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     Arizona's Oldest Mineral Society

Upcoming events

    • 10/14/2023
    • 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM
    • East of Payson (Trip Details Emailed After Registration)




    This is an MSA coordinated trip.

    FEE (May be on a private claim):  TBD

    FEE:  ($$.$$ TBD)   Please bring CASH.

    MEET TIME: 9:30 AM outside Payson (meeting location will be sent after registration: (SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF EMAIL FOR MEET-UP DETAILS IF YOU ALREADY REGISTERED)

    END TIME: The trip will end by 3PM or whenever you want to depart.

    LIMITED TRIP: No Limit

    TRAVEL NOTE: Please allow at least 1/2 hour more time than normal to get to the meeting spot. The delays may not be noted on the state of Arizona highway condition website.

    VEHICLE: Almost any vehicle can make this trip.

    TRIP DEMAND LEVEL: Easy to Moderate 

    SAFETY:  Arrive with full tank of Gas and Good Tires.  Safety Glasses, Gloves, and Personal PPE.  Please bring a whistle in case we need to find you or gather up the participants.

    LIST OF TOOLS NEEDED: Rake, Small Shovel, Sifter, Rock Hammer, Large Shovel, Sledge Hammer.

    RECOMMENDED: Sunscreen, Hat, Water, Lunch, Bug Spray, Bucket, First Aid Kit, Sturdy shoes or boots, and normal day hiking items.

    MATERIAL: Quartz like Herkimer Diamonds from New York

    TRIP LEADERS: Chris Whitney-Smith & Amanda Harrer

    RSVP REQUIRED by Thursday @ 6 PM - MSA & Daisy MTN Members Only

    **Daisy MTN Members RSVP with Bill Freese **

    CANCELLATION: Trip Leader can cancel the field trip due to low participation (under 5 members RSVP) or weather or road conditions.  

    These are the sort of crystals we will hopefully find.  The biggest (in the back) is about two inches long.  The have nice sharp crystal faces are are all nearly complete and doubly terminated.  Most of the imperfections on these crystals are contact points.  Places the crystal grew -in contact - with the pocket or other crystals.  You will find lots of broken crystals and fragments, but this is what you strive to find.

    This is a close up view of a rhombohedral (pyramidal) faces.  These are little bumps called growth hillocks.  They are fairly common on quartz crystals and especially those from Diamond Point.  They are best seen when light is reflected from the rhombohedral faces.  Here is a link to some more information on quartz crystal faces.

    Amethyst crystals have also been found at Diamond Point.  Although not common, they are always a welcome find.  This picture also shows where the crystals were originally found, i.e., in pockets within the limestone.  Just by wandering around the forest you may find a few crystal loose at the surface.  These crystals were formed in the pockets, but being more durable than the limestone and calcite (also found in the pockets) they survive weathering and erosion to accumulate at the surface.  Obviously, there were more common years ago, but by careful searching, the collector will be able to find some.

    This is a clear quartz crystal in a pocket with calcite crystals.  Normally it is better to collect "matrix" specimens, although the matrix (limestone) in this sample is just a little too big.  This one was obtained by breaking a limestone boulder.  (Bring a big hammer.)

    Keep your eyes open for these little critters.  This is the GREATER SHORT-HORNED LIZARD - Phrynosoma (Tapaja) hernandesi.  They are harmless and interesting to look at and photograph.  This one looks a little irritated with me.  (I think they always look a little bit miffed.)

    • 10/19/2023
    • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    • (In Person Meeting): Franciscan Renewal Center, (Piper Hall), 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
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    Franciscan Renewal Center, (Piper Hall),

    October 19, 2023 @ 7.30 pm Arizona time

    Presented by Herwig Pelckmans

    Herwig Pelckmans standing next to the gravestone “Sacred of the memory of James Smithson, Esquire Fellow of the Royal Society of London who died in Genoa, Italy June 26, 1826, age 75 years”.

    James Smithson is the founder of the Smithsonian Institution.

