Meeting Archive

September 14, 2021 General Meeting, 7 p.m., Anaheim Community Center
Jeff Dengrove: A Review of Tumbling, Equipment, and Tools

The Searchers General meeting September 14, 2021 will feature Jeff Dengrove talking about how to approach tumbling, how to choose rocks, and a review of tumbling equipment and tools. Join us!

August 10, 2021 General Meeting, 7 p.m., Anaheim Community Center
Silent Auction to benefit the Searchers

Items donated from the Keswick estate will be put up for silent auction. If you would like to donate materials to the silent auction (to benefit the Searchers), please bring your items to the meeting. 

July 13, 2021 General Meeting, 7 p.m., Anaheim Community Center
Show and Tell: Bring your projects, finds, or any rock-related item you'd like to show and tell us about. Sign up for Show and Tell by emailing

Speaker: Paul Edison
Topic: Geology of the Portland Oregon Basin

June 8, 2021, 7 p.m. by Zoom

Speaker: Sandie and Tony Fender, Educators
Topic: Eruption of Mount Saint Helens
When: By Zoom, May 11th 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

Description: In 1980 Mt St Helens erupted in a massive explosion. The presentation covers the mountain before the eruption, during the eruption and the aftermath of the eruption. The presentation also covers how nature has recovered with pictures of the mountain and wildlife today. Tony and Sandie Fender have traveled to the Mountain most years since the eruption to observe and document the regrowth of the environment. Tony and Sandie are retired teachers and are involved in both CFMS and AFMS.

Searchers will have the General Meeting by Zoom, April 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Jimmy Peterson: Sphere Making with Jimmy Peterson

Join our own Jimmy Peterson as he shows us how he makes his beautiful spheres. He will show us all of his tips and techniques. Don't miss it!

Searchers will have the General Meeting by Zoom, March 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Pete Goetz Topic: Opals

Description: Pete Goetz, of the American Opal Society, will present a problem on opals, including the etymology, chemical make-up, structure, how colors are created, types of opal, where opals are found and mining techniques.

By Sujatmiko Miko 
7:00 p.m., February 9, 2021

Miko was born in 1941 on a small island of Madura, not far from the famous Bali Island. Since 1990 he has collected various types of gemstones from almost all the major islands in Indonesia. In the period 1997 - 2001, 24 varieties of his gemstone collections were published on Indonesian stamps. Miko will focus his presentation on the amazing beauty of moss jasper chalcedonies from several regencies in Indonesia that having different geological environments. Miko passed his geological degree from Bandung Institute of Technology in 1967 and directly worked at Geological Survey of Indonesia in Bandung. In 1975 he moved to Total Indonesie, Subsidiary of Compagnie Francais du Petrole. In 1978 he passed his post graduate degree from the French Petroleum Institute in France. 

January 12, 2021 General Meeting, 7 p.m.

Stan Bogosian: Classic Collecting Localities of New Mexico
About Stan Bogosian:
Stan Bogosian was born in San Jose, California in 1952. He has been a serious field collector since 1990, and has travelled throughout the western United States in search of fine mineral specimens and lapidary material. His current interest is micro-minerals, although he has an extensive collection of rocks and minerals of all sizes, including polished rounds of Miocene petrified wood he collected in Eastern Washington.
Stan graduated from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington, in 1978 with a Bachelor’s in Education. After teaching high school for several years in Washington and California, Stan worked as a manager in the private sector until his retirement in 2013.
Club Affiliations:
Peninsula Gem and Geology Society, Los Altos, CA (President)
Sequoia Gem and Mineral Society, Redwood City, CA
Bay Area Mineralogists, Menlo Park, CA
San Francisco Gem and Mineral Society, San Francisco, CA (Field Trip Chairperson)
Northern California Mineralogical Association
Searchers will have the January general meeting by Zoom, January 12, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

December 8, 2020 General Meeting, 7 p.m.

Searcher's Show and Tell

View photographs from Searcher field trips and projects.

November 10, 2020 General Meeting, 7 p.m.

Searcher's Show and Tell

View photographs from Searcher field trips and projects.

