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November-December 2013

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Museum Notes


The Tellus Science Museum, in Cartersville, Georgia, had kids literally climbing the walls at RockFest, its annual gem and mineral show. Held the second weekend in June, the two-day event featured many fine mineral, gem, fossil, and meteorite dealers set up inside the museum and outdoors on the museum grounds. Nearly three thousand people attended this year's show. An added attraction in 2013 was a rock-climbing wall for kids, most of whom were fueled by rock candy. Inside the museum, kids of all ages played Rock Bingo for mineral prizes. Also new this year was a live auction on Saturday evening to benefit the Tellus Collection Acquisition Fund. Next year's show dates are 14–15 June.

Rock-climbing had kids reaching new heights of adventure at the Tellus Science Museum's annual gem and mineral show this past June.


Less than eight months after its December debut to the general public, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, in Dallas, Texas, topped the 1 million mark in visitors coming through the doors, a milestone reached much earlier than museum officials had anticipated. Of course, one of the popular destination exhibit galleries for mineral collectors is the beautiful Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall. Visitors, including members, are strongly encouraged to purchase/reserve tickets in advance at to avoid sell-outs, waiting in line, or delayed entrance.

Overview of the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which in July welcomed its 1 millionth visitor, eight months after it opened.


The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, plans to install a Great Lakes garden that will feature rocks from the Great Lakes region among the plants. It will be called the Phyllis and Jack Seaman Garden in memory of Wyllys Seaman and A. E. Seaman and is envisioned as an extension of the mineral exhibits where larger rocks would form an exhibit area outside. Donated rocks to include in the garden are being sought. Their organization will correspond to the rock cycle: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Contributions should include locality information (especially information of interest to the general public), the name of the rock, and the donor's name for recognition. The preferred size is less than 100 pounds with at least a 1 × 1-foot surface area. Anyone interested in contributing something should contact Dr. Ted Bornhorst (, museum director, to avoid duplication. He has already received several donations and has a “want list” of others.

Diagram of the proposed rock garden at the Seaman Museum, which will show the diversity of rocks in the Great Lakes region.


We've all heard the expression “less is more”; now there's an exhibit of over fifty jewelry creations at the Gemological Institute of America's Museum, in Carlsbad, California, called More is More: Tony Duquette—Hutton Wilkinson Jewelry. This acclaimed body of work, which will be on display through March 2014, embraces a wide variety of jewelry styles, periods, and palettes, often showcasing unusual gemstones paired with rare materials in whimsical designs. Favorite materials include, among others, malachite, pearls, emerald, and coral. The jewelry designs have been described as bold, theatrical, extravagant, Byzantine, and sometimes even barbaric.

Now on exhibit at the GIA Museum are this “Floral Wreath” necklace made of citrine, tourmaline, and mabe pearl set in 18-karat gold (top), and the “Dreams of Klimt” bracelet made of sugarloaf-cut cabochons, tourmaline, and diamond (above).


The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, in Leadville, Colorado, presented the Nevada Mining Association with the 2013 Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award at the museum's September banquet. The award annually recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated a continuing commitment and successful efforts to educate the public on the importance of the mineral industry. The statue itself was contributed by renowned artist and sculptor Gary Prazen. (Longtime subscribers will recall that Susan Robinson featured Prazen's mining statues in her article “Of Mines & Men: A Look at Art that Depicts Mining” in the November/December 1989 issue, pages 476–495.) The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum was the subject of an article by Charles Norris in the September/October 1990 issue.


The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, in Hillsboro, Oregon, has a new permanent exhibit featuring myrickite carvings, slabs, jewelry, and polished specimens, all donated by John Li of Portland, Oregon. Myrickite is a lapidary term that refers to agatized or opalized cinnabar (a mercury mineral). It is the small quantity of mercury that gives the stone its beautiful red coloring. Myrickite is similar in color to the Chinese national stone, chicken bloodstone, so called because of its rich red hue.

The myrickite, which is considered rare, is from the Manhattan mercury mine, now part of the McLaughlin gold open-pit mine in northern Napa Valley, California. Some of the pieces from this collection will be featured in a joint exhibit with the Chinese Chicken Bloodstone Association in the Hong Kong Science Museum in 2014.

Shown with the myrickite exhibit at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals are Dr. Lara O'Dwyer Brown (left), curator; Sharleen Harvey, museum cofounder; and John Li, myrickite donor.


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