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Within about 15 miles of my house that lived in England there would be about five or six different breaks going on where they found these Roman visitors. Second largest craft lobby in America today is said to be rock counting with all of its branches of interest some of which are gem cutting making jewelry and the collection of gem stones rocks minerals and fossils. This universal hobby has grown to astonishing proportions in the last 25 years and shows signs of even more rapid growth as the need develops for more people to pursue more leisure time activities due to the fact that the working few hours have more days off and get more vacation time. Rocks and minerals are specimens of extreme importance to the rock. I evar. Most people do not realize the important role. Rocks and minerals play in everyday living.
For example fluorite used in toothpaste clothing. This series of programs is designed to give an overall picture of the rock on offer encouragement to the newcomer in this hobby. And present information of general interest to everyone. All of this will be examined as we explore the world of the rock. Today's programme is entitled My universal hobby. The narrator is Len felt. The word rockhound means friend in any language and in any lie and that's the way it seems because when two rock icons get together to share collections and talk about their experiences any differences they may have fade into the background. Last week's program was devoted to servicemen and their lapidary work in the craft hobby shops at military installations in this country and overseas
servicemen have an opportunity to seek and find minerals in most unusual places. But the civilian rockhound has opportunities to do this also. They can go on classic tours especially planned for Iraq around tours such as a 21 day gem and mineral tour to Brazil and South America visiting emerald mines and other places where rich deposits of topaz Amalekite And as you write are found he will travel by means of jet plane auto bus Jeep dugout canoe and mule. Perhaps he prefers a gem safari to Africa a planned thirty two day tour which includes game viewing as well as searching for unusual rock specimens. Nairobi Serengeti Amboseli Victoria Falls are only a few of the stops then onto your honest Bergen Kimberly to see the gold mines and the big hole where the diamonds are. Not only does he have an opportunity
to dig but these trips are planned to include social get togethers with the local gem and mineral club members at most every location as well as visits to see out standing collections in museums. The rock hound may wish to fly to Australia and New Zealand on another tour. Well along with finding agate Jasper petrified wood Opal and sapphire he'll mingle with the miners and the dealers in the gem cutter's and have a chance to noodle the mine dumps here and there and take part in specially arranged trips for panning gold. You can see kangaroos and wallabies and if he's a bird watcher he'll be in a bird watchers paradise. Some people do they're all coming this way. Many go to foreign countries for other reasons but if they're rock hounds they'll generally find others with the same interest
regardless of the country. Leona Hughes was sent to New Zealand for her church. She returned to this country with a collection of carved taking arms with a black rock much like soft coal to be used for carving. And she had the names of several new rockhound friends whom she exchanged rocks with I was in Christchurch New Zealand a bed where 60 say a. And did you happen to meet any rock hands there. I thought they had the thoughts of people in New Zealand that rocks rock. Do you think it's as popular as it is here in the United States. I didn't have enough time to find out if it was as popular but I think it is because the rock over there are so beautiful they make lots of Deore out of their rock. Do they have the same kind of rock that we have here. No there's no fossils over by a phony mineral rock. Can you name some of the minerals. Mostly AFAIK it's the green stone that I think most of the people by Mike the Tiki.
But those are the were carved figures like good luck charm. Yes that's true. Did you see a lot of those when you were there. Yes they did they were on sale at all the shops and NGO restores most anywhere that you walked along the street you could stand big to take both in rings bracelets and necklaces. Do you have any conversations with. Several conversations with Collin Marston that collected rocks and waste. He gave me some rocks and when I came back home I asked him some we just made a swap. And then there was David Macey said he enjoyed rocks too and we exchanged rocks when I came back. And it was a little boy in the sixth grade that enjoyed rocks and I sent him some of the petty tears when I came back. Do they have rock clubs over there like we do. I didn't have a chance to find that I own I was did missionary work.
