Coastal Waves

January/February 2015

We are back!  

After an extended absence from the Coastal Waves we are again on board with our newsletter. We are available via internet or by mail. If you would like to have the issue mailed please contact Carol and you will be added to the mailing list. George our web master will add you to the internet list with  your email.

Please update either your mail address or email to keep our records correct. 

Oregon Coast Agate Club is growing and excited about our Show in June. It will be June 6th & 7th at the National Guard Armory located at 541 SW Coast Highway ( Hwy 101 next to Pig n Pancake) the school we have been at for past few years is opening again so not available. We will have more room and better access to the public.

Our meetings are at the PUD meeting room (across from Safeway) at 7:00 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of every month. Come join us and meet some great new friends.

2015 Officers:


President: Don Carr                         

Vice President: open

Secretary: Carol Willey                           541-444-1360

Treasurer: George Mazeika                  541-991-0311

Federation Director: Carol Willey        541-444-1360

Bulletin: Coastal Waves

Editor/Web: Carol Willey & George Mazeika

Show Chair: George Mazeika              541-991-0311


We have no trips schedule yet, most likely sunstones in June but in meantime the following may be of interest.


Clackamette Mineral & Gem Club, Oregon City  2015 Field Trip  schedule if you would like to go to any of these please contact Duane Flackus number below and tell him which club we are from and I am sure they would be happy to include you.


(Subject to change) Contact: Duane Flackus, 503-632-1270

Jan. 20th - Doug Miller - Succor Creek outing

Feb. 17th - Mike Unruh - Topaz Mountain, Utah

Mar. 17th - Dr. Orr - Evolution of flight as determined from fossil records

Apr. 21st - Julian Gray - Exec. director Rice Museum - Gold of the SE USA

May 19th - Leslie Moclock - Curator Rice Museum - topic to be determined


Solvent Dispenser  for small jobs

Frequently I need to fill a small bottle with alcohol, like an alcohol lamp or one of the nail polish bottles that I use for the yellow ochre anti-flux. Often I can't find a small funnel and end up spilling almost as much as I get into the bottle. It's wasteful, and the fumes can't be too good for you either. A neat and inexpensive solution is to use a lab dispensing bottle to store small quantities of the solvents you frequently use. It has a wide mouth for filling and a fine tip for dispensing. You can get a small stream or just a drop or two. With the bottle's fine tip I don't spill a drop. There are many suppliers on Google. One I've used is Carolina Biological Supply Company at The bottle is Catalog # 716580 Unitary Wash Bottle, Low-Density Polyethylene, 125 mL From Bench tips by Brad, Clackamette Gem, Jan 2015.



Silver Discoloration

Working with jewelry involves an ever increasing number of skills. Chemistry is one of them that come into play when dealing with a discoloration on the metal caused by a chemical reaction between it and the environment. In the case of Sterling silver there are three discolorations we typically encounter: tarnish, a firescale, and a firestain. Each is different in its cause, in its cure and in its prevention. All three have to do with the metals in the Sterling alloy (92.5% silver and 7.5% copper) and how they react with oxygen and the heat of soldering or with pollutants in the air over the long term. Tarnish is a grayish coating that builds up slowly on the surface as a result of a reaction of the silver with sulfur-based compounds in the air. Typically these are pollutants from the burning of petroleum fuels, but they can come from other sources as well. I once tarnished all the silver in my display case by putting a pretty specimen of iron pyrite in with the jewelry. Turns out pyrite has sulfur in it! Sulfur combines with the silver to form a grayish silver sulfide film on the surface. Preventing tarnish involves keeping sulfur away from the metal. Plastic bags will help, and anti-tarnish strips are available from jewelry supply companies to pack near your items. Tarnish is easily removed by hand polishing with a jeweler's cloth or with one of the products sold for cleaning the good silverware for holiday dinner. Another way is to remove it chemically. Put a piece of aluminum in the bottom of a dish large enough to contain your piece. Heat enough water to cover the silver. Mix in 2 tablespoons of sodium carbonate per cup of water and pour into the dish. Be sure the silver touches the aluminum. Sodium carbonate is the main ingredient in washing soda. Read the labels in grocery and hardware stores. The second type of tarnish is called firescale. It is the dark gray to charcoal colored film that forms on Sterling or other copper alloy like copper or bronze when we heat it with a torch. The copper in the alloy reacts with oxygen in the air to form a dark cupric oxide coating on the surface. Luckily, the oxide is easily removed by dissolving it in a mild acid - generally called a pickle. It's important that we not let firescale form on a solder joint because it will block the flow solder over the joint.

