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September-October 2016

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Through the 'Scope: The Year in Micromounting—2015 Was a Year of Reflection

On the surface, the year 2015 was much like those that have gone before: people came to meetings, sat before their microscopes, looked at minerals, and schmoozed. The trouble was that, in most cases, there were fewer of them doing so, and most were graying. That makes one think. Has interest dropped? Has the Internet taken young people from the natural world? Most micromounters were experienced hand-specimen collectors before they switched to micromounting. Perhaps we've lost the “trigger” factor that generated the change. At the Tucson Show in 2016, I had a geologist tell me he had never understood how beautiful minerals could be until he saw the photographs at the micromount symposium. Could society be locked into specialization? We may never know, but in the meantime, we—in North America at least—appear to be a dying breed.

Quintin Wight is the author of The Complete Book of Micromounting (Mineralogical Record, 1993).       

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