Go to main page

Mineralogical Almanac  

News on April, 2003

April 2- April 21, 2003

On April 8-21, there was an international conference on “New Ideas in the Earth Sciences” taken place in the Moscow State Mining Academy (MGGRA). Most of the presentations at the gemological section were about diamonds from Russian deposits, especially their colour and genesis. Yulia Solodova et al. from MGGRA characterized various types of black diamonds, which became fashionable several years ago. Mariya Alferova from Moscow State University studied chrome-bearing grossular (“Siberian tsavorite”) from the Otdelnaya Mt. near Talnakh in northern Siberia. This stone failed to succeed as a gemstone due to inclusions and microfractures. Vitaly Giyaditov forecasted a discovery of the noble corundum in the skarns of the Aldan Shield in Yakutia where grains and file pebbles of sapphire (up to 1.5 cm) were found in the gold placer of the river Allakh-Yun. Moskvitin from GOKHRAN of Yakutia classified the gold nuggets for placer deposits of various Yakutian regions. Boris Pirogov from MGGRA evaluated the specific gemological features of the tiger’s eye from banded iron formation of Krivoi Rog, the Ukraine. Beiseev et al. From Kazakh National Technical University reported the same features for nephrites from Kazakhstan. Buryak and Bartholomew from National Mining University in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, studied decorative properties and quality of agate of the Rafalovskoe deposit. Shevchenko from National Mining University in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, studied jaspellite of the Kremenchug Iron District. Michal Sachanbinski from University of Wroclaw discussed relationships between chrysoprase color and origin of the deposits in Poland, Kazakhstan and Australia. Chernenko from MGGRU studied a microstructure of the natural and synthetic malachite. Sergey Potapov from the Mineralogy Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Miass, Urals, reported on technogenic materials as new jewelry, such as dark-blue indigoforsterite, a slag of metallurgical works found in the Urals in 2000. Akhvelediani from the Georgian Technical University discussed the problem of gagate imitations and jewelry stones in the Georgian market. For example, “Armenian stones” sold as emeralds are green Y-Al garnets. Yulia Chukova from Moscow reported that a new scientific branch in chemistry and physics formed in the end of the 20th century, studying effects of “weak influence”, e.g., minor influence of gemstones on health in the 21st century can be a subject of serious scientific research. Vladimir Chernavtsev from Tsentrkvarts, Moscow, discussed the criteria of uniqueness and parameters of gemstone quality. Evgeniy Melnikov stated that there is a necessity to begin a special regional and genetic course on gemology for the graduate students.

April 29 – May 6, 2003

Gems in the Moscow Kremlin exhibitions.

Faberge. Easter Presents – this sensational exhibition has been opened in the Assumption Cathedral bell tower up to July 1. Ten Easter eggs from the Kremlin Armory Chamber made the base of this exhibition, as well as the very special Throne Heir’s Constellation, the Faberge masterpiece recently found in A.E. Fersman Mineralogical museum storage and overhauled in the Kremlin art workshop before its first demonstration in public.

(www.kremlin.ru)

The Amber Gold of Russia – this highly interesting exhibition has been opened in the Kremlin Armory Chamber Bu June 4, 2003. It demonstrated 60 and more pieces from five museums of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kaliningrad, including a unique teapot, boxes, and statuettes, as well as rare large fragments of amber.

(www.kremlin.ru)

April 22-29, 2003

News from Deposits

Three trips to the emerald deposits (USA, Columbia, and Afghanistan)

On April 23 at the mineralogical coterie meeting held in the Fersman Mineralogical Museum,
Dmitry I. Belakovsky showed slides and told about his trip (2002) to the most important emerald occurrence in North America located at the village of Hiddenite, North Carolina. It was the place where in 1969 Michael Finger found a 1438-carat emerald crystal, the largest one in the United States.

Dmitry was lucky to visit the world famous Chivor deposit, Columbia, in 1994. Emeralds occur here in an unusual environment, calcite veins cutting carbonaceous shale; no magmatic rocks are known to occur in the area.