October 13, 2020 General Meeting, 7 p.m.

Choosing the Best Tool Bits for the Foredom or Dremel

Brad Smith

Brad Smith will share his 24 years of experience as a studio jeweler and adult-ed teacher to explain what each type of tool bit is good for, which can save time, and illustrate how the right bit can improve the quality of your work.

The presentation will help you to choose the best bit for each task. It includes a slide show plus a live demo for demonstrations and an opportunity for questions.

Smith is a studio jeweler, lapidary, author, and jewelry instructor. He enjoys rockhounding, is a long-time member of the Culver City Rock Club, and is the author of five jewelry technique books.

September 8, 2020 General Meeting, 7 p.m.

Determine the Potential of Rock and Prep for Cutting

Robert Burson
Robert will be our guest speaker for September. The topic will be preparation of rock for cutting purposes. He will explain how to determine the best potential for cutting stone, how to expose, exploit and work up cuttable specimens. His presentation will also include contouring and pressure washing angle grinding (his new toy). Last he will show pictures of some local rocks which he finds interesting.

August 11, 2020, 7 p.m. General Meeting
Design and Build Your Lapidary Workshop
By Doug Flaugh

A presentation on the considerations and process of designing and building lapidary equipment for home use.
As a metal working hobbyist and retired engineer Doug’s entry into lapidary work offered new opportunities to build quality equipment while saving money. This presentation will walk you through the entire process of designing and building a 16” slab saw. We will also discuss other potential projects in work, and take questions from the audience.

July 14, 2020 General Meeting
By George R. Rossman

Professor of Mineralogy, California Institute of Technology
Diamonds have long been of interest both for their emotional and gemological value, and for their technological importance as abrasives and optical elements. Historically, most diamonds have come to us through big holes in the ground where massive amounts of earth are moved and crushed to obtain the low concentration of diamonds contained within. But for hundreds of years, scientists have tried to synthesize diamonds. Early claims of synthesis by crude methods were put forth. It was only in 1955 that scientists at the General Electric Corporation found a catalyst that made diamond synthesis practical. Now, many ways have been found to make diamonds along with new sources in nature which have been discovered. Also new understanding of the source of color in fancy colored diamonds has come about with expanded diamond research. These stories will be the topic of Professor Rossman’s presentation.

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7 p.m.

Walt Lombardo. Walt Lombardo, esteemed geologist and owner of the Nevada Book and Mineral Store in Orange, will be doing an interesting presentation about rare gems and minerals from California such as Bentonite, Vesuvianite and Lapis.

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 7 p.m.
The Geology and Scenery of Southern Utah
Andrew Hoekstra will be our guest speaker for February, discussing the geology and scenery of southern Utah. He will point out geological sights to visit on vacation and mention what and where you can collect. This topic is timely since the government intends reopen a large area to collecting. Andrew's talk will focus on the Grand Staircase Escalante region. He will review the geological history and rocks of the Colorado Plateau accompanied by many photographs. He will also discuss how a few rock hounds struggled to restore recreational collecting in the area.

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 7 p.m.

Our guest speaker in February, 2020 will be Luis De Los Santos an Argentine native and discoverer of Condor agate from Patagonia in Southern Argentina in 1992.  He also discovered Puma agate in 1993 and Crater agate in 1997.  His presentation in February on Argentine agates will include how many agates, where, formation, features, familiarity and Argentine agates vs. US agates.  His material is considered to be one the most prestigious agates of the world.  Hopefully he will have specimens for sale at our meeting. Mr. De Los Santos is described in a Rock&Gem article as a very gracious gentleman.

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 7 p.m.

January Speakers: Dick and Mary Pat Weber
Chasing Color: Mining Boulder Opal in Australia

During their year-long "walkabout", Geologists Dick and Mary Pat Weber visited most of the major mining districts of Australia. Their favorite area was the boulder opal deposits in the channel counter of Queensland. Miners live under primitive and hazardous conditions in a remote area of the Outback, where there are more snakes, lizards and kangaroos than people. Unique to the region, this opal is found in massive ironstone concretions of Cretaceous age. Through the generosity of their friends at Broken River Mining, learn how this material is mined and processed in order to bring the world's most beautiful opal to market.

