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September-October 2010

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The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum (CSMGM) invites all those in town for the Denver Gem and Mineral Show (17–19 September) to attend our annual open house on 15 September, 6–9 P.M., the Wednesday evening preceding the show. Come meet some of our museum advisory council members, student aids, volunteers, and members of the Friends of the CSMGM and also see our new acquisitions and our ever-evolving collection. Some of you might even enjoy a visit to our gift shop. Plans for displaying a lunar basalt specimen from Apollo 15 are still proceeding; however, we hope to display an Apollo 17 basalt specimen that was “missing” in an ex-governor's home office since 1974.

Our number one feature this year is a tremendous snow-capped amazonite and smoky quartz specimen known as “The Legend.” It is generously on loan from Martin Zinn and his children and is part of a display of impressive amazonite from elsewhere in Colorado.

New displays that were erected this past summer feature a historic view of the Comstock, Nevada, district from the George Witters collection, a display of rough and cut Colorado gemstones from the Julie Hesse collection, Mexican minerals from the Kerith Graeber collection, meteorites from the Mile High Meteorites Education Collection, specimens that were displayed at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition from The Field Museum collection (Editor's note: see article in this issue), topaz specimens from Colorado localities from numerous private collections, and specimens from the Forstall collection, which was recently donated by Regis University in Denver.

We are extremely proud to announce that we have also recently placed on display a phenomenal specimen of amethyst from La Garita, Colorado, from anonymous donors. It is one of the top specimens of its kind in existence because of its aesthetic presentation of delicate crystals, perched atop altered volcanics, from a famous locality now lost to collectors. It was wondrously cleaned by Collector's Edge, for which we are most grateful.

Caption: This amazonite, microcline, and smoky quartz specimen, just under 2 feet across, is on loan to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum by Martin Zinn and his children. Called The Legend, it was mined in 2005 by Joe Dorris and his sons, Tim and Scott, at their Smoky Hawk claim, Crystal Peak district, Teller County, Colorado. Collector's Edge cleaned and prepared it for display. Photo by Kevin Dixon.

Our gala is traditionally known for its free hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and verbal auction. The magnificent Colorado School of Mines String Quartet will again be performing. Do stop in and join us.

Bruce Geller, Director
Colorado School of Mines
Geology Museum
Golden, Colorado


It was with sadness that I recently learned a historic mineral locality, the Sanford vesuvianite deposit (a.k.a. the Goodall Farm mine and the Webster vesuvianite prospect), is now closed to collecting. First mentioned in 1848 by John H. Webster, a Harvard University professor, this was a well-known classic Dana locality.

Although I have not collected there since 1986, I still was careful to note whether any “No Trespassing” signs had been erected on the property or the access road. One reason for my interest was that the locality is mentioned in A Collector's Guide to Maine Mineral Localities, put out by the Maine Geological Survey. Then this past spring the area was posted. After several attempts, I was able to contact one of the heirs of Frank Clark, owner of the property. He said it was closed because neighbors were concerned about the ATVs that were using the property to access sand pits to the north. He further noted they regretted having to post the area, but their lawyer advised them this was the best way to curb their liability should someone get injured or an ATV accidently start a fire.

I wish to extend my thanks to Frank Clark and his heirs for keeping the property undeveloped and open all these years.

Gene T. Bearss
Stanford, Maine

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