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38th Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium

Last Updated: 23rd Dec 2017

By Erin Delventhal

This is a LIVE report, keep this page loaded for live updates - new images will appear as they are added.

It's time for the 38th Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium held at The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico.

I've arrived a day early to spend some time in the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Mineral Museum. The museum has existed since 1889 (with much history in since) but moved into this new facility in 2015.

The museum specializes in New Mexico minerals.

Here is a phenomenal Kelly Mine smithsonite.

Nearby is my favorite specimen in the museum: the largest single crystal of New Mexico halite that ever came out of the Carlsbad District.

An excellent Cooke's Peak fluorite.

A copper ps. azurite in matrix!

Gypsum from the White Sands Missile Range.

Another of my favorites from this museum: a curved gypsum with scrutinyite (TL) from the Blanchard Mine.

Cristobalite from the Beryllium Virgin claim, New Mexico.

A cute little Chino Mine copper!

A Petaca District columbite.

Very interesting vanadinite on calcite from the Macy Mine, New Mexico.

One of the largest crystals of aphthitalite in the world, US Potash Mine, New Mexico.

We'll adventure away from New Mexico specimens for a while. A substantial wulfenite cluster from the Glove Mine, Arizona.

Blödite from Searles Lake, California.

Chalcoalumite and azurite from Bisbee, Arizona.

Another of my favorites here: green calcite from Horse Canyon, Utah.

Inesite from Trinity County, California.

Pascoite, West Sunday Mine, Colorado.

Many space rocks!

Babingtonite from West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Fluorite, Walworth, New York.

Heulandite-Ca from Rat's Nest claim, Idaho.

Chalcopyrite and pyrite, French Creek Mines, Pennsylvania, USA.

Smithsonite after dolomite, Arkansas.

A new permanent exhibit this year is a project that was proposed during last year's symposium to create a petrified wood "forest" outside the museum.

The project has been a year long task spearheaded by Alan Perryman and made possible by the Friends of the Museum and some very generous donors.

The wood (all from Arizona) was transported to campus, polished by both students and volunteers in a class overseen by Alan, and the final piece was installed last week.

I especially enjoy this "fallen" log still embedded in a conglomerate of pebbles from the riverbed it was deposited in.

During the project, Alan's wife passed away. This piece (pictured with Alan) is called "Joee's Halloween" and has been placed in memorial of Joee Perryman.

We will hear more from Alan about this project during the symposium talks.

Tom, this one is for just for you.

Palygorskite, Pend Orielle Mine, Washington.

Bournonite from Yaogangxian Mine, China.

A new favorite! Stibnite on barite from Hunan, China.

Afghanite from Sar-e-Sang, Afghanistan.

"Liddicoatite" from An Phu Mine, Vietnam.

Another for Tom.

Sepiolite, Eskisehir Province, Turkey.

Semseyite and galena, Herja Mine, Romania.

Hematite, Sardinia, Italy.

Dyscrasite, Uranium Mine no. 21, Czech Republic.

Gedrite from Ethiopia.

Cuprosklodowskite and vandenbrandeite from Munsonoi Mine, Republic of Congo.

Hausmannite from N'Chwaning Mines, South Africa.

Tsumeb smithsonite.

Uraninite, Cardiff Uranium Mine, Canada.

Ferberite, Tazma, Bolivia.

This adamite has a bellybutton!
Ojuela Mine, Mexico.

Anhydrite and calcite, Naica Mine, Mexico.

Chrysoberyl from Colatina, Brazil.

A very decent cumengeite, Amelia Mine, Mexico.

A display of "The Mineral Kingdom: a visual mineral textbook after J.D. Dana."

A grouping of native elements.

While being educational, the display has some great little specimens also!
Carrollite, Kambove Mine, Congo.

Fun elements!

Senarmontite, Djebel-Hamimate Mine, Morocco.

One for Jolyon:
Perovskite, Ural Mountains, Russia.

A display of "Elements: the building blocks of minerals."

