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May-June 2017

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Chips from the Quarry

NEW COLUMN: We've had a Who's Who in Mineral Names column since it was introduced by the late Dr. Richard S. Mitchell in the January/February 1979 issue. So we've learned (and continue to learn) a lot about the people who have minerals named for them. But many species are named after places, so with this issue we begin The Where in Mineral Names, a companion column to Who's Who. Consulting Editor Dr. Bruce Cairncross gets us started with a look at the N'Chwaning mine in the Kalahari manganese field, South Africa, type locality for nchwaningite.

DESERVING OF RECOGNITION: Peter K. M. Megaw, of Tucson, Arizona (and also a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals), received the 2017 Thayer Lindsley Award from the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada on 7 March at the group's Awards Gala in Toronto.

Peter K. M. Megaw, recipient of the 2017 Thayer Lindsley Award.

Peter K. M. Megaw, recipient of the 2017 Thayer Lindsley Award.

Dr. Megaw, a professional geologist and cofounder of MAG Silver, made a blind discovery, known as the Juanicipio silver deposit, containing more than 200 million ounces of silver. The discovery resulted from an understanding of structural controls and mineral zoning patterns of epithermal vein systems and persistent application of field-based exploration methods. The deposit was in the 500-kilometer-long Fresnillo epithermal belt in Mexico and led to renewed exploration of the region and the finding of a further 600 million ounces of silver.

AND THE TUCSON WINNERS ARE: The year's end brings with it the selection of recipients for several annual awards in the field of mineralogy, three of which were presented in Tucson this past February.

The 2016 Best Paper Award: The Friends of Mineralogy (FM) named coauthors Rick Dillhoff and Joe George as winners of the Best Paper in Rocks & Minerals for 2016 for their article titled “The Purple Hope Claims, Green Ridge, Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, King County, Washington,” published in the November/December issue, pages 498–517. The announcement was made during the awards banquet and program at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, this year held on 11 February. In addition to the Award of Merit given to the authors, the magazine received a grant of $200 in their names. As in the past, the check was deposited in the Rocks & Minerals Color Fund account. We thank FM for this significant annual recognition and congratulate the authors on being chosen for this honor.

Joe George (left) and Rick Dillhoff, authors of the article that won Best Paper Award in Rocks & Minerals for 2016, in front of their Tucson display depicting pages from the article as well as speciments illustrated in it.

Joe George (left) and Rick Dillhoff, authors of the article that won Best Paper Award in Rocks & Minerals for 2016, in front of their Tucson display depicting pages from the article as well as speciments illustrated in it.

The 2016 Carnegie Mineralogical Award: Dr. Anthony “Tony” R. Kampf was honored as recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2016. Kampf has spent his entire forty-year professional career at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, serving more than thirty-four years as a curator (thirty-one as head of the Mineral Sciences Department) and the past six years as curator emeritus. During his time as curator, he guided the museum's Mineral Sciences Department to national and international prominence in the areas of exhibition, collections, public programming, and research.

Anthony “Tony” R. Kampf, recipient of the 2016 Carnegie Mineralogical Award.

Anthony “Tony” R. Kampf, recipient of the 2016 Carnegie Mineralogical Award.

His first major assignment at the museum was the final planning and installation of the Gem and Mineral Hall, which opened in 1978 and still ranks as one of the best in the country. Kampf oversaw a nearly tenfold increase in size and a significant increase in importance of the museum's gem and mineral collection, principally by bringing in major donations and making important purchases. He established an effective support group and provided extensive public programming, including the planning and leading of many gem and mineral tours all over the world (Brazil, Burma, Greenland, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Tanzania).

Kampf has consistently provided a high level of service to the amateur and professional mineral communities. He has been a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals (since 1980), Gems & Gemology (since 1981), American Mineralogist (1992–1995), Mineralogical Record (since 1995), and Mineralogical Magazine (since 2015). He has served on the board of directors of The Mineralogical Record, Inc. since 1983. He has been a member of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (and its predecessor the Mineral Museums Advisory Council) since 1977, serving as a member of its board for most of that time. He has been a member of the Friends of Mineralogy since 1972, serving on its board of directors from 1978 to 1994, as vice president in 1980 and president in 1981 and 1982. He served as U.S. delegate to the IMA Commission on Museums from 1992 to 2008 and since 2008 has served as U.S. delegate to the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classifications.

Kampf has authored more than 320 publications and has about 30 more awaiting publication. Nearly 200 of these are from the past ten years, and the vast majority are peer-reviewed scientific papers. His research is mostly in the areas of descriptive mineralogy, crystal chemistry, and structural crystallography, focusing on the characterization of new or inadequately described minerals. He has now described 185 new mineral species.

Kampf is the thirtieth winner of the annual award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in mineralogical preservation, conservation, and education that match the ideals advanced in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. Established in 1987, the award is underwritten by the Hillman Foundation. It was presented to Kampf at the banquet and program at the February Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®.

The 2017 Pinch Medal: Dr. Peter Tarassoff, of Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada, was selected as the 2017 recipient of the biennial Pinch Medal of the Mineralogical Association of Canada for his considerable and sustained contributions to the science of mineralogy. The medal was established to recognize such contributions by members of the collector-dealer community; this marks the ninth time it has been awarded.

Peter Tarassoff, recipient of the biennial 2017 Pinch Medal.

Peter Tarassoff, recipient of the biennial 2017 Pinch Medal.