In 2002, Alexander Cherkasov visited the Panjsher Valley NE of Kabul, Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he did not manage to reach the deposits (e.g., Khench and Moukennee), which occur at the contact of carbonate rock and black shale. The latest visit of a geologist here took place in 1982. Emeralds were encountered in dykes and hosting shale. Usually, the crystals were small, 2–5 mm, and the largest one was about 3 õ 1.5 cm. A maximum of 300 carat was reported for the emerald crystalline aggregate found here; no cut crystals exceeding 15 carat are known. A 136-carat crystal from Moukenee crowns the list of the Afghan emeralds.

Local emeralds are priced for their good color, which is intermediate between that typical of Columbian and Uralian stones with no bluish shade. Emerald Miners in Afghanistan have an unlimited access to explosives but lack knowledge on their optimal application; hence the output of undamaged stones is much less than could be. Earlier the Panjsher emeralds were known and sold as Pakistani ones, what brought approx. $10M per year to Akhmad Shah Massoud who controlled the business. After Mssoud’s death in 2001, his family manages the precious stone mining in the country, kunzite included.

After Pakhomov, Ye. (1999) Shakh Massoud’s mines, Itogi, October 5, p. 45-48 (in Russian)

A 232.9-carat diamond found in Yakutia

RIA-Novosti news agency reports that a large (45x40x25 mm) jewellery quality diamond was found at the 12th Udachninsky mine. The diamond has yellowish-brown color and octahedral, somewhat irregular shape. The news was published on March 1, 2003. The price of the stone was preliminary estimated from $1.4M to $1.9 M. The diamond is still unnamed. No such diamonds have been found in Russia since 1991.

Memorable days in April

On April 1973 Samotsvety (Color Stones),  a salon-museum, was opened in Moscow due to the initiative of Anatoly I. Kuvarzin, who ñcelebrated his 80th birthday on April 2003. The museum have been built in fiveyears (1973–1978). It’s funds included unique mineral samples and pieces of art. The salon-museum became a head national organization for export of these items; the prospecting and mining expedition, Exportsamotsvety [Color Stones for Export] was formed in 1973. Anatoly Kuvarzin headed this expedition during 1973–1984. Thirty-five countries imported from Russia. Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, USA, and Poland were among the major partners. In early 80’s the export structure was as follows: 46% raw materials, 42% semi-products, 10% manufactured articles, and 2% specimens for collecting. Later on the proportion of the mineral specimens grew up to 14%.

As wrote by Razvedka Nedr [Prospecting] journal)

Thus, a specialized permanent exhibition of the 6th All-Union Productive Alliance of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR was first transformed into the Color Stones Salon (Exportsamotsvety Foreign Trade Company), and in 1994 it was re-organized to become the Samotsvety [Color Stones] Museum
 at 29/1 Narodnogo Opolcheniya ul., Moscow.

Vladimir S. Chernavtsev’s article about this museum see in World of Stones magazine, 1994, issue 4, pp. 58–60

On April 4, 1765, Mikhail Vassil’evich Lomonosov died (born 1711), an encyclopedist of a scholar and a poet. His first scientific work was compilation of the Kunstkamera mineralogical collection catalog, the collection that gave rise to the Fersman Mineralogical Museum of RAS. Mineral lomonosovite is named in his honor.

On April 8, 1765, Vassily Mikhailovich Severgin, a prominent chemist and mineralogist, was born in St. Petersburg (died 1826). He was a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, an author of the first compilation on the minerals of Russia (1809), and one of the founders of the St. Petersburg Mineralogical Society (1817).

On April 24, 1902, Georgy Alexeevich Krutov, a mineralogist and a geologist, was born (died 1989). He was a Professor of the Mineralogy Chair, Moscow University, and specialized in studies of cobalt deposits. Mineral krutovite was named in his honor.

