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Mineralogical Almanac  

News on November 15 -December 15, 2003


News from Deposits

In the middle of October, at the Sokolovsky Mine in Kazakhstan, a large transparent crystal of gypsum, 50 õ 90 õ 15 cm, weight 60 kg was found. Today it is in the Urals Mineralogical Museum of V.A. Pelepenko's
 according Vladimir I. Ermolenko personal communication


News from Shows

On December 12-14, the regular Mineralogical Show organized by the Gema Company was held in the Palace of Culture of Russian Exhibition Center (Vsesouznyi Vustavochnyi Center (VVC). Some specimens of this Show should be noted.

o  Dmitry I. Belakovsky has noted an apatite crystal from the region northward of Chelyabinsk. It is a clear flatted dark green crystal (10 õ 6 õ 3 cm).

o Orpiment from Elbrus Mine (North Caucasus, Russia) is very ornamental.

o Datolite from the Kurzhunkul Mine, North Kazakhstan for the first time was presented as a brush of crystals (9 õ 5 cm). Achromatic crystals (to 10-15 mm) grow up on epidote. According to Igor Pekov, only separate crystals of datolite were known there before.

o  Large crystals of corundum from cape Budun (Olkhon Island, Baikal) were offered not for the first time. These are livid crystals to 10 cm, mined by Ivan A. Tkachenko and others.


Meetings, conference, exhibitions

On December 14- January 11, 39th exhibition “Surprising in stone took place in Moscow Timiryazev Biological Museum (Malaya Gruzinskaya Street, 15). This Exhibition was organized by Moscow Friends of Mineralogy Club.

Among new participants is the SchoolChildren Faculty MGGRU, which has exhibited specimens collected during geological trip of students with schoolchildren to Russian deposits (especially good are calcite specimens from Belorechenskoye deposit, North Caucasus).

For the first time, the Fersman Mineralogical Museum of the Russian Academy of Science participated in this exhibition, demonstrating a selection of 33 specimens from Victor I. Stepanov's collection  - the best of hetcellite, vacabayashilite and livingstonite specimens from Khaidarkan (Kirghizia), unique spherical aggregates of quartz from the Tebenchi River (Siberia), fragment of transparent natrolite crystal from Khibiny (Kola Peninsula) and others.

Agate and flint always were favor specimens of the exhibition. Flints of Moscow area distinguished not only by beauty, but also by a very interesting genesis, as Victor A. Slyotov has noted. New finds from Moscow and Vladimir regions were shown Mr. Lukhovitsy and Michael Bahhin.

It is necessary to mark agates and rhodonite from Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia) and cavancite from India. The exposition of luminescent minerals was continued from the previous exhibition (about 20 specimens). Outstanding Collector Victor V. Ponomarenko made small but the expressive exposition of calcites from Dalnegorsk (Primorskii Krai, Russia).

Mineralogical Scientific Meetings in the Fersman Mineralogical Museum

November 19
1)   V.I. Kazansky (IGEM) has recounted his reminds about an unknown period in study of Tyuya Muyun (1949-1954);
2)   L.A. Pautov et al. have reported on new data on mineralogy of V-U deposits of Central Asia and Kazakhstan, distinguished by a number of new species.


November 26
1)   Ravil V. Galiulin has made a presentation «On twinning in calcite»;
2)   Ernest M. Spiridonov has reported about mineralogy of the well-known Sarany deposit (with amazing program of slide show).

Memorable dates

November 16, 1875.  Birthday of Victor Ivanovich Vorobiev (dead 1906), mineralogist, who played an important role in destiny of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in the beginning of 20th century.
- Gem variety of pink beryl was named in his honor, another name of this mineral is morganite.