Kelsey McNamara, curator of the museum, and Virgil Lueth, director of the museum, are going to give us a little tour of behind the scenes.

Here are some recent donations to the museum.

Some "pretty" things.

We're in the reference collection now.

A realgar crystal that can't be displayed. China.


International smithsonite.

Pyrites from Mississippi.

While it's definitely safe, we've agreed the days of sticking minerals in acrylic blocks should be over. French pyromorphite.

One of the world's most comprehensive millerite collections.

A millerite from Sudbury District, Canada.

A German millerite.

Fun fact: the entire collection was donated by Glenn Miller of Tucson who decided to collect every locality of millerite he could find.

One of the largest monticellite crystals Virgil is aware of.

A "museum quality" murdochite on quartz from the Blanchard Mine.

Drawers of New Mexico smithsonite.

Some of the variety of smithsonite from the Kelly Mine.

"Eggshell" smithsonite.

Smithsonite replacement of limestone.

Smithsonite replacement of a crinoid stem.

A specimen of turquoise from Porterfield Mine with a commemorative Porterfield spoon - this area is one of the oldest turquoise producers in North America.

A cabinet full of New Mexico turquoise specimens. Virgil is telling me that the museum collection focuses on creating comprehensive collections regarding New Mexico material in particular.

Kelsey is showing me the card catalogue - the records are still kept in hard copy here as a backup to the digital version.

Virgil has pulled out the museum "spirit animal" for us.

Some artifacts are stored here too. This is a very neat old bellows.

Trinitite and related blast products from the Trinity test site.

There's rocks here too!

A really neat orbicular granite.

Coal and other hydrocarbons!

The reference collection holds 19,000+ mineral and rock specimens.

We're off to the classroom used for visiting school groups.

Here are some "pseudofossils."

There's an augmented reality sandbox used for teaching topography and other subjects.

The cases downstairs load from the inside.

"I'm watching you in my mineral case."

Kelsey is showing us some of the labs. Here's the x-ray diffractometer.

An appropriate desktop image for the lab. "It was just so boring before," I was told.

There will not be an aquamarines in the making of this live report (because really, no one cares!).

Here's an interesting beryl instead: emerald from the Makarah Outcrop, New Mexico.

There will not be any aquamarines in the making of this live report (because really, no one cares!).

Here's an interesting beryl instead: emerald from the Makarah Outcrop, New Mexico.

Euxenite-(Y) from White Signal District, New Mexico.

New Mexico pegmatite minerals!

Quartz with multiple Japan law twins from the San Pedro Mine, New Mexico.

And a smoky Japan law twin, Ortiz Mountains, New Mexico.

Magdalena District - lots of Kelly Mine specimens.

Barite from the Juanita Mine, New Mexico.

These are particular dear to my heart, as my parents' first date was in the Juanita Mine collecting these barite.

On to the Hansonburg District!

Linarite alteration of galena, Blanchard Mine, New Mexico.

Spangolite from the Mex-Tex Mine.

Giant barite blades on blue fluorite, Blanchard Mine.

Jarosite (Virgil's favorite!) with hematite on quartz, Blanchard Mine.

Over to the Fierro-Hanover District.

Azurite from the Hanover #2 Mine.

Turquoise from the Barringer Fault.

Cuprite from the Hanover Mine.

From the Santa Rita and Tyrone Districts.

Spinel twin copper from the Chino Mine.

Pyrite, chalcocite, and sericite from the Chino Mine.

I believe these are sometimes referred to as "ducktownite."

Pyrite and galena from the Ground Hog Mine.

The last of the regional cases: the Organ District.

Cerussite from the Stephenson-Bennett Mine.

Wulfenite from the Stephenson-Bennett Mine.

One of the things from the Organs that I enjoy: epitaxial albite on microcline.

Large quartz specimens (smoky and amethyst).

No New Mexico collection can be complete without acknowledging the uranium minerals!

Zippeite, Grants District.

Curite and uranophane, Ambrosia Lake District.

Metaheweitte, Section 33 Mine.

New Mexico also has gold and silver!