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7 p.m.

Pie and Election Night

Your vote counts!

Holiday Party and Installation of Officers, Saturday, December 2, 2019, 5 p.m. 

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 7 p.m.

Searchers Presents: Fluorescents "Rock!"
Our first rockin' All Hallows Day of the Dead-Man's Glow-tastic Fluorescence Mash-up Party!

Get ready for some glowing, spooky fun! Come for prizes, treats, fun, and get your glow on!
Guest Speaker: Dale Harwood is an ore specialist and is known as the "Cylindrite King." He will be educating us on fluorescent minerals and UV lighting. He will be sure to have display specimens on hand for viewing. Dale was noted in a North County Times article for having over twenty-five thousand specimens, a great many he collected himself here in the Southwest. In case you just must have a new treasure to add to your personal collection, Dale will have some for sale as well. Longtime member and Searchers mega-supporter Walt Lombardo will also provide us with the opportunity to buy new items to add to our own collections.

Franklin, New Jersey - Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World
I've ordered this special video from The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies which will give us some interesting information on the more well-known fluorescent mineral locales. What about us, you ask? Well, I've got you covered there, too. I've compiled a list of local spots where you may be able to hunt and collect your own fluorescent minerals. It will be available to at the meeting. Come, meet and mingle, bring your own fluorescent specimens for show and tell and glow, baby, glow on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at 7 p.m.

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 7 p.m.


A visual presentation by Ken Rogers

Have you ever cut open a mundane stone, and found what looks like an original Ansel Adams photograph or a Claude Monet painting? (landscapes, faces, animals, people, aquatic scenes, etc.) Tonight we will be visiting the “Louvre de roches”.

Photographer, artist, rockhound, & previous “spook”, Ken Rogers is constantly searching for beautiful, or whimsical, art as he cuts chunks of rock, looks at the lapidary work, of others, and, perhaps, just a rock lying on the ground.

Ken came from an artistic family, made up of tailors & floral arrangers, (As a kid, Ken won 1st place in floral arranging, in the local County Fair.)

As a teen, Ken collected stamps, coins, rocks & gemstones, Baseball cards, and MAD Magazines.  Ken won an award in a U.N. Stamp design contest

In junior & senior high school, Ken followed a science and arts program, where, among other things, Ken learned: (cold lead) type setting & printing; creating marbleized paper; set building; stage lighting; woodworking; and silversmithing (created silver jewelry, using gems from his collection).

Following high school (& with the Draft looming), Ken enlisted in the top secret, U.S. Army Security Agency (Intelligence “Spooks”).  While stationed in Japan, Ken made (tumbled stone) jewelry, that he sold to the other guys, to send to their “girl  back home”.  This income allowed him to buy the new Nikon F camera.  
Ken absorbed enough knowledge of photography, that among his other duties, he, also, became the “Base Photographer”.  While in Japan, Ken collected stones, traveled, explored, & photographed, around Japan.

Upon discharge from the Army, Ken returned to L.A., where, to learn more about photography & selling, he took classes and worked in retail. In each job, he quickly worked his way up to management.  This included, Japan's, Seibu Dept. Store, in L.A. (now the Peterson Automotive Museum).  After a few years, Ken left retail, and started working, as a free lance photojournalist, for Time Magazine.  Soon, there after, Ken started working for most of the world's important magazines & corporations.  During this time, Ken, also, headed a few organizations, was a lecturer, publisher, NEA panelist, teacher, and consultant to young photographers, publications, and government agencies.

When photography went digital, and the industry changed, radically, Ken reluctantly retired from photography, and returned to some of his earlier loves, including rocks, and jewelry.  

Come to our monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7 pm.

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, August 14, 2019, 7 p.m.

Topic: Jack Hobart: Lake Superior Copper Agates

Download brochure

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, 7 p.m.

Topic: Thar be GOLD in that thar meetin’!

The Route 66 Gold Miners will be our guests this month, sharing their passion for gold prospecting & treasure hunting. They will inform us about several topics including: prospecting, panning, and metal detecting. 

