and Mineral Club Objective: To bring people
together who enjoy rock, mineral and gem collecting, the study of earth
sciences and the practice of lapidary art and to encourage them in the pursuit
of their hobby.
The Witwatersrand Gem and Mineral Club hold a meeting on the last Wednesday and second Tuesday of the month at the of the Rand Afrikaans University.
Each month a presentation is given on some aspect of the hobby, namely the collection of rocks and minerals. On the second Tuesday of the month a Minerals Section meeting is held and features a wide variety of topics of interest to the club membership and dispersion of practical information on gem and mineral sales, sources, and mineralogy in general. These take the form of weekend trips, presentations by invited speakers, and focused sessions on specific aspects of mineralogy among other things. A big attraction at both meetings is members bring mineral specimens to either sell or swap. This year’s mineral section meetings include discussions of the following themes: gem and lapidary minerals; practical mineral rating (bring 1 specimen to rate); unusual quartz; minerals from the Wits gold mines; inclusions in minerals (solid and fluid; microscopes will be made available); red-coloured minerals; fossils; radioactive minerals, and pyrites.
The Club issues a monthly newsletter which covers various topics such as ‘Ask and Expert’ in which members can pose questions and receive a response from an expert, a ‘Mineral Corner’ in which several different mineral photographs are placed and a report backs from various field trips gives detail on the experiences of an outing. Currently the club is reviving its Lapidary workshop, which has been dormant for some years now. The workshop can be used for cutting, grinding and polishing of rocks, cabochons and silversmithing. The club has over many years collected a large volume of books on minerals and geology and back-issues of the Mineralogical Record, which is available for its members.
Weekend outings include trips to Groot Marico for limonite (pseudomorphing pyrite), including mampoer tasting and an outing to the Lichtenburg alluvial diamond diggings for agates, to Upington after rose quartz and amethyst, by the Magaliesberg for "Transvaal Jade", to Malelane after magnesite and buddstone ("African Jade"), to Silver Hills for galena, cerrusite and limonite (pseudo after pyrite), to Pilanesberg Nature Reserve for "herring-bone" fluorite, to collect calcite, and zeolite minerals in the basalts of the Springbok Flats, to the Steelpoort area for chrome and andalusite, to Valtaki for serpentine and Hobhouse for agates. Geological educational trips are planned, to the Tswaing Meteor Crater and to the geology trail of the Roodepoort Botanical Gardens.
The club also holds a meeting on the last Wednesday of the month (except December) at the Rand Afrikaans University. Each month the club endeavors to get a speaker on some aspect of the hobby. Visit the club web page at www.fosagams.co.za
The venue for both the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings is Room 215, 2nd Floor, Department of Geology, Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). The Wednesday meetings start at 20h00 and the Tuesday meetings at 19h30. Use the C Parking area on the University Campus. At the RAU security mention that you are attending a meeting at Geology at you will be let through.
Should you be interested in joining the club please contact Allan Fraser on 082 568 0521 or write to PO Box 369, Fourways, 2055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or come to one of our month end meetings.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Chairperson, Wits Gem and Mineral Club
Editor, WGMC Newsletter and SA Lapidary Magazine
PO Box 369
Tel: 082 568 0521
After Hours: 011 658 1679