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July-August 2015

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Chips from the Quarry

DENVER PREVIEW: Although it's still summer, collectors who plan ahead are already blocking out time for the Denver Show, this year being held 18–20 September at its usual location, the Mart Expo Hall (formerly the Denver Merchandise Mart). The show's theme is Minerals of the American Southwest, with Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico being so-designated. Thanks to several authors, the lead articles in this issue also give a nod to that subject.

SAVING A SITE: Collectors have long been concerned about the growing number of localities closed to them. With decreasing opportunities for field collecting, perhaps the solution found by a group of collectors in the Northwest could serve as a model to keep other localities open. You'll find it described in the article on Spruce Ridge, King County, Washington, beginning on page 366.

AUGUST EVENTS: Not only are these three events held in August (the month), but they are also august (venerable) in and of themselves. Coming up first is the annual Keweenaw Mineral Days, the week of 3–8 August, held in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula and hosted by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum in collaboration with Keweenaw Gem and Gift and with additional activities sponsored by supporters. Registered participants will be able to hear talks, including one on the Keweenaw's native copper deposits; enjoy a picnic; have their choice of seven collecting opportunities; get free museum admission; and take advantage of expert identification of local minerals. Two different area mineral shows bookend the week.

Martin Zinn, featured exhibitor at the upcoming East Coast Show.

Overlapping a bit with the dates is the East Coast Show (also known as the Springfield Show), 7–9 August, in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Show Chairman Martin “Marty” Zinn, of Evergreen, Colorado, is this year's featured exhibitor and, as is the tradition, will fill more than fifty display cases with some of his finest worldwide specimens, including recent acquisitions, illustrated pieces, and rarities. Past featured exhibitors have been such luminaries as Carolyn Manchester, Jim and Gail Spann, Bill Larson, a group of California collectors, Fred Wilda, Scott Rudolph, and Herb and Monika Obodda, among many others, making this show one of the country's premier mineral events.

As summer starts to wind down, the Dallas Mineral Symposium, 21–22 August, entices with a full speaker program accented with spectacular social gatherings, and, of course, the chance to see the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The impressive speaker line-up includes Dr. Robert Bowell, Dr. Bruce Cairncross, Dr. Federico Pezzotta, Brice Gobin, Tom Gressman, and Tomasz Praszkier.

UP IN FLAMES: Sadly, the Juna Mineralogical Museum, one of the most important centers unifying the mineral community in Poland, burned down on 18 March of this year. Anything left that didn't get totally destroyed was moved out of the ruins of the building for cleaning and repair. The mineral collection had been created by the Naumowicz family over several decades. As word of the tragedy spread quickly via the Internet, collectors were invited to lend their support to rebuild the museum through financial and specimen donations. Those wishing to contribute can get further details from Tomasz “Tomek” Praszkier, tom@spiriferminerals.com, and also by visiting Facebook page “Help rebuild the Juna Mineralogical Museum in Szlarska Poreba.”

Once again we are reminded how vulnerable collections are to destruction, whether by nature or man. You will recall that, in 2007, consulting editor Steven Chamberlain had part of his mineral collection destroyed when fire swept through the barn where it was housed. He described the disaster in pictures and text in our March/April 2008 issue (pages 126–132), writing that “The most damaging thing for the specimens was being walked on by large firefighters in big rubber boots,” and “By the time the fire was out, seven pieces of furniture had been thrown out the window into the garden, along with about two hundred specimens.”

In mid-March fire roared through the Juna Mineralogical Museum in Poland, destroying the building and much of its contents.

Fortunately, Chamberlain did more than just relate the sequence of events in his sobering tale, he concluded with a section called “Lessons Learned and Recommendations.” It should be required reading for all collectors.

SCHOLARSHIPS, part two: In the November/December 2014 issue, this column carried news about the second annual DHZ (Deer, Howie, and Zussman) Award and Scholarship established by Dr. Robert Lauf at East Tennessee University.

Dr. William Cordua with the 2014 recipient of the University of Wisconsin–River Falls Geological Society Scholarship, Ann Marie Pue of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

It has since come to our attention that Dr. William S. Cordua, during the course of his career, has established and funded four different ongoing scholarships for geology students. The first, the Moses Strong Jr. Award, was endowed in the 1980s at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls to provide support for students going to summer geology field camp. (Strong was a young geologist who died during a field project while rescuing another man whose canoe had capsized.) In 1995 Cordua endowed the Edna and Rudy Cordua Scholarship, at the same university, in honor of his parents. Then in 2001 he endowed the Jan and Bill Cordua Scholarship at Indiana University, where he did his graduate work. And, most recently, for the past five years he has funded the River Falls Geological Society Scholarship. This year alone these scholarships made awards totaling $3,600 to four outstanding geology students.

A LOVELY KRYSTLE: Congratulations to Krystle Dorris, of Colorado Springs, who was crowned Miss Colorado in March of this year. Krystle is part of the well-known Dorris family mineral business (Pinnacle 5 and Glacier Peak Mining) and, of late, a star in the Prospectors television series on the Weather Channel. She was also on the “Second Generation of Mineral Collectors” forum at the Tucson Show this past February. Her father, Joe Dorris, and his mineral/mining artwork were featured in the September/October 2014 issue (pages 453–456).

She did the mineral community proud: Krystle Dorris, in gown and crown, after being named Miss Colorado 2015.

CORRECTION: Eberhard Equit, whose artwork was featured in the January/February 2015 issue (pages 63–66), sent his apologies for providing incorrect attribution for some of the specimens he had painted. The following pictured specimens were all from the collection of Marcus Budil, not the owners indicated in the captions: figure 5, elbaite and lepidolite; figure 6, planchéite; figure 7, elbaite (variety rubellite); and figure 9, elbaite with albite.

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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