colors used-are they subtle and do they enhance the case contents? What about pattern and texture-does it distract in any way? Examine the arrangement of the case contents-is there a focal point and a sense of direction for the eye or does it appear cluttered? Does the exhibitor clearly identify the contents of the case or does he/she make the viewer guess? What about neatness-is the case clean or are there smudges all over the place?

Based on years of experience exhibiting and judging other displays, I have developed some does and don'ts for exhibitors regarding showmanship. Although these ideas were originally aimed at the non-competitive exhibitor, they apply equally to the competitive exhibitor whether you choose to display at the CFMS show or the fairgrounds.

  1. When selecting fabric for lining your case, subtle tones work best. You should avoid bright colors such as red or green. Suggested tones include grays, whites, beige, light blue (very effective with jewelry), pale yellow. It is best to select fabric with little or no texture; the nature of the display items dictate how much texture you can use. A display of large fossils or petrified wood allows use of textured fabrics whereas a display of faceted stones or other small items would not. No shiny fabrics please!
  2. Do line the case! Cardboard panels from large packing boxes work well and are generally available from moving companies. Panels can also be cut from fiberboard or thin plywood and then covered with fabric. Although seen at some club shows, a "draped" case has no place in any type of competition.
  3. Risers can be as simple or as elaborate as you care to make them. They can be made from wood or Styrofoam and painted, if wood, or covered with fabric. The covering can be glued or pinned in place Hint: curved corners are easier to work with than perfectly square ones. Covering risers is not easy-don't be afraid to ask someone who has mastered the art to help you!
  4. Don't overcrowd your display. A common mistake among beginners is to overfill their cases. How much is too much often depends upon what is being displayed. Some very attractive cases feature a few items. In a non-competitive situation, a large Mineral specimen or lapidary item can BE the display. If 'in competition, make sure you read the section that tells you the maximum and minimum number of pieces your display must have.
  5. Don't leave the viewing public guessing. Make sure your display has labels. These must be neat and of a uniform size that complements the display. What you make them from is up to you. I've seen everything ranging from simple card stock to engraved plastic. Spelling and correct identification do count! In competition don't lose valuable points because you forgot to proofread or put the wrong label in front of the wrong item.

Showing off your prized specimens, lapidary and/or jewelry skills is one of the things you can do to promote our activities to others. If you plan to enter CFMS competition this year, it is not too early to begin planning your display. If the current Rules book and supplements are not available through your club, they can be obtained by contacting CFMS Executive Secretary/Treasure Renata Bever at (909) 885-3918 or you can e-mail her at calfedmin@msn.com. To quote President Ken Kruschke, you should "go for the gold". He wants to help present lots of trophies to lots of folks at Turlock. See you there!



Great Programs

by Marion Fowler, Program Aids Chairman

The speaker was there on time for the meeting of Monterey Bay Mineral Society of Salinas, and he had the video he had made personally of the Russian crown jewels, gems, and mines. When he started to show it, however, it was "all snow". 0 -o-o-o-ops!! Fortunately Howard Carter was also there and came up with a quiz program in which the audience participated enthusiastically. Kay Carter shares what he said:

The program that was arranged for tonight had to be canceled because ........

Tonight I am the teacher and will be asking the questions. Here are the rules of engagement: If you know the answer, you will indicate by your hand and I will call on you for the answer. Until you are called on, do not answer. As I expect there will be a lot of experts in the audience. If no one gives the correct answer, I will supply the answer.

We recognize three categories of rocks as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
As I call out a rock name, tell me to which category, it belongs.

Pumice
A highly porous igneous glass. Very light weight and will float
Breccia
Sedimentary, composed of sharp cornered bits of fragmented rock cemented together by sand, clay, or lime
Marble
Hard crystalline or granular metamorphed limestone in varied colors and patterns
Shale
Sedimentary, a fine grained, thinly bedded rock largely of hardened clay, splits into layers. (e.g. Carmel stone)
Rrhyolite
Igneous, any of a group of a fine grained extrusive rocks having a similar chemical composition to granite, commonly occuring as lava flows
Slate
A hard fine grained metamorphic rock that cleaves naturally into thin smooth surfaced layers. Metamorphized shale?
Gypsum Rock
Sedimentary, hydrated sulfate of calcium
Granite
A coarse grained, relatively light colored igneous rock containing quartz, potassium, feldspar, mica, hornblende, and other minerals

If I gave you a rock we call halite, how could you make good use of it' (Salt)
Galena is the ore of what metal? (Lead)
Cinnabar is the ore of what metal? (Mercury)
Hematite is the ore of what metal? (Iron)
Bauxite is the ore of what metal?(Aluminum)

There are many, words that are used in the literature of mining and mineral resource applications and are important to the understand of their meaning. Give a brief definition of the following words or terms.

