NORTH SHORE ROCK & MINERAL CLUB
Hamilton Wenham Community House
284 Bay Road,
S. Hamilton, Ma 01982
Next meeting October 16th @ 7:45pm
COLLECTING AGATIZED CORAL
THE FLORIDA STATE STONE
John & Debbie Whitney
Over the past few years, John Whitney of Whitney’s Rocks to Gems, has found some of the most exquisite and highly desired agatized coral in the world. Agatized coral is 20-30 million years old and is Florida’s State Stone. John has been collecting rocks for longer than he can remember. “A man can never have enough rocks” is John’s philosophy. Growing up on a Maine farm, his mother was endlessly emptying John’s pockets full of rocks. John attended the University of Maine, receiving his BS Degree in Plants and Soils. After that, he owned and operated Whitney’s Farm for 17 years. From there his experiences, interests evolved and expanded. In l989, John became a Registered Soil Scientist, and Wetland Specialist. All the while rock collecting, John expanded his interests in collecting from Maine to Florida approximately 12 years ago. Then in 2005, John and his wife Debbie, had the opportunity to make a large purchase of new material from the famous Mount Mica Quarry in Paris, Maine. John and Debbie started their Rocks to Gems business.
Today, rocks have come full circle for John, and now Debbie is the one endlessly emptying his pockets full of rocks. John will have just returned from another agitated coral expedition just in time for this meeting.
The Whitneys are dealers at our show! They will be bringing some specimens to sell at the meeting.
This month, we will go 1,600 feet under Death Valley, in the Billie Mine, to see what a days work is like at 115F. While there we will see how they mine Colemanite which is a vital constituent in fiberglass. During our visit we will also see how these Boron based minerals are formed and the difficulties of collecting in a working mine. Realizing the safety limitations underground, we will also visit an inactive, surface operation (Sigma Mine) were collecting is much easier, but still dangerous. We will also see minerals collected or traded with the miners that illustrate the type and location of these items in the ore-body. I will also share some other treasures collected there. The day after we left Death Valley a miner was killed in the work area we were in. But after a few underground earthquakes,we returned to Vegas only to waken the next morning to the great MGM Grande fire across the street from our motel. Thank God the US Bureau of Mines only allows their project officers to sleep in cheap motels and not in the well known Vegas hotels. An adventure filled collecting trip to say the least. Please bring a speciman of any sort for our show-and-tell.
Parents are always welcome to join us.
See you there,