Gold in calcite, San Pedro Mine.

Silver in dolomite, Alhambra Mine.

Some interesting lapidary stuff - if you're into that kind of thing.

Rabb Canyon moonstone.

There are some oversized specimens in the lobby area. A couple Elmwood specimens.

It's about closing time, so I'm going to wander off to visit with some friends in town.

Tomorrow we'll be heading out with a group on the Symposium's worst-kept secret - a field trip to the Blanchard Mine! Surface collecting will be open and Ray deMark typically opens the Sunshine No. 3 adit for folks to collect underground.

(I likely won't have any cell service from there, but will update the report with some photos when I can.)

It's about closing time, so I'm going to wander off to visit with some friends in town.

Tomorrow we'll be heading out with a group on the Symposium's worst-kept secret - a field trip to the Blanchard Mine! Surface collecting will be open and Ray DeMark typically opens the Sunshine No. 3 adit for folks to collect underground.

(I likely won't have any cell service from there, but will update the report with some photos when I can.)

We're back in civilization now, but here's a little recap of our adventures at the Blanchard today.

My morning was extra adventurous after some car trouble (super thank you to Pat Haynes for coming to rescue me!), but here I've just caught up with the group on the way out to the mine.

Ray DeMark is giving us an overview of the history and geology of the mine.

The mine is in the Pennsylvania age Madera limestone which developed into a large karst system. At some point after, the caverns were subjected to hydrothermal fluids following faults along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift. The first deposition involved silicification of the limestone, followed by primary mineralization (chalcopyrite, galena, barite, and fluorite). These minerals have since altered to many secondary minerals, primarily carbonates and sulfates, such as anglesite, cerrusite, brochanite, and also some rareties like spangolite, caledonite, and linarite.

The view from the mine is pretty exceptional.

The entrance to the Sunshine No. 3 adit.

The entrance!

There is a fine art to getting in - backwards is easiest.

Towards the back of the adit (this one only goes in 460 feet).

Ray is pointing out some of the evidence of the karst system.

Some detail of those formations.

A pocket of fluorite and altered galena.

Some of the galena alterations are quite extreme - here are some fairly long cerrusite crystals.

The hardest part (literally) of digging at the Blanchard is the silicified limestone. It isn't hard to find good minerals here, but it is very hard to get them out intact. I didn't try to remove this one.

Here's a broken galena showing some classic alteration rings.

Meanwhile, on the surface!

Since there isn't much to do in the desert, Alan has brought out a generator to spend some time vacuuming the ground.

Just kidding - he's doing some high-tech mucking.

This area has some very interesting chrysocolla seams, and they've just hit one!

And it's not bad!

These sometimes have some lovely micro octahedral fluorites dusting them.

The Blanchard has quite a lot of barite, but finding a full crystal is uncommon as most of it is massive.

And I'm back underground to see what other folks are up to. Someone has come across a linarite! (Unfortunately it split while trying to extract it.)

Someone has also found a pocket of something interesting! We suspect it may be brochantite altering to chrysocolla.

They were not able to get the pocket out before it was time to head out for the day.

Someone has had some decent luck with fluorite!

Working on a pocket - I think the seam of barite and fluorite pictured is very neat!

I've spotted some linarite!

(This also did not come out successfully.)

More examples of the intergrown barite and fluorite.

The adit entrance from the inside. The digging portion of the day is done and it's time to head home.

A nice plate of altered galenas.

A view of the mine on the way out.

A friend I made on the way out - I caught him crossing the road. I think this time of year is tarantula migrating season (though I'm not sure where it is that they go).

It is good to remember that when we're out in these remote areas, we're in the homes of other creatures - I did my best to shoo him across the road and carried on.

Tomorrow we're off on the official Symposium field trip to the US 60/Bursum Mine to collect some exceptionally good goethite! I am told I may have cell reception there, so I hope to update as we go, but we'll see if that happens.

A couple people have arrived for today's field trip!

I do have cell service, which is exciting!

I'm up at the top dig site now, but there are collecting spots all along the road up.

