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March-April 2016

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Museum Notes

Overview of displays in the newly opened Kalam Geology Museum in Belagavi, southern India.

Overview of displays in the newly opened Kalam Geology Museum in Belagavi, southern India.

NEW MUSEUM

It may be a new museum, but the Bharat Ratna Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Geology Museum at Seksaria Science College, in Belagavi, southern India, received lots of support from an old friend of many in the mineral community, Muhammad Fasihuddin “Fasi” Makki, of Pune. Makki, whose mineral business is Matrix India, donated some 160 beautiful zeolites and other minerals and fossils to the museum's collection. It was Makki who was chosen to hoist the flag at the opening ceremonies for the museum on 15 August 2015. The museum is open to the public and students during regular college hours.

In the doorway of the new museum during the opening celebrations are Fasi Makki (left) and Dr. Pramod Hanamgond of the Department of Geology at Seksaria Science College.

In the doorway of the new museum during the opening celebrations are Fasi Makki (left) and Dr. Pramod Hanamgond of the Department of Geology at Seksaria Science College.

NEW AT THE PEROT

With plans in place for a rotation of borrowed exhibit specimens, the Lyda Hill Gallery of Gems and Minerals at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, in Dallas, Texas, is constantly sporting a new look. The current “look” includes two cases of gold specimens on loan from the Wayne and Dona Leicht (Kristalle) collection, twenty spectacular pieces in all, mostly from California localities. Among the approximately sixty additional loaned newbies are a 300-plus-carat Australian black opal called “The Royal One” and an impressively large blue star sapphire. Think you've seen the displays at the Perot Museum? Think again!

On display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. One of two cases of gold specimens, all from the Wayne and Dona Leicht (Kristalle) collection except for the one on the upper left, which belongs to Lyda Hill.

(Left) On display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. One of two cases of gold specimens, all from the Wayne and Dona Leicht (Kristalle) collection except for the one on the upper left, which belongs to Lyda Hill. (Right) On display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “The Royal One,” a more than 300-carat Australian black opal.

ANNIVERSARY EDITION

In celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the book, the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City, released an updated and redesigned edition of Gems & Crystals. It was coauthored by Dr. George E. Harlow, curator of the museum's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Ms. Anna S. Sofianides, now retired from the museum's Department of Mineral Sciences. Look for a review of the book, by Dr. Robert B. Cook, in an upcoming Media Reviews column.

EXCEPTIONAL ACQUISITION

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, recently received an incredible 30 × 22 × 7-cm Isle Royale datolite specimen, making it one of the largest and finest Keweenaw datolites in existence. It has been on display in the museum for a number of years on loan from Roland and Doris Snyder, who chose to donate the specimen.

The Isle Royale, Michigan, datolite specimen recently donated to the A. E. Seaman Museum. It was collected offshore several years ago.

The Isle Royale, Michigan, datolite specimen recently donated to the A. E. Seaman Museum. It was collected offshore several years ago.

BEJEWELLED

The Victoria and Albert Museum, in South Kensington, London, sparkles with a glittering display of more than one hundred jewelry and jeweled objects drawn from a single private collection. Highlights of Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection include Mughal jades, a rare jeweled gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan, and pieces that reveal the dramatic changes that took place in Indian jewelry design during the early twentieth century. The exhibition opened on 21 November 2015 and continues through 28 March 2016.

Two of the “treasures” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. A brooch set with emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds by Cartier, Paris, France, 1922.

Two of the “treasures” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. A diamond turban ornament made for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, 1907; remodeled in 1935.

Two of the “treasures” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. (Top) A brooch set with emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds by Cartier, Paris, France, 1922. (Bottom) A diamond turban ornament made for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, 1907; remodeled in 1935.

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