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July-August 2014

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Chips from the Quarry

SHOW BIZ: With the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Gem and Mineral Show behind us (26–29 June), there's still a whole summer's worth of mineral shows and activities to look forward to, beginning with the East Coast Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, the weekend of 8–10 August. Pulling out all the stops will be a select group of California collectors displaying their top pieces in the show's more than fifty exhibit cases. Among those bringing their finest specimens will be Luciana Barbosa, Dan Evanich, Brett Keller, John Magnasco, Don and Gloria Olson, Jerry Rosenthal, and John Veevaert. For more details on the show see

Presenting a bit of an overlap is Keweenaw Mineral Days, being held in Upper Michigan's Copper Country the week of 4–9 August and sponsored by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Keweenaw Gem and Gift. Enticements include lots of field trips, a couple of open houses, a picnic, lectures, specimen swapping, an auction, a workshop, and a local mineral show. Registration is a must for the Mineral Days but not, of course, for the show. Additional information can be found at

That takes us to September and the forty-seventh annual Denver Gem and Mineral Show, this year being held 12–14 September in its traditional setting at the Merchandise Mart ( Agates is the designated show theme, and to whet your appetite, we have included four agate articles in this issue, including one on collecting them underwater, plus reviews of recent books on agates.

Agates, such as this one pictured on a postcard from the Czech Republic, have worldwide appeal for collectors. (Translated text: Agate from the private collection of Miloslava Votrubce; Mírová pod Kozákovem [locality name].) With Agates as its theme, the 2014 Denver Gem and Mineral Show will be showcasing specimens from localities around the globe. Postcard from the John Taylor collection.

For the early birds, the weekend prior to the show (6–7 September) there will be an Ouray-Silverton, San Juan Mountains Mineral Symposium, based in Silverton and Ouray, Colorado. Sponsored by the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, the Colorado Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy, and the Friends of the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, the event offers presentations on the mining history, geology, and minerals of one of America's most spectacular mountain areas, with guided field trips and collecting opportunities. Optional activities are under consideration for 5 and 8 September. Interested? Have questions? Contact Lou Conti ( or Mark Jacobson (

WHAT A SITE: Students, parents, and teachers now have easy access to interactive online gemology and geology education through the Gemological Institute of America's new GemKids website. Geared toward students ages nine through twelve, the site features a Gem Explorer, Gem Glossary, and Classroom Guides and is user-friendly on computers and mobile devices. To learn more visit

WE'VE MADE OUR MOVE: Please note on the masthead that Rocks & Minerals' publisher, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, has moved its offices to 530 Walnut Street, Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Postal subscriptions and advertising should be sent there. Phone numbers remain the same, as does the editorial address in Cincinnati.

DECEASED: In addition to those included in this issue's In Memoriam column, James Anthony Ferraiolo, age sixty-six, of Bowie, Maryland, died 6 February of this year. The mineral community knew him through his work as scientific assistant at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) from April 1978 until August 1982 and also as transaction coordinator at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History from September 1982 until April 1985. He was known further for his publication A Systematic Classification of Nonsilicate Minerals (Bulletin 172 of the AMNH, 1982) and for his frequent contributions to mindat.

James A. Ferraiolo (1947–2014).

On 26 December 2013, Ralph E. Platt of Encampment, Wyoming, passed away at the age of one hundred. With a lifelong interest in minerals, he is remembered not only as a field collector with an extensive and diverse collection of Wyoming crystallized minerals and cutting materials, but also as a dealer, an active member of the Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and an author of articles in Rocks & Minerals in the 1950s.

Ralph E. Platt (1913–2013).

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 Minerals) 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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