Assayer
One who examines, tests or analyzes an ore or alloy to determine its nature, proportions, or purity of its ingredients.
Adit
An almost horizontal passageway entrance into a mine.
Carat
A unit of weight for precious stones and pearls.
Karat
A measure of the proportion of pure gold to the alloy, with 24 karat, indicating pure gold.
Ductile
Can be stretched. Drawn, or hammered thin without breaking.
Lapidary
A person who cuts, polishes, and carves precious stones.
Anneal
To heat and then cool slowly to prevent brittleness.

Which is heavier, an ounce of feathers, or an ounce of gold? A Troy Ounce of gold weighs 31.103481 grams, while an ounce of feathers weighs 28.34953 grams. So, you see, the ounce of gold is heavier.

Our thanks to Kay and Howard for sharing, with us! Many thanks, also, to the following for returning annual Program Reports and Questionnaires: Edith Willoughby, Napa Valley Rock & Gem Club; Joan Keith, Vista Gem & Mineral Societies; and Anne Schafer, San Diego Mineral and Gem Society.

The blank Program Report form
was in the November CFMS Newsletter.
Have you returned yours?
Please do!


CFMS Historian's Report

by Shirley Leeson

The Fresno Gem & Mineral Society, Jerry Wells, Federation Director, sent some great items to include in our growing Historical Reference Library Project:

"The Mineralogy Manual",
2nd edition, by Francis Burt Rosevear, A.M. Cornell University -The Lionel Corp. Hagerstown, Maryland. Copyright 1953
"The Fossils of Arkansas",
by Tom Freeman, Arkansas Geological Commission, Norman F. Williams, State Geologist, (approximate date 1965)
"Bulletin No. 21",
State of Arkansas, Arkansas Geological Commission, Norman F. Williams, Geologist-Director, 1964 Quartz, Rectorite & Cookeite from Jeffrey Quarry, near North Little Rock, Plaski County, ARK.
"Field Trip Guide Book, Central Arkansas",
State of Arkansas, Arkansas Geological Commission, Norman F. Williams State Geologist, 1967
"Rock & Mineral Collecting Localities",
Arkansas Geological Commission, (Maps)
.. Typed research papers on:
"Hot Spring National Park,"
"Geology of Magnet Cove" and
"Magnet Cove Minerals"
"Geological Survey of Canada,"
Paper 69-45, A Catalogue of Canadian Minerals, R.J. Traill Crown Copyright, 1970, Dept of Energy, Mines & Resources.
"Bulletin 641, Bureau of Mines",
Optical Properties of Coals and Graphite, by J.T. McCartney & S. Ergun. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 1967
"Onyx Marble & Travertine"
Information Circular, by Oliver Bowles & D.M. Banks, Dec. 1933, U.S. Bureau of Mines
"Verde Antique"
Information Circular, by Oliver Bowles & Florence Davidson, April 1938, U.S. Dept of the Interior
"Strontium"
A Materials Survey, by Albert E. Schreck & Joseph C. Arundale, 1959, U.S. Bureau of Mines, U.S. Dept of Interior
"Scientific American,"
March 1984 issue "Descent of Hominoids & Hominids"
"Science of Man, "
Volume 1, No 3 April 1961, Vol. 1 No 4, June 1961, Vol. 1 No 5, August 1961, Vol. 1 No 6, October 1961, Vol. 2, No 1, December 1961 - Published by Don MacLachlan, Joseph E. Vincent, Editor, Mentone, CA
"Nevada State Museum - Popular Series, Number 1, January 1965,"
Nevada's Prehistoric Heritage by Donald R. Tuchy
"Regulations Governing Mineral Locations in Arizona"
Dept of Mineral Resources, State of Arizona, compiled by J.E. Busch, 1946
"Lizzardo Museum"
Magazines: Spring/Summer 1971; Fall/Winter 1971-72; Fall/Winter 1973-74; Spring/Summer 1974; Spring/ Summer 1975; Spring/Summer 1976.
"An Ultraviolet Multiple Table"'
Circular 488, Section 2, 3, 4 & 5. U, S. Dept of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards 1952
"Solution Studies of Chrystile, Lizardite & Antigorite,"
Geological Survey Professional paper 384-B 1967 U.S. Dept of Interior
"Data of Geochemistry"
6th Edition, Chapter D. Composition of the Earth's Crust, Geological Survey Professional Paper 440-D 1967 U.S. Dept of Interior
Once again THANKS to Fresno Gem & Mineral for coming through with some great books

Practice Safety when traveling with pets

by Richard Pankey, Safety Chairman

Betty and I will be taking our first long trip in our trailer soon. We will be gone about 7 weeks rockhounding and visiting family in Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. Our two black Labs love to travel and will be going with us. There is a lot to plan and get ready for a trip this long and it got me thinking about the special needs and situations when traveling with pets. When traveling with your pet, be ready for the routine problems as well as the "unexpected" ones. Since they can't do for themselves, it is our responsibility to plan and do for them.