While I was doing part of my work in mission work going from door to door I ran across an invalid or crippled person that enjoyed rocks and he carved out of the soft coal that was more like a rock and he made jewelry out of it he made little hearts and little rings and bracelets and he gave me a priest to come bring back and try to carve something out of my chest and every year we have tried to cover anything. If it was such a soft. How was he able to carve it and keep it that way keep it. It had a slick hard finish to it but you could just walk almost like a soap. But yet it would keep it shut and not be brutal. You could quit alone it just might get into most any show but it's still here. What were some of the things he cut. He showed me advice with that he had carved out of it. He had made a heart necklace. He had made a ring out of it
and he had made several little tiny liberty bails out of it to use the pipe away. How long did you stay in New Zealand. I was there the entire month of February and the first week in March 6th. Did you stay in the city or did you go out. Into the. Outside areas to do your work. We stayed at the stone heard tale but we went out into the city to do our work in the suburbs. Now you being a rock and I know that you wouldn't miss an opportunity to walk on a beach where you can. Did you do that in New Zealand. Yes I did I had one day to look around and go and have fun and we went down on the beach and we looked for rocks and pebbles and shells and we collected quite a few of them and while we were down there there was a large huge boat there when the tag came in it was entirely covered with water and we waited till the pad went out and there was a hole through it and we went through it and this large boulder was volcano rock and it just looked like a great big cinder with a hole through it
and we climb through it. I am out the tad like a goddess before we got out. That's most of the rock around there. Yes I believe it is it looks like a T as I'll put it like that most of the rock that's on top of the surface looked like with volcano. That was Leona Hughes who made many rockhound friends in New Zealand as she went from door to door doing missionary work for her church rockhound Jo Gilbert looks for fossils are most of the trips he takes. Recently he went on a pleasure trip to Yucatan. He didn't find any fossils there and if he had found them in all probability he would not have been allowed to take them up to look for fossils but most of the. I haven't been too lucky in finding and I've just got back from a trip to the Yucatan which is. Composed the limbs down somewhat. Geologists some of the men of Kentucky.
And it should have been some fossil but I saw lots of caves and Sankoh when I couldn't get any decent fossils and man I was so busy looking at Mayan ruins that I didn't have to get a chance to look for fossils. Maybe too many tourists have been there maybe all the fossils have been taken. No the tourists are not looking for fossils it too is looking for Mayan artifacts make sure that more of them than the fossils and the Mayan artifacts they want you pick up in fact around the ruins. They don't even want you picking up odd stones they get I would know about picking up anything. Although the reasons are clearly understood for prohibiting the picking up of stones at historic sites or accounts who collect artifacts most find this frustrating not only in Yucatan but in other historic places as well. The ways Davis found plenty of stones last summer as she drove through England by
car. She did have a problem though wondering how to get these stones home with their on the plane. She returned with a stone of stone. My friend and I found England a very fascinating place from the standpoint of stones although we really called them rocks. And one day out at all to bar and saw folk out on the east coast of South England we were spending the day and. And being very fascinated by this complete beach of nothing but rather large pebbles. And. I spoke to one Britisher and said something about you have lots of rocks here. Oh no those are not rocks he said those are stones. So I never quite knew what I was supposed to expect in the way of the difference between a rock and a stone or a pebble. For that matter. I actually and probably would would have been called pebbles.
But of course being on the beach as sand is on many beaches these were very water washed and very rounded and and in their own way partially polished. And they were fabulously. Different to us and very beautiful. You know Iraq was an interesting and I should say was an interesting and. My friend and I. Were really. Just. Well you know they say you if you're Iraq and you have rocks in your head. Well it sounded like we had talks about it that way I guess because we just couldn't quit gloating over how beautiful the next pebble was. But they were washed in from the North Sea. And and there was practically no science on this beach. It was a wide beach and a Long Beach. And and relatively flat and went as far as you could see in both directions and the pebbles seemed to be if you dug down you diskette finding more pebbles.
So there were just oceans of them. And of course we we couldn't resist collecting and we kept getting our pockets full and our bags full. And then the floor of the car was full and then the boxes were full and of course we kept wondering what we would do with these. Well we knew that we would have the car until we had to ship it home and we knew when we shipped it home we could not ship anything in it. So the question would be when would we dispose of the rocks. And we knew we would be flying from the airport at Brussels and we decided that we would take what we could to the airport at Brussels and then if we were forbidden to carry this weight our take these rocks are whatever the answer might be. We would build ourselves R.K. or in the Brussels airport. And so this story kept of course growing all summer because this was not the only place that we picked up rocks. But this was the bulk of our source.
We did find rocks stones I suppose I should say everywhere all over England. And. The beaches would be one major place that we found them and they seem to be on our beaches. And then the other place was wherever there was Roman ruins. And and the Romans. Had used a very a very flat like rock. A lot of their building and their walls seemed to be made of nodules Flint. And I suppose that this is even related to the White Cliffs of Dover because you very often find nodules in. A. A chalky. Surrounding. Material and of course the White Cliffs of Dover are. Chalk. And are lovely because they are white and we saw
these two and they stretch apparently under the English Channel because they are also in France. We could see that when we were ready at Dover to sail the next day we could see across the channel and see white cliffs also in France. So these were on both sides of the channel at this point. But everywhere there were Roman ruins of course the real lot's of stone because their things were built of stone. And of course you weren't supposed to go and take any as far as that's concerned. But the whole surrounding ground was covered with litter of the same type of rock and it was impossible to walk without just walking all over the the crumbled bits of a lot of the ruins. Then of course outstanding in in British lower is Stonehenge which has these. Tremendous slabs of stone that were carried. Who knows how from who knows where.
