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September-October 2013

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I enjoyed John White's article on curved/bent crystals in the November/December 2012 issue (pages 550–553). I, too, find it hard to resist such things, and all those bent stibnites and ram's horn gypsums immediately come to mind. It's not often that the items that might be considered as “irregulars” or “seconds” in a normal retail market can actually be more valuable in the mineral market.

One of our club members is a professional quartz crystal grower, so I asked for his thoughts on John's curved quartz. Although he had no answers, he did mention that sometimes the small quartz crystals that grow spontaneously on the lid of the autoclave will curve downward. Apparently, even under ideal growing conditions, aberrations can appear. It makes me think those atoms are having a grand game of musical chairs as they try to find their place on the developing crystal, and maybe some chairs get shoved slightly out of the row.

I also thought your readers might enjoy seeing this piece from our collection. It is a 10-cm, doubly terminated epidote from Capelinha, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Its “toes” are turned up in opposite directions, and each termination has a single doubly terminated quartz crystal perched on it. Such curious pieces do provide great interludes for reflection during the usual quest for perfect crystals.

Doubly terminated epidote with turned up “toes” in opposite directions.

Doubly terminated epidote with turned up “toes” in opposite directions.


It is my pleasure to introduce the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) scholarship honorees and recipients for 2013. The honorees were selected because of their activities within the collector community. It is their task to select a school and two graduate student recipients in earth science, geoscience, or geology; each student then receives $4,000 toward his or her tuition.

California Federation—Dr. Peter M. Sadler, University of California, Riverside. Students: Leanne Grace Hancock and Emily E. Haddad.

Eastern Federation—Dr. Gilbert Hanson, Stony Brook University, New York. Students: Courtney Melrose and Joseph Tamborski.

Midwest Federation—Ronald B. Swanson, U.S. Geological Survey Nebraska Water Science Center, Nebraska. Students: Rebecca Putna and Jason Alexander.

Northwest Federation—Doug True, Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies, past president. Students: Amber N. Johnson and Dustin A. Jensen.

Rocky Mountain Federation—Arlene Burkhalter, former AFMS Scholarship treasurer. Students: Bryan William Turner and James L. Maner.

South Central—Ron Carman, AFMS past president. Students: Elyse Zavar and David Yelacic.


The thirtieth annual seminar on mineral photography will be held at the sixtieth Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in the Copper Ballroom of the Convention Center on Thursday, 13 February 2014, 1–3 P.M.

Regarding the photo competition, winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced the following Saturday evening (15 February) during the awards banquet. A cash prize will be given for first place in each category. The rules are as follows:

  1. No more than two entries are allowed per person.

  2. Slides must be original 35-mm transparencies in standard 2-inch mounts.

  3. Written on each slide must be the mineral name, locality, and size, either “macro” or “micro” category, and the photographer's name and postal address.

  4. Entries should be mailed to me at the address below, to be received by 15 January 2014, or hand-delivered to me at the Tucson Show. (All entries will be returned.)

  5. In addition to slides, digital images as high-resolution JPGs are also acceptable and can be sent to my email address. CDs can be mailed to my postal address.


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