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November-December 2012

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Chips from the Quarry

Something For Everyone: In this issue you'll find everything from A to Z—that's everything from Azurite “suns” (from Australia) and Aquamarine (from California) to Zussman (as in Jack Zussman, pictured in our Letters column). Then, for good measure, you'll also meet thirteen-year-old mineral artist Emma Fajcz as Susan Robinson's latest featured artist, learn about “Curved, Bent, and Twisted Crystals” in John White's Mineral Mysteries column, and find out why a “rose by any other name” might just be rose quartz, as described by guest columnist Janet Clifford in the Connoisseur's Choice column. In addition, Bryan Lees pays tribute to his longtime friend Bill Smith in the In Memoriam column, Dona Leicht introduces Joaquim and Eloisa Callén of Mineral Up in her People Behind the Publications series, Mike Menzies takes us on a collecting trip for Canadian quartz, and other authors share subjects near and dear to their collecting interests.

DRIPPING DIAMONDS: On 27 August CNBC turned the spotlight on diamonds in a half-hour special, “The Diamond Rush,” taking viewers to DeBeers' diamond mine in Botswana; a jewelry expo selling diamonds in Las Vegas, Nevada; New York's Diamond Dealers Club on Forty-seventh Street, the stock exchange of the diamond world; and Crater of Diamonds State Park in southwestern Arkansas, the only diamond-producing public site in the world where digging for diamonds is allowed.

Interviewed in the Arkansas segment was author Glenn Worthington, of Murfreesboro, Arkansas. A frequent visitor to the park for the past thirty-two years, Worthington has had the good fortune to find many diamonds there—approximately two hundred so far. The show featured two of his largest, a 2.04-carat, flawless, canary yellow and a 1.21-carat (faceted) brown.

Caption: Two of the diamonds found by Glenn Worthington at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, and spotlighted in the CNBC documentary on diamonds. Worthington found the 2.04-carat, internally flawless, canary yellow (right) just before Easter in 2009 and named it the “Easter Sunrise Diamond.” In 2010 he unearthed a 2.13-carat brown diamond that he called the “Brown Rice Diamond,” based on its color and shape; when faceted it was 1.21 carats of sparkle (left).

Caption: Two of the diamonds found by Glenn Worthington at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, and spotlighted in the CNBC documentary on diamonds. Worthington found the 2.04-carat, internally flawless, canary yellow (right) just before Easter in 2009 and named it the “Easter Sunrise Diamond.” In 2010 he unearthed a 2.13-carat brown diamond that he called the “Brown Rice Diamond,” based on its color and shape; when faceted it was 1.21 carats of sparkle (left).

FORECAST IS FLUORITE: With the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show a scant few months away, we've taken the show's 2013 theme of Fluorite as our own and will be devoting the January/February issue to the mineral's rainbow of colors and localities. Authors include John Rakovan, Jesse Fisher, Ross Lillie, Mark Jacobson, Robert Cook, Paul Pohwat, Susan Robinson, Al and Sue Liebetrau, and Jeff Scovil.

Coordination came into play in a big way with the article on “Fluorite in Mississippi Valley–Type Deposits.” The three coauthors were widely scattered: John Rakovan on sabbatical in Poland, Jesse Fisher specimen mining at the Rogerley mine in the U.K., and Ross Lillie in West Bloomfield, Michigan. In the meantime, Jeff Scovil, who supplied most of the photos, was on a European photo shoot, and Bill Besse, our wonderful cartographer, was at home in Green Valley, Arizona, but working around other map-making commitments. Despite all obstacles, and thanks to emails, conference calls, and a heavy dose of dedication, it all came together nicely and even on schedule.

NOMINATION REMINDER: Nominations for the 2012 Carnegie Mineralogical Award are being accepted through 15 December. They should be submitted to Marc L. Wilson, Section of Minerals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213; wilsonm@carnegiemnh.org.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions that promote mineralogical preservation, conservation, and education, ideals embodied in the museum's Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. The award is open to individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions. Private mineral enthusiasts, collectors, educators, curators, and mineral clubs and societies as well as museums and universities are eligible. Last year's winner was Dr. Jeffrey Post of the Smithsonian Institution.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The Houston Gem and Mineral Society, in memory of Arthur E. Smith, and the Cincinnati Mineral Society underwrote color costs in the Connoisseur's Choice column; Maryanne and John Fender (Fender Natural Resources) did the same for the Museum Notes column. Donors to the Color Fund contributed toward color in the remaining articles. All are thanked for their generosity in partnering with Rocks & Minerals to support color photography in each issue of the magazine.

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