The southern Nevada desert is the excellent location to discover the stories of the earth. That story, some specialists assert, continues for approximately four.5 billion years.
According to Pahrump Valley Rockhound Vice-president Bill Wertz, the oldest, hottest and most unusual story is told succinctly by the landscape, and especially, by the rocks in the desert hills.
The newly revived rock and gem hunting club consists of both hobby collectors and college-educated geologists. All members share their gem-searching for guidelines regardless of how the information was acquired.
Wertz favors the naked geology of the desert which, he said, proclaims exposed evidence of the evolution of the earth on its surface. Viewable throughout the Fantastic Basin, which housed an inland sea, are indicators of significant geological events.
Visible proof of one particular these events can be positioned although traveling in a westerly path on Route 372 from Pahrump to California. Club president Dennis Twitchell cites a black strip of obsidian sandwiched in the desert hills which marks a fault line exactly where the rock has been raised roughly 30-feet.
Landscape qualities which suggest hidden gems are volcanic cones, Twitchell mentioned. These dark pyramid-shaped characteristics are a excellent indication of the preceding presence of moisture, which is necessary to support generate treasures such as jasper, agate, quartz, turquoise, malachite and other people “stones.”
Individuals mistakenly feel that water merely evaporates, Twitchell stated. Even though that is partly correct, it also percolates, he stated. It sinks into the ground, collides with heat and minerals and sooner or later hardens into pockets of mineralized rock.
Twitchell explains that there are thousands of minerals that exist in gemstone good quality. Every gem is special, and some would say “beautiful,” due to the way in which they have been contaminated.
Pure quartz is optically transparent, Wertz explained, but other minerals uncover their way to the quartz and result in it to turn brown, red, green, pink, orange or purple. Those colors signify smoky quartz, garnet, flourites, rose quartz, citrine and amethyst. These contaminates also help to create different versions of agate, jasper, opal and turquoise.
Many club members turn their finds into jewelry soon after cutting and polishing. The club also owns stone shaping equipment, which it lends to members. Club treasurer Diana Crider described her interest in lapidary, or gem jewelry creating, with a play on words. “I don’t stop to smell the roses, I quit to look at the rocks.”
Although not mostly sought, club members have also discovered gold. In contrast to gemstones, gold is a precious metal that exists in a pure, non-contaminated kind. The United States currency program, Twitchell said, was based on the worth attributed to the metal due to the fact it is malleable and can be shaped into any type. “It is a rare metal that is also soft and does not corrode,” Twitchell explained.
The elemental nature of gold, Twitchell mentioned, is also that of exploding stars.
Not every person who hunts for rocks does so with an eye toward generating jewelry. Wertz, a mature gentlemen, extended retired, has developed such an interest in “rock-hounding” that he has begun to pursue a doctorate degree in geology. The purpose of his pursuit, he revealed is for nothing at all other than to obtain a lot more expertise.
The club organizes month-to-month field trips exactly where members can look for “pretty rocks.” For more data about joining the Pahrump Valley Rockhounds, get in touch with Wertz at 775-527-1494 or Twitchell at 801-920-8563 or attend a meeting held the second Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church 1300 Highway 372 in Pahrump.