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January-February 2015

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Museum Notes


The Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP) will hold its next board and general membership meetings in conjunction with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Tucson Convention Center in February. The group will also put together a special display for the show.


The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, in Hillsboro, Oregon, was a double winner at the 2014 Denver Gem and Mineral Show, winning the Donna Chirnside Memorial Award for best educational display by a museum with its exhibit on the origin of agates and also the National Friends of Mineralogy Award for best educational exhibit by an institution with its exhibit featuring thundereggs, Oregon's State Rock. Curator Leslie Moclock prepared both exhibits.

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals' display on the origin of agates at the 2014 Denver Gem and Mineral Show. Julian Gray, museum director, is on the left; curator Leslie Moclock on the right.


Currently on display at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History is a 12-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, internally flawless and fashioned in a cushion-cut shape. It is temporarily exhibited in the Gem Vault, where it will remain through 6 January of this year. Only a minute percentage of all natural color diamonds are blue, making the Blue Moon Diamond exceptional.

When found in the Cullinan mine, northeast of Pretoria, South Africa, the uncut stone was 29.6 carats and was pictured in this column in the November/December issue (page 578). The rare gem is on loan from Cora International, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of white and fancy colored diamonds.

The 12-carat Blue Moon Diamond on display at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.


The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, in Houghton, Michigan, recently acquired a significant 24.5-cm crystal of red tourmaline from the Malkhan pegmatite in eastern Russia. The specimen, notable for its size and rich color, was a gift from Bill Shelton, of Tucson, Arizona, a supporter of the museum and a collector of Russian minerals.

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum's newly acquired Russian tourmaline.


This past summer Sarah Timm joined the team at the Tellus Science Museum, in Cartersville, Georgia, as the museum's new curator. Timm earned a master's degree in geology from Virginia Tech, where she developed EGEMS, a database for geological materials. She also served two internships in the Mineral Sciences Department at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Prior to coming to Tellus, she was the geological collections and database specialist at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville.

Sarah Timm, now curator at the Tellus Science Museum.

Rocks & Minerals welcomes museum news items and photographs for this column. Correspondence should be sent to Marie Huizing, 5341 Thrasher Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45247;

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