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From Under the Earth to Jewelry Worthy: Intarsia and Cabachons

Once you understand how a piece of rock from the earth becomes a shiny, polished part of a piece of jewelry, you will appreciate the expertise it takes to create it.  The Rickie Report admits to being a lover of mother nature and it most awestruck when an everyday rock becomes a magnificent ring, earring, or part of a necklace.  We asked Jeff Ursillo, a past President of the Gem and Mineral Society of the Palm Beaches to share some information with us. Intarsia is a geometric design, similar to marquetry.  Check out this post to see some incredible examples!


General Meeting

January 17, 2013

7:30 PM

Please note: Starting in January, we will be meeting at the South Florida Science Museum NOT the Garden Club.  The Museum is across the street from the Garden Club.

Congratulations to the Newly Elected Officers for 2013:


Barbara Ringhiser – President
KC Foster – 1st Vice President
Jen Ursillo – 2nd Vice President
Deb Slutzky – Secretary
Marv Berkowitz – Treasurer



The Society would like to extend congratulations and thanks to the “Rockhound” Editor, Jeff Ursillo for his induction into the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Society’s Decade Club.  This Club recognizes newsletter editors who have served their clubs for over TEN years!





TRR:   How did you get interested in being a “rock hound”?

JU:  A customer at the print shop I work at told me about a gem and mineral show that was coming up and I took the family to it as a fun “family” event. I had never been exposed to minerals before and was amazed at the colors, shapes and overall beauty of the mineral world. I was hooked!  We joined the Gem & Mineral Society at their next meeting (December 1995)


TRR:  What types of things does the Gem and Mineral Society of the Palm Beaches do  at their meetings?

JU:  A typical meeting consists of a short business meeting (15-25 minutes) a break for refreshments and then our program for the night. We have door prizes and raffle items at all the meetings. Our programs are always “hobby related”. We usually have speakers, but occasionally do demonstrations, show DVDs, and have member “Show & Sell” nights.


TRR:  What if I don’t know anything about gems or minerals but I just appreciate “mother nature” and the beautiful formations I see in rocks?
JU:  The Society is full of helpful people who are willing to share their knowledge or identify a mineral specimen.We have a large library that is available to members to withdraw books or DVDs.


TRR:  Please share how you take a natural rock and make a cabochon out of it, ready to be set as a piece of jewelry.

JU:   If I’m starting with a rough piece of material, the first step is to cut slabs about 1/4 inch thick using a diamond bladed rock saw. Once the slab is cut, an area is marked off and using a smaller diamond saw, the desired area is trimmed out to the approximate shape or “blank”.  The blank is then taken to a series of grinding wheels where it is formed to the final shape. Using a series of finer and finer sanding wheels the stone is polished to a brilliant shine.
TRR:  The Gem, Jewelry, Bead and Mineral Show is your big fundraiser.  Tell us more about how that has grown over the years.
JU:   When the show first stared in 1966 it was held is a side room at the Auditorium, also known as



the Leakee Teepee. There were seven dealers from the West Palm Beach area. As the years went on and the show became more popular, it moved out onto the main floor of the Auditorium and hosted  20 dealers. Display cases, which featured members work or collections of minerals were added to the show. A demonstration area was added where the public was introduced to the art of lapidary.

When the Auditorium was sold, the Society moved west to the South Florida Fairgrounds. The larger area allowed us to add more dealers, expand the display and demo areas. The show now features over 65 dealers, a large demonstration area and a children’s area with a Carolina style flume mine, fossil dig, geode cracking and so much more!
The Society is a great place to learn about minerals, fossils, jewelry and many related areas. We offer over 25 classes, ranging from Cabochon cutting, beadwork, wire wrapping, and chain making, to name a few.
Silver Onyx Box

Silver Onyx Box

The society is a member of the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical & Lapidary Societies Inc. and the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc., which are affiliated with the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. Our members are able to participate in activities sponsored by these organizations.


Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood


PO Box 18095, West Palm Beach, FL 33416-8095



Name 1:_____________________________________ B’day 1:_____________Month only

Name 2:_____________________________________B’day 2:____________    Month only

Address: ________________________________________________________ City:_____________________________State: _______________Zip: __________________ Summer Address: ______________________________________________________________________ Summer City, State, Zip

Phone 1: __________________________Phone 2: _____________________________

Email 1:_____________________________Email 2___________________________

If a family membership, list children’s names: _________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________ The Rockhound newsletter is available via email or First Class mail. Please indicate your preference. Email______________________________ USMail_____________

Society Related Areas of Interest ___________________________________________________________________

On what committee or committees are you willing to work. If you are not sure what is involved, please feel free to ask any of the Society’s officers. Remember, A MEMBER IS A VOLUNTEER!!

*************************PLEASE READ CAREFULLY****************************

To qualify for membership, you MUST be willing to participate and take an active part in the Society’s activities such as attending monthly meetings, display, demonstrate or serve on various committees at the annual Show or other Society functions, and to subscribe to the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, which are included in the Membership Roster. YEARLY DUES ARE TO BE PAID BY DECEMBER 31 OF EACH YEAR



___ Greeter at meetings R
___ Teaching Classes U
___ Refreshments at meeting S
___ Newsletter V
___ Program Committee T
___ Shop Maintenance W ___Other AC__________________


___ Ticket Takers at door X
___ Set Up/Take Down Y (skirting tables, setting up display cases, loading and/or unloading the club truck)

___ Demonstrations Z (faceting, cabbing, jewelry making, bead work, etc.)

___ Scholarship Auction AA (outgoing personality a PLUS!!)
___ Security AB (unarmed, observe and report only)
___ Other AC ___________________________________________



Single $15.00 Family (with children up to 18) $25.00 Signature___________________________________________Date___________________

Junior(to age 18) $10.00
Society name tags are available for $12 from the Membership Secretary.


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For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


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