The 1,026 th meeting of 

The Mineralogical Society


Southern California



Program: Arizona’s Fabulous Sulfates


Presented by: Les Presmyk

Friday, June 14, 2024 at  7:30 pm.

See program notes below

Visitors are always welcome

About us…

The MSSC is a member of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies and is dedicated to the dissemination of general knowledge of the mineralogical and related earth sciences through the study of mineral specimens.  We are a scientific non-profit organization that actively supports those endeavors through public outreach, field study and related programs.

For more information

Chuckwalla National Monument BLM issued a Media Advisory that called a community meeting on management of Southern California public lands, namely H.R. 5660, the proposal to establish the “Chuckwalla National Monument”. The meeting was to be held this morning (6/14/24) in Indio, CA.  MSSC’s issue is similar to our involvement with the Mojave Trails National Monument and the rights to collect minerals, to rockhound and conduct educational field trips to students and others who share like interests.  If you were able to participate, thank you!  If not, and you  wish your voice be heard, I encourage you to review the paperwork sent to each of you this past Wednesday by MSSC’s Bulletin Editor Linda.  Write your comments and address them to Secretary Deb Haaland include CC’s to the Bureau of Land Management and to your local Congressional Representative:

U.S. Department of the Interior             BLM Calif Desert District DAC

Secretary Deb Haaland                           c/o Shelly Lynch, District Manager

1849 C Street NW                                    1201 Bird Center Dr

Washington, DC  20240                           Palm Springs, CA  92262

Notice of July 29, 2023 regarding Mojave Trails National Monument.  Reprinted with permission from San Diego Mineral & Gem Society.  Great commentary in the notice by its author, Lisbet Thorensen, SDMG’s Public Lands Representative.  Thank You, SDMG and Lisbet.  Angie Guzman, MSSC President.  Please click here to read article and commentary.

Program Notes: Friday, June 14, 2024 at 7:30, join us for “Arizona’s Fabulous Sulfates”.  Presented by Les Presmyk.

While Arizona is better known for its copper minerals including azurite, malachite, copper and cuprite, to name just a few, and certainly its world class wulfenite localities like the Red Cloud and Glove mines, there are a number of localities that have produced significant sulfate specimens.

Some of the more common minerals like gypsum and baryte are well represented from several localities in the state.  In the 1950s and 1960s, the barytes that were collected in the deep Magma Mine at Superior, Arizona were some of the best from the United States. 

Arizona is the type locality for at least 12 sulfate minerals, including laurelite and aravaipaite from the Grand Reef mine, seven from the United Verde mine at Jerome, two from Bisbee (spangolite and chalcolalumite) and wherryite from the Mammoth-St. Anthony mine at Tiger.

There are a number of rare and spectacular sulfate minerals that have been recovered from Arizona localities including spangolite, linarite, leadhillite and caledonite.  In addition, there are a suite of post-mining sulfate minerals that have been studied and documented by Richard Graeme III and his sons, Richard IV and Douglas.

Bio: Les spent 42 years as a mining engineer in underground copper and coal mines in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico for Salt River Project, Arizona’s second largest electric utility. He and his wife of 48 years (this coming August), Paula, are Arizona natives and are both graduates of the University of Arizona.  Les has been actively involved in his community of Gilbert, Arizona for over 30 years, serving as an H.O.A. president, Planning Commissioner, and Town Councilmember for 12 years and additional roles since 2011, including starting and chairing its Veterans Advisory Board.

Les started collecting at the age of 10 and just attended his 61st straight Tucson Show.  Their displays have received AFMS Regional and National Trophies, along with the Prospectors and Pearl Trophies in Denver and the Desautels, Lidstrom and Bideaux Trophies at the Tucson Show.  They have been the featured exhibitors at the East Coast Gem & Mineral Show in Springfield, Massachusetts twice.

Les is the current immediate past president of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society, is a former President of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Board member and Chairman of the Flagg Mineral Foundation (formerly the Arizona Mineral and Mining Museum Foundation), a founding member of the University of Arizona Mineral Museum Advisory Board and a member of the Tucson Show Committee for 38 years.  He was recently appointed by the Governor of Arizona to the advisory board for the University of Arizona Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Education Museum in Phoenix.

Les received the 2002 A. L. Flagg Distinguished Service Award, Is a charter member of the 2014 Mineralogical Society of Arizona Hall of Fame, the recipient of the 2017 Carnegie Mineralogical Award, and the 2023 John S. White Mineral Legacy Award.  Les has explored and collected in a number of localities in Arizona, Missouri and Mexico and provided mining and engineering expertise at the San Francisco mine in Sonora, Mexico, the Brushy Creek mine in Missouri and the Red Cloud mine in Arizona. 

Les has written numerous articles and co-authored “Collecting Arizona – State of Mines, Legacy of Minerals”.  He has spoken at various symposiums, including Dallas, Yale, and the Northwest Friends of Mineralogy Symposium, along with numerous Arizona and New Mexico Symposiums, the Tucson, Springfield, and Denver Shows, and many clubs throughout the United States.


MSSC members will be automatically on the invite list each month.

Non Members, you must request to attend the MSSC zoom meeting every month Email our Programs chair, Rudy Lopez at  no later than the Thursday before the scheduled meeting   Please include “ZOOM Meeting” in the subject line of your response. We will send you the meeting link.

Upcoming Events

all events, except field trips are via  ZOOM

  • July 12, 2024: John Rakovan- Amethyst Scepters, Ashaway Village, Hopkinton, Rhode Island
  • Board Meeting, Sunday June 30, 2024 at 1:00 pm, all are welcome to attend
  • August 24, 2024: MSSC Picnic-Technology Park, Caltec Campus Watch for more details

The MSSC is pleased to offer the updated 2023 edition of Bob Pedersen’s X- Dana 

X-Dana Mineral Spreadsheet