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September-October 2015

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The fifteenth annual seminar on mineral photography will be held at the sixty-second Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® in the Copper Ballroom of the Convention Center on Thursday, 11 February 2016, 1–3 P.M.

Regarding the photo competition, winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced the following Saturday evening (13 February) at the awards banquet. A cash prize will be given for first place in each category. The rules are as follows:

  • 1. No more than two entries are allowed per person.

  • 2. Slides must be original 35-mm transparencies in standard 2-inch mounts.

  • 3. Written on each slide must be the mineral name, locality, size, either “macro” or “micro” category, and the photographer's name and postal address.

  • 4. Entries should be mailed to me at the address below, to be received by 15 January 2016, or hand-delivered to me at the Tucson Show. (All entries will be returned.)

  • 5. In addition to slides, digital images as high-resolution JPGs are also accepted and can be emailed to me at the address below. CDs can be mailed to my postal address.


I enjoyed R. Peter Richards' article on “Skunks: A Mystery Solved” in the March/April 2015 issue (pages 182–184). I recently acquired such a mineral for my collection (see photo) and had been wondering about its formation. It's a large calcite crystal from the Benchmark quarry, St. Johnsville, New York. (This mine is famous for producing great Herkimer “diamonds.”) The calcite has an interesting “Y”-shaped pattern of micro-sized marcasite inclusions deep within the crystals. The pattern is similar to that shown in the photo of calcite with pyrite inclusions from the Wheatley mine featured as figure 2 in the article. I was pleased with the insights gained from reading Richards' article.

Calcite with “Y”-shaped marcasite inclusions from the Benchmark quarry, St. Johnsville, New York. The specimen is 12 × 10.5 × 6 cm.


The popular children's Trading Post Activity Center, as mentioned in the article “The Vale Earth Gallery, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada” (May/June 2015 issue, pages 224–232), has been moved from the gallery to the fourth floor in the west wing of the building and is still open for visitors.


It may be of interest to readers to know that the selection criteria for election to the Micromounters' Hall of Fame have been revised and updated and can be found at

Although the changes are not extensive, they are of a nature intended to give a clearer understanding of the process as well as the qualities required of a nominee. We hope that the revisions will encourage the recognition of those who have served the micromounting community so well through the years.

Two such meritorious nominees are Dr. Donald Howard of Portland, Oregon, and Mr. Louis D'Alonzo of Nutley, New Jersey, who will be inducted at the Paul Desautels Memorial Micromount Symposium in Baltimore in October of this year.


In the 1960s when I was employed as a mining engineer at the ore mines in Cornwall, Pennsylvania, I took various groups through our operations. At that time I took slides and wrote a narration for those pictures.

My niece has combined the slides and narration and made it available on YouTube as a 24-minute program that can be accessed by going to YouTube and typing in “Cornwall slides with narration.”

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