Much like The Searchers, they care about the right to access public lands and to keep them open to the public for everyone to enjoy. To that end, Route 66 Gold Miners actively support the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) and the American Mining Rights Association (AMRA). 

Download brochure

Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 7 p.m.

Topic: Who is Kent Lauer?

Glass Craftsman Magazine says about Kent Lauer, Master Beveler…”Does art seek us out of do we create are? When a university educated geologist delves into stained glass and blossoms into artistic prominence that spans the globe and encompasses works commissioned by an endless list of Who’s Who celebrities and heads of state, this simple question becomes a poignant statement.”

Kent Lauer has been a lapidary, working with glass, for more than 44 years. What started as a fascination with glass soon became a career. Kent learned to bevel early on, and was determined to find out everything he could about pushing the limits of beveled glass. His work has since been seen worldwide, in important homes, and in historic buildings. Living in Southern California has given Kent the opportunity to work on glass for films and commercials. His work is sought after by notables and celebrities. He has been published in glass magazines and is currently working on a book entitled “Introduction to Coldworking.”

He has been teaching beveling and dichroic glass sculpture both at glass shows and privately at his studio for over 30 years. His classes include: Faceted Dichroic Glass Pendants; Curved Faceted Glass Pendants; Custom Hand Beveling; and Faceted Dichroic Sculpture.

Come and learn from this master of lapidary arts on Tuesday the 11th at 7 pm. He has a fantastic presentation, which may open up a new world of lapidary material to you, and you can view his jaw-dropping work up close and in person.

May 14, 2019, 7 p.m.

Meeting Topic: Walton Wright, Petrified Wood

Searchers April 2019 meeting.jpg

March 12, 2019, 7 p.m.

Speaker Description: 

“CSI Mineralogy”
Fakes, Frauds and Fantasies
Investigate. Detect clues. Observe. Puzzle out the truth.

Learn the forensics to be a Mineralogy SCI.

We are not able to collect every stone in our collections personally. When we do purchase, we need to make educated decisions. Getting fooled or spending too much purchasing gems & minerals is a crime. Learn some of the common misnamed gems & minerals. Learn common “enhancements” that should always be disclosed, and learn to identify possible deception. Some misnomers are innocent errors handed down through history, handy nicknames or tools of tricksters. Let’s sort out the facts together.
The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies has provided a presentation by Anthony Kampf, from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Local gemologist, John Eyre will speak on the topic and be on hand for discussion and questions.
After the formal portion of the evening there will be time for discussion. Please feel free to bring any specimens of your own that you have questions about or want to share with the group.

Also, sign up to help with the Show, have a display case, sell at the Searchers table, contribute prizes or raffle items!

February 12, 2019, 7 p.m.

Speaker Description: It will be packed full! We will have three different terrific topics. 
Joy Rogers will be on site to share personal safety tools for your rockhounding excursions, which can also be used in your daily life. 
We will have a short introduction into fundraising, donations, and development that will help us fund our activities and maintain our nonprofit status. 
Last and most exciting.... We have a stellar mashup planned. We will be celebrating Valentine's Day as well as our Veterans at the first ever VA-lentine's Day. What does your support for the Vets at the Long Beach VA Hospital lapidary shop actually accomplish? Where exactly do your rocks, slabs, and donations go? Come and see for yourself. We will have a speaker from the Veterans Administration Hospital, displays of their lapidary shop work, and selections from their awards and events. 
After the formal speaking portion of the evening there will be time to mix and mingle, and to get an up close view of the exhibits on display. To properly celebrate our newly minted Searchers holiday there will be special VA-lentine’s Day refresh- ments and sweets for the sweet. Come hang where the Searchers ROCK! It will be a night of Hearts & Stars. 

January 8, 2019, 7 p.m.
Speaker Description:
Our local expert and "ROCKstar", Walt Lombardo, will be speaking on
the gem, mineral, and rare-element bearing pegmatites of California. This local area
ranks up with the major gem and specimen producing pegmatite regions in the world. Come
join us in learning about the sources of elbaite, morganite, kunzite, and other treasures
found right here in our own backyard.