On April 26, 1988, Fedor Vassil’evich Chukhrov died (b. 1908), a mineralogist and geochemist, a member of RAS. He was a Head of the Institute of Geology of Ore deposits of Russian Academy of Science (IGEM RAS). He was an editor-in-chief of the fundamental Minerals edition published during 1960–1992. Mineral chukhrovite was named in his honor. On April 24, 2003, the Chukhrov memorial scientific readings were held in IGEM RAS where Dr. N.S. Bortnikov reported on mineralogy and geochemistry of the ocean floor ores

 

April 21, 2003

On April 8-21, there was an international conference on “New Ideas in the Earth Sciences” taken place in the Moscow State Mining Academy (MGGRA). Most of the presentations at the gemological section were about diamonds from Russian deposits, especially their colour and genesis. Yulia Solodova et al. from MGGRA characterized various types of black diamonds, which became fashionable several years ago. Mariya Alferova from Moscow State University studied chrome-bearing grossular (“Siberian tsavorite”) from the Otdelnaya Mt. near Talnakh in northern Siberia. This stone failed to succeed as a gemstone due to inclusions and microfractures. Vitaly Giyaditov forecasted a discovery of the noble corundum in the skarns of the Aldan Shield in Yakutia where grains and file pebbles of sapphire (up to 1.5 cm) were found in the gold placer of the river Allakh-Yun. Moskvitin from GOKHRAN of Yakutia classified the gold nuggets for placer deposits of various Yakutian regions. Boris Pirogov from MGGRA evaluated the specific gemological features of the tiger’s eye from banded iron formation of Krivoi Rog, the Ukraine. Beiseev et al. From Kazakh National Technical University reported the same features for nephrites from Kazakhstan. Buryak and Bartholomew from National Mining University in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, studied decorative properties and quality of agate of the Rafalovskoe deposit. Shevchenko from National Mining University in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, studied jaspellite of the Kremenchug Iron District. Michal Sachanbinski from University of Wroclaw discussed relationships between chrysoprase color and origin of the deposits in Poland, Kazakhstan and Australia. Chernenko from MGGRU studied a microstructure of the natural and synthetic malachite. Sergey Potapov from the Mineralogy Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Miass, Urals, reported on technogenic materials as new jewelry, such as dark-blue indigoforsterite, a slag of metallurgical works found in the Urals in 2000. Akhvelediani from the Georgian Technical University discussed the problem of gagate imitations and jewelry stones in the Georgian market. For example, “Armenian stones” sold as emeralds are green Y-Al garnets. Yulia Chukova from Moscow reported that a new scientific branch in chemistry and physics formed in the end of the 20th century, studying effects of “weak influence”, e.g., minor influence of gemstones on health in the 21st century can be a subject of serious scientific research. Vladimir Chernavtsev from Tsentrkvarts, Moscow, discussed the criteria of uniqueness and parameters of gemstone quality. Evgeniy Melnikov stated that there is a necessity to begin a special regional and genetic course on gemology for the graduate students.