Prevention can be done two ways. Most common is to use a flux, a borax-based solution applied to the metal before soldering. When melted, borax forms a thin glassy layer that keeps oxygen away from the metal. A second way is to do your soldering on a charcoal block. Together with the flame, charcoal greatly reduces the amount of oxygen in the area being soldered. In either case oxygen is prevented

from reaching the metal, so no cupric oxide firescale is formed. A second oxide can also be formed when soldering copper or a high copper content alloy like bronze or brass. It's called cuprous oxide and is reddish in color. That's why a black looking piece you put in the pickle sometimes comes out red. Problem is that while the black cupric oxide is dissolved by a pickle, the red cuprous oxide is not. The discoloration can be sanded or polished off, but an easier way is to use a "super pickle". This is a mixture of fresh pickle with a healthy shot of hydrogen peroxide from the local store. I've saved the worst form of discoloration, firestain, for last. Think of firescale (above) as like getting dirt on your shirt that you have to wash off. Firestain is like getting ink on it. The discoloration is not just on the surface; it seeps down and stains the material. Firestain happens when we heat a piece of silver too hot, too long, and/or too many times. Firestain occurs when the oxides start to build up below the surface of the metal. You generally don't notice it until after polishing. It appears as a darker area of the surface and is easy to spot when viewed under light bounced off a piece of white paper. Because firestain is below the surface, there's no easy bench tip solution. Depletion guilding may work for some pieces. Otherwise, removing it calls for sandpaper and aggressive polishing. A much better approach for a piece that will require a large number of soldering's is to protect the metal from developing firestain by applying liberal coats of a firecoat. Regular soldering flux will provide some protection but will not be as effective as preparations made specifically for the task.  From Bench tips by Brad, Clackamette Gem, Jan 2015.



AFMS Code of Ethics

Via AMFS Newsletter Dec-Jan/15


1. Call someone you haven’t seen at meetings lately

2. Volunteer to present a program.

3. Send your editor some news.

4. Come to each meeting and bring a guest, and/or a member who cannot drive.

5. Come to the meeting ready to help others learn and allow others to listen.

Golden Spike 12/2014/



AFMS Code of Ethics

I will respect both private and public property and will do no

collecting on privately owned land without the owner’s permission.

I will keep informed on all laws, regulations of rules governing collecting on public lands and will observe them.

I will to the best of my ability, ascertain the boundary lines of property on which I plan to collect.

I will use no firearms or blasting material in collecting areas.

I will cause no willful damage to property of any kind - fences, signs, buildings.

I will leave all gates as found.

I will build fires in designated or safe places only and will be certain they are completely extinguished before leaving the area.

I will discard no burning material - matches, cigarettes, etc.

I will fill all excavation holes which may be dangerous to livestock.

I will not contaminate wells, creeks or other water supply.

I will cause no willful damage to collecting material and will take home only what I can reasonably use.

I will practice conservation and undertake to utilize fully and

well the materials I have collected and will recycle my surplus for the pleasure and benefit of others.

I will support the rockhound project H.E.L.P. (Help

Eliminate Litter Please) and Will leave all collecting areas

devoid of litter, regardless of how found.

I will cooperate with field trip leaders and those in designated authority in all collecting areas.

I will report to my club or Federation officers,

Bureau of Land management or other authorities, any deposit of petrified wood or other materials on public lands which should be protected for the enjoyment of future generations for public educational and scientific purposes.

I will appreciate and protect our heritage of natural resources.

I will observe the “Golden Rule”, will use “Good

Outdoor Manners” and will at all times conduct myself in a manner which will add to the stature and Public “image” of rockhounds everywhere.

Via AMFS Newsletter Dec-Jan/15





    In gemology, the term ‘phenomenon’ (or phenomenal gem) refers to an unusual optical effect that is displayed by a gemstone.  Examples include asterism (the star effect), chatoyancy (the cat's eye effect), play-of-color, labradorescence, adularescence, iridescence and color change.

    The phenomenon of chatoyancy is related to asterism, because both the cat's eye and star effects are caused by light reflecting from inclusions in the gem.  The inclusions are typically needles, channels or parallel fibers.  When the gem is cut as a cabochon with the base in parallel with the fibers, a pattern resembling the slit eye of a cat may be displayed.  When the gem is rotated, the cat's eye  appears to glide over the surface of the stone. The chatoyant effect is similar to asterism, except there is one straight ray instead of four or six.  Occasionally one will find a cat's eye with two parallel rays.

