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July-August 2016

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Tracing the Source of Native Copper Mineral Specimens with Copper Isotope Values

A common problem in many collections is one of mislabeled or unlabeled specimens. The practice of correcting errors and restoring lost species and locality and historical data is known as the reassociation of the specimens with their provenance. The Section of Minerals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been actively conducting reassociation research on the museum's mineral, gemstone, and jewelry collections for more than two decades with some notable results. One specimen of native copper crystals with associated quartz, CM21474, serves as a successful example of these efforts.

Marc Wilson, a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals, has been the collection manager and head of the Section of Minerals at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History since 1992.

Debra L. Wilson has been the collection assistant for the Section of Minerals at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History since 2002 and a volunteer for the section from 1992 to 2002.

Ryan Mathur is a professor of geology and department chair for the geology program at Juniata College.

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