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July-August 2018

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Chips from the Quarry

PICTURES PERFECT: Drawing their share of oohs and aahs at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show's awards banquet this past February were the two winning photographs in the annual competition held by mineral photographer extraordinaire Jeff Scovil. Both are shown here.

Sphalerite, pyrite, and realgar from the Lengenbach quarry, Binn Valley, Wallis, Switzerland, by Matteo Chinellato, won first place in the micromineral category of the 2018 photo competition with this photo. The field of view is 3.98 mm.

Sphalerite, pyrite, and realgar from the Lengenbach quarry, Binn Valley, Wallis, Switzerland, by Matteo Chinellato, won first place in the micromineral category of the 2018 photo competition with this photo. The field of view is 3.98 mm.

Torbernite from Margabal, Aveyron, France, by Weixi Wang, won first place in the macromineral category with this photo. The specimen is 2.2 cm wide.

Torbernite from Margabal, Aveyron, France, by Weixi Wang, won first place in the macromineral category with this photo. The specimen is 2.2 cm wide.

SUMMER FORECAST: The summer months beckon with their abundance of mineral shows, swaps, field trips, and symposia. But which to choose? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Going East? A longtime favorite destination is the annual East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show (www.mzexpos.com/east-coastshow), held annually in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This year's dates are 10–12 August, and this year's featured exhibitors are David and Karen DeBruin, from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, who will be filling more than fifty display cases with specialties from their collection. Visitors to the Tucson, Denver, and Cincinnati shows, as well as the Rochester (New York) Symposium, have been seeing samplings of the DeBruins' specimens in exhibits for years. Springfield offers the opportunity to see the full array: lots of Midwest beauties, plus apophyllites, mineral artwork and other ephemera related to minerals, even Karen's intarsias by Eugene Mueller.

David and Karen DeBruin, featured exhibitors at the East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show 10–12 August in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

David and Karen DeBruin, featured exhibitors at the East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show 10–12 August in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Going North? Not one, but two events have collectors heading to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Both offer field trips to famous Copper Country localities. Keweenaw Mineral Days (www.museum.mtu.edu/visit/events/keweenaw-mineral-days) is hosted by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and the Keweenaw Gem & Gift Shop and will be 17–21 July. Keweenaw Week (www.michigan.org/event/keweenaw-week-2018) is hosted by the Copper Country Rock & Mineral Club and will be 6–10 August.

Going Southwest? If it's warm weather, warm hospitality, and talks by world-renowned speakers who cover a wide range of topics that you're seeking, the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium (www.dallassymposium.org), 24–26 August, is for you. Rounding out the weekend are spectacular social gatherings and a stop at the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Headlining this year's impressive speaker lineup are Alain Martaud, Dr. Eloise Gaillou, Dr. Peter Lyckberg, Bob Jones, Dr. Robert Bowell, Dr. Andreas Stucki, Dr. Renato Pagano, and Michael Rumsey.

R. T. LIDDICOAT HONORED: This past 2 March marked the centennial birthday of Richard T. Liddicoat, “Father of Modern Gemology,” and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will celebrate his achievements at the 2018 GIA International Gemological Symposium at its world headquarters in Carlsbad, California, 7–8 October.

The “Father of Modern Gemology” Richard T. Liddicoat, shown with a slice of liddicoatite (10 mm tall), named after him in 1977 in honor of his leadership in the field of gemology.

The “Father of Modern Gemology” Richard T. Liddicoat, shown with a slice of liddicoatite (10 mm tall), named after him in 1977 in honor of his leadership in the field of gemology.

Liddicoat joined GIA in 1940 as assistant director of education after graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in geology and a master's in mineralogy. Together with GIA colleagues he established the universal standards for evaluating the quality of diamonds. He documented much of GIA's research and standards in books and articles in trade journals. Eventually his passion for education led to expanding GIA's education programs. In 1952 he became executive president of GIA, and he served as editor-in-chief of GIA's Gems & Gemology for fifty years.

Liddicoat's more than sixty years of service to the gem and jewelry industry have been honored with numerous lifetime achievement awards and honorary memberships worldwide. In 1977 liddicoatite was named for him, and in 1989 the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library & Information Center at GIA was named in his honor.

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 2017, contributed toward color in the remaining articles.

M.E.H.

 

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