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January-February 2010

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Chips from the Quarry: January/February 2010

DAZZLING ISSUE: As a tie-in with the 2010 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show's theme of Gems and Gem Minerals, several articles in this issue feature gemstones. Adding sparkle are articles on U.S. and Canadian gemstones as well as on gemstone artist Ilya Schar, a new emerald find in Zambia, and a gemstone postcard pictorial, among others.

TUCSON: For mineral collectors, it doesn't get any better than Tucson! Where else can you find the unbeatable combination of more than forty gem/mineral/fossil/jewelry shows going on within a three-week time period; beautiful sunny days in midwinter; all your mineral friends; and some of the world's best minerals (and margaritas!). From the end of January through the first two weeks of February, it's the only place to be.

A favorite show for mineral collectors is the acclaimed Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS) Show, also known as the Main Show, at the Convention Center, 11–14 February. This is the one that started it all fifty-seven years ago. Special at this show are fabulous museum, noncompetitive, and competitive exhibits from around the world; a full speaker program; the Friends of Mineralogy/Tucson Gem and Mineral Society/Mineralogical Society of America Symposium; a commemorative show poster; the top mineral, fossil, and gem dealers; even a specially designed coloring book for the younger set. And let's not forget the mineral party of the year, the Saturday night Awards Banquet, featuring recognition of the prize-winning show displays and the Jeff Scovil photography competition, the Carnegie Award presentation, and the silent auction benefitting Rocks & Minerals and other educational groups.

WAIT, THERE's MORE: Many of the satellite shows offer their own attractions. For example, Martin Zinn Expositions, with four separate shows, will be hosting the Friends of Mineralogy board meeting and also, on 9 February, the organization's general meeting at its InnSuites location.

On Saturday, 6 February, Will Larson will be the featured exhibitor on “Collector Day” at the Westward Look Show. On display will be his Japanese and worldwide collections. The next evening, on 7 February, the show will focus on gem and mineral artists and their work, with a panel discussion by world-renowned artists Eberhard Equit, Hildegard Könighofer, and (our own) Susan Robinson; artist Wendell Wilson will serve as moderator. Examples of these artists' work, as well as that of other mineral artists, will be on display. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. and is preceded by a social at 6:30. These four artists will also display some of their most impressive work, along with the gems and minerals depicted, on the floor of the TGMS Show. The artists, all of whom have been featured in the artist series in Rocks & Minerals, will be available to discuss their work throughout the show. This is a show prominence that gem and mineral art has never before enjoyed.

The seventeenth annual Mineral Madness Showcase and Sale will be held at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 30 and 31 January. Offered for sale will be an array of worldwide minerals, gems, and fossils, with much of the material from Arizona and Mexico. Added attractions include demonstrations and mineral-related activities for families. Museum visitors will also want to see the special showing of the gem artwork of Ilya Schar (who, as mentioned above, happens to be the featured artist in this issue).

After a hiatus of one year, the University of Arizona Mineral Museum will again be hosting an invitation-only reception prior to the TGMS Show. Held on the evening of 6 February, it will unveil an exhibition on Bisbee, featuring specimens and mining artifacts from the collections of Evan Jones, Gene Schlepp, Les and Paula Presmyk, and the Richard Graeme family, among others. Refreshments and a lecture by the tag-team of Jones and Graeme are also planned. Following the reception, the exhibit will be open to the public.

WHERE WE'LL BE: Rocks & Minerals will have a subscription and back-issue sales booth at three sites in Tucson. We will be in the ballroom at Martin Zinn's Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show in the InnSuites Hotel on Granada Street from 29 January until we move to the TGMS Show on 9 February. The evening of 7 February we will be set up at the Westward Look Show on Ina Road.

RETROSPECTIVE: If you weren't able to make last year's show and want to see what you missed, or if you were at the show and want to see what you missed, then What's Hot at Tucson 2009 is for you. This four-hour two-DVD set, narrated by Dave Wilber, covers it all and can be ordered from BlueCap Productions ( and also in the lobby at the Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show at the Riverpark Inn on South Freeway Avenue.

MASTHEAD CHANGES: This past fall, Robert Ramik retired from the Department of Natural History at the Royal Ontario Museum. At the same time, he retired as a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals. We thank him for his many years of reviewing articles for us, in particular the Connoisseur's Choice column, and wish him well in his retirement.

New on our roster of consulting editors is Dr. Peter Megaw, a geologist who lives in Tucson but spends considerable time working in Mexico. He is president of IMDEX/Cascabel and cofounder of Minera Cascabel. The collector community probably knows him best as the longtime chairman of special exhibits on the TGMS Show committee and also as a regular contributor to the Fabre Mineral Forum (, “often with tongue planted firmly in cheek.” We welcome him to the editorial board and look forward to working with him.

SALOTTI AWARD: The Seaman Mineral Museum Society made its eleventh annual presentation of the prestigious Dr. Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Award to Tom Rosemeyer at the Miners Ball fundraiser, held 19 September 2009, in Houghton, Michigan.

During the past thirteen years, Rosemeyer has made a remarkable contribution to earth science education, and to the mineralogical community in general, through a series of articles he wrote for Rocks & Minerals on the mines and minerals of Michigan's Copper Country. According to eminent mineralogist Dr. Pete Dunn, “Tom Rosemeyer is a true giant among those who write very well to educate others, one of the ‘biggies.’” After reading in the January/February 2009 issue of Rocks & Minerals about the discovery of copper crystals in Lake Superior, Dunn wrote to Rosemeyer: “The mineral world sure owes you a bunch of plaudits for all the wonderful sharing and educating you do. Your contributions are really wonderful, and I hope a big cheering crowd of people say so to your face.” The Seaman Mineral Society and all those in attendance at the ball were pleased to be that cheering crowd.

Rosemeyer made his first trip to the Copper Country with his parents and brother when he was ten years old; it was then that he found his first piece of native copper. Much later he attended Michigan Technological University, during which time he collected minerals extensively, both underground and on the poor-rock piles. After he graduated in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in geology, he went to work for Calumet & Hecla Inc. as a mine geologist at the Kingston mine near Copper City. When a strike was looming, he headed West, spending the next thirty-five years in precious- and base-metal mining in Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. He currently divides his time between Upper Michigan and New Mexico and divides his writing between localities in Michigan and Colorado. (One of Tom Rosemeyer's earliest articles in Rocks & Minerals was also one of the magazine's most popular and longest: 37 pages. It was titled “The Camp Bird Mine, Ouray, Colorado” and appeared in the March/April 1990 issue.)

The Seaman Mineral Museum Society welcomes nominations for the 2010 award. Nomination letters and supporting materials for nominees who have made significant contributions to earth science education should be sent to Dr. John Jaszczak, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931-1295.

Just weeks after receiving the Salotti Award, Rosemeyer was informed of another honor. He will be inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame in October 2010 at a ceremony held at the Paul Desautels Memorial Micromount Symposium this fall.

TRIBUTES IN NEXT ISSUE: The March/April issue will have In Memoriam tributes to three people well-known in this field: June Culp Zeitner (1916–2009) of Rapid City, South Dakota; Arthur E. Smith (1935–2009) of Houston, Texas; and William C. “Bill” Forrest (1940–2009) of Clovis, California.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: We thank the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society for contributing to color photography in the gemstone articles in this issue, and the Mineral Section of the Houston Gem and Mineral Society and the Cincinnati Mineral Society for underwriting color costs for the Connoisseur's Choice column. Donors to the Color Fund helped cover additional color publishing costs.


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