Here are a few considerations and safety tips for traveling with pets:

  • If your pet is not used to traveling, brief frequent trips are the best way to expose your pet to this experience. Bring along favorite toys and bedding to make your pet feel at home.
  • Provide a safe place for your pet to ride. Our dogs like to ride on the folded down back seat in our super cab Ford pickup. Many pets feel more secure if they are confined to a sturdy and well-ventilated carrier. This may be a good idea, also, for excitable pets.
  • Do not let your pet extend its head or lean out of an open window or travel unrestrained in the back of a pickup truck. The animal could fall or jump into traffic in case of a sudden swerve or stop. Wind, dust and debris may injure your pet's eyes, ears and nasal passages.
  • Care should always be taken when leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle. Park in the shade and insure adequate ventilation. If pet will be left for an extended period of time, stop back to your vehicle occasionally to check on your pet.
  • Have your pet's general health evaluated by a veterinarian before leaving on a long trip. Vaccinations should be up to date and take your pet's vaccination (and medical) records, especially when going to other states. Also, be sure to take all medicines your pet needs.
  • While traveling, stop at regular intervals so that your pet can relieve itself. Try to avoid heavily "used" areas, as they are sources of disease and parasites.
  • Ask your veterinarian if there are any diseases in the area you are planning to visit that could be a threat to your pet's health. You may wish to schedule an appointment on your return to have your pet checked for parasites, fleas, or any other problems noticed on the trip.
  • How about a first aid kit for your pet. Beside the normal antiseptic and bandages, be sure to have pliers to remove thorns, nail clippers, extra towels, eye and ear wash, flea and tick powder or spray. and the like.

These are just a few ideas and considerations. You will need to tailor your safety check list for your own situation -- type of pet, how many pets, age, temperament, activity level, etc. While taking your pets along does require planning and preparation, if you are like us, our dogs are part of the family and it just wouldn't be right to leave them at home. But what ever your situation -- PRACTICE SAFETY when traveling with pets.

If you haven't completed and mailed in the Safety Survey from the December Newsletter, you have a lot of company. So far the response has been underwhelming. Because it was short and easy to complete (so I thought), I had hoped to get your responses quickly. Anyway, please do complete it as quickly as you can and return it to me. Hopefully, there will be some good Safety programs and ideas to pass along to the rest of the Federation.



In One Day

from Ghost Sheet 2/96 via Amador Nugget 12/98

To maintain our standard of living, every day, 18 million tons of raw material must be mined, cut or harvested to meet the demands of U.S. citizens for "things & stuff'; about 150 lbs. for every man, woman and child.

  • 640 acres .... one square mile of carpeting is woven (barite, calcium carbonate).
  • 9.7 million square feet of plate and window glass .... about 223 acres are used; enough to cover 200 football fields (silica, sand, trona).
  • 2,750 acres of pavement are laid, 4 times as much surface area as is mined. Enough concrete and asphalt to make a bicycle path 7 feet wide from coast to coast (sand, gravelstone chips, and limestone)
  • 4 million eraser tipped pencils are purchased. That's enough erasers to correct all the mistakes from 1,500 miles of notebook paper .... about 129 acres of goofs (graphite, kolin, pumice).
  • 426 bushels of paper clips .... 3 5 million are purchased; 7 million are actually used, 8-9 million are lost, and almost 5 million are twisted up by nervous fingers during phone conversations (iron, clay, limestone, trona, steel).
  • 164 square miles of newsprint is used to print 62.5 million newspapers; enough to line a bird cage 12 miles wide and 13 miles long (trona, kaolin).
  • 400 acres of asphalt roofing are nailed down (silica, borate, limestone, and trona. feldspar, talc).
  • 187,000 tons of cement are mixed; enough to construct a 4 foot wide sidewalk from coast to coast (limestone, sand, gravelstone chips).
  • 3.6 million light bulbs are purchased (tungsten. trona. silica sand, copper, aluminum).
  • 80 pounds of gold are used to fill 500,000 dental cavities.
  • 550,000 pounds of toothpaste .... 2.5 million tubes, enough to fill a small jet liner (calcium carbonate, zeolites, trona, clay, silica).
  • 21 million photographs are snapped; more than 29 acres of wallet-sized photos (silver, iodine).
  • 10 tons of colored gravel for aquariums.

REMEMBER: If it can't be grown, it has to be mined.



More Interesting Mining Facts

from The Rock Bag via The Agatizer 1/99

  • Television sets contain more than 35 different metals.
  • More than 1/3 of all gold which has ever been mined (1.1 billion troy ounces) is in various government vaults.
  • Each of the many brilliant colors seen in fireworks displays is due to the presence of a particular metal.
  • One of the oldest mining locations in the world is reputed to be Timna Valley in Israel, where copper has been mined since 4,000 B.C.
  • In the United States, gold-bearing ore usually averages 0.1 troy ounce of gold per ton of ore.
  • Face masks that astronauts wear are gold coated to protect them from the sun's fierce radiation.
  • It takes 42 different minerals to make a telephone handset.
  • Gold mining in South Africa has exceeded a depth of 12,000 feet. Many mines are so deep that exposed rock often explodes due to intense pressure from the rock above.
  • Roman soldiers were paid in part with a salt ration called "solarium argent". This is where the term "salary" comes from.