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Thu Apr 13, 2017, 06:23 AM

For those interested in rocks, artifacts, and fossils in the Houston Texas area

And interested in paleontology, archaeology, minerals, etc. This is the place to go. I have been a member about 6 years. They have a great group of people there. If you are interested in joining or just finding out what that rock, fossil, or artifact is you can drop by and ask. A lot of knowledgeable people there. (Some from the Houston Museum of Natural Science.)

They have several field trips during the year collecting everything from fossils to minerals to crystals to special guided tours at the Museum of Natural Science, etc. Some trips are members only but others are open to anyone. One trip picked up a lot of really nice petrified wood. Including some log sections. I didn't have much luck on one of the fossil hunts but someone there found part of a fossilized bison. Other times clovis point arrow heads, early horse bones, and mammoth teeth.

They also have lapidary, faceting, jewelry making, silverlsmithing, wire wrapping groups, etc. They have equipment on site for working on pieces if you are a member.

They are open during the week but the hours are according to having a qualified volunteer on hand. You can contact them for more info on hours.

I have had a lot of fun not only learning how to make cabochons and going on field trips.

If interested here is their site. http://www.hgms.org/ They aren't real good at updating the actual site. But if you look at the latest newsletter it stays updated on times, trips, and other info.

Also here is a website I found really neat for the rock hounds. It has a state by state guide to locations you can rock hound at. A lot of open free places to go. http://www.findingrocks.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi

Also if you are interested and don't live near Houston I really recommend looking at your area for a mineralogical society.

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Reply For those interested in rocks, artifacts, and fossils in the Houston Texas area (Original post)
duncang Apr 2017 OP
Vinnie From Indy Apr 2017 #1
duncang Apr 2017 #3
Vinnie From Indy Apr 2017 #5
csziggy Apr 2017 #2
duncang Apr 2017 #4
csziggy Apr 2017 #6

Response to duncang (Original post)

Thu Apr 13, 2017, 07:47 AM

1. I was a member of the Charlotte (NC) Gem & Mineral Society for many years

We went out and found dinosaur fossils, gemstones and gold. It was a lot of fun.

Cheers!

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Response to Vinnie From Indy (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 14, 2017, 03:03 AM

3. I have been in NC panning gold and doing rock hounding.

Really a beautiful Place for it. The finding rocks site has some nice native mineral sites to go. The times I have gone it was tough because of the short time we had there. I built my own sifter box to be able to hit the natural free sites. But like I said just having a little time we mainly hit the commercial "mines". In the Franklin area they had 2 natural "mines". that I could find. And those are ones you are only work tailings.

One of these days I want to do a rv road trip and make a loop through Arkansas across to NC down to Florida and back to Texas.

This year we made a trip to Arkansas to the Crater of diamonds and a quartz crystal mine. Didn't get much at the crater of diamonds but a few very small diamond chips. At the crystal mine it was a pit mine and you could go through the tailings or walk around and try to spot something in areas that hadn't been dug.


BTW on the gold panning I've only hit the gold mine north of Thermal city. A normal tourist trap but it was fun.They have a yearly deal where everyone is setup with equipment and all the gold is put together then split up. You don't get much gold but like I said it was fun. Last time we were there since everyone is looking for gold they tend to miss the minerals. Found a couple 1 inch round NC natural garnets. Really nice specimens.

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Response to duncang (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 14, 2017, 08:09 AM

5. In the early 90's I was a gold prospector in Alaska for a few years.

I operated between Nome and Kotzebu. I was a professional gold prospector. It was a wonderful time in my life. There are many places in NC and SC that you can go that are not "pay" sites to find gold.

NC is a one of the most unique places in the lower 48 to prospect for gold and gems. NC has deposits of sapphire (corundum), emerald (beryl), topaz, hiddenite, tourmaline, quartz and more!!!!

In addition, if you get out near the ocean, you can find some awesome fossils. My last trip to Charleston SC I found some great prehistoric, very large shark teeth. I was driving and saw a HUGE mound of sand and dirt that had been dredged from somewhere in the harbor and dumped. I climbed around on the hill and found the shark's teeth.

One of favorite pieces that I found was of a fern leaf that was perfectly preserved in a sandstone material. This was on one of the Charlotte GMS field trips to a former surface mine. You could pull a large chunk of sandstone from a hill and then use a wedge to split the rock into layers. I opened one and found this beautiful, delicate fern leaf impression. I cleaned it up and now have it as a wall hanging.

Cheers amigo!

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Response to duncang (Original post)

Thu Apr 13, 2017, 11:53 PM

2. My sister is very active in the Tampa Bay Fossil Club

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 14, 2017, 03:08 AM

4. Florida is one of the places I want to go

I'm glad you put that link. I didn't know you had to have a permit there for some fossil hunting. I'll have to remember about the permit and what you can keep. But since I would probably only be going after non vertebrate fossils it shouldn't be a problem.

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Response to duncang (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 14, 2017, 09:57 AM

6. Be sure to visit the museum at University of Florida in Gainesville

https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/exhibits/always-on-display/florida-fossils/

They have the paratype species fossil that my sister found that helped define Rhizosmilodon fiteae.
https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/florida-vertebrate-fossils/species/rhizosmilodon-fiteae

She used to have access to a lot of the phosphate pits in Central Florida and got permission for the Tampa Bay club to dig on days when they were not active.* If you're into non-vertebrate fossils, she has a huge collection of those and is still waiting for the publication of a paper that will describe some unusual crabs she found years ago. (She doesn't write the papers, just lends or donates fossils she found for study.)

Another place to visit is the Mulberry Phosphate Museum (http://mulberryphosphatemuseum.org/) which has fossils from the Bone Valley of Polk County.

*My grandfather and father were phosphate mining engineers in Polk County and we grew up with people who went on to work for the various mining companies. Now most of the people we knew are retired and Mosaic has bought up most of the phosphate companies, so there is much less access to the phosphate pits.

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