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May-June 2014

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Chips from the Quarry

HE'S PLAYING “OUR” SPECIAL SONGS: It is fairly common for romancing couples to have “their” special song, for schools and universities to have theirs, and even for television shows to have theirs (think The Andy Griffith Show, and see if you don't start hearing that whistling tune). Well, mineral collectors can now lay claim to a CD with twelve songs recorded just for them. Nuggets and High Grade is a CD compilation of twelve of David K. Joyce's original mining and mineral collecting songs. Not only is Joyce a singer/songwriter/musician, but he is also a longtime mineral collector/dealer/miner, so he knows whereof he speaks … er, sings.

We chuckled as we listened to our CD, wine glasses in hand, while putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle during Christmas week. The mellow, light tones and engaging, often humorous lyrics provided a much-needed peaceful evening during the hectic holidays.

But don't take just my word for it—consulting editor Steven Chamberlain turned music critic for this issue and reviewed it. You'll find his comments on page 281. (And you'll find Joyce et al. singing at the Rochester Symposium on page 485 in the November/December 2011 issue.)

The hills are alive with the sound of … David K. Joyce playing his guitar and singing songs from his newly released CD, Nuggets and High Grade.

BEST PAPER AWARD: The Friends of Mineralogy (FM) named Jesse Fisher, Ross Lillie, and John Rakovan as winners of the Best Paper in Rocks & Minerals for 2013 for their article titled “Fluorite in Mississippi Valley–type Deposits,” published in the January/February 2013 issue, pages 20–47. The announcement was made during the awards banquet and program at the 2014 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, this year held on Saturday, 15 February. In addition to the Award of Merit given to the authors, the magazine received a grant of $200 in their names. As in the past, the check was deposited in the Rocks & Minerals Color Fund account. We thank FM for this significant annual recognition and congratulate the authors on being selected for this honor.

2013 CARNEGIE MINERALOGICAL AWARD: Publisher Gloria Staebler, of Lithographie, Inc. in Denver, Colorado, was honored as recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2013. Her selection was based on the consistently high quality of the mineral books that she publishes. As in past years, the award was presented by Marc L. Wilson, curator of the Minerals Section of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show's Saturday evening banquet and awards program. Staebler is the twenty-seventh winner of the annual award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in mineralogical preservation, conservation, and education that match the ideals advanced in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. Established in 1987, the award is underwritten by the Hillman Foundation. Nominations for the 2014 award should be directed to Marc Wilson (

Gloria Staebler, recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award.

AMERICAN MINERAL HERITAGE AWARD: Bryan K. Lees, president of Collector's Edge Minerals in Golden, Colorado, was chosen to receive this year's American Mineral Heritage Award, established in 2012 by the Mineralogical Record to recognize a field collector whose personal discoveries in the Americas have contributed most significantly to the cumulative heritage of aesthetic and/or scientific mineral specimens preserved in museums and private collections worldwide.

Lees has traveled widely in search of fine specimens and promising mining properties. He and his company have been extraordinarily active in specimen mining at such American localities as the Sweet Home mine, the Camp Bird mine, Mount Antero, Book Cliffs, and Stoneham in Colorado; the Colorado Quartz mine and the Benitoite Gem mine in California; the Red Cloud and North Geronimo mines in Arizona; the Twin Creeks mine in Nevada; Elk Creek in South Dakota; and (in South America) La Gran Sabana in Venezuela, not to mention numerous other localities worldwide. In the process he has pioneered a number of innovative specimen extraction tools, techniques, and devices, and he has created what is probably the world's most advanced specimen preparation laboratory.

The award was presented by Wendell E. Wilson, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Mineralogical Record, at the Sunday evening program, 9 February, at the Westward Look Resort in Tucson. Nominations for the 2015 award can be sent to Gene Meieran (

Brian K. Lees, recipient of the American Mineral Heritage Award.

WHAT A SITE: The Falls of the Ohio website highlights a wide range of fossils on its “Featured Fossils” page. Since the site's inception in April 2012, more than three hundred species have been posted, each with geological data and a description. You can visit the main page ( and explore the archive. Anyone may submit a fossil image to for consideration for use if the photo is of good quality and basic data (name, formation, age) is provided. The submitter must hold the copyright for the photo. The Falls of the Ohio is located in Clarksville, Indiana.

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 (pages 258–260); Maryanne and John Fender (Fender Minerals) did the same for the Museum Notes column (pages 289–290). Donors to the Color Fund and to the benefit auctions for Rocks & Minerals 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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