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Rock & Mineral

Smithsonite Canadian Links

Welcome to the wonderful world of Canadian rocks and minerals! On the West Coast, one of the best ways to find out more about your local area is to join one of the over 30 rockhound clubs in the province of BC. These are under the umbrella organization of the BC Rock & Mineral Society. There is also a full list of BC Rock Clubs sorted by town/district at the Canadian Rockhound. Call the closest one and attend a meeting. All clubs and societies welcome visitors, and are pleased to have guests to meetings, workshops, talks and field trips.

The Government of BC operates a huge mineral file known as the BC MINFILE database, where you can download (for free) data on just about any site ever registered with the authorities. Find out what's close to you! There are two parts to the program: you'll need the MINFILE search engine, and the data sets for the regions of interest.

For those interested in gemstones, the Canadian Institute of Gemmology has a website full of interesting articles about gem sites covering matters of interest both local and around the world, plus the GIC offers gem training and certification courses too. For locally cut stones such as iolite (major new discovery), garnet, sapphire (from the Slocan Valley), peridot and other gems that have recently come on stream, check out GeoGem Lapidary Services who are right at the source.

To follow the old Gold Trail from the coast to the goldfields of the interior, check out BC's Gold Country. The BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines represents the mining activities of the two provinces. Visit their offices on West Hastings Street in Vancouver to view wonderful mineral specimens and to use their extensive library.

The University of Waterloo's Earth Sciences Dept. publishes the excellent WAT magazine, which deals with geology and related sciences nationally and internationally.

The best virtual earth science magazine is the Canadian Rockhound Magazine, a huge and well laid out site having links to many others, plus the quarterly magazine, a childrens' magazine, and much, much more. Don't miss this one.

The Geological Survey of Canada is another good source of technical information, and the GSC educational resources for schools will be a useful aid to teachers.

When it comes to museums, some of the "must-see" sites are the Royal Tyrrell Paleontological Museum in Alberta, of course, located in prime fossil country, and the Royal Ontario Museum, which opened its new 14,000 sqft Dynamic Earth - Inco Ltd Gallery in May 1999 - the exhibits include earthquakes, volcanoes and other dynamic crustal processes.

Collectors of micro-mounts should visit the Canadian Micro Mineral Association website, where the magic of microscopic mineralogical marvels are miraculously manifest.

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Rhodochrosite International Links

For over 25 years the Mineralogical Record has been publishing information on rocks and minerals. Recently, it has gone on-line and back issues can also be accessed.

The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC has a wide range of mineral exhibits, including their exceptional collection of "super gems", such as the Koh-i-Noor and Hope Diamonds, which can be viewed as a virtual tour at the J.A.Hooker Hall of Geology. The Smithsonian also has an on-line image gallery that is a great resource for mineral photos. The same applies to The Image, a site having over 400 high quality pics of minerals and gems. The Rockhound's Information Page is another great source of links and information.

Across the Atlantic, the Norwegian Rockhound site has mineral pictures too.

In London, England the Natural History Museum has an excellent mineral gallery of British and international specimens -- choose the "Earth Galleries" tab.

Want to surf a geo-related webring? Check out:

Gems, Minerals, & Fossils WebRing made possible by Scott Shrader.
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Moroccan fossil ammonites Paleontological Links

Mentioned above, but worthy of mention again (in case you missed it!) the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology is one of the world's great natural history museums, located in Alberta, Canada, where there are fossils aplenty.

An equal distance from Calgary, but SE rather than NE of that city, Dinosaur Provincial Park on the Red Deer River is a World Heritage Site, with extensive badlands, and major fossil deposits.

On Vancouver Island, the Courtenay & District Museum is the start of the Great Canadian Fossil Trail, and now houses their elasmosaur and other paleo exhibits.

If you like your discoveries close to major cities, how about the Museum of La Brea Discoveries which are fossils of the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, located right within the city limits of Los Angeles, CA - second largest urb in the USA. If you're close to Denver, CO, then visit the Western Interior Paleontological Society, who host a great website and have regular monthly meetings.

Another interesting site closer to home is the 16,000 Years Ago - Ice Age Exhibits at the Illinois State Museum. Lots to see there. Another good source of information is The Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette - the Ultimate Online Dinosaur Magazine!

Finally, some ultimate links for paleo nuts, try Dino Don's or Extinctions or Erik.J.Swearengin's web pages. All provide a wide range of information on fossil sites, national and international paleo news, local activities in your areas broken down by US state or other country, and more. For fossil art, try Ray Troll's Fin Art - A unique natural history artist!

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Wulfenite Commercial Links

In the province of British Columbia, the Kamloops area provides some fine rockhounding opportunities. Use the guiding services of Kamloops BC Fossil Tours to find some great material. Another good source of information for Canadian collectors is Northern Lights Minerals, which specializes in providing local material. In Victoria, BC, look at Island Gem & Rock - they supply local BC rough - jade, rhodonite, flowerstone, etc. For rare mineral specimens, especially from Canada's north, check out Tyson's Minerals of Vancouver.

In the United States, Bob's Rock Shop was the first commercial store to go on-line, and today boasts an amazing variety of information pages, links and more. Another site for geo-info is Olympic Mountain Gems, WA.

Interested in rare Iowa geodes? Then check out Geode World. Do you love spheres? Then visit Spheres to You where you could really get on a roll!

If opal is of interest, check out opal miner Stuart Bird's online opals straight from the Coober Pedy fields in Australia.

For the mining fraternity, check out Info-Mine.

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Copyright ©2003 Peter Hudson
Mineral World
Sidney, BC, Canada


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