Go to main page

Mineralogical Almanac  

News on March, 2003

March 24-31, 2003

On the 28th to 30th of March, the “Gemstone Symphony” exhibition-sale took place in Moscow. According to its permanent participants (Sergei Smagin, Dmitriy Davydov, Sergei Borshchov), nothing new was displayed, except new price of entrance tickets (30 rubles). Alexander Buiko and others (“Piterskiy Jam”) showed jeweler varieties of some mineralogical rarities in the showcases on the podium of the main hall. They demonstrated a similar exposition in 2000. Jeweler articles, cutting, stone souvenirs, eggs, spheres, etc., occupied probably 80 % of the exhibition. Against this background, there were such attractive signs as “Country of Minerals” above a big table with the geodes of Brazil amethysts, but again accompanied by large spheres. African malachite and Armenian obsidian are “frequenters” of “Klio”. A choice of figured stones with landscape patterns – jasper from the South Urals, flint from Moscow area, charoite from Yakutia and others – was quite wide as well. One could purchase a Kantor’s album on “Minerals” and a first issue of the mineralogical almanac on “Gold”. They were on the only table with books near the exhibition entrance.

New Minerals in Five Years (1995-1999)

According to J.A. Mandarino (J.A.Mandarino, 2001), 254 new mineral species have been discovered in the world in 1995-99. Sixty of these new species were discovered in Russia. USA (22), Canada (20), Germany (19), Italy (19), Australia (11), Japan (11), France (10), China (8), and Namibia (7), together with Russia, are top ten countries in terms of discoveries. In the guidebook, new minerals are listed in alphabetic order. We sorted them according to their type localities, aiming to reveal the areas of the most numerous discoveries:
Mt. Saint Hilaire (massif Saint Hilaire), Quebec, Canada has 13 species: calcioburbankite, caresite, kukharenkoite-(Ce), lukechangite-(Ce), manganhomiakovite, normandite, oneillite, reederite-(Y), thomasclarkite-(Y), homiakovite, horvathite-(Y), charmarite, sheldrickite;
Tolbachik Volcano, Big Tolbachik Fissure Eruption, Kamchatka, Russia has10 species: averievite, alumokliuchevskite, vergasovaite, vlodavecite, georgbokiite, ilinskite, koparsite, lesiukite, chlorartinite, chloromenite;
Lovozero massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia has 9 species: intersilite, korobitsynite, kuzmenkoite, manganonordite-(Ce), natroxalate, pyatenkoite-(Y), seydite-(Ce), ferronordite-(Ce), shkatulkalite;
Khibiny Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia has 9 species: ankilite-(La), belovite-(La), deloneite-(Ce), isolueshite, kalifersite, kuharenkoite-(Ce), lemmleinite, nafertisite, fluorcaphite;
Centennial Eureka mine, Juab Co., Utah, USA has 5 species: juabite, leisingite, utahite, frankhawthorneite, jensenite;
Wittichen area, Schwarzwald, Germany has 4 species: benauite (Clara mine), orthovalpurgite, sphaerobismoite, tungstibite (Clara mine), chadwickite (Sophia mine).

(Mandarino J.A. New minerals. 1995–1999. The Canadian Mineralogist. Special Publication 4. Tucson, 2001. 281 p. )

March 21, 2003

Calcite from Koltsovo and Dalnegorsk

A series of very interesting and photogenic calcite specimens is noted in the collection of Victor Ponomarenko. In the 1970s, being a student, in the pit near Koltsovo Village east of Kaluga he found an unusual calcite “mushroom”, reminding a toadstool with thin tubular leg, cuff, and cone hat (“mushroom” was 7-8 cm high). From Dalnegorsk, he recently brought three contrast-shaped calcite crystals: 1) “needle” of 12x0.5 cm size; 2) transparent, completely flat (!) crystal developed as a regular triangular with 8 cm sides; 3) semitransparent circle (!) crystal, reminding compactly gripped bud or bullet of the 12th caliber. From his favorite Dalnegorsk deposits, Victor notes a small (3x4 cm) curious intergrowth, reminding an open sandwich or gnome.

Rare minerals with alexandrite effect

Igor Pekov noted specimens with alexandrite effect among rare earth minerals, such as belovite-(Ce) from Lovozero (in day light obtains green coloring, yellow in electric light), vitusite-(Ce) from the same place (under mercury lamp it changes the color from light-coffee to yellow-orange, but some crystals are emerald-green), lovchorrite from Khibiny, and stillwellite-(Ce) from Dara-Pioza in Tajikistan.

