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May-June 2011

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Letters

OCEANVIEW UPDATE

By way of an update to my article on the Oceanview mine in the Pala district, San Diego County, California (January/February 2011, pages 41–47), in late 2010 the crew at the mine again raised the bar for finds there. However, this time they may have also raised the bar for California pegmatites when, on 19 December, they encountered another rich zone: the Big Kahuna II. This zone, on the Baker Boulevard level, may be a down-dip continuation of the Big Kahuna zone that was dug on the next level above (Carter Court level) earlier in 2010.

The new zone has produced dozens of kilograms of fine kunzite, but the real prize is a number of world-class specimens, including one that certainly rivals the best of the Pala Chief mine dug in the early twentieth century. The quality of tourmaline specimens found also made a leap upward. Multicolored to dark cranberry-red prisms to 10 cm have been unearthed, some of which are associated with incredibly intense purple lepidolite.

Caption: Elbaite with lepidolite and albite (cleavelandite); main crystal 7.2 cm.

Caption: Elbaite with lepidolite and albite (cleavelandite); main crystal 7.2 cm.

Caption: This spectacular 28-cm-tall spodumene (kunzite) was on display at the 2011 Tucson Show. Both specimens were collected in late December 2010 in the Big Kahuna II zone, Baker Boulevard level, of the Oceanview mine, Pala district, San Diego County, California. Oceanview Mines, LLC specimens, Mark Mauthner photos.

Caption: This spectacular 28-cm-tall spodumene (kunzite) was on display at the 2011 Tucson Show. Both specimens were collected in late December 2010 in the Big Kahuna II zone, Baker Boulevard level, of the Oceanview mine, Pala district, San Diego County, California. Oceanview Mines, LLC specimens, Mark Mauthner photos.

Mark Mauthner
  San Marcos, California

CALL FOR PAPERS

The thirty-third annual Friends of Mineralogy symposium will be held in conjunction with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and will take place on Saturday, 11 February 2012. In addition to the Friends of Mineralogy, the symposium is sponsored by the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society and the Mineralogical Society of America. The theme is the same as the show theme: Minerals of Arizona. Presentations on descriptive mineralogy, classic and new localities, and related subjects are welcome. An audience of amateur and professional mineralogists and geologists is expected.

Anyone wanting to present a paper should submit a 200–300-word abstract to Julian C. Gray, Tellus Science Museum, PO Box 3663, Cartersville, GA 30120; email juliang@tellusmuseum.org; phone 770/606-5700, ext. 415. Presentations will be twenty minutes in length. Abstracts must be submitted by 31 August 2011. Cochairmen are Julian C. Gray and Ray Grant.

Julian C. Gray
Tellus Science Museum, Cartersville, Georgia

MINERALS OF RUSSIA

Thank you for publishing my letter in the January/February 2011 issue (page 13) regarding the Minerals of Russia theme of the 2011 Denver Show (16–18 September). To provide further information, the Colorado Chapter of Friends of Mineralogy has now confirmed that it will host a symposium on that theme on 10 September, the Saturday before the show. Dr. Peter Modreski (pmodreski@usgs.gov) will chair the event.

To help raise funds to support the Mineralogical Study Tours 2011, which will bring Russian scientists to the show, there will be an online benefit auction 22–29 May. It will be conducted by Trinity Minerals, courtesy of owner John Veevaert (www.mineral-auctions.com). The tour's host, the nonprofit Southern California Natural History Associates, has already received many specimens for the auction from prominent dealers and collectors, with even more promised.

John Watson
Fallbrook, California

AFMS PROGRAM COMPETITION

The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) is pleased to announce the winner in the 2010 program competition. Iris Agate, by Wayne Sukow (Northern Virginia Mineral Club), with images by Pete Rodewald, earned a first place award. This DVD program is the culmination of Pete's work to find and capture stunning iris images from both ordinary and unexpected sources. Pete had presented an early version at the Wide World of Agates Seminar but was unable to finalize the presentation before his untimely death in 2009. However, Wayne had been an advisor and close collaborator, which allowed him to fulfill his promise to complete the project.

More information will be published in the AFMS and regional newsletters and on the AFMS website (http://www.amfed.org) and regional links. Affiliate clubs and their members can borrow this (and other) presentations from their regional program library.

Marge Collins
Program Competition Coordinator, Buchanan, Michigan

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