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March-April 2016

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Chips from the Quarry

Jörg Thomas with some of his artwork as he prepares to teach a class of aspiring young artists at the 2015 Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Show.

BUDDING MINERAL ARTISTS: The invitation went out to the community at large and was received with enthusiasm. They came, they saw, and they painted! German mineral artists Jörg Thomas and Andrée Roth came up with the idea and, working with the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Show committee, offered art classes to this French town's children during its 2015 show. Susan Robinson describes the success of the unique project in this issue (see pages 174–175). In fact, the classes were so successful, they will be offered again at this year's show (23–26 June) and even extended to other shows.

TOURMALINE—We've got it covered: This issue's tourmaline cover is like a breath of refreshing springtime beauty. Tied to David London's pegmatite article on tourmaline (pages 132–147), it draws us in to read more about its formation and occurrences, as have several previous tourmaline covers, some of which are pictured here.

Recent tourmaline covers. Far left: May/June 2010, tied to an article on the Adalberto Giazotto collection (pages 230–239), Adalberto Giazotto specimen and photo. Center left: January/February 2011, tied to an article on California pegmatites (pages 14–34), Jesse Fisher/Joan Kureczka specimen, Jesse Fisher photo. Center right: July/August 2013, tied to an article on tourmaline from Malkhan, Russia (pages 308–315), Jesse Fisher/Joan Kureczka specimen, Jesse Fisher photo. Far right: September/October 2014, tied to an article on the Perot Museum (pages 442–452), Lyda Hill specimen, Tom Spann photo.Recent tourmaline covers. Far left: May/June 2010, tied to an article on the Adalberto Giazotto collection (pages 230–239), Adalberto Giazotto specimen and photo. Center left: January/February 2011, tied to an article on California pegmatites (pages 14–34), Jesse Fisher/Joan Kureczka specimen, Jesse Fisher photo. Center right: July/August 2013, tied to an article on tourmaline from Malkhan, Russia (pages 308–315), Jesse Fisher/Joan Kureczka specimen, Jesse Fisher photo. Far right: September/October 2014, tied to an article on the Perot Museum (pages 442–452), Lyda Hill specimen, Tom Spann photo.

THE HONG KONG SHOW: Perennially locked into being the same weekend as the well-established Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Show was the first-ever Mineral and Gem Asia Show, held in Hong Kong and put on by UBM Asia, an experienced trade show company. In this issue (pages 164–171), Dona Lee Leicht provides a firsthand account of participation in the show from booth set-up through take-down, touching on everything from the local food (the jellyfish wasn't that bad) to sightseeing on a double-decker bus and critiquing the event.

Speaking of China, you'll want to check out website http://www.cityu.edu.hk/chinese-minerals featuring three hundred Jeff Scovil photos of Chinese mineral specimens from the collection of Steve Smale. Smale acquired the specimens over a twenty-year period while living in Hong Kong. The Virtual Museum of Chinese Minerals site allows visitors to browse by species, by locality, or at random.

Anyone wanting an update on how China's presence in the mineral world has evolved could have done no better than to hear Graham Sutton's talk at the September Fine Mineral Show, held at the Marriott West in Golden, Colorado. Although I went out of curiosity and, face it, as a place to rest weary feet, I and everyone else in the audience sat spellbound as he described “The Chinese Mineral Market—Ten Years of Progress.” As part of the Collector's Edge team, Sutton has spent much of the past decade tracking specimens at their China source.

MUSEUM CLOSE-UPS: Changes at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum in Canada have been mentioned and pictured in our Museum Notes column from time to time since its renovation in 2008. However, it is high time we covered the transformation to this venerable old—it was established in 1914—museum in more detail. This is exactly what Susan Robinson does in her second article in this issue (see pages 154–162).

Another museum deserving of a closer look is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. In some museums the same tired displays never seem to change. (I remember commenting while visiting a museum—which shall remain nameless—that the same dead flies were in the mineral cases that were visible ten years before when we had been there.) Not so with the Perot Museum, where the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall periodically rotates exhibits after a one-to-three-year period. World-class specimens are loaned by private collectors and keep visitors coming back again and again to see what's new. And what exactly is currently new there? Check out the Museum Notes column (pages 191–192) and you'll see.

MORE LOSSES: Sadly, of late, the In Memoriam column has been a regular part of the article line-up in issues, rather than an occasional entry. This issue is no exception, with tributes to a trio of “greats” in the mineral community: Art Grant, Rock Currier, and Peter Bancroft (see pages 187–190). It's been said that it's not what we have in life but who we have in our life that matters; we were blessed to have had these three—all left their marks in this field and also in our minds and hearts.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: This issue acknowledges and thanks those who supported Rocks & Minerals by volunteering their time and by donating to the Color Fund and to the benefit auction held in conjunction with the Dallas Mineral Symposium this past August. Their names are listed on page 115; also given are the shows that provided booth space for 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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