    In the gem trade the term cat's eye is used to refer specifically to cat's eye chrysoberyl, which is regarded as the quintessential cat's eye gem.  Cat's eye chrysoberyl is a very hard (8.5 on the Mohs scale) and durable gem that displays a very sharp and well defined cat's eye.  It can be found in several colors, including gold  and green.  But there are in fact many gem varieties which can exhibit the cat's eye effect.  They include cat's  eye alexandrite (a type of chrysoberyl that also exhibits a color change), opalite cat's eye, cat's eye apatite, tourmaline cat's eye and aquamarine cat's eye.

    There are also a number of quartz varieties that can display chatoyancy.  These include cat's eye citrine, quartz cat's eye and the distinctive tiger's eye. Tiger's eye is a golden and brown material that was first formed as the fibrous blue mineral called crocidolite, which is made up of iron and sodium. The crocidolite was gradually transformed into quartz while maintaining its unique fibrous patterns. Cat's eye gems are valued according to the distinctness of the cat's eye, the body color, transparency,  hardness and rarity. Some cat's eye gems are inexpensive, such as the quartz and apatite varieties. Cat's eye  chrysoberyl is traditionally the most valuable and expensive. 

AJS Gems, "Cat's Eye Gems", 30 Jan. 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2014. Petrograph 12/14/Golden Spike 12/2014




    Picasso Stone (sometimes called Picasso Jasper or Picasso Marble) is a type of limestone that has  metamorphosed to a highly silicated stone which in many can be the hardness of a Jasper, ranging  from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.  This precious stone has an unusual name, but its occurrence is  unusual as well.  In the Southeast corner of Utah near the town of Beaver, a singular location, 

    David Penney found this boldly patterned gemstone and saw in its angular streaks, patches  and markings, the brush strokes of the artist Pablo Picasso.  It is unusual to pick a name for an artist's technique rather than what the stone is or who found it.  

    Picasso Stone began as did many marble varieties.  Millions of years ago, when the Gulf of Mexico was an enormous inland sea, extending across Utah into Montana and east through 

Kansas, millions of tiny creatures living in this sea shed their shells.  Eventually these shells become  compressed by the pressures of sediment and the calcium in their shells cemented into a solid layer  of limestone.  The heat of the tectonic plate movement and volcanic activity transformed the  lime-stone into marble, in this case a beautiful and unique marble criss-crossed with a matrix of  geometric black and tan lines.  This unique geological story only occurred in one place on  Earth. 



Show Schedules


Feb 13-15th Oregon Agate & Mineral Society, OMSI 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR,


March 13-15th Tualatin Valley Rock & Gem Club, Hillsboro Fair Plex, 873 NE 34th Ave, Hillsboro, OR,


March 28-29, Sweet Home Rock & Mineral Society, Sweet Home High School Gym, 641 Long St. Sweet Home, OR


April 11-12th, Yakima Rock & Mineral Club, WA State Fair Grounds,1301 S. Fair Ave, Yakima, WA,


April 17-19th Willamette Agate & Mineral Society, Polk Co. Fairgrounds, 520 S Pacific Hwy W., Rickreall, OR,


April 24-26th Mt Hood Rock Club, Kliever Memorial Armory, 10000 NE 33rd Dr, Portland, OR,


May 2-3rd Umpqua Gem & Mineral Club, Douglas County Fairgrounds, 1-5 exit 123, Roseburg, OR


June 6-7th Oregon Coast Agate Club, Nat. Guard Armory, 541 SW Coast (Hwy 101) Newport, OR


October 24-25th, Clackamette Mineral & Gem Club, Clackamas Co. Fairgrounds, 694 NE 4th, Canby, OR




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Upcoming Events

The Club's Annual Gem & Mineral Show takes place  Memorial Day Weekend each year. The 57th Annual "Rockin' the Coast" Gem & Mineral Show will be Saturday May 23rd from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and Sunday May 24th 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.

The show will take place at the National Guard Armory

541 SW Coast Hwy

Newport, OR 97365



Club Officers for 2020


Marie Read- President

Leroy ("Kelly") Kelly- Vice President

Debbie White- Secretary

Carol Kelly- Treasurer

Show Chair- Sylvia Pauly


2020 Club Meeting Schedule:

2nd Thursday of each month at the OSU Extension Office, 1211 SE Bay Blvd, Newport, OR 97365. 

Meeting starts at 6:30 pm with dessert provided.


Next meetings:

Jan. 9th

Feb. 13th

Mar. 12th

Apr. 9th - CANCELLED

Jul. 9th - CANCELLED

Aug. 13th - CANCELLED

Sep. 10th - CANCELLED

Oct. 8th - CANCELLED

Nov. 12th - TBD

Dec. 10th - TBD