Arizona Governor Ducey signed HB2092 into law on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

The bill amends Section 1, Title 41, chapter 4.1, and article 5 of the Arizona Statutes, by adding section 41-860.04, to read: Wulfenite is the Official State Mineral.

Alex Schauss spearheaded this effort in 2016 and with a mountain of support from across Arizona and a Wulfenite Is Love campaign by Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Arizona has a beautiful mineral to add to official symbols of Arizona.

It has been a pleasure partnering with Alex Schauss and collaborating with Rep. Mark Finchem, Bob Jones, Evan Jones, Lithographie, Don Boushelle, Sen. Gail Griffin, Les Presmyk, Peter Megaw, Bryan Swoboda, Jeff Scovil, Bob Downs, Rob Lavinsky, Paul Harter, Phil Richardson, Bill Yedowitz, Tony Occhiuzzi, Molly Busby, Wyatt Busby, Sam Busby, Jennifer Campbell, Maggie Lyons, John Tibbits, David Tibbits, Stan Keith, Frank Sousa, John Lucking, Mark Hay, Dick Morris, Carole Lee, Pam Wilkinson, Will Wilkinson, Keith Wentz, Danni Sotomayor, Jason New, Imelda Klein, Jim Klein, Anna Domitrovic, and many many more that I apologize if I missed you, but rest assured, Wulfenite would not be Official Arizona Mineral without you and your support. Thank you one and ALL!!!

I shared with Alex and I'll share with you, I will always treasure our journey in igniting a successful Wulfenite Is Love campaign across Arizona, Mineralogical Society of Arizona members visit to Arizona Capitol, installation of historic Wulfenite Exhibition at 2017 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show(R), and a featured segment in 2017 What's Hot in Tucson ... all in awesome support of Wulfenite.

Official Arizona Symbols:
COPPER                  - State Metal
TURQUOISE            - State Gemstone
WULFENITE            - State Mineral

Warmest Regards,
Chris Whitney-Smith
President Mineralogical Society of Arizona


Welcome to the Mineralogical Society of Arizona!

MSA, along with a Coalition of Rock & Gem Clubs, offer several fun and unique Field Trips throughout the year. We host many interesting Programs & Speakers and you are certain to meet new friends among our Rock and Mineral membership.

Refreshments are served at all MSA meetings and attendees have an exciting opportunity to win Great Mineral Raffle Prizes awarded to one Junior, one Adult, and one Visitor. Members who wear their MSA Name Badges to general meetings are also eligible for an additional raffle.

MSA participates in the annual Flagg Gem and Mineral Show in January, Arizona State Fair and Earth Science Day event in October. We look forward to Exploring, Sharing, and Inspiring your participation in our hobby.

Check out the NEWSLETTER for information on meetings, field trips, and other events of interest to Mineralogists and Rockhounds of all ages.

ALERT!!! Be sure to check out MSA website under MSA CLUB for meeting location and time details. Click here for a printable meeting schedule. Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month, except as noted in the meeting schedule at Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale‎ AZ‎ 85253.

New Meeting Format

Junior Members should arrive by 6:40 PM for Junior Education program starting at 6:45 PM.
All other Members can arrive at 7:00 PM with presentation starting at 7:30 PM.
Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month, except as noted in the meeting schedule.
Brief business meeting and raffle after the program, with Refreshments, Silent Auctions, and Buy/Sell/Trade Event.

Contact us via Email: MSAClub1935@msaaz.org


October 12, 2017 Program: “How Wulfenite Became Official Arizona Mineral.” Presented by Mr. Evan Jones

Our October program speaker is well-known Arizona mineral collector & dealer Mr. Evan Jones about “How Wulfenite Became Official Arizona Mineral.” Evan’s program will cover origin of why wulfenite was chosen to be state mineral of Arizona and illustrate how a grassroots campaign spearheaded by MSA Legacy Life Member Dr. Alex Schauss in partnership with MSA President Chris Whitney-Smith, members of Mineralogical Society of Arizona and legion of enthusiastic Arizona collectors and legislators helped wulfenite bill HB2092 pass Arizona Legislature and be signed into law on March 22, 2017 by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey making Wulfenite Official Mineral of Arizona. 

Evan is an Arizona native, longtime mineral collector and dealer, and son of well-known collector, author, lecturer, Sr. Editor Rock & Gem and MSA Past President, Milestone Life Member and MSA Hall of Famer Bob Jones. Evan started collecting minerals at age 9 and with his father, visited museums, attended mineral shows, went on collecting trips and visited mineral dealers from an early age. He grew up in Scottsdale, but summers were spent in Connecticut with his grandparents where the entire Jones family would stay for three months of every year.



St Isaac's

EVAN JONES at Rowley mine, Maricopa County,
Arizona; Melissa Palermo photo. 

