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November-December 2009

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The twenty-sixth annual seminar on mineral photography will be held at the 2010 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in the Copper Ballroom of the Convention Center on Thursday, 11 February, 1–3 p.m.

Winners of the photo competition will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced the following Saturday evening during the awards banquet. A cash prize will be awarded for first place in each category. The rules are as follows:

  1. No more than two entries are allowed per person.

  2. Slides must be original 35-mm transparencies in standard 2-inch mounts.

  3. Written on each slide must be the mineral name, locality, and size, either “macro” or “micro” category, and the photographer's name and postal address.

  4. Entries should be mailed to me at the address below, to be received by 15 January 2010, or hand-delivered to me at the Tucson Show. (All entries will be returned.)

  5. In addition to slides, digital images as high-resolution jpegs are also acceptable.

Jeff Scovil
      734 E. Coronado Rd.
      Phoenix, AZ 85006


Apropos the Connoisseur's Choice article titled “Phenakite, Mount Antero, Chaffee County, Colorado,” by Robert B. Cook in the July/August 2009 issue of Rocks & Minerals, I have a short story regarding phenakite from Russia.

In 2007, my wife, Willow, and I visited the Malyshevo mine, which was then leased and operated by a Canadian company, Tsar Emerald (since that time, the Russians have shut the company out). While we were there, the company's Canadian director of marketing, Warren Boyd, was also there to pick up the latest run of emeralds from the mine. When he saw the phenakite crystal pictured in this photograph, he said that he'd take it with the emerald parcel, but Anatoly, the Russian production manager (those are his fingers holding it), refused to let him have it. He said, “We have an export license for emeralds; we don—t have an export license for phenakite!” That was that. We could buy cut phenakites in Ekaterinburg at the State Mining Museum, but the company that ran the mine wasn—t allowed to take the crystal they—d just dug up from their own mine! They could export only rough emeralds; all phenakite and beryl rough had to be sold to local Russian buyers.

Phenakite, Malyshevo mine, Middle Urals, Russia. Willow Wight photo.

Phenakite, Malyshevo mine, Middle Urals, Russia. Willow Wight photo.

Quintin Wight
      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) announced the results of the 2009 program competition this past summer at the AFMS show's awards banquet in Billings, Montana. In the educational class, Romanian Mines & Minerals by Michael Shaw (Stillwater Mineral and Gem Society, Rocky Mountain Federation) earned first place with highest honors. Barite—The Gangue's All Here by Larry Havens (Littleton Gem & Mineral Club, Rocky Mountain Federation) earned a first place award along with Opals by Nick Riebeek (Rookie Rock Rollers, California Federation) in the just-for-juniors class. Oklahoma Rocks! The Billion-Year History of the 46th State, a DVD produced by Todd Kent and Devin Denny's Explorer Multimedia (, received the Excellence in Education Award for professional presentations. Affiliate clubs and their members can borrow these and other presentations from their regional program library.

Authors/producers of noncommercial slide, video, or digital presentations are invited to participate in the 2010 program competition. Competitors must be members of an AFMS affiliate society. Winners receive a cash prize and national recognition.

Commercial presentations are eligible for the AFMS Excellence in Education recognition award. Deadline for all submissions is 15 April 2010. Details and entry forms are available through me at the addresses below or on the AFMS website (

Marge Collins
      Program Competition Coordinator
      3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd.
      Buchanan, MI 49107


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