November 19, 1711.   Birthday of Michael Vasilievich Lomonosov, scientist of encyclopedic knowledge. Mineral lomonosovite was named in his honor

November 19, 1829  in the Startseva Yama (Murzinka, Alabashka pegmatite field, Urals), a unique crystal of beryl 27.2 cm long has been found, now it is in collection Mining Museum of St.-Petersburg Mining Institute

November 20, 1856.  Birthday of Peter Andreevich Zemyatchensky (dead 1942), mineralogist, the Curator of the Mineralogical Museum of St.-Petersburg University in the 1880s. See a note by V.I.Vernadsky about him (in Russian) on site http://www.elibrary.ru/books/vernadsky/2.2.0.htm#08

November 23, 1966  is the birthday of Mineral Club of Leningrad (now St-Petersburg). The first chairman of this Club was N.V. Sukhova. Many outstanding Mineralogist cooperate with this Club, for example Dmitry P. Grigoriev (Professor of Leningrad University) made talks to Club members in Mining Museum of the St. Petersburg Mining Academy, Vladimir D. Kolomensky was the supervisor of studies

December 6, 1870.  Birthday of Jacob V. Samoilov (dead 1925), talented mineralogist, pupil of Vladimir I. Vernadsky.

December 7, 1938.  Birthday of Alexander V. Gromov, mineralogist, Professor of the Chair of Mineralogy and Geochemistry of MGGRU, the researcher of Kazakhstan pegmatite bodies.

December 9, 1796. Birthday of Nikolay Fedorovich Isakovich (Nile, Archbishop of Yaroslavl and Rostov), who has collected the most valuable collection of Siberian minerals. See about him and his collection in G.F. Anastasenko's book and in her articles in Mineralogical Almanac v. 2, 1999, and World of Stones magazine, #12, 1997.

December 11, 1912 . Birthday of Kinichi Sakurai (dead 1993), Japanese amateur collector, his big, scientifically documented mineralogical collection has  670 species from 1380 sites of Japan (see Miner. Record, 1994, v.25, #1, p.2).


At the bookshelf

Minerals  of the Carpathians, Edited by S. Szakall. Published by Granit, 2002, Prague, 480 p. in English

Finds of minerals in the region, covering six countries (Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine), where more than 1000 mineral species were found for three hundred years of studies (approximately as much as known on the Urals or in California) were considered, out of them more than 50 are new species. These are classical finds of gold crystals, specimens of noble opal and magnificent collection of specimens of common and rare minerals (antimonite, aragonite, barite, malachite and many others), and the world largest crystals of hessite, chabasite, mellilite, etc. These finds were included in directories and represented in the largest museums of the world, but unfortunately, frequently there are problems with their binding since boundaries between states repeatedly changed on this area. The new book helps to remove many of these problems as it contains reference maps by countries, index of sites which lists both new and old names, as well as their variants (for example, name in Slovak, Hungarian and German languages). Attached are drawings of crystals by mineral classes, important data on museums of the region are also given. It is not surprising that the book containing such volume of information became the best seller in the European market of literature on mineralogy


Magic World: Inclusions in Quartz.  by Jaroslav Hyrsl and Gerhard Niedermayer, Bode Verlag, 2003 (in English and German)

Pure” minerals are almost absent in Nature. They always have faults or defects in composition, structure of their crystal lattice, and in form (habitus) of crystals.

Inclusions (prisoners) of one minerals in other are undoubtedly one of forms of these defects, but at the same time they bear in itself a huge a information, which is used by man in many spheres of life from actual use of natural resources (effective prospecting, exploration, and development of mineral deposits) to high technologies in engineering and science, construction and in private life.

99.99 % of inclusions in minerals are indiscernible by naked eye without corresponding special exploratory equipment, but in transparent minerals there are, though very rarely, macroinclusions, which can be diagnosed visually (but could not be touched!).

Quartz is surprisingly fertile mineral (as a “capturer”, “preservative”) by virtue of transparency, high hardness, formations of large and even huge individuals with well developed own cutting, and also because of the omnipresence, high abundance in various types of deposits and manifestations of mineral resources.

It should be noted that special literature is abundant on studies of quartz inclusions and application of results in practice (in particular - for production of artificial materials, in prospecting and exploration of new mineral deposits, etc.). All developed countries of the world professionally studied inclusions. But basically at the microlevel! Large inclusions are very rare (though almost one-kilogram topaz crystals in quartz in pegmatites of Volhynia and about one meter cavity with gas-liquid inclusions in large quartz crystals in deposits of Kazakhstan and Brazil were registered). In studies, including mineralogical, macroinclusions in most cases were simply registered as a fact, either funny thing or defect in quartz most often preventing fulfillment of the primary goal of nature user or, which is more lamentable, of researcher. At the best, if it was possible, specimens of quartz with inclusions got in museums or in private collections and this has allowed to save for us and descendants this unique material.

