Author Archives: NDrockclub

About NDrockclub

Central Dakota Gem & Mineral Society, based out of Bismarck, ND. Local rock club.

2016 January Program: Gemstone Trees

Hello members!  The program following the club meeting on January 10th will be about making gemstone trees.  You’ve probably seen them around – eBay, Amazon, etsy – they’re all the rage.  Becky will provide take-home printed directions, gemstones (rose quartz, lapis lazuli, amethyst, malachite, and more) and wires enough to build a small tree (like the one above).  She has a limited number of needle-nose pliers however, so if you have some lying around, please bring them too!  Once you have the basics, no doubt your trees will grow and grow.



Christmas Party

This is the your reminder for our upcoming Christmas Party.  We are set to have the party at the north A & B Pizza shop at 1:30 pm this coming Sunday, December 6th.


The club will buy the pizza and the pop for the attendees.  For members who are of age, stronger drinks are available at your own expense.


We will have the gift exchange and according to our discussion at our last meeting, if you wish to participate in the gift exchange, please bring an exchange gift in the $10 neighborhood.  We encourage you to bring, if possible, a gift relative to the rock and mineral hobby.


This Christmas party is in lieu of our December meeting.  See you all on Sunday at the North A&B.



Fibrous malachite

Malachite is an intense green colored, copper carbonate mineral. Instead of being a solid color, it is often banded in shades of green. While it can form tabular and twinned crystals, it is more often seen as botryoidal masses, or stalactitic, with a fibrous banded structure or crusts. Malachite can commonly be found with azurite. It has a hardness of 3.5-4 – soft enough to carve readily, yet still taking a polish. The stone is used for decoration, ornamentation, and jewelry. It can also be crushed and made into a green pigment. It was originally worn to ward off evil spirits.

Malachite comes from many locations, including Russia, Africa, Australia,


Malachite with azurite

Brazil, and Arizona. It was named after the Greek word “mallows”, alluding to its leafy green color. It has also been called Atlas ore and Green Copper.

The chemical formula is: Cu2CO3(OH)2

Pellant, Chris. Rocks and Minerals. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1992. Print. Pg. 105.

Busbey, Arthur Bresnahan. Rocks & Fossils. Alexandria, VA: Time Life, 1996. Print. Pg. 174

CDG&MS Library

This is an ongoing project – more will be added after the existing library is removed from the club trailer.  Below is a link to the books in the Club Library.  These are housed at the Heritage Center, and are available to be checked out M-F, 8am-4:30pm.  Please contact Becky Barnes first, to make sure she is in the building (, 701-328-1954.

Any club member in good standing (all dues paid) may check out a book.  We are restricting this because books have walked away in the past.

I believe at this time the check-out time is a month.  Many of these books are out of print – if a checked out book is damaged beyond repair, it is suggested the member make a donation to the club treasury to buy a comparable book.


fulguriteNot truly a mineral or a fossil, fulgurite is sometimes referred to as petrified lightning. The word comes from Latin (fulgur = lightning), and is amorphous “lechatelierite” silica glass. When lightning or electricity strikes a conductive surface, the temperature can skyrocket to at least 2,950F and melt surrounding silica or quartz leaving behind a glass tube. Lechatelierite can also be formed when a meteor impacts the ground, or during volcanic explosions.

They vary in shape, size, and color, and can be very fragile. Larger pieces have been recorded between 13-30 feet in length. Their shape mimics the path the electrical charge took.


campeloma 1Campeloma are common freshwater snails, with an ancestry dating back to the Cretaceous of North Dakota. These gastropods (“stomach foot”) can be found at times with other snail genus, mainly Viviparus or Lioplacodes. Campeloma shells tend to be bulbous, with highly convex body whorls – the spirals that make up the shell, and about an inch long. Viviparus are about the same size as Campeloma, but the whorls are nearly flat on the outside, giving the shell a smooth cone appearance. Lioplacodes has bulbous whorls like Campeloma, but the overall cone-shape of the shell is much more pointy (like a stubby unicorn horn). Like their modern counterparts, these snails most likely lived between 3-11 years. They had a varied diet, including carrion and vegetation.campeloma 2