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July-August 2013

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Chips from the Quarry

HEADING EAST? If your summer plans have you traveling east, you'll want to include a stop at the East Coast Gem and Mineral Show (www.mzexpos/east_coast). The show will be held in West Springfield, Massachusetts; dates are 9–11 August. Continuing its popular tradition of featuring specimens from the collection of a single prominent collector, this year the spotlight is on Carolyn Manchester of Wauseon, Ohio. Manchester's beautiful minerals are familiar to visitors to the Cincinnati, Denver, and Tucson shows, where her exhibits are welcome annual attractions. Whereas she generally brings just one or two displays to these shows, at West Springfield she will be filling more than fifty cases! She plans to carry out a variety of themes in those cases, including specific localities, single crystals, doubly terminated crystals, mineral slices, and mineral oddities.

Prior to retirement, Manchester was a general science and biology teacher. She has been collecting since she was in the seventh grade, more than fifty years ago. She began as a field collector in the limestone quarries in northwestern Ohio.

Readers of Rocks & Minerals will recall that her specimens were pictured on two recent covers: a malachite after gypsum crystal on the January/February 2012 (Arizona) issue and a gypsum on the January/February 2009 (Mineral Oddities) issue.

Caption: Caroline Manchester, featured exhibitor at the upcoming East Coast Gem and Mineral Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, shown here with her display at the 2011 Denver Gem and Mineral Show.

HEADING NORTH? If you opt for cooler climes and field collecting, add the Copper Country Mineral Retreat in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to your travel agenda. It takes place the week of 5–11 August and has attendees participating in a full schedule of mineral-related activities, from collecting at renowned copper-producing localities, specimen swapping, and attending a banquet and auction, to taking classes and visiting local mineral shows. A major attraction, of course, is the collection at the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum in its new quarters at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. Advanced registration is a must, especially because some activities can accommodate only a limited number of participants, and spaces fill quickly. A visit to will update you on all the details.

HEADING TO DENVER? Come September, most mineral collectors will be thinking of Colorado with its golden aspens, breath-taking Rocky Mountains, and its forty-sixth annual Denver Gem and Mineral Show, 13–15 September ( This year thoughts are also of Tourmaline, the show's theme mineral. As an appetizer, this issue has a cluster of tourmaline articles, including one on recent gem tourmaline finds in Malkhan, Russia, another on giant tourmalines, and two on liddicoatite (a “lost” specimen and the Connoisseur's Choice column).

© Marcel Vanek; used with permission.

EVERYTHING BUT THE POPCORN: As mentioned, this issue spotlights recent collecting of gem tourmaline in Malkhan. Not only do the authors provide a fine recount of their success, accompanied by good photographs and maps, but they also take us ringside as they pull specimens from a pocket. You can experience the thrill of discovery by viewing two short movie clips showing the excavation on the Rocks & Minerals supplementary materials webpage:

PHOTO COMPETITION: We are pleased to present the two photos that caught the judges' eye and also their votes in the annual photo competition held this past February in conjunction with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. The winners, announced by mineral photographer Jeff Scovil at the show's Saturday night awards banquet, were Bruce Cairncross in the macrospecimen category and Julian Gray in the microspecimen category.

Caption: Conichalcite and olivenite, field of view 5 mm, from Laurion, Greece, by Julian Gray, won in the micro category of the 2013 photo competition. Julian Gray specimen.

Caption: Rhodochrosite, 9.1 cm high, from North Cape Province, Republic of South Africa, by Bruce Cairncross, won in the macro category of the 2013 photo competition. Desmond Sacco specimen.

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 columns and articles. All are thanked for partnering with Rocks & Minerals to support color photography in the magazine.

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