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May-June 2010

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Chips from the Quarry: May/June 2010

LEGACY CONTINUES: As detailed in the March/April In Memoriam column, Arthur E. Smith, of Houston, Texas, passed away this past fall. Prolific writer that he was, he had several articles and book reviews in the pipeline at the time of his death. We will be publishing all of them in the near future, starting with the “Illinois Mineral Locality Index,” which appears in this issue.

BEST PAPER AWARD: The Friends of Mineralogy (FM) named John H. Betts as winner of the Best Paper in Rocks & Minerals Award for 2009 for his article titled “The Minerals of New York City,” published in the May/June (New York III) issue, pages 204–240. The award was presented during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show's Saturday evening banquet and program, held 13 February of this year. In addition to the Award of Merit given to the author, the magazine received a grant of $200 in his name. We congratulate Betts and thank FM for this significant annual recognition.

Caption: Peter Megaw, recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award.

Caption: Peter Megaw, recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award.

2009 CARNEGIE AWARD PRESENTED: Dr. Peter Megaw, of Tucson, Arizona, was honored as recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2009. As in past years, the award was presented during the awards banquet at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in February. The annual award honors outstanding contributions in mineralogical preservation, conservation, and education that match the ideals advanced in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. It was established in 1987 and is underwritten by the Hillman Foundation

Megaw, a geologist, is the twenty-third winner of the award. Some of his background was given in this column in the January/February issue as part of the announcement about his joining the editorial board of Rocks & Minerals. Not mentioned at that time were that Megaw, in 1985, was the first recipient of the Friends of Mineralogy Student Paper Award; was winner of the Desautels Trophy in 2006; served as president of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society for three terms and as the Tucson Show chairman from 1987 through 1993; has been the show's exhibits chairman since 1984; has written for extraLapis English, Mineral News, Mineralogical Record, and Rocks & Minerals; and wrote the “Mexico” chapter of The F. John Barlow Mineral Collection. Also not mentioned was that the Megaw Family Trust (Peter, his wife Allison, and daughter Lauren) obtained all available specimens of the American Philosophical Society mineral collection and donated them to the Smithsonian Institution.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 award. Private mineral collectors, educators, curators, mineral clubs and societies, events, museums, universities, and publications are eligible. For a nomination form, go to or contact Marc L. Wilson, Section of Minerals and Gems, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213; e-mail

Caption: John Koivula, recipient of the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Caption: John Koivula, recipient of the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement.

JOHN KOIVULA HONORED: In December 2009, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) presented John Koivula, its chief research gemologist, with the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, the highest tribute the GIA can bestow upon an individual.

As an extension of his inclusion research and microscopy, Koivula has developed several illumination techniques applicable to gemology. He has authored or coauthored more than eight hundred articles on gemstone inclusions and related topics, as well as—with the late Dr. Eduard Gübelin—all three volumes of the Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones. He also wrote The Micro World of Diamonds and contributed to several other books. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of the MacGyver television series for ABC and worked as a scientific and technical advisor on the show during its seven-year run.

ACKNOWLEDMENTS: The Cincinnati Mineral Society and the Mineral Section of the Houston Gem and Mineral Society underwrote color costs for the Connoisseur's Choice column, and donors to the Color Fund contributed to the other articles. All are thanked for their generosity.

Caption: Dueling covers!

Caption: Dueling covers!

HIS & HERS: Lisa Bennett and Paul Geffner, of Sausalito, California, had some fun at the Rocks & Minerals booth at the Tucson Show by posing with the issues showing their respective specimens on the covers. That's Lisa's amethyst from Jacksons Crossroads, Wilkes County, Georgia (November/December 2008), on the left, and Paul's quartz scepter from Petersen Mountain, Washoe County, Nevada (September/October 2007), on the right.

ONE MORE TIME: Some of the photos published in John White's article titled “U.S. Gemstones: An Overview,” which was in the January/February 2010 issue (pages 14–23), were not up to Rocks & Minerals' usual standards. We offer our sincere apologies to the author and the photographers who provided the pictures for the overly dark appearance of the images and have reproduced them on the following pages as they should have looked in the article. The article in its entirety can be viewed online on the Rocks & Minerals website by clicking here

It is especially important that we “get it right” for author John White, our columnist for the Let's Get It Right series.


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