Time: 7:00 PM
Date: the third Tuesday of each month
Location: Valley Bank of Belgrade
98 N. Broadway, Belgrade, MT
(south door, downstairs)
For more information, you may write to:
Bozeman Gem and Mineral Club
P.O. Box 11001
Bozeman, MT 59719-1001
The Bozeman Gem and Mineral Club, organized in 1939, is the oldest “rock club” in Montana.
Club members have a wide range of interests including:
- mineral specimens
- jewelry design
- and lapidary arts
Through the various Club programs, affiliations, and activities, we have fun, improve our knowledge and skills, and educate our youth and the public. We welcome you to join us in pursuing this great, wholesome family hobby.
Upcoming Events - 2016:
Radersburg, September 10
- September 20
- October 18
- November 15
for a joint field trip with the Gold club. Details coming....
The Bozeman Gem & Mineral Club hosts an annual show in late Spring at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. The primary purpose of the show is to acquaint the general public with our hobby and share the beauty of, and fascination with, our displayed collections. It is also a great place to meet other rockhounds, add to your collection from dealer offerings, and provide a variety of fun and inexpensive activities for young visitors. An admission fee is usually charged non-members to cover the costs of putting on the show. A successful show is the cooperative effort of all club members.
The Montana Council of Rock & Mineral Clubs: An association of Gem & Mineral clubs in the State, the Montana Council promotes interest in rockhounding through education of members, schools, and the general public about the hobby. The Council also helps members stay informed regarding legislative and regulatory matters that impact field access and collecting. The Council makes most gem & mineral shows in the State possible; It owns, and makes available to member clubs, the showcases that are used for displays at the shows, and it provides the trailer to transport them.
The Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies: An association of rock clubs in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington, the Federation sponsors an annual show, hosted by a member club. Members from throughout the clubs of the Federation participate in the Federation shows and clubs send delegates to the Federation business meetings held during the show. The NFMS also sponsors a variety of lapidary arts workshops and field collecting trips, and loans DVD and slide show presentations to member clubs for monthly meeting programs.
The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies: An association of rock clubs throughout the United States, the American Federation, in cooperation with regional Federations, sponsors a variety of programs including the offering of student scholarships, education of members and the general public about rockhounding, and fostering international relations.
Belonging to these associations provides contact with rockhounds from around the state, region, and country, often leading to field trips to areas we might not otherwise be aware of. It also brings guests from other areas to our club meetings with samples of materials from their area. Our club has enjoyed guests from several states and foreign countries.
Club-owned or donated materials are displayed in the County Courthouse and often loaned for display to area museums.
Club-owned or loaned, gems and minerals are on display in the Montana case at the Gallatin Yellowstone Airport.
When weather permits, club members try to get in at least one field trip per month. Most are one-day excursions to a collecting site for a particular material. On past field trips, participants have collected garnets, petrified wood, tourmaline needles, rhyolite, jasper, agate, calcite, sapphires, corundum, and various varieties of quartz crystals (including amethyst). The club currently maintains 2 quartz mining claims in the Highlands area (SW of Whitehall) and in the Boulder Batholith.
AFMS Code of Ethics
As well as collecting opportunities, field trips provide a time to become better acquainted with fellow club members while sharing an enjoyable, and occasionally exciting, time.
Unless otherwise specified, all meetings are at the Valley Bank Belgrade, as specified in the sidebar.
- January 19
- February 16
- March 15
- April 19
- May 17
- June 21
- July 16 - Club Picnic - Lindley Center
- August 16
- September 20
- October 18
- November 15
- December TBD - Christmas party - Bozeman Senior Center
Area Rock Shows
- Tucson, AZ: 61st Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, February 11 - 14, 2016, Tucson Convention Center, Tucson AZ. The theme for this years show is "Shades of Blue: Minerals of The World". Note that there are actually several shows in Tucson, starting January 31, and running through February 15. For more information see: http://www.tgms.org/show-2015/.
- Helena, MT: Helena Mineral Society Rock Show, April 9 - 10, 2016, Helena Civic Center.
