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November-December 2015

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Chips from the Quarry

ORIGINAL ART: When acclaimed mineral artist Fred Wilda, of Hadley, Massachusetts, learned that an article on Vermont's fabulous grossulars was in the works for this issue of Rocks & Minerals, he was inspired to set up his easel and get out his paints and brushes. The result? Two original paintings depicting the beautiful red garnets from Vermont, one on the whimsical side (shown here, as well as in the article) and another of a specimen (pictured in the article). Both were unveiled to an appreciative audience at the East Coast Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, this past August.

The article also features a 2009 acrylic painting of grossular crystals on diopside by well-known artist Susan Robinson.

THE WAGNER MINERAL AUCTION: With so many exciting mineral events worldwide to choose from throughout the summer months, it was difficult to decide which to attend this year. For many, the auction of Gerhard Wagner's mineral collection in Dallas in early June was at the top of the can't-miss-it list. After all, we had already been primed—we had seen the glossy Heritage Auction ads, had browsed the thick catalogue, and had purchased and read The World of Tourmaline, which zeroed in on Wagner's exquisite tourmaline specimens.

For a recap of the momentous weekend, you'll enjoy the mostly pictorial account of the proceedings in this issue as seen through the lens of mineral photographer Mark Mauthner. Prepared at our request, Mark's coverage includes the preview party as well as the auction itself. This is truly an insider's perspective, for Mark's photography adorned the pages of both the catalogue and the book. You'll also want to read Bob Cook's reviews of the auction catalogue and The World of Tourmaline, beginning on page 590.

CENTURY MARK: We thought Rocks & Minerals had done well to achieve its 90th volume this year, but then we learned that the American Mineralogist, the flagship journal of the Mineralogical Society of America, is well into its 100th volume. The celebration is spanning two years—2015 because that is volume 100, and 2016 because the journal started in 1916.

It is interesting to note that Rocks & Minerals has its origin as a spin-off from the American Mineralogist. In 1919 the fledgling American Mineralogist was principally a collector's journal designed to replace The Collector. By the mid-1920s it was clear that it would be evolving into a more scientific journal. Peter Zodac recognized that with this new direction the publication would no longer fill the need for a periodical geared toward the mineral-enthusiast community, so in 1926 he started publishing Rocks & Minerals.

WEIS MUSEUM AWARDS: Husband and wife Dan and Ellen Dettwiler, of Kewaskum, Wisconsin, have been named the 2014 recipients of the Donna Nolte Inspiration Award that is presented by the Weis Earth Science Museum in Menasha, Wisconsin. The award is given to those who have been inspirational or innovative in encouraging others, especially young people, to appreciate Earth's mineral and fossil treasures and to enjoy geological hobbies. Over a several-decade period, the Dettwilers have helped on research projects, taught paleontology classes, and made specimens from their comprehensive Wisconsin fossil collection available as a resource for scientists and hobbyists.

In a second announcement from the Weis Museum, Drs. Rachel Krebs Paull and the late Richard A. Paull were chosen as the 2014 recipients of the Nelson Award, also presented by the museum. The award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to earth science in Wisconsin or Wisconsinites who have made outstanding contributions to earth science in general. The Paulls taught generations of geology students at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and were especially famous for their rigorous summer field-camp program in Wyoming and Idaho. Both did pioneering research in the Western states and also wrote four books on the geology of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

CARNEGIE AWARD REMINDER: Nominations for the 2015 Carnegie Mineralogical Award are being accepted through 15 December. They should be submitted to Marc L. Wilson, Section of Minerals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213;

The award recognizes outstanding contributions that promote mineralogical preservation, conservation, and education, ideals embodied in the museum's Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. The award is open to individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions. Private mineral enthusiasts, collectors, educators, curators, and mineral clubs and societies as well as museums and universities are eligible.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: As always, there are many individuals and groups to thank for their continued support of the magazine. 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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