Gem & Mineral Council Newsletter .Gem & Mineral Council Newsletter September-October 2013 ....
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Transcript of Gem & Mineral Council Newsletter .Gem & Mineral Council Newsletter September-October 2013 ....
On September 8th, a group of 22 members visited the Oceanview and Pala Chief mines. The Council had not visited
these mines since 2007 and it was amazing to see the changes. The tunnels of the Oceanview now extend more than
600 feet and to a depth over 80 feet. A tour of the underground tunnels was really special not something that
most visitors to the mine get to experience. In addition, we had a jeep tour up the hill to the Pala Chief (with great
views of the valley), and the rest of the day to screen for gems in the mine tailings.
A tour underground, with lectures on pegmatite geology by
Tony Kampf. Screening for gems.
Lecture by Rock Currier
Rock Currier, a longtime supporter of the Mineral Sciences Department, gave us an informative talk about How to
tell a great mineral specimen from a piece of rock!. To illustrate his talk, Rock brought some goodies: a variety of
Tsumeb dioptase specimens from his collection. His question: Which one is the best? By the end of his talk, Rock
told us that the price of a mineral specimen in reality simply depends upon the amount that someone is willing to
pay for it. But to assist in the quest for the perfect mineral specimen, one should use online resources, such as
Mindat.org, which gives a lot of information, and provides many pictures of minerals (including the best minerals).
Gem & Mineral Council Newsletter
Rock showed us how to use the Mindat.org website. Also, Rock emphasized the importance of curating ones own
collection, including keeping a database and making labels for each specimen, which increases significantly the value
of the collection. At the end of his talk, Rock offered for sale reprints of his comprehensive Mineralogical Record
article on About Mineral Collecting. Generously, Rock donated all the money received to the Gem & Mineral
The Mineral Sciences Department purchased a scheelite
crystal from China at the Munich Gem & Mineral Show. We
have been looking for a good scheelite for over a year now,
and we were happy to find a specimen with a great shape and
color. We purchased it with GMC funds for about $2,500, so it
is now adoptable! It is at the moment being shipped to the
US, but here is a photo taken quickly at the show.
The Aurora Butterfly of Peace
On of December 4th, 2013, The Gem Vault of the museums Gem and Mineral Hall will become the temporary home
of the worlds most fanciful butterfly The Aurora Butterfly of Peace. The 240 natural fancy-colored diamonds, with
a total weight of 167 carats, artistically depict the figure of a butterfly, a universal symbol of a peaceful and happy
spirit. Alan Bronstein, the owner and curator, spent 12 years assembling this spectacular collection, one stone at a
time, in partnership with Harry Rodman. For over 25 years Bronstein, has been one of the worlds most respected
consultants on colored diamonds to fine jewelers, designers, and private investors.
This spectacular array of very rare fancy-color diamonds, encompassing a complete rainbow of colors, is
unprecedented. Among the exotic hues are purples from Russia, blues and oranges from South Africa, lime greens
from Brazil, violets and dozens of pinks from the Argyle mine in Australia. Like fragments of a rainbow, frozen in time
for eternity, they are hypnotic to the gaze. The Aurora Butterfly of Peace was conceived by the artist as an eternal
icon of love, beauty, energy, nature and peace symbolizing a spiritual connection to earth for all mankind.
We purchased this Chinese scheelite at the Munich Show. It is now up for adoption!
The Aurora Butterfly of Peace, a collection of fancy color diamonds arranged and curated by Alan Bronstein. On the
right, the diamonds are shown under ultraviolet illumination.
3. CONFERENCES & SHOWS
Gemological conference in Paris
Curator Elose Gaillou was a featured speaker at the 13th French
Gemological Conferences (Rendez-vous Gemmologique de Paris), held in
Paris on September 5th-6th. On the first day, talks focused on the gem
market economy, then colored stones, diamonds and pearls on the
second day. International speakers and attendees were present, and it
made a beautiful two days in Paris. Also, to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of the Association Franaise de Gemmologie (afg), fifty
influential personalities and events were chosen among a list created by
specialists. It is featured in the September 2013 edition of the French
Revue de Gemmologie, in chronological order.
Opening of the mineralogy museum, MIM, in Beirut, Lebanon
Curator Elose Gaillou was invited to Lebanon for the opening of the mim, which is a mineralogy museum put
together by collector Mr. Salim Edd, and now owned and hosted at the University Saint Joseph in Beirut. Mr. Edd
wanted to create a museum that was elegant, meaningful, and educational, with the principal focus on gorgeous
minerals. And he did! With the help of Jean-Claude Boulliard, curator of the Sorbonne collection (hosted at the
Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris), he has spent 16 years gathering many of the most beautiful minerals in
the world. The museum offers a total of 1480 minerals (300 species) from 60 different countries, contained within
more than 1300 m (14,000 sq ft) in 9 galleries. A complete report on the mim, which includes a lot of mineral
pictures, can found at:
The systematic gallery, at the mim museum in Lebanon.
The Denver Gem and Mineral Show is the second most important such show in the U.S. each year. This year the shows theme was tourmaline. Tony Kampf, our Curator Emeritus, brought an exhibit with just one specimen a remarkable slice of liddicoatite tourmaline from Madagascar. This was enhanced with lots of educational information on the species and on the origin of its dramatic color zones. Our exhibit was voted one of the five best museum exhibits at the show.
The NHM exhibit at Denver: Liddicoatite: A tourmaline whose beauty is more than skin deep.
The 50th Munich Show
Curator Elose Gaillou & Collection Manager Alyssa Morgan were invited to participate in the Munich Show from
October 24-27. The show theme was gold, in celebration of the shows 50th Anniversary. We brought some of our
best pieces, including The Mojave Nugget (the largest gold nugget in existence from California), an elegant
arborescent (tree-like) gold from Mariposa County, the historic Rams-Horn Gold wire from Colorado, and the finest
known Brazilian gold crystal. Three of our pieces are featured in the official book about the show, and you will also
be able to find us and the exhibit next year in Whats hot in Munich, the DVD report of the show. In the meantime,
a complete report (with fun pictures) can be found on the blog:
Alyssa Morgan and Elose Gaillou in front of the NHM display case at the Munich show. Notice that the Mojave nugget is on
the far left of the picture. Photo: P. Lebrun.
The Munich Show theme book on Gold: some of our specimens are featured, including the Brazilian gold, on the right page,
Gem & Mineral Shows: save the date
- November 8-10, 2013: West Coast Gem & Mineral Show.
One of Southern Californias best gem & mineral shows will be held in Santa Ana at the Holiday Inn/Orange County
Airport (2726 S Grand Ave Santa Ana, CA 92705). Seventy retail and wholesale vendors will be selling minerals,
fossils, gems, jewelry, beads, lapidary supplies, gift items, and related material. The show is open to the public, but
note that this show only has dealers there are no exhibits. Free admission and parking.
- February 4-9 and 13-16, 2014: Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, 60th edition.
Alyssa Morgan and Elose Gaillou will be in Tucson to cover both the gem and the mineral shows, arriving around the
4th and leaving on February 16th. Tony Kampf will join us during the last week, which is mainly focused on minerals.
We will have a display case during the main TGMS Gem & Mineral Show (Feb. 13-16). This years theme is: 60 years
of Diamonds, Gems, Silver and Gold. Another one not to be missed!
4. STUDENTS & VOLUNTEERS
Work study students
The Research & Collection Division of NHM allocated the Mineral Sciences Department two work study students for
this fiscal year. We are happy to announce that Yasmin David and Claudia Whyte are working on cataloguing our
Claudia (left) and Yasmin