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  • MSA Monthly Meeting - March 2020 CANCELLED - NEW TBD

MSA Monthly Meeting - March 2020 CANCELLED - NEW TBD

  • 03/12/2020
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Padre Sierra Room @ Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, AZ



MSA Monthly Meeting - March 2020

"Cleaning and Mineral Prep 101 - Why Do We Clean and Trim Specimens?”

Our March 12th program will be presented by our own Mr. Les Presmyk, "Cleaning and Mineral Prep 101 - Why Do We Clean and Trim Specimens?” His program will discuss how to further process rocks & minerals we collect. Once collected, most specimens only require a good washing and they are ready to be proudly displayed. However, what about those quartz crystals with all of that rusty stain or caliche stuck to them? Or the beautiful 3/4” wulfenite crystal perched on a 6” chunk of rock? Just like any profession, trimming and cleaning minerals require the right tools, significant knowledge and experience, and the willingness to risk the specimen.

Three things to remember before cleaning or trimming your specimens:

  • There is always a risk.
  • Try not to exceed your knowledge.
  • If you are too nervous to try, pay a professional.

Les will bring one or two of his trimmers if members want to bring specimens.

Mark the date on your calendars as Mineralogical Society of Arizona is very lucky Les present this very educational program!

Thank you, Les, for your longstanding membership and support of MSA!

Les grew up in our club and sharped his collecting & competitive edge at MSA as a junior member before advancing to regional and national platform to compete and win at several major gem & mineral shows across the United States. He is a renowned collector, mineral dealer, competitive exhibitor and judge, lecturer, and author. He is recipient of prestigious 2017 Carnegie Mineralogical Award Medal, 2014 inductee into MSA Hall of Fame, an MSA Milestone Life Member, MSA President 1989 and 1990, recipient of A. L. Flagg Lifetime Achievement Award. He is founding member of University of Arizona Museum Foundation 2006-present. Chairman of our sister organization Flagg Mineral Foundation 1996-2002 and current Vice-Chairman. Tucson Gem & Mineral Society President 2019-present, Tucson Gem & Mineral Show®; Committee member 1987-present, Competitive Exhibits and Judging Chair 1987-present, Saturday Night Chairman 2004-present. He earned his BS in Mining Engineering from University of Arizona 1975. Les worked at Miami Copper Company 1970-1975, Magma Copper Company 1976-1987 and recently retired as Principal Mine Engineer at Salt River Project 1987-2017. He co-authored Collecting Arizona 2012 and numerous publications on Arizona type localities in Rocks & Minerals.


57 years of collecting, starting at the age of 10. Started field collecting at 11 and went underground for the first time at 17.

Long-time competitive and non-competitive exhibitor, supporting local, regional and national shows.

  • Seven AFMS National Trophies
  • Seven California and Rocky Mt. Federation Trophies
  • Tucson Gem and Mineral Show - One Desautels and two Lidstrom Trophies, four Bideaux Trophies, Best of Show and numerous Best of Species awards.
  • Denver Gem and Mineral Show – Three Pearl Trophies (best single specimen), several Best of Species, Shorty Witters Award (best exhibit in show).
  • Exhibitor and supporter of other local shows, including the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Flagg Mineral Foundation, Gila County Gem and Mineral Club, and Arizona Mineral Minions.


  • Collecting Arizona – published January, 2012 – Co-Author
  • Rocks & Minerals
  • Red Cloud mine, Nov-Dec, 1997 – Author
  • Brushy Creek mine, Jan-Feb, 1997 – Author
  • Mining History of Arizona, Jan-Feb. 2012 – Author
  • Minerals of the Americas – 2008 book – contributor
  • Mammoth-St. Anthony Mine, Tiger, Arizona Chapter – Co-author
  • Bisbee, Ray, and Morenci – edited and proof-reader


  • San Francisco mine, near Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico August 1993 to January 1995
    Underground mining project for wulfenite specimens. Surveyed and mapped existing underground mine workings and new decline.
  • Brushy Creek mine, Viburnum, Missouri August 1994 to October 1995
    Underground mining project for calcite specimens. Set up the ventilation and ground control programs to satisfy state and federal mine inspectors.
  • Red Cloud mine, La Paz County, Arizona December 1995 to May 2001
    Open pit mine for wulfenite specimens. Responsible for all phases of the mine including the mine plan, training and safety.
    Arranged and conducted field trips for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society, the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, the Arizona Mineral and Mining Museum Foundation, the Albuquerque Gem & Mineral Society and the Los Angeles Gem & Mineral Guild.
  • Sunshine #6 Claim, Yavapai County, Arizona September 1996 to May 1997
    Discovery made by prospectors with metal detectors. Cleaned and marketed the gold specimens to collectors and museums.
  • Diamond Point, Gila County, Arizona May 1998 to January 2003
    A small open pit to produce matrix specimens of quartz, calcite and barite while complying with National Forest regulations and successfully reclaiming the mined areas. Opened the project to field trips to members of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, the Arizona Mineral and Mining Museum Foundation and the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society.
  • Fat Jack claim, Yavapai County, Arizona November 2000 to May 2002
    A small open pit specimen project requiring rewriting the Plan of Operations to allow for continuing operations within the Prescott National Forest.

Franciscan Renewal Center
5802 E. Lincoln Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Arrive 7:00 PM
Meeting Starts 7:30 PM
*** Parking Behind Piper Hall ***
*** Verify Room & Date Above *** 


Mineralogical Society of Arizona's purpose is to promote interest and education in Earth Science, and related fields.

  • Field Trips
  • Monthly Meetings
  • Seminars, Symposiums and Shows

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Phoenix, AZ 85078


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