- Idaho Falls, ID: Idaho Falls Gem and Mineral Society Rock Show, April 9 - 10, 2016, Idaho Falls Recreation Center, B Street.
- Billings, MT: The Billings Gem and Mineral Club Show, April 30 - May 1, 2016, Al Bedoo Shrine Auditorium, 1125 Broadway Ave.
- Bozeman, MT: The Bozeman Gem & Mineral Club Rock Show, May 7 - 8, 2016, at the Gallatin County Fair Grounds, 901 N. Black.
- Hamilton, MT: The Biterroot Gem and Mineral Society Show, May 21 - 22, 2016, at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds, 100 Old Corvallis Road.
- Butte, MT: The Butte Gem & Mineral Club Rock Show, June 11 12 , 2016, at the Butte Civic Center Annex, 1340 Harrison Ave.
Club Field Trips
- Ott Kim Conservatory, Three Forks, March 19, Arrive anytime between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
- Copper City, near Three Forks, ---TBD---, for copper related minerals. Meet at Belgrade Albertsons, 10:00 am.
- Sweetwater Basin, past Ruby Reservoir, May 14, for garnet and corrudum, and possbly rhyolit (on the way back). Meet at Four Corners Town Pump gas station, at 8:00 am.
- White Earth area, near Winston, June 4, for vein agate and geode agate. The Helena club has invited us to join them on this trip. We will leave the Belgrade Albertsons at 7:30 am, to meet the Helena club at the White Earth campground at 9:00 am. This trip will involve a 2 mile boat ride, followed by a 1 mile hike. Anybody from our club that has a motor boat is welcome to bring it. I don't believe there is a dock for the boats, so be prepared to get your feet wet. If it is windy or rainy, the lake can get nasty, in which case this trip will be rescheduled.
- Crystal Park, June 18, for quartz crystals (clear, smokey, amethyst). We will leave the Belgrade Albertsons parking lot at 8:00 am. It is about a 3 hour drive. We will stop at the rest stop on I-15, about 15 miles south of Butte, to regroup and use the restrooms. We should be there around 9:30, for those who would like to catch up with us there.
- Club Mining Claim #1, July 23, for clear quartz crystals and occasional Japan-Law twins. We will leave the Belgrade Albertsons parking lot at 8:00 am. The location is south of Whitehall, and does include a 15 mile drive on a dirt road. This road should be passable by most cars, however, the final mile to the claim does require high clearance 4 wheel drive. We will plan to "truck-pool" that final mile. There are nearby spots for camping, for those wishing to stay until Sunday.
- Agate Mountain, July 30-31, for agate, opal, jasper and oolite. CHANGE IN MEETING LOCATION! Meet at the Clark Canyon off ramp, Exit 441 on I-15, south of Dillon MT, at 9:00 am. Leslie has reserved the campground at the Clark Canyon reservoir for the weekend, so those wishing to camp out Friday and Saturday nights can do so. The meeting location is about 2.25 hours from Bozeman, so those leaving Saturday morning should plan to leave around 6:30 am. The club will spend Saturday at the claim, with the option Sunday to visit Spencer Idaho. There is also sun stone available on public land near Spencer.
- Portal Creek, August 6 for petrified, agatized and opalized wood. Meet at Belgrade Albertsons at 8 am.
- Club claim #2, August 20, for amethyst and smoky quartz crystals. Meet at Belgrade Albertsons at 8 am.
- Gem Mountain, August 27 for sapphires.
- Radersburg, September 10 for a joint field trip with the Gold club. Details coming....
Talc Mine 2011
Memberships are available to anyone interested. Many members start out knowing only two kinds of rocks: pretty ones and ugly ones. With the willing sharing of information and skills by seasoned members, new members quickly learn to identify various rocks, minerals, and gems – and learn how to use and display them.
Memberships are available to families or individuals. Annual dues include membership in the Montana Council of Rock & Mineral Clubs and The Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies (NFMS), The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and subscriptions to A Stone’s Throw (the club’s monthly newsletter), The Montana Council Reporter, and The Northwest Newsletter.
Memberships are due between November and the end of January for the new year.