Tarassoff has made it his lifelong goal to document the geology and mineralogy of Mont Saint-Hilaire (MSH). In fact, he has committed the past fifty years to this endeavor. Of the more than four hundred mineral species found there, he was the first person to identify at least thirty-five. In addition, his collecting and subsequent examinations have resulted in his discovering twelve new species from not only MSH, but also other alkaline localities. In 1980 the new species petarasite was named after him.

Tarassoff's dedication to systematic collecting, curating of his own collection, and keeping an archive of detailed historical and scientific information has been of great benefit to the mineral sciences community worldwide. Researchers have benefitted from his generosity in providing specimens and information for their studies. He has also written and coauthored articles in scientific and popular mineralogical publications.

In addition, for the past fourteen years Tarassoff has volunteered at the Redpath Museum (at McGill University in Montreal) where he has helped to completely renew the mineral exhibits and reorganize the mineral collection. As honorary curator of mineralogy, he has written a scientific guide to the mineral gallery. (Editor's note: He has written an illustrated article on the museum that will be published in an upcoming issue of Rocks & Minerals.)

Tarassoff's legacy, spanning more than five decades, serves as an inspiration for future generations. The medal was presented during the Saturday evening awards banquet and program of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®.

The American Mineral Heritage Award: The American Mineral Heritage Award was established by the Mineralogical Record in 2012 to recognize a field collector whose personal discoveries in the Americas have contributed most significantly to the cumulative heritage of aesthetic and/or scientific mineral specimens preserved in museums and private collections worldwide. A panel of fifteen prominent mineral collectors, museum curators, and mineral dealers, under the direction of panel chairman Gene Meieran, chose Stanley Lee Esbenshade, well-known Tucson, Arizona, mineral collector and dealer, as this year's recipient of the award.

Stanley L. Esbenshade, recipient of the 2017 American Mineral Heritage Award.

Stanley L. Esbenshade, recipient of the 2017 American Mineral Heritage Award.

Esbenshade earned his bachelor's degree in geology from Ohio State University in 1978. The core of his interest has always been, and still is, field collecting. His early days of collecting were in the limestone quarries of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana: localities such as Clay Center, Auglaize quarry, Pugh quarry, and Sylvania, Ohio, were among his favorite haunts. Maybee, Michigan, and North Vernon and Pleasant Ridge, Indiana, were also visited frequently. On one of his first trips to Arizona with Neal Pfaff, Curt van Sciver acted as a guide to the Red Cloud and Rowley mines, where Esbenshade was introduced to the use of the Cobra drill and explosives to collect minerals.

His first real commercial mineral dig took place when Sandy Ludlum and John Medici hired him to assist in their Spruce-claims project in Washington State. There he met Bob Jackson, and they subsequently worked the Spruce claims for six years and also a project on Denny Mountain.

In Arizona Esbenshade frequented many of the classic localities such as the Red Cloud mine, the Rowley mine, the Old Yuma mine, the Silver Bill/Defiance mines, the Glove mine, and Bisbee, along with many other smaller mines and lesser-known localities. In 1984 he started working at the Morenci mine initially under contract for Wayne Thompson and has been at it for about thirty years. Esbenshade subsequently obtained a contract to mine for specimens at the Chino and Tyrone mines, which are still operating today. During this time he had opportunities to work at or visit many other localities including Ajo and Washington Camp in Arizona, the Himalaya mine in California, the Sweet Home mine in Colorado, the Book Cliffs in Colorado, the Elk Creek area in South Dakota, and Petersen Mountain in Nevada. He also collected at Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, the Viburnum Trend in Missouri, and the Elmwood mines in Tennessee, while also making numerous trips to Mexico to buy and collect at various small mines as well as at Mapimi and the Navidad mine in Durango. In addition, he has collected at the Rogerley mine in England and at the famous Solnhofen quarry in Germany.

The award was presented to Esbenshade at the Fine Mineral Show's Sunday evening program, 5 February, at the Westward Look Resort in Tucson.

CALL FOR DATA: Authors Shawn Carlson and Travis Olds invite the collecting and research communities to contribute news and new information about Michigan minerals to the next Mineralogy of Michigan Update, tentatively scheduled for release as a monograph in 2018. The first edition was written by E. Wm. Heinrich and published as Bulletin 6 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey Division, in 1976. The second edition was authored by George Robinson at the Seaman Mineral Museum in 2004. Since then, however, the discovery of mineral species new to Michigan has significantly escalated, creating a need for more frequent updates. The first of these updates was given as the presentation “What's New in Michigan Minerals?” by George Robinson (speaker) and Shawn Carlson at the 2009 Rochester Mineralogical Symposium. The second update was released as an online eBook in 2013, again by Robinson and Carlson. The next update is in preparation.

Current authors Carlson and Olds are most interested in hearing from collectors and researchers who may be aware of mineral species new to Michigan but not yet reported in the scientific literature. Also of interest are new collecting localities for long-established species. Finally, there are several counties in Michigan's Lower Peninsula for which no minerals have ever been officially reported. Although these areas may not offer the best mineral collecting, certainly some minerals must occur there, and it would be nice to hear from residents of these counties so that they may be included.

Those wishing to contribute information should contact Travis A. Olds at the University of Notre Dame at, or Shawn M. Carlson in Crystal Falls, Michigan, at

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The Houston Gem and Mineral Society, in memory of Arthur E. Smith, and the Cincinnati Mineral Society underwrote color costs associated with the Connoisseur's Choice column. Laura Delano of LLD Productions, Inc., did the same for the Museum Notes column. Donors to the Color Fund and to the Dallas Symposium's benefit auction, held in August 2016, contributed toward color in the remaining articles. All are thanked for partnering with Rocks & Minerals to enhance the publication with color photographs.

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