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September-October 2011

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Letters

Golden Invitation

Caption: The “Empress of China,” one of the world's most beautiful and well-crystallized rhodochrosite specimens. Recovered from the Wutong mine, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, in April 2010, the specimen is 39 cm across, with individual crystals to 19 cm. The Empress made its debut to the American public at the 2011 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and is currently on loan to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum. Collector's Edge Minerals specimen, Jeff Scovil photo.

Caption: The “Empress of China,” one of the world's most beautiful and well-crystallized rhodochrosite specimens. Recovered from the Wutong mine, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, in April 2010, the specimen is 39 cm across, with individual crystals to 19 cm. The Empress made its debut to the American public at the 2011 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and is currently on loan to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum. Collector's Edge Minerals specimen, Jeff Scovil photo.

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum (CSMGM) invites all those in town for the Denver Gem and Mineral Show (16–18 September) to attend our annual open house on 14 September, 6–9 P.M., the Wednesday evening preceding the show. Come look at our displays and visit with our Museum Advisory Council members, student aids, volunteers, and Friends of the CSMGM, and browse our gift shop.

New displays in our museum will feature the stunning “Empress of China” rhodochrosite specimen on loan from Collector's Edge Minerals; Ethiopian opals from the Tel Yohannes collection; Russian specimens from the Martin Zinn collection; Tsumeb specimens from the Eugene Wilson collection of Sandra Gonzales and Mark Danuser; stalactites from the Henry and Patsy Schmidt collection; micromounts from the Lazard Cahn, Dorothy Atlee, and Arnold Hampson collections; silver specimens from the Cobalt, Ontario, area from the Dr. Ed Metz collection; Mexican specimens from the Kerith Graeber collection; Colorado rare-earth minerals on loan from numerous private collections; and specimens from the Julia Fisk mine (Leadville) from the Bill Hayward collection. A new space rock exhibit will feature an Apollo 15 moon rock and several meteorites believed to have originated on the asteroid Vesta.

One new feature this year is a sealed-bid auction. Our collections managers have selected roughly one dozen high-end specimens that we will offer for sale in a week-long sealed-bid auction. These specimens are not routine auction items. We invite dealers, museum curators, and collectors to bid on any of the specimens during the week of the Denver Show. Please phone me (303/273-3823) for a viewing appointment.

As always, our gala offers free hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, and a silent auction. Plus, the magnificent Colorado School of Mines String Quartet will be performing. Stop in and relax with us.

Bruce Geller
Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum
Golden, Colorado

California Pegmatites

I very much enjoyed the recent articles about pegmatite mining in southern California, especially that about kunzite (March/April 2011). It brought back fond memories of my time as a geology student at San Diego State University in the early 1970s, when I and several others spent quite a few days at the Pala mines. The mines seemed to be in active—they certainly were not posted—and we rambled all over those hills. We mostly dug at the Katerina and Vanderberg mines, where I found quite a few small specimens of kunzite and (more commonly) clear, colorless spodumene. It was one of the latter, perhaps 2 cm long, 1 cm wide, and 0.5 cm thick, that I subjected to the X-ray diffractometer beam at the university. It glowed with a brilliant yellow-green phosphorescence bright enough to be visible in a fully lit room, and it continued to glow for fully an hour in the dark room.

Many of those specimens were left at San Diego State when I graduated in 1972, some found their way to the University of Montana where I went as a graduate student, and a few wound up in the geology collection at Victor Valley College (Victorville, California) when I retired from teaching there.

T. Scott Bryan
Tucson, Arizona

AFMS Honorees

The six regional federations of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) have named their honorary award winners for 2011. These honorees are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Earth science field. Each will choose two deserving students who are pursuing advanced scholarship grants from the foundation of $2,000 per year for two years.

The honorees are as follows:

California Federation—Dee Holland, Tendoy, Idaho, and Shirley Leeson, LaMesa, California, past presidents of the AFMS.

Eastern Federation—Dr. William L. Blewett, University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

Midwest Federation—Dr. Michael Wiant, Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, Illinois.

Northwest Federation—Dr. Paul J. Bybee, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah.

Rocky Mountain Federation—Dr. Mike Nelson (retired), Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri.

South Central Federation—William Heierman, Whatton County Junior College, Sugarland, Texas.

Dee Holland
AFMS Scholarship Foundation
Tendoy, Idaho

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