Big Brook Trip

August Fossil Collecting in the Big Brook Preserve, Colts Neck, NJ

Our club held a field trip to the Big Brook Preserve and the Ramanessin Creek Preserve in Colts Neck, NJ on August 26 & 27 where everyone can easily find all kinds of marine fossils in the shallow stream beds that cut through the flat, sandy & clay soils. The area is easily the most popular fossil collecting area in the tri-state region.

Wonderfully detailed information on the area and labeled photographs can be found at

My husband and I, along with fellow member Bill Quinn, had a great time strolling through the clear, cool, calf-deep and bug-free streams, sifting the gravel in the bottom of the streams along the Big Brook and Ramanessin Creek. We also somehow missed meeting up with our friend & fellow member, Atilio Ciucci, who found some nice fossils on his own. Unfortunately, many members could not attend the field trip for a variety of reasons. The preserve is run by the county who was wise enough to provide a clean porta potty, trash cans and free parking for all visitors.
After parking, we walked the well-beaten path to the stream. Here and there we saw steep and not-so-steep cut offs from the path down to the water.

While searching, we saw people and children of all ages, some with dogs, hunting in the brook for the famous fossils. All kinds of tools were used: hand shovels, folding army-type shovels, sifting screens, colanders, tea strainers, sand toy sifters, etc. No matter what tools were used, everyone found something.

I personally found most of my fossils in the lee areas against fallen trees than in the middle of the streams or in/on the gravel banks this time. To imagine what I mean, think about fishing a stream. Big fish lie in wait behind rocks or logs watching for food to flow past them.

We found some things (see the photos) but I think that the long drought affected the collecting this year. You see, when it rains, the brooks fill up with rushing water and flush more fossils out into the streambed. This summer’s lack of rain probably meant that the brook beds, scoured by countless collectors, were mostly picked over by the end of the summer, especially the beds closest to the parking lot. We did, however, have a grand time and would love to go back after the winter.

Deb & Bob Hoppe



Faceting Demo by Justin K. Prim

July 2022
What a GREAT DAY!! Our own private lesson with Justin Prim... aided by Victoria and Milo!! Can't wait to get everyone faceting!!!

Visit Justin’s YouTube channel at to learn more about Justin and to see what faceting is all about.

Watch the Video

We're Back Live!

Our "Each One Teach One philosophy of the club was in full bloom today! Cris brought in her beautiful 'cab haul' and some wire and before long, everyone was making them! Thank you Cris!!


Zoom Dragonfly / Butterfly Workshop


Zoom Tree of Life Workshop


Casting Workshop

Cloisonné Enameling Workshop

Polymer Clay Workshop

Members at Work

Our Machinery

Wax Carving Studio
Wax Carving Studio
Wax Bezel Making
Wax bezel making
Amethyst with wax Bezel ready for mold work
Amethyst with wax Bezel
ready for mold work.
Detailed wax carving with Folcrom machine
Detailed wax carving with
Folcrom machine
Drill Press
Drill Press
Cabochon Machines
Cabochon Machines

Lapidary Machine
Lapidary Machine
Saturday Workshop
Weekly Workshop -
where the magic happens

Event Photos

Micromineral Presentation

Joe's Wire Wrap Workshop


NMC at the Queens Farm Museum

Scrimshaw Workshop

ChainMaille Workshop


Club and Demonstration tables at Island Rockhounds Show @ Old Bethpage Restoration Village

Nassau Mineral Club covered two exhibit tables with mineral and fossil specimens and beautiful samples of artistic handiwork crafted by its members. Joe A., Leona K., Jim S., Rosemarie W., Diane A., Maria V. and June M. were on hand to invite visitors to look over the wide range of things we do at the club. Twenty people signed up to be notified about future workshops or arrange a future visit to NMC – an encouraging sign. Leona made “teachable moment” handouts with mounted mineral samples and other science related materials for middle school children. They disappeared as quickly as she put them out! Joe brought a collection of meteorites, amber, fossils and florescent stones which he used to capture the curiosity of children and adults alike. Kids especially enjoyed searching for insects millions of years old still stuck in amber. Their parents were awed by the density of his stony iron samples from outer space and his captivating accounts of meteorite discoveries.