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My job is exploring floors and I have to walk the whole country and just learning every inch of rock. The only way you can find the spot. The second largest craft hobby in America today is said to be rock hounding with all of its branches of interest some of which are Jim cutting making jewelry and the collection of gemstones 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 they are working fewer hours have more days off and get more vacation time. Rocks and minerals of specimens are of extreme importance to the Rocco.
Most people do not realize the important role rocks and minerals play in everyday living. For example fluorite used into fleece clothing. This series of programs designed to give an overall picture of the rock. 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 fluorite. The narrator. It's men folk. What happens to minerals after they're taken from the ground. This is one of the questions often asked by children and adults too. How are these minerals extracted. Is another question frequently heard. One of the functions of Iraq in mineral club is to afford opportunities to learn about these things. And one of the best ways to
get the correct answers is to organize a field trip with a professional geologist in command. A group of about 40 members of the Middle Tennessee rock towns went exploring for fluorite recently went to the heart of the great Kentucky Illinois Flora spar area which is Marion Kentucky. Here we not only learned about the geological formations but we saw the fluoride coming up out of the mine. And later we saw the spectacular collection of the BEEN A Clement family which is said to be the largest display of fluoride in the world representing an accumulation of about 40 years. The calcium fluoride which is called fluoride or force bar with its cube like glassy crystals of purple yellow and blue and green is very beautiful and is most attractive in any collection. But aside from being beautiful it has many uses because it
melts at a low temperature. Its main purpose is just serve as a flux to help melt iron ore in the making of steel. And in the United States more than a million tons of fluoride have been consumed each year for this. Aside from its use as a flux fluoride is probably the most popular Li known because it's often contained in toothpaste or in water to prevent tooth decay. But hundreds of things such as freon careful and plastic are possible in our lives today because of calcium fluoride. It's used in jet and space travel also. But to go to it's beginning when this find a fault in the ground and that is the duty of Mr. John as Ted's chief geologist of the pan salt chemical company on this particular field trip. Mr Tibbs explain these formations to the rock hands as they stood by the side of the Kentucky highway looking and listening.
Oh I don't know whether you can all hear me or not but I'll try to raise my voice about all this. I know your people are all calm and this is not really a rock Holmes travel to do all of the trip but you see the things that I have to show you today. I believe that you will have a chance to understand why things are where you find them a little better. Now. This whole area of Illinois Kentucky forest Barfield is probably the most highly followed area in the world. These are where the actual replacement. Of the earth's surface and others that word one side has gone down the other side has come up. That movement causes an opening in the nearly vertical opening in the earth's surface. Which is known as a fault. Now these faults contain ores of various kinds commonly called mathematical words that is ours that come up as gases and are deposited at the right conditions of temperature and pressure within within the fault. Now this particular fault here which I'm going to explain to
you in a minute is highly mineralized with think I know that because other people have core drilled right underneath you. Now if you will notice over here to our left the brown rock light brown rock. Has bedding planes laying and at an angle like this. If you look over here at this really rock you'll see is the better planes are lying almost horizontal. That is the tip off to a close in this area this side on the left has slipped down when it slipped down. It dragged its baits and others words they were horizontal once and as they came down they because the drag they kept informed an angle like that. Then the other side of course had no pressure on it that it rose up. It had rock underneath it to keep it from compressing very much and it the beds there remained horizontal but this is the down throat side. This particular fault has knowing what the formations are at the surface as a pro about 600 feet. Now that didn't happen yesterday or in 10 minutes or anything like that happened over a long period of time thousands of years perhaps.
