SOCGEMS Monthly Meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 7:15pm in the multipurpose room at the San Clemente Community Center, at the corner of Avenida del Mar and Calle Seville – next to the library. They are free and open to the public – we encourage you to participate!

Wednesday 15 November, 2017 at 7:15pm

The South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society is thrilled to welcome Guest Speakers Opal Miners/Specialists Leslie Neff and Larry Hoskinson.

Mining for Opals in Australia Larry Hoskinson and Leslie Neff November 2017

Opal Mining in Australia

The Leslie Neff/Larry Hoskinson duo have spent almost 4 years in Australia starting in 1985 and our last trip was in 2015. Their travels have taken them to Australia a total of 14 times.

Each trip after the first has included a visit to Coober Pedy, which will be the focus of this month’s meeting presentation.

Their first trip here was in 1988, when the road from Adelaide to Darwin was not even all paved. The road was completed that year and it became easier to get to Coober Pedy. It still is not what we in the USA would call easy, you can drive, take a train that lets you out 20 miles from town, or fly to Adelaide and get on a VERY small plane to fly into Coober Pedy, the good news is that is a fun opal mining field not far from the airport.

The program covers various opal-mining techniques: useful travel information on how to get from Sydney to Coober Pedy and around Cooper Pedy once you arrive.

The presentation shows underground living, which is what Hoskinson and Neff do there, as well as surface and underground mining.

It will include lots of pictures of the wild life that you can easily see from the car, including kangaroos, emus, brown snakes, Wedge tail eagles with a wing span as wide as a car and a variety of amazing birds. The slideshow will conclude with photos of rough and finished opal.

Larry will give a demonstration on how to find opal using a black light.

There will be samples of rough and finished opal, books and maps – a fun travelogue on Australia. Questions are encouraged.

We hope you can join us!

Speakers, Field Trips, and More!

Guests and visitors are welcome at all General Assembly Meetings. Join our resident Rock Hounds on one of our monthly field trips! MARK YOUR CALENDAR here’s what’s coming up …

Andy Koch
Excursions Director

Andy Koch Excursion Director
Andy on a field trip

Save the Date!

MEMBERS MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Annual Holiday Christmas Potluck and Gift Exchange Party – 2 December
Field Trip to the G.I.A. Institute in Carlsbad, CA

past events and speakers - here’s what you’ve missed ...

Each month it’s something new and interesting – we enjoy renowned speakers, field trips, and the pleasure of the company of other gem and mineral enthusiasts!