All I think they do now know the source but nobody yet knows why they were brought to this place nor exactly how they have dreamed up that might have been. But nobody really knows even when it was done. But so. Again these stones are exceedingly important. And one. Funny bit about this I guess is is the idea of whites and measures because one of the major units of white. In. Much of the Western Europe but largely Britain. Has a stone and a stone. If you are weighing yourself you will weigh probably about nine and a half stone. And you do say Stone for plural and not stones. So my weight is just about nine and one half. Stone. And. One. Humorous thing was that when we were at the going to the airport at
Brussels and I had family cold. To one box and I had no idea what it weighed. One of the girls on the flight was weighing her heavier luggage and had it on my people scales. And the scales weighed in stone. And so while she had her luggage on I put my box on top of hers. Having noted the weight of hers and found that I had one stone of stones. So my box weighed 14 pounds and American count and asked Ill have my box of stone of stone. After hearing Louise Davis describe her stone of stones we talked with Richard White about this unit of light called the stone. Mr White is a native of England who now lives in the United States. He had been living here about eight weeks at the time we talked with him and he also mentioned the various digs going on at
the site of the ancient Roman ruins. Well a star in England can be two things that are the style you know which pic of the Crown or star of white which is 14 pounds. So you say anybody collecting stones would collect a stone or stones with it in fact be £14 of stones. Tell me what's the difference between Iraq and us down. Well we refer to a stone as anything small pebble. It's down to us. When you refer to a rock we regard Iraq as something you know about how size something might be both or lower class something about anything to about 12 inches in diameter. Where would you call people in England and hunt for rocks. Would you call them rock hands or stone. Or have you heard any particular term applied to you know I don't know what I would do with them.
They probably have some special name for them you know you are what is your name. Richard White and you have just come over here from England is that right. Just about I guess. Now tell me where you lived when you were in England. Well it's on the south coast a place called Brighton Sussex is that near London. That's about 52 miles outside of London. Did you ever do any rock collecting over there. No not as a sort of hobby. Maybe you know women in the country might you know come across one of three that we so like. But Tammy is rock collecting popular in England as a hobby. As popular as it is in the United States do you know. Oh yes I think so it's a very happy these students and nobody's club sicker than you know with fossils and these archaeological societies clubs. It's very proper in his digs going on all over the country especially in the county to come from this which has a lot of history for the times of the Romans they are at the moment. Within about 15 miles of my home in
England there would be about five or six different bigs going on where they found these Roman villas with these. The Roman boats are still there with the mosaic floors of these villas. It's a beauty you know. Wonderful didn't see them. And in Sussex they if the stone that they used in buildings they was a lot of lot of flint which was snapped and that was the tightly around Flint boulders and they were struck with a small hammer which split them clean. So you got a clean face. And also they used a stone which come from a little place for Fortune Fortune stone which they used for roofing. They used to use these great big stone slabs on the roofs. And I know in Sussex It's an old Sussex out of flint knapping and Flint building and it's a fine particular place at a place called Progress a tiny little village where in a country and it had its own castle which is a just a ruin and that has some of the finest Flint work
you've ever seen on the face of it although not a rock around. Mr. Richard White was well aware of such activities in his native England. Areas throughout the world where English is spoken seem to be the places where the flourishes mostly. Mr. Hugh leaper editor of lapidary Journal made this statement in a letter the raw copy has become firmly established in Australia where there are at the present time over two hundred twenty five lapidary gem and mineral clubs in existence and more are being founded almost every week. There are three magazines published in Australia to serve these thousands of hobbyists on the island continent New Zealand also has its lapidary hobbyists and so does South Africa Rhodesia Tanzania and Mozambique. Areas where English is spoken seem to be those in which the hobby takes hold fastest. There is only a very small amount of interest in the lapidary hobby in Great Britain Ireland Scotland and Wales. But there are signs of interest and beginnings of
activity in the organisation of clubs and the amateur participation in the hobby. The letter written by Mr Hugh leaper continues with information about growth of the hobby in Japan. At the present time the hobby is growing very rapidly in Japan. Red jam boom Jimmy boom. The Japanese call it has taken place and there are many schools of instruction is teaching the Japanese to do very beautiful work in the cutting of jams and making of jewelry. We have in fact in the November 1967 issue of the lapidary Journal and article and a page and color of fine jewelry made by the Japanese people and authored by menorah Zama one of the crafts technicians attached to the US armed forces services bureau in Japan which runs the crafts shop for the servicemen and the armed forces bases well on the subject of Japan. We would like to mention that in 1965 according to Newsweek magazine