But that is I fault opening and that is where one of the Piper aspired to Port Deposit occurred that's a vein type part of politics now we have another type and we're going to go by our mind. I can't take you in it but we'll show you the surface working there it is a horizontal or metal type deposit. That's where the owner came up with pressure couldn't go any further up through the through the plating practice and had spread out laterally along the bedding plane probably dissolving part of the limestone and liberating CO2 and forming calcium chloride in place we were looking at a vein type found according to Mr. Tibbs later we would see the horizontal mantle type found and after that we would see dikes and fossils. As we walked along in a stream at the location of the comet are found. This fault is known as the Commodore fault. And there have been two mines alone that were going to go
down to those mines and there you'll be given a chance to perhaps pick up some favorite Smiths night and forest fire specimens from Mayo will walk perhaps a quarter of a mile or a little more. And during that walk we'll see and they've made a stock that is where igneous rock molten rock has been intruded up through the sediments and has been come to what is now the present surface of course it was not the surface of time they came through. They topis it's been eroded off then from there from the dike during the quarter mile off. We have grown up with the formation of the Pennsylvania. All of these all of these rocks you see here are normally Mississippian rocks the top of that hill over there is Pennsylvania. They're higher formations and of course there's no coal to speak of in the Mississippi and formations that they're tools. The first trees that were capable of being. Aged into coal are in the Pennsylvania times and we would see a small coal exposure up in the Pennsylvania on that wall and would come back to the car and
from there would go on down along the river road where we'll have a chance to find some fossils in the Renault formation. Any questions. No questions yet. These will come later as we sat on a fallen tree trunk in the middle of a stream. Here Mr Tibbs explained about the dikes in further down the stream. We came to a deposit of coal and he explained about this. Well sir in that direction. Very hot across and I was also very frank. I've heard almost 90 degree what we would see one of them like up here it's not a good one. And Rabbi whether you go to the creek water pouring over it all the time or we can get some sap about material. Then we'll go on up and see the coal mine. You might like to know what they say is these rocks here are our rocks of Pennsylvania nature in other words we moved up one set of formations and the system. And of course the Pennsylvania rocks were noted for their coal deposits. It was the first time in the history of the world
but trees were a sufficient bench of eight to be able to form coal deposits when they were off and this is a small coal deposit in the Pennsylvania. Is this code you could bet that I'm going to prove it Woodward. This is not unmindful thickness no. The number 9 colon. Number 11 colds are the ones they normally mine here. And I guess you call this number 22 or something in the way of it. Mr Tibbs How did you know this was your do you get out and walk around these places. My job is exploring floors and I have to walk the whole country and just learning every inch of it. That's the only way you can find the strength. When you say the whole country you mean this area here when you look when you're walking around I'm looking I'm looking for faults mainly there are several different indications of folks I'm looking for factors that might
lead to matter are already posed. When you walk of all of this and you go back next year maybe it has shown itself why previously restrains continue to change of course a little bit and only has changes course maybe 6 inches to expose another rock and one rock can give you your lead so that when you find one then you start lining them up and going cross country and eventually your time together. Then of course we don't depend entirely on math. We do a LOT LOT of a new use a lot of a new tool and that is geochemistry. We take soil samples at a depth of 30 inches to get below the plow line of the farmers that farm this country for us. We take the sample take a small portion of them and I say them for various movement. And depending on the amount of that mineral content in the soil we can get a lead toward where an already positive. That's where you're from you're not going to attack you know. That's quite a story.
I was born in Kansas City Missouri with my mother and father were Canadian and so I moved to Canada when I was two doing them when I was back in the States when I was nine and never lived anywhere more than four years. But I came here. And you live here now you know where I am my home Mary and I've been here over 20 years and what is your position here. I'm cheap prints all chemical pollution. From this dream we climbed a hill and went to an old abandoned mine. The hickory cane mine and after that we got back in the cars and rode for several miles to the pen salt chemical corporation mine which was certainly not abandoned. It was most active and noisy. One of the rock hands was trying to decide which piece he would choose from the dump. What is this down here. I'm not sure. There's something a sort of a turquoise color. That's why.
