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March-April 2017

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Chips from the Quarry

A sweeping view of a portion of Renato Pagano's exhibition, Collection of Collections, at the 2016 Bologna Show.
A sweeping view of a portion of Renato Pagano's exhibition, Collection of Collections, at the 2016 Bologna Show.

UNIQUE EXHIBITION: It was just a year ago, at the March 2016 Bologna Show, that Renato Pagano (paganoite), of Milan, was the featured exhibitor with his Collection of Collections, a fifteen-case display of his miniature collection boxes, thirty in all, each filled with sets of labeled mineral specimens. The exhibit was decades in the making—Pagano traces his interest in the wee collections back to 1959 when he put together a set of small specimens as a gift for his then-fiancée (now wife), Adriana. The Bologna Show exhibit marked the first time the collection was displayed in its entirety.

Pagano's search for the sets took him to mineral shows, shops, and antique stores; then, as word of his effort spread, some collections found their way to him. Each set of ten to sixty identified specimens is enclosed in its own case; many were originally assembled as teaching collections, souvenirs, and presentation sets. Countries represented with collection sets are Italy, France, England, Spain, the United States, and Rhodesia, among others. From the oldest (mid-1800s) to contemporary, the sets serve to document specimen mineralogy of that time. And the collection continues to grow, for Pagano has added another half-dozen sets during the past year.

Up-close views of two of the cases.
Up-close views of two of the cases.

Pagano is also a species collector (with about 4,300 at last count) as well as having a general collection of minerals in addition to collections of rare books and antique instruments.

Pagano with his most recent collection set, purchased at the 2016 Munich Show.
Pagano with his most recent collection set, purchased at the 2016 Munich Show.

WEDDING BELLS: What better place to begin a rock-solid marriage than in a mine. Join Dona Leicht as she covers, in photos and text, the civil wedding ceremony of Kristina Bode and Carlos Dias Torres, held in the world-famous German mining museum Deutsches Bergbau-Museum. You can share in the excitement of the memorable event, beginning on page 134.

Although unusual, getting married in a mine is by no means unique. Two other mines are noteworthy for hosting weddings: The Palermo mine in North Groton, New Hampshire, was the setting for a wedding ceremony and reception—complete with dance floor—back in 1994, described in the March/April 1995 issue of Rocks & Minerals. Then in 2011, a wedding was held in the Sterling Hill mine in Ogdensburg, New Jersey, and written up in the September/October issue of that year.

Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Dias Torres at the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, where the happy couple was married in a civil ceremony.
Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Dias Torres at the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, where the happy couple was married in a civil ceremony.

MIDWEST COVERAGE CONTINUES: This issue also has two articles on the Midwest, a focus begun in the January/February issue as a tie-in with the Mineral Treasures of the Midwest theme of the February 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®. In these latest articles, Janet Clifford highlights “Midwest Mineral Rarities,” and Susan Robinson writes about Midwest artist John N. Agnew.

CALL FOR PAPERS: The thirty-ninth annual symposium held in conjunction with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® will take place on Saturday, 10 February 2018. The symposium is cosponsored by the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society, the Friends of Mineralogy, and the Mineralogical Society of America. As a tie-in with the show, the symposium theme is the same as the show theme: Crystals and Crystal Forms. Presentations on descriptive mineralogy, classic and new localities, and related subjects are welcome.

Anyone wanting to present a paper should submit a 200–300-word abstract to Virgil W. Lueth, symposium chair, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801-4796; virgil.lueth@nmt.edu. Presentations will be twenty minutes in length. Abstracts must be submitted by 31 August 2017.

CORRECTION: Philippe Belley, coauthor of the September/October 2016 article titled “Spinel and Aspidolite from the Des Cèdres Dam Occurrence, Notre-Dame-du-Laus, Québec, Canada,” sent the following note: “The article refers to the spinel-rich zone as a skarn, but it is more accurately called a metasomatite because it appears to have formed by contact metasomatism during regional metamorphism with no evidence to suggest the involvement of a melt or magmatic intrusion.”

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 121; 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 (on pezzottaite in this issue); Laura Delano of LLD Productions, Inc. 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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