The groups are going at it, but Alan is explaining some background to the deposit.

We're in the Chupadera Range of the Luis Lopez Mining District, which is associated with a volcanic caldera. The matrix rock here is a brecciated rhyolite. Hydrothermal fluids initially deposited manganese oxides (we can't say psilomelane anymore, but those type of things) and iron oxides (goethite!).

The goethite is primarily what we're here to collect. There's a variety of botryoidal forms, including "stalagtites" and "kidney ore" type structures.

Someone has already found the jewel of this area!

After the deposition of manganese and iron oxides, some areas saw further deposition of quartz and even more rarely, opal! I'm told the opal fluoresces green.

Alan's brought the generator again for some more high-tech mining and is giving lessons in how to use the hammer drill.

This seems to be a pretty effective method.

I've found my own piece with opal.

I'm lazily collecting in the vacuum dump pile.

Other people are working harder than I am and are doing well!

A larger specimen in situ.

Other people are collecting smaller specimens and micros.

I've gone down the hill a bit to see what folks are up to here.

Some interesting goethite spherules.

There's also barite here!

A pretty decent example of the mineralized breccia - with another little spot of opal!

A little pocket of "velvet" goethite - it's quite beautiful but I don't think it will survive the trip home.

Though snake season is largely over in this area, there are still a few things that will bite.

I've collected as much rust as is reasonable for one day, so I'm rolling down the hill and back to town to scrub off before all the social events of the evening begin. I have a suspicion it will be a long evening, but you'll hear about that soon enough.

(For fun, my vehicle is actually in this photo.)

We're now all gathered at the museum for an open house and reception for the Friends of the Museum.

Virgil is making some announcements and thank yous.

I am not tall enough to show all the heads well, but there's a full house here!

The newest project the museum is looking to fund is new display cases!

This is a great way to expand the museum and I hope to see this happen soon, as there were many specimens in the reference collection that I asked "Why aren't these on display?" to be told "We don't have the space!"

Lots of folks catching up with each other in the lobby.

Other people are mingling in the museum.

Don Saathoff and Phil Simmons are here - we're trying to settle some debate about the nomenclature related to "Mule Creek" vs. "Sawmill Creek" amethyst.

Some people are still here but the majority of folks have headed over to the less formal "tailgating" event. I'm on my way there now.

We're at the Comfort Inn & Suites for the tailgating event, which is less a tailgate and more of a small mineral show.

It's dark but the parking lot is filling up and getting more full by the minute!

I've just walked into the first room and some nefarious characters are up to no good.

One specimen that has already found a new home.

This is a new find of siderite on calcite from the Calcite Portal, Bankers & Exchange Mine, Paquin Mining District, Ouray County, Colorado. From Robert Stoufer, found with his mining associates.

Paul Hlava is looking at some cubic copper crystals from the Chino Mine. Specimen from JaMs Rocks.

Mark Jacobson is telling me some stories.

He's bought a specimen even! A white beryl from the Picuris District.

Some beautiful mineral quilts by Anne Moats. The left is a scene of the Kelly Mine and the right is a fantasy Pederneira tourmaline that is the closest to the real thing Anne says her husband Will can have.

Will Moats has some micros available - Will doesn't remember what's in here but there's lots of uranium minerals and a couple iodargyrites.

Mel's Rocks has a neat dolomite from Traversella, Italy.

And a single silver crystal from a Michigan!

Octahedral fluorite from Cooke's Peak - I'm being told it took about a year to clean this specimen.

From Gregg Hales.

B dot's Rocks mined out the last of the White Raven Mine this year, which was known for native silver, argentiferous galena, barite, and siderite. Here are some specimens from that area.

Self-a-Ware Minerals has some great Rum Jungle specimens.

Tom Hughes has some really neat memorabilia - the stereographs are exceptionally neat!

A circa 1900s level! From Dragonfly Enterprises-Artifacts & Antiques.

Michael Michayluk has a blue hemimorphite from the Memphis Mine.

