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March-April 2014

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Chips from the Quarry

IN APPRECIATION: November is all about being thankful, and because I am writing this column in mid-November (publishing deadlines being what they are), it seems especially appropriate to thank those who supported Rocks & Minerals in 2013 by volunteering their time and by donating to both the Color Fund and benefit auction held in Tucson, as well as that conducted online by John Veevaert. Their names are listed on pages 116-117; also given are the shows that provided booth space for the magazine.

A DOUBLE-HEADER: We are doubling your pleasure in this issue with not one, but two articles on wonderful mineral collections: one is on MIM, a new public collection that opened its museum doors in October in Beirut, Lebanon, and the other is on the private collection of Tiziano Bonisoli in Turin (Torino), Italy. I know you'll enjoy them both.

IMPRESSIVE DONATION: During this past Earth Science Week (13-19 October 2013), the Capital Mineral Club of Concord, New Hampshire, donated a copy of The Geology of New Hampshire's White Mountains to each of the state's ninety-two public high schools. The club also made a special presentation of the book to New Hampshire's governor, Maggie Hassan, at a meeting with her executive council that same week.

Caption: New Hampshire's Gov. Maggie Hassan with a donated copy of The Geology of New Hampshire's White Mountains, along with (from left) Rick Chormann, state geologist and director of the New Hampshire Geological Survey; Don Dallaire and Gordon Jackson, of the Capital Mineral Club; and Tom Burack, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. The Capital Mineral Club donated more than ninety copies of the book to public high schools in the state.

The book, which was published in 2013, is the work of a group of authors who have spent decades studying the White Mountains and, in addition to being of interest to specialists, is written to be accessible to readers with no previous knowledge of geology. It will be reviewed in an upcoming issue of Rocks & Minerals.

GOLD FROM 9/11: Among the truly superb gold specimens on display at the 2013 Munich Show was a portion of the exhibit focusing on specimens from a gold collection that endured the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 2001. Included in the display was poster-sized modified text from Dr. Robert Cook's article titled "Gold Survives 9/11: Damaged But Not Destroyed," which was in the September/October 2007 issue of Rocks & Minerals (pages 366-367). Specimens from the collection, many of which were severely damaged, were also displayed, along with the issue of Rocks & Minerals containing the article.

Caption: Executive editor Robert Cook at the recent Munich Show standing by a modified version of his Rocks & Minerals article on the Ron and Karen Koppel gold collection that was ultimately recovered from the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attack. Dr. Cook is holding The Munich Show Theme Book: Gold, the lead chapter of which he coauthored with Mark Mauthner.

JOHN KOIVULA HONORED: Gemologist John I. Koivula, coauthor (with Elise Skalwold) of the article titled "The Microworld of Diamonds: Images from Earth's Mantle" in our January/February issue (pages 46-51), was named by the French Association of Gemmology as being among the top fifty personalities and events that have shaped the history of gems. He is the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) chief research gemologist and was honored as part of a September event in Paris celebrating the association's fiftieth anniversary.

Koivula, who joined GIA in 1976, has spent more than fifty years studying and photographing the microworld of gemstones and has published some eight hundred articles and notes on gemstone inclusions and related topics. A noted authority on microscopy, photomicrography, and gem inclusions, he is the author of MicroWorld of Diamonds, coauthor of the three-volume Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones, and coauthor of Geologica, a book on geological landforms. He has also been named as one of the sixty-four most influential people of the twentieth century in the jewelry industry by JCK magazine.

Caption: John Koivula, named among top fifty in gem history.

SALOTTI AWARD, 2013: The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, announced Dr. Wayne W. Sukow of Fairfax, Virginia, as recipient of the 2013 Dr. Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award. This marks the fifteenth annual presentation in honor of Dr. Charles A. Salotti and in recognition of excellence in earth science education. The award is sponsored by the Salotti family, the Edith Dunn and E. W. Heinrich Trust, the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Society, and the A. E. Seaman Museum.

Sukow spent much of his early career as a physics professor and department chairman at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Following that, he served as executive director of the West Central Wisconsin Consortium and eventually devoted himself to being program director and section head at the National Science Foundation's Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education. His service and leadership in the earth sciences have been equally extensive and have led him to do volunteer teaching; lecturing; exhibiting at mineral shows, clubs, and museums; and editing and publishing. He was assistant director and later director of the Eastern Federation of Mineral and Lapidary Societies (EFMLS)-Wildacres, and in 2006 he served as EFMLS president.

Caption: Dr. Wayne Sukow, 2013 Salotti Award recipient.

IN MEMORIAM: We are saddened to report that Louellen Montgomery of Topeka, Kansas, passed away at the age of ninety-four on 4 September 2013. To most mineral folks she was likely best known as a past president of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) and the Rocky Mountain Federation, as a vital part of the AFMS Uniform Rules Committee, and as longtime head of the AFMS Scholarship Foundation. However, to me she was a cherished friend and for many years a tireless, dedicated worker and cheerful presence in the Rocks & Minerals' auction rooms at both the Tucson and Denver shows. Then two months later, on 19 November, came news that her husband, Russell, had passed away, also at the age of ninety-four. Like Louellen, he was for many years a stalwart fixture on our auction team. They are survived by a large and loving family.

Caption: Louellen Montgomery, always with a smile.

Caption: Russell Montgomery, faithful volunteer.

This issue carries Dona Leicht's heartfelt tribute to William "Bill" Lawrence of Tucson, Arizona, who was killed in a tragic collecting accident in October 2013. Not mentioned in the tribute is that two memorials have been established for those who wish to give a memorial gift in Bill's name. Details can be found at

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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