Rose Road Fluorescent Minerals

Another very interesting guest article for the April 2015 WCGMC newsletter.   Ken St. John has graciously permitted me to place his note onto my website.  Clearly, the information contained here complements that I had previously posted about this most interesting location.

By Ken. St. John (WCGMC Club member)

To be honest, I can’t remember when I made my first trip to the Rose Rd. site in Pitcairn.  It was a few years ago and Bill Chapman was involved in the introduction to the site.  My first visit was a daytime affair with the Wayne County club in search of titanite.  I do recall that titanite was something new to me at the time and that I was excited to be there with the club and my kids.

The site is a wooded outcrop beside a phone tower road.  No problem at all in getting to the place.  There are essentially two parts to the site up and downhill and during the first visit we pretty much worked the downhill location.  My nicest pieces contained wollastonite, titanite, apatite, albite and diopside.  The titanite is a dark brownish color while the diopside is a rather coarse light purple massive mineral.  Mixed with green apatite and white wollastonite specimens were both interesting and attractive.

It was much later when doing a routine sweep of my collection with a short wave UV light that I discovered that the Rose Rd. rocks were more interesting under the UV light than they were in daylight.  It’s not unusual to see a three color response with wollastonite fluorescing a light tan, albite a cherry red, and an invisible coating glowing a bright green.  As a member of the Fluorescent Mineral Society and a Franklin collector, I was impressed.  So were the other FMS members to whom I showed the pieces at the annual meeting.  From then on, I collect at Rose Rd. with an eye toward the fluorescent.

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Purple Mineral Night at WCGMC

Written for the April 2015 WCGMC newsletter

Since the days of the Roman Empire, purple has been the color of royalty.  As a combination of red and blue, purple is not a spectral color and therefore lacks a defining spectral wavelength.  However, that has not prevented people from claiming purple to be their absolutely favorite color.  Women build their wardrobes around their purple dresses, folks paint their bedrooms purple, gardeners plan their seasonal blooms from tulips to irises to petunias, and yes mineral collectors must have plenty of purple in their displays.  Fortunately they have some wonderfully gorgeous minerals from which to choose.

March 13th was Purple Mineral Night for the Wayne County Club.  Members brought in their purple minerals and we all drooled over them. Naturally there was lots of amethyst in attendance.  Simple clear quartz (SiO2) is colored to various shades of purple when small amounts (< 20 ppm) of iron (Fe) replace Si when the quartz is naturally exposed to ionizing irradiation.  The smaller iron atom leads to lattice distortions that effect light passage imparting the color variation. With a hardness of 7, amethyst makes a wonderful gemstone as well as a colorful mineral specimen.

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RAS Fossil Night for Science Olympiads

The weather outside was frightful, but the fossils inside delightful!  Twelve local Science Olympiad students from five Rochester area schools and their coaches braved the freezing rain to take advantage of the Rochester Academy of Science’s Fossil Night on March 3rd to bone up for their upcoming competition on March 14th.   The event was held in the Brighton Community Center behind the Public Library.

The students brought their notebooks and their inquisitive minds while several club members set up labelled exhibits from their personal collections.  In addition, a test table was set-up where the students could work on their own to try and identify more than two-thirds of the fossils from their Science Olympiad list of 93 animals and plants. [Continue Reading to see some pictures of the event]

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