    Photo by Kathy Hrechka.

    * October 19th meeting is on 3rd Thursday. 

    * Registration required to receive Zoom Link.

    * Okay to bring refreshments to share---OPEN to All.

    Our October 19th program “The Many Faces of Fluorite" will be presented via Zoom from Spain by Herwig Pelckmans.  Herwig will talk about the mineral fluorite, about its history and its general properties.  Next he will talk about the 7 basic crystal forms and the combinations they can form. Then after talking about "normal crystals", we will look at fluorites that show unusual shapes. The photos of this talk were chosen from the many thousands of fluorite photos on, and complemented with many on-purpose made photos by top notch photographers.

    Mark your calendars as Mineralogical Society of Arizona is excited for Herwig to present his special program!


    I was born in the summer of '62, and that might be the reason I like warm weather better.   I grew up in the suburbs of Antwerp, Belgium, where I was exposed to large teeth and bones found in the local sands. These were HUGE, so of course they were dino bones! Later on, they turned out to be fossil shark teeth and whale bones, but that really did not matter, for I was already infected with the collecting bug. That infection is still very active today, to my joy!

    Studied geology at the Uni Ghent, but never practised it. Became a DBA for the Belgian Army till I retired in '13. Ever since, I never had such a busy life! People need you everywhere and all the time! :-)

    Besides some field collecting, most of my time is spent writing articles and giving talks. I have been invited repeatedly to talk in person on many occasions in the USA (Rochester, Tucson, Socorro, San Francisco,...) and Europe (Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, ...). I have even given Zoom talks for students at Colombian universities. If you're in need of a passionate speaker, send me a PM! Or if you are in need of articles for your club newsletter, let me know too!

    I am also fascinated by the history of minerals, and by their behaviour under the POL, by fluorescence, and the spectroscopy of minerals. I love learning more and find this hobby to be an endless source of information! I call myself a "recreational mineralogist", because the expression "mineral amateur" has a negative ring to it, at least in Belgium and surrounding countries.

    Still living in Belgium with my (way) better half, two sons, a dog and a small garden, in the small town of Hasselt. We love to travel and have spent most of the summers in the USA for the last 35 years. Some of our friends say we know the US better than they do! :-)

    When not in Belgium, you can find me near Castellon (Valencia, Spain) enjoying life and minerals there!

    (Old) Books and magazines on minerals and mineralogy is another passion. My library hosts over one thousand mineral books now (2023), besides many magazines (full sets of Lapis, Min Rec, Min Welt, Bocamina, Mineral Up, Le Regne Minéral, ...). If you are in search of a specific book or article, or are interested in exchanging minerals for books/magazines, shoot me a PM via!

    Hope you'll enjoy this hobby as much as I have done so far, and look forward to many more enjoyable years!


    Herwig Pelckmans


    Thank you, Herwig, for your numerous contributions to Earth Science!

    This will be BOTH a virtual event via Zoom and In-Person. Link to the meeting will be sent in email when you register for the event.

    Meeting starts at 7.30PM Arizona time.

    • 10/28/2023
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Visitor Center in Superior, AZ

    This collecting trip will be for chalcedony lined geodes.  Not much chance of finding crystal lined geodes but they do fluoresce nicely.  Rick Olson will be our leader for this trip. 


    Saturday, October 28th will be a field trip to Potts Canyon for Chalcedony-lined Geodes and Agate. We will meet at 9 AM at the Visitor parking lot in Superior( look for the red Caboose )(washrooms are available). A high clearance vehicle is needed. There is some sand to travel thru, but 4-wheel drive is optional. Temperatures should be mild so dress appropriately and hiking shoes are recommended. Bring water, hat, sunscreen and bucket/rock bag to carry specimens. There is plenty of room for parking at site, but carpooling will be available.

    Contact Rick Olson at (928)892-3481 for more info.

