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November-December 2015

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Connoisseur's Choice: Conichalcite, Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

An article appeared in a recent issue of Mineral News that examined special collector supplements in the Mineralogical Record (Chamberlain, Robinson, and Robinson 2015). In it the authors studied the species, localities, sizes, and values of the mineral specimens depicted in these supplements. By analyzing the species representation, it is clear that most modern collectors prefer colorful, aesthetically pleasing minerals that in the main have large crystals. I admit that all the species mentioned by Chamberlain, Robinson, and Robinson (2015) are appealing to me; however, as the collection manager for the Smithsonian's mineral collection I have to think outside this box and make an effort to also acquire uncommon or rare species that are normally drab and of little interest to present-day collectors.

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