Memberships are $10.00 per adult
$20.00 per family
Dues may be sent to our address or given to our Treasurer at a meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
• What are the directions to the July 20, 2013 picnic meeting location? The 2014 location is still to be determined.
Drive South 19th St from north or west until you reach the corner of S. 19th and Hyalite (Canyon) Road (Approx 5-6 miles south of Kagy or 1 mile east of Cottonwood). Turn south on Hyalite Rd as though you are heading for Hyalite Revervoir. Turn at the second left-turning road -- Canyon Meadow Rd. (If you drive over a cattle guard on Hyalite Rd, you've just passed Canyon Meadow Rd and need to turn around). On Canyon Meadow Rd, go east to the end (cul-de-sac). Brownish house address is # 146 -- only a few houses on the street. Call Ken or Carol at 582-8752 if you are lost.
• What should I consider bringing on a field trip?
List of tools and equipment for rock club field trips: (updated 7/1/2012)
When going out for a day of rock-hounding, consider where we will be going and ask the trip leader what he/she suggests. Some areas are very isolated, so come prepared with the basics. These include a backpack for carrying food and water, sunscreen, bug spray, and tools. Lunch is your choice – bring what you like; remember to bring some snacks and plenty of water. Other items you might want to include would be a small first-aid kit, toilet paper, sunscreen, bug spray, eyewash, and tweezers. Bear spray is a good option when hiking in the mountains. The right clothing can make the outing more enjoyable. Bringing a hat or vest in hunter orange or bright pink could be helpful as these colors make you easier to find in case of accident. Temperatures can change quickly, so layering is suggested and long sleeves, hats (especially wide-brimmed varieties) are a good option; sturdy hiking shoes, gloves, and raincoat or poncho. Water-soaked (evaporative-cooled) neck wraps on hot days. Walking sticks are also useful.
Please police the area you are leaving and take out any food wrappers or garbage. We carry out what we carry in -- plus rocks of course.
Do not dig under living trees in the rootball or cut large roots of living trees.
Deciding which tools to bring depends on the outing and whether you will be hiking short or long distances. Driving directly to a site allows for the use of larger, heavier tools. Hiking longer distances usually limits the amount of weight you want to carry. Members carry most of the tools with them in their vehicles, giving them the option to decide which tools they want to take to the collecting site.
Screens for sifting dirt and gravel. Round screens (sets of two or three) available at our local rock store (Earth Treasures) or square screens you can build yourself
Containers. One or more 5-gallon buckets for carrying any rocks you find
Plastic baggies and paper for wrapping individual or smaller specimens
Small shoe boxes for fragile specimens like fossils
Pick, shovel, crowbar and maul. Consider a smaller version of the crowbar and shovel for longer hikes
Rock hammer. Any tool that can help chip or break rock
Smaller digging tools. Trowels, small claw-like implements, chisels; and screwdriver-like tools, crevicing tools, or the handle of a cut off paint-roller (ask John Usher). These latter 3 are good tools for probing cracks and small pockets
Knee pads or kneeling pad. Helps when doing a lot of kneeling or digging close to the ground
Gold pan. Just in case you find a good spot to try (you never know)
The club is always looking for more efficient and interesting new tools that make rock hounding easier and more enjoyable; so if you have suggestions for tools that are not on the list, please let us know.
• What are the directions to our Club's #1 clear quartz crystal claim?
This claim in the Highlands area in the Beaverhead - Deerlodge National Forest is accessible for use only by active Club members. Simply call or email Ken Zahn (406-582-8752) (email@example.com) and directions will be provided. A 4x4 vehicle will be needed.
• If I want to rent the Hell's Canyon Ranger Station cabin near Claim #1, how do I do it?
This great cabin is rentable for the daily rate of ~ $34. Go to the following website for cabin site-related information, schedule of date availibilities, on-line renting, etc: http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Hells_Canyon_Guard_Station/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=75220
• What was the info presented at the April 2012 Club meeting on collecting sites in Utah?
