General Meeting & Program


CCRMC General Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 PM, followed by a monthly Program presentation at 8 PM. We welcome you to join our next scheduled meeting:


  • Club Meeting – July 8, 2024
    7:30 PM
    IN-PERSON

    PRECIOUS AND COMMON OPAL FROM THE VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL DISTRICT, HUMBOLDT CO., NEVADA

    Presented by Walter Lombardo

    Join us on July 8th, at 7:30 PM in the Multipurpose Room at the Veterans Memorial Complex, 4117 Overland Ave, Culver City 90230, for a presentation of Virgin Valley, Nevada Opals by Geologist Walter Lombardo. There will not be a Zoom presentation.

    Virgin Valley, Nevada, has been producing opal specimens and gem rough for more than 100 years. The opals are found in Miocene-age rhyolitic (volcanic) tuffs which are in the range of 10-12 million years old. Gold, uranium, and mercury minerals are also found in this area.

    There are a number of patented mining claims that produce opal of varying qualities and quantities. Much is common opal with a slight yellow to dark brown color. Yellow opal is highly fluorescent and contains carnotite, a uranium mineral. The precious opal, showing an array of spectral colors, occurs in seams, nodules, and as replacement of fossils (wood, teeth, and bone). The precious opal is quite beautiful, if somewhat unstable, so most are sold as specimens rather than as gemstones or gem rough.

    Several prominent Virgin Valley ranching families opened their land to mineral collecting and gem mining, so there are several properties that one can visit and “fee dig.” In this talk, we will explore some of these properties and discuss the collecting/mining process and what you can find.

    If this sounds familiar, it is because Walter Lombardo gave us this presentation via Zoom in 2022 – but, having it up close and personal makes it all new, especially for the many new members we have in the Club.

    BIO: Walter Lombardo is a geologist with more than 35 years of experience in mineralogy, mining, and mineral exploration. He worked for American Borate Company in Death Valley (Billie Mine), for Cyprus Minerals Company in the California Mother Lode (gold), and several small exploration companies in the Southwestern U.S. (gold). For sixteen years, he managed the Southern Nevada Office of the Neva- da Division of Minerals. And before retiring from the industry, he was a project manager for a company involved in worldwide exploration for uranium, gallium, and germanium. Walter is the owner of Nevada Mineral & Book Company, a natural his- tory gallery and earth science bookstore located in Orange, California. He has lectured nationwide on topics related to mineral resources, mining & mining fraud, mineralogy, and gemology.

    The Veteran’s Memorial Multi-Purpose Room is in the back of the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium Building. When entering the parking lot from Culver Blvd. (closest to Overland Blvd.), walk to the right when facing the building. Around the corner is a sign leading to the Multi-Purpose Room, where our meetings are held.

Visit our Monthly Meeting Archive for a listing of previous programs.