Six days in April

April 3 – Lev Andreevich Suzdaltsev was born. He graduated from the is a mineralogist and collector, living in Chelyabinsk. He graduated from the St.-Petersburg University. During recent 20 years, he gifted several outstanding specimens to the university and other museums. These are epidote and perovskite from the Zelentsovskaya Mine in the South Urals, record pyrochlore crystals from the Tartar massif in Siberia.
April 8 – Victor Ponomarenko was born. He graduathed from the Moscow State Mining Academy. He is a geologist, collector, and connoisseur of mineralogy of Dalnegorsk and Zhezkazghan. Last year he worked on the abandoned pegmatites of Akzhailyau in eastern Kazakhstan where he collected outstanding crystals of pink apatite with alexandrite effect.
April 10, 1927 – Alexander Alexandrovich Godovikov (see above) was born. He is a famous Russian mineralogist. Mineral godovikovite is named in his honor.
April 13, 1923 – Anatoly Ivanovich Kuvarzin was born. He is a geologist and a connoisseur of gemstones who worked for many years on the deposits of peuso-optic raw materials and gemstones for the Eksportsamotsvety Expedition. In the 1970s, he was a director of the “Colored Stones” shop in Moscow. He is one of the enthusiastic supporters of the Geopark Project. Together with Godovikov, he worked in the Vernadsky State Geological Museum after its opening in 1988.
April 17, 1834 – Nils Gustaf Nordenskiold discovered alexandrite on the birth day of the future Emperor Alexander II. This jewelry variety of chrysoberyl originated from Izumrudnye Mines in the Middle Urals.
April 19, 1957 – Vladimir Krikov was born. This geologist and collector graduated from the Moscow State Mining Academy. He worked on the famous deposits of Kazakhstan (Altyn-Tyube, Kara-Oba, Akchatau). The main subject of his outstanding collection is micro-inclusions in quartz. These specimens attracted special attention in the Friends of Mineralogy Club in January-March 2003.

April 8-14, 2003

April 13. One month later than usually, the Timiryazev Biological Museum in Moscow (15, Malaya Gruzinskaya Str.) opened the 38th “Wondering in Stone” exhibition. It will last until May 11. The Society of Admirers of Stone is an organizer of this exhibition for many years. Collectors, school children studying in geological groups, and other people display the minerals and fossils in two small halls. Handicraft stone-cutter artists also displayed different articles ranging from polished cuts of figured flint and landscape jasper to charoite vases and jeweler adornments, combined gemstones and metal lace. Unfortunately, the share of mineralogical specimens and mineral species diminishes from year to year, as well as the number of participating collectors (for instance, B.Z. Kantor did not take part this year). Traditionally, every showcase reflects interest and taste of its author. Below, we cite the resorted list of the most interesting specimens, according to minerals and deposits.

Agate – one of the most popular minerals of the exhibition. In terms of quantity of specimens (Chukotka, Baikal, Armenia and others) it probably yields only to jasper. Specimens, such as geode fragment rimmed with red-striped agate Vladimir Area, and agate sphere from the poorly known Ukrainian Yanova Dolina Deposit near Rovno (located, however, close to famous Berestovets that produced diabase for bar pavement of the Red Square) are rare by geography of finds.
Vanadinite – from Mibladen (Morocco) is one of few famous foreign localities, represented on the exhibition.
Villiaumite – dark red, giant crystal, with pectolite, from pegmatite of Koashva (Khibiny) (Michael Kuzmin and others).
Gypsum – photogenic “roses” up to 18-20 cm, gray crystals with white rim along the edges.
Jaspilite – decorative variety of ferruginous quartzite, polished cut with alteration of fine steel-gray and dark red strips from Krivoi Rog, the Ukraine.
Cavansite – from famous deposits of Poona Area, India.
Calcite – coarse separate cystals up to 15x15 cm size, Razlom Deposit, Siberia (Nokolay Tabashkov); druses of lens-like crystals from Dalnegorsk.
Quartz – coarse geodes up to 25 cm size, Staraya Sitnya, Moscow area; zonally colored crystals with inclusions of green chlorite, Sabrole, Rioni River, Georgia and Nikolai-Shor Mt., Subpolar Urals.
Flint – numerous polished cuts up to 30 cm in diameter, Peski and Dmitrov, Moscow area.
Luminescent minerals – displayed in special showcase on the second consecutive year(Anatoliy Korobkov, Michael Fyodorov), corundum from Hit Island, North Karelia, fluorite from Dalnegorsk, gypsum, and others.
Natrolite – druses of needle-like crystals of gray (“mice”) and pinkish color, underground workings of Kirov Mine, Khibiny (Michael Kuzmin). Numerous lorenzenite crystals are developed on the largest (25-30 cm in diameter) natrolite specimen.
Nephrite – rare example of “pattern”, on polished cut of stone one can see a silhouette of a female head.
Pyrite – effective coarse, 30x30 cm, grape-like aggregate, Mikhailovskiy Mine, Kursk Magnetic Anomaly.
Staurolite – crystals and twins in schist, Keivy Plateau, Kola Peninsula.
Tennantite – up to 3-4 cm crystals on matrix (firestone ore), Karabash, South Urals. This outstanding specimen is an “adornment” of the exposition (Vera Ivleeva and others).
Tourmaline – thematic selection (more than 20 specimens) from different deposits, including raspberry ilbaite from Brazil. Zoned crystals, inclusions in quartz.
Charoite – polished sections, reflected various tints and textures of stone; handicraft works (ashtrays, caskets, vases, clocks, and other) occupying the whole showcase.
Jasper – splendid specimens of figured jasper from the South Urals (Anatoliy Korobkov and others); original water-color jasper with blue spots (“irnimite”), Irnimy Deposit, Khabarovsk Area.