Background Info on Collecting Sites in Utah:
• Google Searches
• Utah Geological Survey (in SLC):
• Utah Outdoor Activities (Trilobites, Fossils, Dugway Geodes, Sunstone, Wonderstone, Topaz, Obsidian, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst/Bixbyite): http://www.utahoutdooractivities.com/rock.html
• UGS/UGMS Map and Bookstore:
The Bookstore is located on the first floor of the Department of Natural Resources building on the corner of West North Temple and Redwood Roads in Salt Lake City. Their business hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
The Utah Department of Natural Resources Map and Bookstore carries a variety of books, maps and publications published by UGS as well as private publishers. This is the state’s official source for USGS topo maps as well as geological maps. For online purchase of publications on recreational collecting in Utah (and a few from surrounding states), see: http://www.mapstore.utah.gov/Rockhounding-Books/
• Some of my favorite general collecting books/pamphlets include:
• Gem Trails of Utah
• Rockhounding Utah
• Rock, Mineral, & Fossil Collecting Localities of Utah
• Minerals and Mineral Locations of Utah; Bullock; UGMS Bulletin 117
• Rockhound Guide to Mineral and Fossil Localities in Utah; Stowe and Perry; UGMS Circular 63
• Semiprecious Gemstones and Ornamental Stones Found in Utah; M.R. Smith; UGMS Misc. Publication # 87-6
• Gold Placers in Utah; UGMS Circular 47
• Rules/Regulations for Collecting: http://geology.utah.gov/online/pdf/pi-23.pdf
• Statewide Mining Activity Summary:
• Mineral Collecting:
• Gold: See: http://geology.utah.gov/online_html/pi/pi-50/index.htm http://geology.utah.gov/online_html/pi/pi-50/pi50info.htm
• Gold Placers in Utah; UGMS Circular 47; 1966.
• Meteorites in Utah:
• Beryllium and Red Beryl:
• Commercial Beryllium Slide Show and Text: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1998/ofr-98-0524/index.html
• Red Beryl: http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/gladasked/gladberyl.htm and:
• Neat cluster from the Thomas Range: http://www.mineralmarket.com/TopazMtn/rocket.html
• Best Book ($25): http://www.mineralmarket.com/trbook/
• Info: http://pioneer.utah.gov/research/utah_symbols/gem.html and http://www.mineralmarket.com/TopazMtn/topazmt.html#3d
• Nice 7-minute Video of Topaz Cove Collecting in Thomas Range: http://www.minerals.net/mineralvideos.aspx
• Red Horn Coral (Reilly Canyon, but there are other locations too):
• Pictures: http://www.greatrough.com/rough_horn-coral.shtml
• Trip Summary: http://www.wasatchgemsociety.com/Red%20Horn%20Coral%20Fossil%20Beds%202008.html
• Trip Plans: http://utahrockhounding.yuku.com/topic/489#.T43Qxe1tfzI
• Great Video on the Best Fee Site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI5QZCUXLvo&feature=relmfu
• Lesser Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XWm3VWajCE&feature=related
• SW of Delta: http://www.utahoutdooractivities.com/rock.html
• Goethite/Limonite after Pyrite (Pelican Point, Lakeside Mtns, Utah Lake):
• Good Picture, Sample MD234874: http://www.irocks.com/render.html?species=Pyrite&page=24
• Great Examples; scroll down about ½ way to 9 pictures.
• Directions & GPS Coords: http://user.xmission.com/~jbdaniel/utah.htm
• GPS Location and general directions (see John Usher): “40°14'36.37"N
If you park in Little Cove where everyone is usually shooting, just walk up the valley to the saddle and you'll be there.” Taken from: http://rockhoundguide.blogspot.com/2009/04/pelican-point-again-pyrite-pseudomorphs.html
• Mineralogical Record, Vol 27, pg 59n.