    From Stan Celestian:  Most of the collecting is on hillsides with loose rock.  PLEASE arrive ready to go.  Have a full tank of gas (gas is available in Superior), good tires and an even better attitude.  Long sleeve shirt and long pants are suggested.

    The above picture is an ultra violet view.

    • 11/16/2023
    • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    • (In Person Meeting): Franciscan Renewal Center, (Piper Hall), 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
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    Franciscan Renewal Center, (Piper Hall),

    November 16, 2023 @ 7.30 pm Arizona time

    Presented by TBA


    NOVEMBER meeting is on 3rd Thursday.

    * No refreshments

    MEETING will be In-Person and Zoom.

    The MSA November 16th program TBA.

    Meeting starts at 7.30PM Arizona time.

    • 11/19/2023
    • 8:45 AM - 5:00 PM
    • Meet Up Location @ Registration






    • NOTE: TRIP ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2023...Save to your Calendars. 
    • If already registered, please scroll down email to bottom to review Meet-up INFO after registration.

    A "classic" field trip to the Camp Verde area to collect calcite/aragonite/gypsum pseudomorphs after glauberite.

    Also great opportunity to enjoy each others company for a picnic/potluck after field trip at MSA Members nearby ranch!

    • MSA Members Only trip with PICNIC/POTLUCK after field trip at MSA member's nearby ranch. 
    • Please include what food item you will bring. 
    • Bring your own beverages (BYOB). 
    • Please wear name badges & MSA T-Shirts if have them.
    • Bring Camp Chairs.


    MEET-UP TIME: 8:45 AM in Camp Verde (meeting location will be sent after registration).  Please scroll down email to review Meet-up INFO after registration.

    Allow extra 30 minutes to make meet-up location due to traffic.

    END TIME: Estimate trip end by 5 PM if attenda picnic potluck after Camp Verde.

    LIMITED TRIP: No Limit

    TRAVEL NOTE:   Check with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) website to see if there are any delays on you route.

    PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF TRIP: Easy to Moderate

    VEHICLE: Mid-Clearance. High clearance vehicles is best.  

    SAFETY:   Please bring a whistle in case we need to find you or gather up the participants. Youth Must stay with parents.

    TRIP PREPAREDNESS / RECOMMENDATION: Arrive with full tank of gas and good tires. Sturdy shoes or boots, Long sleeve shirt, Safety Glasses, Gloves, Sunscreen, Hat, Water, Lunch, Bug Spray, Bucket, First Aid Kit, and other Normal day hiking items.

    TOOLS NEEDED: Garden Fork/Rake, Screwdrivers.  Bring bucket, bags and egg cartons for fragile mostly float material.

    MATERIAL: Glauberite Pseudomorphs: Calcite, Aragonite & Gypsum along with Thenardite, Glauberite, and Halite.

    TRIP LEADER: Chris Whitney-Smith & Hannah Brodhagen.     

    RSVP REQUIRED by Friday @ 5 PM - MSA Members Only

    TRIP CANCELLATION: Trip Leader can cancel the field trip due to low participation (under 5 members RSVP) or weather or road conditions.

    EXAMPLES:  Here are a few examples of the pseudomorphs you can find on the trip:

    Calcite Pseudomorph after Glauberite

    Aragonite Pseudomorph after Glauberite

    Aragonite Close Up View

    Gypsum Pseudomorph after Glauberite

    • 12/01/2023

    First weekend of December Field Trip To Be Determined.

    Trip will be either Red Cloud Mine or another fun Mine Trip.

    More information (including fees) will be added to this description.

    • 12/09/2023
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    SATURDAY, December 9, 2023

    Location & TIME: TBA

    MSA 2023 Holiday Jamboree & Christmas Party 

    December Holiday Jamboree if more than just a party and meeting, it is also election of 2024 Officers and Board and election of 2023 Rockhounds of the Year (Adult) and (Junior).


    • Election of 2024 Officers & Board.
    • Raffles.
    • Silent Auctions.  
    • 2023 Rockhound of the Year Election for (Adult) and (Junior) Candidates.