According to number of specimens the following deposits stand out:
Dalnegorsk, Primorie (Valentina Lokshina, Igor Lokshin, and others): arsenopyrite – group of prysmatic crystals up to 1–2 cm; galena; calcite; pyrrhotite; sphalerite; fluorite – green cubic crystals up to 8-9 cm;
Kovdor, Kola Peninsula (Michael Kuzmin and others): carbonate-fluorapatite (“shtaffelite”); magnetite – crystal druse; phlogopite;
Murun Massif, Aldan, Yakutia: charoite (see above) and tinaxite, aegirine, and others;
Orsk area, South Urals: jasper;
Peski, Moscow: flint;
Priokskiy Pit
, close to Golutvin, Moscow area: agate, quartz, flint, chalcedony;
Staraya Sitnya, Moscow area: agate, chalcedony;
Khibiny, Kola Peninsula: astrophyllite – “suns” in feldspar, Lopar Pass area; villiaumite – Koashva Mt. (see above); lorenzenite; natrolite – Kirovsk Mine (see below); eudialyte.

April 1-7, 2003

April 3 (Vernadskiy State Geological Museum (GGM)). Opening of photo exhibition “Creative Work of The Earth”.
It is the third consecutive year that the GGM halls display an unusual exposition of several tens of photographs by Michael Leybov and Nikolay Parlashkevich (gemstones, minerals, landscapes, and others), as well as new drawings of mineralogical specimens by Victor Slyotov and Vladimir Makarenko. These latter works are remarkable in distinct reproduction of specific shape of the individuals. Explaining the name of exhibition, Michael Leybov said, “…we are deeply convicted that stone itself is so original and so beautiful that our task is only to reveal this beauty, especially as filming it is a real pleasure, because it does not make a wry face and is always in a good mood. It is not a photo model that is now with this and now with that. Stone is unlimitedly excellent, and the exhibition aimed to show this specific beauty of stone”. Parlashkevich said that more than a half of all the photos are new, including those that have been shot in the USA a month ago. These are a sunset in the Valley of Monuments, Canyons of the Colorado Plateau, excellent rhodochrosite and kunzite specimens, and also images of crystalline gold for the new book “Gold of the World”.
At the opening ceremony, Michael Leybov said that this exhibition is a remarkable reason for meeting and a start for celebrating of the Day of Geologist. Colleagues from geological organizations, institutes, museums, collectors and other people meet here. Academician Nikolay Yushkin, gemologist Evgeniy Melnikov, collector and writer Boris Kantor, photo expert Alexei Sverdlov (a co-author of the “Stones of the Urals” album) were among them. Sverdlov said, by the way, that many of shots need to be enlarged, which, no doubt, coincides with the author’s wishes.
The exhibition will be open till April 30. It is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the publishing activity of “The Earth” Creative Association, which released six issues of “Mineralogical Almanac”, books, and albums sold here.

