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November-December 2012

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Letters

The Munich Show, one of the world's largest, most important mineral shows, had African Minerals as its theme for 2012. This year was historic in a sense because the show organizers, with the encouragement of Bryan Swoboda of Blue Cap Productions, invited a feature exhibit that specifically showcased “thumbnails,” specimens that can be oriented to fit within an imaginary 1-inch (2.5-cm) cube.

This exhibit was noteworthy for several reasons. Thumbnails have traditionally been an American niche in mineral collecting, and the Munich Show had not previously invited such displays to compete with or complement the spectacular, large-scale specimens for which the show is known. Therefore, this invited exhibit was an important recognition of the rising popularity of the fine thumbnails and helped to introduce the niche to a wider, particularly European audience.

Thumbnail specialist Alex Schauss and I coordinated the exhibit, titled “African Thumbnail Treasures.” Nearly two-hundred specimens filled the four cases, with each case focused on a different theme: Classics, Tsumeb, Esoteric (Rarities & Oddities), and Gemstones. Contributions came from top collectors around the world including the exhibit organizers and Carl Acosta, Ian Bruce, Bruce Cairncross, Matteo Chinellato, Ralph Clark, Damien Houran, Michelle Houran, Mike Keim, Bill Larson, Rob Lavinsky, Kelly Nash, Rich Olsen, Werner Radl, John Schneider, Jon Sigerman, Jeff Starr, Vasco Trancoso, Daniel Trinchillo, Matthew Webb, Stretch and Lynn Young, and James Zigras.

Caption: Balydonite, 2.5 × 1.5 × 1 cm, from Tsumeb, Namibia. Resembling a Christmas tree (in honor of the upcoming festive season), this 2012 Lidstrom Trophy–winning specimen exemplifies the high-quality thumbnails exhibited at this year's Munich Show, held 26–28 October. John Schneider specimen and photo.

Caption: Balydonite, 2.5 × 1.5 × 1 cm, from Tsumeb, Namibia. Resembling a Christmas tree (in honor of the upcoming festive season), this 2012 Lidstrom Trophy–winning specimen exemplifies the high-quality thumbnails exhibited at this year's Munich Show, held 26–28 October. John Schneider specimen and photo.

I read with interest the In Memoriam tribute to Bob Howie in the most recent issue of Rocks & Minerals (September/October). My personal studies and writing in silicate mineralogy have been guided for years by the Rock-Forming Minerals series by Deer, Howie, and Zussman, and I continue to be awestruck by the amount of work this series represents and the great value the books continue to be to the mineral community.

The attached photo, taken in 1976, is perhaps the only photo of Deer, Howie, and Zussman (in the order named, no less!) and was sent to Tomas Feininger some years ago by Bob Howie himself. Tomas kindly sent it to me for use in the dedication of a book I'm working on. Jack Zussman later told me, “The photo you mention is a good one. I had forgotten it, but we must have been at some conference judging by the name badges.”

Caption: A rare photo of the authors of the Rock-Forming Minerals series: from left, William Deer, Robert Howie, and Jack Zussman

Caption: A rare photo of the authors of the Rock-Forming Minerals series: from left, William Deer, Robert Howie, and Jack Zussman

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