Museums and collections

Pekov’s novelties include a distinct coarse zircon crystal (8x8x6 cm) found by him in summer of 2002 in Vishnyovye Gory in the South Urals and an excellent transparent crystal of smoky barite (8x4x2 cm). Growth of two lustrous aegirine crystals (8-10 cm) from Mount Malosa in Malawi, East Africa, X-shaped inesite intergrowth from China, and coarse stellerite spherulites from the Sarbai Mine in Kazakhstan.

New books and publications

During last years illustrated editions from different regions of Russia practically do not approach mineralogists and admirers of stone in the capital. For example, in 2002 V.B. Semyonov and Yu.O. Kagan published a book about cameo of the Urals craftsmen, made in the 19th century according to classic European standards. In the Kola peninsula, a second edition of the book “Minerals of Kovdor” has been released.

In addition:
Magadeev B.D. “Multicolor of my Urals”. Ufa, 1999. 240 p. (an album dedicated to famous jaspers of the South Urals)
Kvitko A.N. Stone flowers of Zhiguli. Samara, Agnia Publishing House, 2001. 128 p. (about sulfur crystals of Vodinskoe Deposit and other minerals of the Middle Volga Area)
Sazonov V.N., Ogorodnikov V.N., Koroteev V.A., Polenov Yu.A.. Gold Deposits of the Urals: Scientific edition (second, corrected and supplemented). Ekaterinburg, Urals Mining-Geological Academy, 2001. 622 p.

From Indian to Andean Mineralogy

The first issue of the “Mineralogical Record” magazine of 2003 differs in its volume (128 pages) and width of scope ranging from India to the Andes. The name of “Indian zeolite” on the cover means not only world’s famous apophyllite (its green variety from Rahuri is mentioned specifically), mezolite, heulandite, stilbite from Poona-Bombay-Jalgaon Region, but also less significant finds, such as babingtonite (on the photograph xls<8 mm), povellite (huge xl 7.8 cm from Nasik), extravagant kavansite and pentagonite (Wagholy quarry), specimens of unusual shape (curious specimen of stilbite with quartz named “the cricket bat”), crystals with inclusions and others. Minerals are perfectly illustrated. Description of localities, history of their finds, setting, and geological setting compose almost a half of the 80 page article by Berthold Ottens.
International mineralogical news reviewed the 2002 shows in Saint-Mary-au-Mine (France) and Denver.
“Precious Stones and Minerals of the Andes” were the main theme of the 2003 Tucson Show and related symposium. Symposium materials included the data on outstanding mineralogical objects and finds of Peru (silver minerals, Japanese quartz twins), Bolivia (unique apatite crystals from Llallagua), Chile (recent discoveries in the Atacama Desert and Terry Szenics collection), Argentina (Rhodochrosite from Capillitas).

Memorable Dates in March

On March 12, 1863, Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadskiy was born. He was a great Russian scientist and thinker, a prominent mineralogist and a founder of geochemistry. Mineral vernadite is named in his honor.
On March 15, 1938, Margarita Ivanovna Novgorodova was born. She is a specialist in gold mineralogy, director of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences,. Mineral novgorodovaite is named in her honor.
On March 15, 1932, Oleg Vasilievich Kononov was born. He is a specialist in luminescence and mineral typomorphism, technogenic mineralogy and gemology. During more than 40 years, he works as a lecturer at the Mineralogical Department of the Moscow State University.
On March 16, 1967, mineralogist Igor Pekov was born. He works at the Mineralogical Department of the Moscow State University as a researcher on mineralogy of alkaline massifs. He is an author of guidebook on new minerals discovered in the former USSR, review about the Lovozero pegmatite and others. He also gathered one of the largest systematic collections of minerals.
On March 16,1936, mineralogist Vyacheslav Dusmatov was born. He is one of the first explorers of Dara-I-Pioz Massif. Mineral of dusmanovite, discovered in this massif, is named in his honor.
On March 23, 1982, Alexander Sidorenko was killed in a car accident. He was a geologist, an Academician, a President of the All-Union Mineralogical Society, and a Minister of Geology of the USSR. Mineral sidorenkite is named in his honor.
In March 2003, Dmitriy Pavlovich Grigoriev (born in 1909) has died. He was a professor of the St.-Petersburg Mining Institute and a prominent specialist in mineral ontogeny.



Rambler's Top100

Copyright © Ocean Pictures Ltd. All rights reserved.