Photo exposition of famous speleologist Vladimir Mal’tsev moved to café (6, Pokrovka Street) and will be open till 14 April.

5-6 April “Gemma” Exhibition-Sale

The new specimens collected last year were not numerous, but there are interesting finds made 2 to 25 years ago (names of keepers of the specimens are cited in the brackets):
Azurite – radial groups of crystals (up to 5-6- cm in diameter) from China (Michael Anosov and others).
Almandine – intergrowth of two large crystals (one is about 20 cm in diameter), obviously from the Keivy Plato in Kola Peninsula, Russia.
Amazonite with smoky quartz from the East Sayan pegmatites (southern Siberia); the specimens strongly remind the famous ones from Colorado, but they are of smaller size (collections of Ivan Tkachenko, Dmitriy Davydov, and others).
Amethyst – large brush of crystals (up to 4-5 cm) from Zambia (Yuri Kozhevnikov) and groups of large nice-colored crystals from Bolivia.
Anapaite – effective groups of crystals on rock from Kerch, Crimea, Ukraine, (“Crystal-Décor”). According to Vladimir Kuzmin, the outcrop on Zheleznyi Rog Cape in the Taman Peninsula, where the mineral was discovered 100 years ago, will be destroyed soon because of seaport terminal construction.
Beryl – a group of crystals with transparent endings from Akchatau, Kazakhstan.
Turquoise – coarse masses (up to 9x4 cm), bright, though with greenish tint, Erdenet Deposit, Mongolia (Ivan Tkachenko).
Hematite – “iron roses”, up to 2-3 cm size, Pyrtindyrma Mt., Subpolar Urals (Nikolai Khokhanov).
Dioptase with malachite in one large specimen – rare find for Altyn-Tyube, Kazakhstan (Vladimir Krikov).
Quartz – orange-red and green, from Dalnegorsk (Alexander Mineev); unusual druse of long-prismatic crystals, some of them are with “cut” and regenerated picks (possibly these crystals were tectonically broken along the growths of papier spar) (Vladimir Krhikov).
Corundum – bluish-gray crystal 9x7x7 cm size and cabochon up to 8 cm long from pegmatite in the Olkhon Island, Baikal (Ivan Tkachenko).
Flint
– coarse concretion of funny elephant-shaped pattern on the surface, Belorussia (Vladimir Krhikov).
Kunzite and lazurite – both are coarse crystals from Afghanistan.
Nephrite – green, with “cat eye” effect, from East Sayan (Alexander Buiko calls his specimen “koshatik” (catty)).
Perovskite – crystals up to 4 cm size, mines of Zlatoust Area, South Urals (Lev Suzdaltsev).
Pyrite – large flattened pentagon-dodecahedral crystal, 16-18 cm size, Berezovskoe Deposit, Middle Urals.
Rhodochrosite – coarse rhombohedral crystal, about 12 cm in edge, with pyrite powder, Central Kazakhstan (Ivan Tkachenko). Its dirty color (brownish-gray with pink tint) draws a suggestion that this can be siderite.
Rutile – 1) splendid crystals, up to 3-4 cm, on the rock, Kapydzhik Mt., Zangezur Ridge, Azerbaijan, 2) rutile pseudomorph after perovskite cubes (7 mm) on druse of chrome-amesite from the Saranovskoe Deposit (the specimen is purchased for collection of the Mineralogical Museum).
Tennantite –3-4 cm crystals, with chalcopyrite, Karabash, South Urals (Lev Suzdaltsev).
Uvarovite – wide choice of specimens from the Saranovskoe Deposit, Middle Urals.
Elbaite – crystals of more than 10 cm in size, Malnakh Deposit, Transbaikalia.

Beside the specimens, “Gemma” sells mineralogical and geological books published in previous and recent years. The choice varies from a guidebook on “Uranium Minerals” to an album on “Russian Gemstones”.

 

 

Rambler's Top100

Copyright © Ocean Pictures Ltd. All rights reserved.