Pebble Pups

Calgary Rock and Lapidary Club
Pebble Pups

Pebble Pups include more than a dozen members age 5 to 15 who meet in a classroom setting for “hands-on” learning about Lapidary and the Earth Sciences. Some of their projects include Soapstone Carving, Mineral Identification, and Scrimshaw.  Here is some information and activities for Pebble Pups and those who work with Pebble Pups.

 


Birthstones
Month Official Birthstone Alternates
January Garnet Chalcedony
February Amethyst Hyacinth, Zircon
March Aquamarine, Bloodstone Jasper, Ruby
April Diamond Sapphire, Crystal
May Emerald Agate, Chrysoprase
June Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite Emerald
July Ruby Pearl, Turquoise
August Peridot, Sardonyx Carnelian, Alexandrite
September Sapphire Beryl, Lapis Lazuli
October Opal Tourmaline
November Topaz, Citrine Pearl, Garnet, Cat’s-Eye
December Turquoise, Zircon Blue Zircon, Ruby

 


Moh’s Hardness Scale
Mineral Hardness
Talc 1
Gypsum 2
Calcite 3
Fluorite 4
Apatite 5
Feldspar 6
Quartz 7
Topaz 8
Corundum 9
Diamond 10

Field Hardness Scale
Hardness Common Tests
1 Easily scratched with finger nail
2 Scratched by fingernail (2.5)
3 Scratched by a penny (3.0)
4 Scratched easily by a knife, but will not scratch glass
5 Difficult to scratch with a knife; barely scratches glass (5.5)
6 Scratched by a steel file (6.5); easily scratches glass
7 Scratches a steel file and glass

Grow a Crystal Garden !

BE SURE YOU HAVE AN ADULT SUPERVISING YOU!

First you will need to gather the following articles:

  1. a shallow glass bowl
  2. broken pieces of porous brick or pumice
  3. household ammonia
  4. liquid laundry blueing
  5. food coloring
  6. salt

Wash the pieces of rock and arrange them in the glass bowl while still wet. In a separate glass container mix 4 tablespoons of water with 4 tablespoons of ammonia. Pour the mixture over the wet rocks making sure to dampen them all. Cover one rock with undiluted blueing and sprinkle the others with food coloring – red, yellow and green, with a drop of blueing added here and there. Now sprinkle 4 tablespoons of salt over all the rocks.Within a few hours crystals will begin to form. If you watch closely, you can actually see them grow. After two days, add more water and ammonia mixture and this will start your crystals growing again. The crystals are very fragile and will break if you bump the bowl. With all the colors you have added, you will have a beautiful bowl of crystals.