Some material was certainly used in different sorts of hand-made articles. Quartz crystals with inclusions were described in early Middle Ages. In the 13th century, Mogamed Ben Manssur has written the “Book about Gems” for Sultan Nassara Bedirkhan from the abbas tribe, in which he, describing “bellor” – rock crystal – certifies the Sultan that wood, grass, and moss are frequent in bellor. He personally had seen two bellors, from which “one comprised a green branch and the other - a hyacinth flower”. In days of Catherine the Great, hand-made articles of quartz with inclusions were an attribute of high erudition of the holder and were fabulously expensive. A.Vambern, Hungarian specialist in Turkic philology of the 19th century, states that in his presence a Turkmen sheikh had cured a person bitten by a poisonous snake, stroking a place of bite with quartz crystal with inclusions of golden needles of rutile.

Presently, hand-made articles of quartz with inclusions become more and more popular, though they are expensive. And not only because of high decorative effect and internal mystery, but also because of increase of internal culture of man. Pliny – the Roman writer and naturalist – has written two millenia ago: “Each gem, as a drop of water, reflects all greatness of nature and any one gem is enough to feel the top of its perfection”.

Magnificent and yet unique publication of Jaroslav Hirele and Gerhard Nidermeier “Great Secrets of the World: Inclusions in Quartz» perfectly illustrates Pliny's words.

For the first time, authors together with colleagues – photographers Rhainer Bode, Heinz Ditter Muller et al. have managed to show in photos fantastic beauty and the vast variety of mineral inclusions in quartz. They used own collections of quartz with inclusions and more than 50 other private mineralogical collections of amateurs and connoisseurs of stone from Czechia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Morocco, Argentina, Brazil, the USA and other countries. They also used worthy and disposable material of leading mineralogical museums and galleries of Europe and the USA: Viennese Museum, Norwegian Museum, Dresden Museum of Mineralogy and Geology, Los Angeles Natural History Museum, etc.

High aesthetics of specimens and excellent performance of photographs are characteristic of more than 300 images of 68 different mineral species from common rutile in quartz (36 photos), chlorite (22 photos), tourmaline (13 photos), hematite (18 photos) and goethite (17 photos) to rarely present and visible in quartz apatite, bournonite, cyanite, beryl, uvite and other minerals. Dioptase in quartz and discovered in the middle 90s of the 19th century in Transvaal papagoite and ioite – clayey minerals of magnificent blue color – certainly please the eye and heart. Gas-liquid inclusions; inclusions of bitumens, asphalts, petroleum, other organic compounds basically from China; pseudomorphs and paramprphs of quartz in quartz after antimonite (Kadamzhai); ilmenite after brookite; muscovite after anhydrite, etc.; dendrites of Mn and Fe oxides and diverse basically chlorite, goethite, and sericite phantoms are very well illustrated, though little numerous.

Illustrations are accompanied by brief but informative and understandable even for amateur comments describing properties of material, deposit, its history and history about it. In addition, the book-atlas gives a similar description of more 86 mineral species and about 30 unrecognized forms met by researchers as inclusions in quartz from various deposits and manifestations of the world - from diamond to ice. Artificial inclusions in quartz are also briefly characterized.

In the book, minerals-inclusions are conveniently classified under the standard classification of minerals: native elements, sulphides, halogenides, oxides, borates, sulfates, tungstates, carbonates, phosphates and silicates and are easy to be found, therefore, the book can serve as a directory, a qualifier of minerals, a fine gift and as a simply beautiful and easily readable publication.

It is a regret that in Russia and Former Soviet Union countries there is no such a book, though the territory is extremely rich in mineralogy, including minerals-inclusions in quartz (see for example photos at the bottom of this page). Hopefully the next edition of this book will include material from Russia and Former Soviet Union countries. I recommend this book to all collectors and museum curators and mineralogist and all amateurs and students.

Vladimir Krikov,
Collector of Specimens with Inclusions



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