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January-February 2017

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Museum Notes

SMMP INVITATION

The Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP) is inviting the general public to a panel discussion on “Mineral and Gem Changes,” to be held at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® on Thursday, 9 February, 5–6 P.M. Several expert speakers will talk about stability, storage, display, artificial color changes, disease, and other aspects that can change minerals and gems. There will be plenty of time for questions.

NOW AT THE PEROT

Three of the twenty-four Giant Gems of the Smithsonian now on exhibit at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Top: Picasso Kunzite Necklace, 396.30 carats from Afghanistan, gift of Tiffany & Co. in 1989; designed by Paloma Picasso in 1986 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tiffany & Co. The cushion-cut kunzite is set in an 18-karat yellow gold and diamond ribbon motif pendant suspended from a necklace of thirty South Sea baroque pearls. Lower left: Blue Topaz, 7,033 carats, Minas Gerais, Brazil, gift of EDUSCO Investments Co., 1981. The intense blue color is due to irradiation and heat treatment. Lower right: Rock Crystal Quartz Egg, 7,478 carats (240 facets), Bahia, Brazil, faceted by John Sinkankas, acquired in 1964.

Three of the twenty-four Giant Gems of the Smithsonian now on exhibit at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Top: Picasso Kunzite Necklace, 396.30 carats from Afghanistan, gift of Tiffany & Co. in 1989; designed by Paloma Picasso in 1986 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tiffany & Co. The cushion-cut kunzite is set in an 18-karat yellow gold and diamond ribbon motif pendant suspended from a necklace of thirty South Sea baroque pearls. Lower left: Blue Topaz, 7,033 carats, Minas Gerais, Brazil, gift of EDUSCO Investments Co., 1981. The intense blue color is due to irradiation and heat treatment. Lower right: Rock Crystal Quartz Egg, 7,478 carats (240 facets), Bahia, Brazil, faceted by John Sinkankas, acquired in 1964.

Never before seen together, approximately two dozen magnificent, Texas-sized gems from the Smithsonian Institution's world-renowned National Gem Collection are on display in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. The mineral masterpieces, many weighing more than 1,000-plus carats, include the “American Golden” topaz that tips the scales at almost 23,000 carats (more than 10 pounds), a blue topaz “football” of nearly 7,000 carats, a kunzite Tiffany necklace, a Mogul emerald diamond necklace, and more. This temporary installation marks the first time such a large collection of Smithsonian gems, some of which have never been displayed in any museum, will be on exhibit outside the Washington museum complex. Giant Gems of the Smithsonian continues at the Perot Museum through 17 January.

OPENED IN OCTOBER

On 23 October Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History, in New Haven, Connecticut, proudly opened to the public the David Friend Hall, a newly constructed 2,300-square-foot state-of-the-art gallery that showcases an incredible display of minerals and gems from among the best collections worldwide, some on loan, others from the museum's holdings. The opening was part of the Peabody's sesquicentennial celebration. Look for an article on the new hall by Gail Spann in an upcoming issue of Rocks & Minerals.

RENOVATED

Child in front of the new video wall depicting life in the Devonian sea at the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center.

Child in front of the new video wall depicting life in the Devonian sea at the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center.

The Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center, in Clarksville, Indiana, was recently renovated with new exhibits, including two geology-themed galleries. Using multimedia and manipulative exhibits, An Ancient Sea places visitors in the Devonian sea preserved in the park's famous fossil beds, where they can interact with hundreds of touchable models and stand before a giant wall projection with trilobites crawling over colonial corals as fish and cephalopods swim overhead.

The Changing Land looks at the transition into the Ice Age and how glaciers created the Ohio River and the Falls of the Ohio fossil beds. Major components are a 6-foot mammoth tusk collected from a local sand pit on the Ohio River and the difference between paleontology and archaeology. Other exhibit themes are Converging Cultures and The Falls Today.

HONORED

The 2016 Rodman Paul Award for outstanding contributions to mining history was presented to the Hauck family of Franklin, New Jersey, during the July 2016 Mining History Association meeting. The recognition was based on the Hauck family's accomplishments in rescuing the Sterling Hill Zinc mine in Ogdensburg, New Jersey, and developing it into a world-class mining museum. Richard and Robert Hauck, their respective spouses Elna and Patti (deceased, 2010), children, and extended family members were intimately involved in this decades-long commitment to establish and grow the Sterling Hill Mining Museum.

SERVING AS PRESIDENT

Congratulations to Dr. George E. Harlow, curator in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City, on being elected president of the Mineralogical Society of America for 2017. Readers will recall that Harlow was the recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2015 (see the May/June 2016 issue of Rocks & Minerals for details).

In this Issue

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