Minerals and More:
BeYond the Elements

                                                   Minerals and More News                                  
    By Karen Edmund
July was a busy month for me, and I’m ready for some R&R now in August.  I hope you are too.  I closed on a townhome on Madison’s west side mid-July.  I’m close to work and don’t have to drive the construction of County M.  Phew!!  I love it, but boy am I tired from moving all those rocks!  Thank you, Brenda, Tom, and Marilyn, for working extra hours during my moving week.  Thank you, Mary and Don, for helping me move and unpack countless totes and boxes of rocks, etc.…..  Now I’m off to Oregon to spend a week with my family, riding a riverboat down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.  I’m looking forward to the down time.  I hope everyone of you get a bit of down time to enjoy Wisconsin’s best summer month, August.
Of course, September is a great month too.  We get to go shopping in Denver for crystals and minerals!

 Featured - Peridot
Peridot, a gem-quality form of the mineral Olivine, is the birthstone for August.  The yellow-green Peridot may also be referred to as Chrysolite which is Greek for “golden stone”.  One of the few gemstones occurring in only one color, Peridot, varies from pale to dark green with some having a yellow or brown tone due to the Ferrous Iron content.  The most desirable shade is a forest green with a slight yellow tone and no brown tones.  There are no synthetic or man-made Peridots.  The imitations of this gemstone are made of glass or from Tourmaline.  Natural Peridot has what is called “high double refraction”.  If you look closely at the gem, you will see a clear double image of its pavilion facets.  On the Mohs Scale, Peridot is a 6.5 – 7.

While most gemstones are formed in the Earth’s crust, Peridot is one of the exceptions.  It typically forms in slowly cooled magma in the upper mantle which is about 20 to 55 miles deep and is often brought to the surface by tectonic (earthquakes) or volcanic activity.  We have recently seen an event of this type occur in Hawaii.  The black Basalt Rock and beaches in Hawaii are rich with tiny Peridot grains.  On the island of Oahu there is an entire beach of Peridot sand which has been ground down by the ocean waves.

Peridot occurs in silica poor igneous rocks such as basalts, gabbro, peridotite, and troctolite.  Some are found in volcanic bombs like those we have in the store!

Peridot may also come to Earth in Meteorites, but that occurrence is rarer.  The Meteorites in which Olivine crystals are encased in a matrix of Nickle-Iron are classified as a Pallasite.  The main source of Peridot was Topazos Island (now known as St. John’s Island in English) located in the Egyptian Red Sea.  Peridot was probably first referred to as Topaz.  The location of the fog shrouded island was lost for several centuries and was rediscovered in 1905.  It is connected with ancient Egypt and Peridot is their national gem.  Often associated with the sun, it is believed that the famous Cleopatra Emeralds were in fact Peridot gemstones.  This gem has been mined for over 3,500 years. 

In the 1960s, Peridot was coming out of Burma.  However, after the coup d’état in 1962, the quality and size of the Peridot gemstones were diminished and the price was beyond the worth of those stones.

Today the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona accounts for approximately 80 – 95% of the world’s Peridot in the commercial market.  Other areas where Peridot is found are Africa (Kenya), Australia, Brazil, Burma (Myanmar), the Canary Islands, China, Egypt, Finland, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the US (Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Oregon), and Vietnam.

Metaphysical Properties:  Peridot brings an inner peace and emotional balance to the wearer.  It aids in friendships and frees one from envious thoughts.  Peridot may help one with self-esteem by increasing the wearer’s confidence without aggression and lets them feel that they are deserving of love.  It is a heart cleaner/calmer and helps one to release old baggage such as guilt, burdens, and obsessions which are replaced with well-being and a healthy ego.  In looking to higher energies for guidance, it can help one to achieve a new clarity, which may result in financial and spiritual abundance.

Calendar of Events


August 19th Sunday -  Class by Brenda N. - Meditation with CrystalsWe will work with three different Crystals and do a 7 - 10
                      minute meditation with each.  There will be time after each session to share the experiences you had as well as to ask
                     any questions you may encounter during any of the meditations.  Class is from 10:45 am until noon and costs
                     $10/person cash.

August Rock Shows
August 11 - 12:  RICE LAKE, WI Northwest Wisconsin Gem & Mineral Society Annual Show. Sat 10 am - 5 pm; Sun 10 am - 4 pm.
                 Youth Expo Building, Barron County Fairgrounds, Hwy 48 North, Rice Lake. Contact Roy Wickman/Dave Skrupky;
                 (715) 357-3223, (715) 986-2547; rktswick@chibardun.net/dskrupky@centurytel.net
August 18: STEVENS POINT, WI Heart of Wisconsin Gem & Mineral Society Rock Swap. Sat 10 am- 5 pm. Hwy 10 behind
                  Applebee's in the parrking lot, 5609 US Hwy 10, Stevens Point. Contact Sandy Brandl, 4250 Cty Hwy H, Juneton
                  City 54443; (715) 326-1609; stonez@tds.net
August 25: EAU CLAIRE, WI Chippewa Valley Gem & Mineral Society Rock Swap. 8 am - 4 pm. Eau Claire Center Grounds,
                  Lorch Ave, Eau Claire. Contact: Paul Tubbs, 619 Van Buren St., Eau Claire 54703; bizpam1@gmail.com
August 25: MT PLEASANT, WI Racine Geological Society Annual Show. 10 am - 5 pm. Bartlett Youth Foundation,
                  1120 N. Stuart Rd.,  Mt. Pleasant Contact: John Lowman, 3223 Spruce St., Racine 53403; (262) 989-9193;

The September Newsletter will be late due to the Denver Shopping trip.  Stay tuned for what goodies we find and bring back with us!!!

September 23rd Sunday -  Class by Brenda N. - Topic to be announced

Remember you may also check the Calendar of Events on our website.