there were some 300000 dedicated rock collectors in Japan rocks were being sold in a Tokyo department store at prices ranging from a dollar thirty nine to one thousand six hundred sixty six dollars and seventy cents and more than 100000 people crowded into the store's rock department to buy all of them. One of the questions asked of Mr. Leeper was are there Mary logical societies on the European continent. And according to his letter there are many on the continent of Europe there are numerous mineralogical societies especially in Germany and Switzerland. But the amateur lapidary hobby has so far not taken hold there. The professional cutting of gemstones is widely practiced at either over Stein Germany at Yanna friends and at various places in Switzerland where the manufacture of synthetic boules of a random sapphire and Ruby is carried on for the sake of producing jewels or bearings
for watches or fine instruments. That information was read from a letter from Mr. Hugh leaper editor of the lapidary Journal. We asked him just now you Jones about diamond cutting where it was and we asked him also about either overstay as mentioned by Mr. Leeper. That means have historically been cut largely in the Low Countries Holland and Belgium at the present time. Those two countries plus the United States and Israel account for most of the diamond cutting many amateur hobbyist do diamond cutting. No I would say that the amateurs Damman doing diamond cutting in this country could be counted on your two hands for far more reasons and one for use the expense of the raw material. Good gem quality diamond is quite expensive even in the rough state. And secondly it is such a highly specialized art that in the commercial cutting plants the work is divided up and the whole process is not done
by one man. For an amateur take up damning cutting he would have to have many years to work at it plus almost unlimited means to provide the raw material necessary. When we speak of GM cutting my talking about fastening. Not in every case in connection with diamond cutting is everything except the fasting that is it's the cleaning of the Stones preform of the stones and to some extent rough grinding but the fasting is referred to as polishing in the trade I believe in Kraken that when it is even obvious to me and to this Jim cutting a dose. Was known for its jam. Cutting some. 400 years or more ago and probably much earlier
than that because the Romans mind exit from that area and took it back to the Mediterranean countries to be cut and polished. But as a result of the fact that they had nice colorful natural agates in the vicinity and many of the families they grew up. In the gem cutting business and some of those fame families are still in business over there that the only change is the fact that the rough material is no modern they have because it's all been taken out years ago and they have a new import their raw materials. The other principle change is that where they form a you want to power they now you lecture per hour in their shops and they don't want to want to do an operation and they do all this time to my knowledge. Some collectors send their specimens to either over time to be faceted. We talked with Mrs. bin Clement in Marion Kentucky who showed us four right pieces
found in South Africa and in the United States which were faceted in either over Stand by Mr. George while this is for the right and the groom is from South Africa but the rest of us from Illinois all faceted in Germany go with me and so this universal hobby of rock hounding in all of its different phases continues to grow and spread with many collectors traveling to find their own material and with the stay at homes indulging in this hobby by means of catalogs magazines travel folders and with the help of importers who buy and sell. Regardless of where the hobbyist happens to be in the United States or halfway around the world most of these rock collecting travelers have learned from experience that the word rockhound means friend.
This has been another in the series of programs exploring the world of the rock around. The narrator was Len felt. This series is produced by WP the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County and Nashville Tennessee. Next week Mrs. folk will discuss the fascinating aspects of this hobby and a program entitled. Buy sell and trade. This is Charles Mitchell. This is an E.R. the national educational radio network.
World of the Rockhound
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
World of the Rockhound is a twenty-four part program about rock collecting produced by WPLN, the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County, and Nashville, Tennessee. Episodes focus on topics specific to rock hounding, like collecting, cutting, displaying, and creating artwork from rocks, gemstones, and fossils. The program also discusses broader topics related to geology, like earth science, consumer interests, and professional uses of rocks and minerals.
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Producing Organization: WPLN
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-4-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:08
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Chicago: “World of the Rockhound; 13,” 1969-03-07, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “World of the Rockhound; 13.” 1969-03-07. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: World of the Rockhound; 13. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from