I don't take that one. At your Mr. Mr.. This is just what you're. Telling me it's not that way here. Underground so we have a lot of reading here. And the men of course have to breathe. And so we go up up to 50000 cubic what a minute up or down in the mine own machinery and the man that we here then are going down there are men working there. They work seven days a week right at the present trouble so we are working seven days a week and. If they work a hundred eighty feet underground. How many men
there. They work twenty five to eight hours the specimens are. OK. On the fine but it's all we have in the present time what. The public for right on the other was for right. Rock n Nick Kristof Ill explain about some calcite and the fluoride in the cleavage in crystals. This is Gulf side because of salt you can scratch it with your fingernail and also you can tell by the cleavage. There's two small pieces here broke off of a larger piece which is laying around here somewhere on the wrong. Yeah it is on a rock when it breaks off. Please often at former we have the grades I mean around there. I want to do that are you want to do in a vine feed your evidence the way it please. When I watch it you'll see some. Were right in there and see them perfectly cubic grid. There were just pieces. Dirty you know what these bits of
food you when you pick them up on the ground they got dirt on them. You take it home and watch it on that note that I want to give you my plan that this looks like a pretty nice specimen. Would you like to thank you. Click our eyes to see if I can be any color. Many places are kind of green we do not have any green that we have every have a common if not that one forms are correct. You're over it. The rock can't get out of their car. When Fanning in our direction. You can see them now climbing on this. Of rock but there are. Standing on the slopes slipping and sliding around. It using picks and hammers. Getting out these crystals out of the rocks. Together. When you get there look at that one that's.
Pretty. Much your next. To me. OK. Ready. They're on guard to. Let. Me. Know if actually what they're doing here. They're bringing it into the drawer and hauling the rubble of the war down to their mill were at the mine now we're not at the mill. What you see laying out here on the ground this work truck broke down or something and I had the dump the load the truck in order to dump it out. Of our hair right. I don't know whether most of you have your lunch review or not. But we're stopped off at Salem. And give you just get some lunch and then from there. We're going out to Mr. Clements place. Yes the finest
collection in the world. Now we sell the stuff of course. But. He may trade with you for some or you may want to buy some. But please do not hand with specimens. Very particular about that. And yes protected I come along so I could help the people here we have these things on just like. And they are absolutely gorgeous. Arriving at the climate property we first saw that in the front yard in the side yard and in the backyard were large plots of ground about 20 feet square filled with huge pieces of fluoride and courts and other minerals all of various sizes. Some of these weighing as much as 300 pounds. But that wasn't all of that despite two small buildings were filled with specimens as well as the basement of the house. We asked Mr. Clements daughter Sarah if she helped in working with the collection.
Oh yes we dry out I'll look. Who has them a beautiful specimen. Can you tell me what some of these are. Rose and things and they're going over to the fluorite ones now. And now what is this one without a spot at all. That's mostly they go up or. Did you collect some of the hearsay. Now we get mind of man that he's had some of these about 30 years. And I may keep reading too. And they sit out here in the yard like the years you don't already like taking them up where most of time and most people are honest. So I mean we don't name along and of course they won't let people bother anything if they think they are.
Doing anything. How many dogs how have you had a stone like that be that's about hood about 3 feet across again is. Three hundred pounds. Most of these are just accidental and bad lot of people saying the thanks we chipper. We now know I mean did you know they cut out the octane and they don't because they are human you frack things like this lying on the grass. Now now you get a man go out of the money you. Pay very quickly and then they ban among them and of course a grad other methods too. Things have been out so long and most people Same with like well why don't you go pick them up but you can just bet a button. And I say open and of course if you do have a man my mind to explore so that stops him exploring that he got a lot of money doing this.
Have you ever seen any of these down into my career. I don't know many things that I'm anything any like that. You must be beautiful them is nice but now they don't let people go down there into the mines because they say some some come and spend the summer. And they take out a whole lot of minerals and so they'd just tell them that they can go down there. And let the special. We talked to his son Ed Clement. Who is a student at the present time but who has grown up with the business. Yes man I'm going to Western Kentucky University expect to occupation religion that I will come back to it one way or another I've got too much here not to know what you've grown up with this haven't you all your life. You have around collecting the collecting is over with it's just you can't collect it. You can't find it. The man
is bringing it to them right now as far as a collecting go. Well the family does not collecting more than a vague responsibility here in a beautiful display. Thank you. As we approach Mr Ben Clement he was showing the group a beautiful piece of aquamarine fluorite and he was explaining that this was very rare and most valuable player you. Ever saw. That. Were trigrams take you to read. You know but I know Chicago said that he would not pay $500 for our viewers here. It came in a small collection happened to our vows and just what is it. Its for a spa its actual moring floors. From the Minerva phrase the Minerva mine works across through most of the no or. Much fluoride are first bars found both in Kentucky and Illinois.