WULFENITE, PbMoO4, 7cm, Red Cloud Mine,
Trigo Mountains, La Paz County, Arizona, USA;
Evan Jones Collection, © Jeff Scovil.
”Official MSA/Arizona Campaign Wulfenite”
Heart Shaped Matrix & Wulfenite Crystal, made perfect
Wulfenite is Loved ICON.

Evan graduated from Arizona State University in 1985 with a degree in geology and quickly was involved in the business as a mineral dealer while he focused on his collection of Arizona minerals. In 2012, he formed a new mineral dealership, Unique Minerals, Inc., which specializes in fine minerals for collectors and can be seen at most major mineral shows. He helped organize the “Arizona Mineral Treasures” exhibition at the 2012 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, organized the recent supplement to the Mineralogical Record magazine “Mineral Collections in Arizona” and is on the advisory board of the University of Arizona Mineral Museum in Tucson, Arizona. His collection of Arizona minerals is considered to be one of the finest in the world.






Mineral of the Month CINNABAR
Dr. Raymond Grant

Mineral of the Month for October is cinnabar, lead sulfide (HgS). Color is red, and the hardness is 2 to 2.5. It is hexagonal and is usually massive but rarely found as rhombohedral crystals.

Cinnabar has been found at many places in Arizona; mindat.org has 60 plus localities in ten different counties. In the past it was mined commercially at a number of these localities. There are several places in Arizona that were called Cinnabar, but I can’t find any that had an official post office. The two main areas of commercial mining were the Phoenix Mountains and the Mazatzal Mountains. Here are two references available on line.

1. Schrader, F.C., 1919, Quicksilver deposits of the Phoenix Mountains: U.S. Geol. Survey. Bull. 690-D, p. 95-109, and it can be found on the USGS publications site.

2. Lausen, C., and Gardner, E. D., 1927, Quicksilver (mercury) resources of Arizona: Ariz. Bur. Mines Bull. 122, and it can be found on the Arizona Geological Survey publications site.


Members are invited to bring one sample from their collection of the mineral of the month and give a brief story about where they collected it or something about the specimen.

***Unknown minerals for identification can still be brought to the meetings***


CINNABAR, HgS, 3cm, Yanwuping Mine,
Wanshan Dist., Tongren Pref., Guizhou, China;
Weinrich Minerals Collection, © Jeff Scovil.


CINNABAR, HgS, Dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2, Quartz, SiO2,
4.5cm, Yungchangping Mine, Tongren, Guizhou, China;
Tiziano Bonisoli Collection, © Jeff Scovil.

In the Lausen publication they tell the story of Sam Hughes who found the Rico group of claims in December 1916, and he was mining cinnabar in 1924. He had a 112-foot deep shaft with a 100-foot crosscut and a 59-foot drift at the bottom. Sam was mining alone and would climb down, fill the bucket with ore, climb back out, and pull the bucket up with a hand windless. He had a cabin at the property and a 5 pipe Johnson-McKay retort that was reported as not being very efficient. In the end there was very little production and mining ceased. North Mountain Park has an exhibit about the mercury mines in the Phoenix Mountains.

Cinnabar was important to the early miners in Arizona because mercury was used to separate fine-grained gold ad silver from sand or crushed rock. The cinnabar could be roasted even on a campfire and the sulfur burned off and the liquid mercury recovered.

There is also a lost cinnabar crystal locality in Arizona written up in the Mineralogical Record, v. 14, no. 5, p. 276. A California mineral dealer, George Burnham, by chance was looking around the area near Sunflower in the Mazatzal Mountains and found a prospect with some good, around ¼ inch, cinnabar crystals on quartz crystals. When he returned later he could not find the locality and many people have looked since then.






Visiting Mineralogists & Rockhounds, please get in touch with us!

Trade Minerals
Members please feel free to bring minerals for trade to next MSA meeting.

The Rules of Etiquette
From Rockhound Record 1942

At the risk of seeming impertinent, exhibitors of minerals will provide good insurance to specimens if they will display, in a prominent place on their exhibit, the rules of etiquette:

1. Never pick up a piece of material unless it is handed to you by the owner.

2. Always handle carefully – as many specimens are valuable and cannot be replaced.

3. If you cannot see the specimen well, ask the owner to show it to you.

Membership Dues are Due!

Please pay at the next meeting or mail to Mineralogical Society of Arizona, 5533 E. Bell Road Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85254.
Membership form & dues amounts are on website under MSA CLUB tab.

arizona, minerals, rock collecting clubs

New MSA Commemorative Pin

Designed by Chris Whitney-Smith, one of our members, in commemoration of MSA's 75th Anniversary in 2010. 

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Mineralogical Society of Arizona
5533 E. Bell Road
Suite 101
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Member of the Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies
Member of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

Last Modified May 30, 2017 by Ron Ginn


Mineral logo photo courtesy of Jeff Scovil.

website by Rock Dog

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