• Wonderstone/Picture Rhyolite:
• Polishing: http://ganoksin.com/blog/taogem/2010/05/30/wonderstone-rhyolite-holy-cow-verses-tin-oxide-polish/
• Directions and Summary: http://geology.utah.gov/utahgeo/rockmineral/collecting/hpwndrst.htm
• Good directions: http://rockhoundblog.com/regular-postings/wonderstone-vernon-hills-tooele-county-utah-rockhounding-map-directions/
• Dugway Geodes:
• Directions: http://www.utahoutdooractivities.com/geodes.html
• Summary: http://www.utahoutdooractivities.com/geodebedscamp.html
• Septarian Nodules:
• Near Oderville area: http://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/utsites.html
• Also in Kane County: http://www.mcrocks.com/ftr08-2/StreeterSeptariansMay02.html
• Near Alton, UT: http://user.xmission.com/~jbdaniel/kane.htm
• Pictures: http://www.irocks.com/render.html?species=Variscite
• More pics: http://www.johnbetts-fineminerals.com/jhbnyc/mineralmuseum/gallery.php?init=Variscite
• Classic Fairfield (Clay Canyon near Toelle) locations closed & reclaimed.
• Lucin area location: http://www.mindat.org/maps.php?id=185109
• Rock Shops: See list at: http://www.utahrockhounds.com/rockshops.htm
• Utah Rock hound, Gem, and Mineral Clubs (see also: http://www.rmfms.org/member_clubs.htm)
This is not a complete list of rock, gem, and mineral clubs. Some clubs may not meet during the summer months. Times, dates, and addresses of meetings may change without notice. If you are aware of any changes, please pass this information on to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beehive Rock and Gem Club,
P.O. Box 1011
Odgen, UT 84402.
Meets 4th Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m., in the commons room of the Ogden-Hinkley Airport Terminal 3900 South Airport road, Odgen, Utah.
Cache Geological and Archeological Society,
P.O. Box 3690,
Logan, UT 84323.
Meets 2nd Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m., Logan City Library.
Color Country Gem & Mineral Society, Inc.
, P.O. Box 769
Panguitch, UT 84759.
Meets 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7:00 p.m., Senior Citizens Room, Garfield County Courthouse, 55 South Main Street, Panguitch, Utah.
St. George, UT.
Unsure if this club still exists (08/05/2010).
Golden Spike Gem & Mineral Society,
P.O. Box 12835,
Ogden, UT 84112-2835.
Meets 3rd Wednesday monthly (except April [New Show Month], August & December), 7:00 p.m., Union Station, Dumke Room, 2501 Wall Ave., Ogden, Utah.
Mineral Collectors of Utah,
P.O. Box 253,
Salt Lake City, UT 84106.
Meets last Wednesday of each month, 6:30 p.m., Sprague Library in Sugarhouse, 2131 South 1100 East.
Moab Points & Pebbles Rock Club,
P.O. Box 1459,
Moab, UT 84532.
Meets 3rd Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m., Grand Center,182 N, 500 W, Moab, Utah.
Northern Utah Prospector's Association (N.U.P.A.)
P.O. Box 13301,
Ogden, Utah 84412.
Meets 4th Tuesday of every month, 7:00 p.m., main terminal of the Ogden-Hinkley Airport. All meetings are free and open to the public.
Southern Utah Rock Club,
P.O. Box 1712,
Cedar City, UT 84721.
Meets 1st Tuesday of each month, 6:00 p.m, Cedar City Library in the Park, 303 N 100 E
Tooele Gem & Mineral Society,
P.O. Box 348
Tooele, UT 84074.
Meets 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m., Senior Citizens Center, 59 East Vine Street, Tooele, Utah.
Timpanogos Gem & Mineral Society
, P.O. Box 65,
Provo, UT 84601.
Meets the last Wednesday of each month, January through October. Meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month, November and December. 7:00 p.m. at Provo Eldred Center, 270 West 500 North, Provo, Utah. Come through the back doors.
Utah State Federation of Gem & Mineral Societies,
213 East Leslie Avenue
, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Wasatch Gem and Mineral Society,
P.O. Box 1397,
Sandy, Utah 84091.
Meeting: 3rd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Bicentennial Hall in Sandy, 530 E. 8680 S.
Utah Gold Prospectors Club; Phillip J. Yadanza, President, West Valley City, UT, 801-965-1662, Internet: www.utahgold.org (current as of 2/15/11).
Northern Utah Prospectors Association; P.O. Box 13301 Ogden, UT 84412; Internet: nupainc.org (current as of 2/15/11).
Also check under Metal Detecting Equipment and Rock Shops in the telephone directory.