In fact fluorite is the official mineral for the state of Illinois. Mr. Clement passed cubes of something that was crystal clear and he asked just to put these in our mouths and taste them. They tasted sheltie. And we learned that fluorite is very closely related to sound. Please I think you know where you are. It's clear you need to know your CIO. What is it. If the quote is true or. It could save your life. Say with any your closest relative or for it's a halogen solvents or floor. Why do they get they get this around here. He's from. Northern Ohio today south of Lake Erie right out of the city of
Detroit eighteen hundred for them there's a salt mine. Morton salt mines all right in the city of Detroit. You had I would say salad and take a glass look at those little tiny specks 000 square likeliest. This business has been a family affair for many years. We learned some of the history of the business from Mrs. bin Clement. And also we learned that a well-known authority considered this the largest collection of fluorite in the world to take care of and collect them and you certainly have a large assortment of things doctor said that it was the largest in the world just like the world. So I told him I was quoting him and he was here about years ago and he said it was the largest in the United States. And I told him that I was quoting him.
And I said Is it true and he said Well said I just came back from a. Trip Around the world and said that it was the largest in the world. So how long has your husband been collecting all your collection for bad 35 40 years course just in a big way since we've been married and it's been about 30 years. It's quite a collection but we keep adding to his collection. Oh yes of course. My hands are closing at random. And so we don't get as many as we did just to writing in Kentucky and want to do. So they don't have as many. Coming out now. Yes. I have them but do you have a lot of people stopping in to see you all go yes we play them from all over the well we've had one couple a couple of geologists came from South Africa and they were on a trip around the world and when
they got home they wrote to us and said this was the highlight of their trip around the world so we were quite proud. But how did they know that this place where they sell it is always a lapidary and it rocks and minerals you know several aides. We don't advertise locally but we know mineral. Magazine. People order things from here without seeing them some time to get a letter this morning. Of course I said Yes I read in there and said to send and there that he will send them a brochure and a price liest. Historically this Marion Kentucky area is well known for its mining activities. The seventh president of the United States had in mind here Andrew Jackson was one of the first my hand here.
No I didn't know that. Andrew the person you say you were one of the first to mine first here and an uncanny and direct quote I asked you Can you. Have. So it's quite. We think it's quite a star that it makes it especially interesting to ten fans to Mrs. Clement took us inside the house and showed us beautiful faceted pieces of colored fluorite which were so fragile that they couldn't risk a chamber change of temperature and go outside. Bass had been sent to either overstocking to be faceted. We looked at her right which had been carved in figures of animals and birds too but because fluoride is so soft. Number four on the most hardness scale because it has such a low melting temperature it is used as a flux. In fact its name comes from the Latin which means to flow. Mr Tibbs explained the procedure
after this mineral leaves the mine. We grind up to minus 65 at least 65 Melly across and then running them through a protestation process where first we take out any lead then I mean we really are from a soul that is at least 40 percent solids in the solution and passes through special rotation cells and take calcium chloride out at 97 percent or better. I mean what is that useful after life it is used to make. Uranium for one thing it stops in the refining uranium formation of the uranium hexafluoride gas on the refrigerator made out of the air assault high temperature plastics and certain chemicals and that's right as first seen in a fault in the
ground then into mine and later in Mr Ben Klein this magnificent display by all of this was included in an all day rockhound field trip under the leadership of Mr John S.. Ted's chief geologist for the pencil chemical corporation of Marion Kentucky. This has been another in the series of programs exploring the world of the rock. This series is produced by the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County in Nashville Tennessee. Next week Mrs. folk will discuss the fascinating aspects of this program entitled crystallography. This is Charles Mitchell.
This is 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.
Antiques and Collectibles
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Producing Organization: WPLN
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-4-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:51
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Chicago: “World of the Rockhound; 6,” 1969-01-22, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “World of the Rockhound; 6.” 1969-01-22. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: World of the Rockhound; 6. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from