Some show and tell is happening.

For Keith Compton:

Chris Cowan has a couple flats of copper after azurite ("copper roses") from the Copper Rose Mine.

And a large rough Nevada opal.

Michael Michayluk has a print of a cannizzarite crystal from the Merrimac Mine in the Organ Mountains.

He's thinking about doing more prints of his mineral photos.

Enchanted Minerals has some new Cooke's Peak fluorite from the Surprise Mine. They've now got a claim on it and are actively working for mineral specimens.

The Collector's Stope has a lovely rose quartz crystal from Brazil.

Forever Young has a full room of specimens - and has figured out the perfect way to light the bed specimens.

Some great thumbnails!

An enormous Libyan desert glass from Blaine Reed Meteorites.

An older Stanley compass.

Blaine is telling me an abbreviated history of these compasses - Brunton and Stanley were partners until they had a falling out. Brunton became the leader of compasses in the US while Stanley took over the British market.

We're definitely interested in filling in some more details to this story.

Most everyone has disappeared and closed up for the night, but a few of us are still lingering about and reminiscing about shows past and minerals that got away and more stories that are incredible but probably not safe for republishing.

The symposium talks start tomorrow morning, and I'll resume coverage then!

It's morning and folks are gathering for registration, breakfast, and more socializing.

Talks start in about half an hour.

A thing I most appreciate about this symposium: food and drinks (coffee!) are available immediately in the morning.

This is very important.

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources publications office is here with books and maps and reports and other things.

Terry and Marie Huizing are here from Rocks & Minerals magazine.

Iva Veselinova is here from Lithographie!

The Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club is here with information about the club. They are one of the groups that sponsors the symposium.

Ray DeMark has put in a display case related to his talk this afternoon. Here are some excellent caledonite and linarite specens from the Blanchard Mine.

Allen Schmiedicke has a case of "Treasures of the Graphic Mine, Magdalena, NM." Allen says all these specimens were collected on the dump piles - we'll hear more from him during his talk tomorrow.

Time for talks! Virgil is making announcements and thank yous (again!).

The crowd - we've got a good number of people here.

The first talk this morning is "Exploring the minerals of Wind Mountain: An alkaline laccolith near the border with Texas" by Michael Michayluk.

Some of you may have seen the two articles Michael has added to mindat about their adventures at Wind Mountain - he's told me there are quite a few updates since then and he will be adding a third article with that information soon!

Clinoptilolite from Wind Mountain - this is a new discovery at Wind Mountain and was analyzed at the labs here at New Mexico Tech on Tuesday of this week.


I believe one of these photos was mindat photo of the day at one point.

Tom Rosemeyer is now presenting "Adventures of the Conglomerate Kid in the Michigan Copper Country."

A 2,000+ pound copper conglomerate.

40-45% copper content!

After a brief coffee and burrito break, Les Presmyk is saying some words in honor of Veterans' Day.

Les has asked the veterans in the audience to stand for a round of applause.

Now Barbara Muntyan is presenting "The Piedmont Mine: History, minerals, and myths."

Ms. Muntyan is detailing some of the myths surrounding the Piedmont Mine.

Per a prior slide: "The definition of a mine: a hole in the ground with a liar on top." - Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Some examples of what all the fuss is about: the specimens noteable from the Piedmont are quartz coating malachite after azurite.

Alan Perryman is now presenting "What I did on my summer vacation: the "Pet"rified Forest Project."

Here are some particulars of the project.

Actual documentation of Virgil at work!

Some entertaining exchange of awards.

Virgil has received a polished turd and a shark coprolite.
Alan has received a Master Turd Polisher degree from the Universal Society of Turd Polishers.

The detail of the exchanges awards.

It's time for lunch now but we'll be back shortly.

Robert Walstrom is now presenting "Updated mineral lists for the Georgetown District, Grant County, New Mexico."

Some interesting quartz from the Leadville No. 1 Mine.

Mr. Walstrom is detailing the minerals listed for some of these localities as well as things that will be added to fill in the lists.

Bromargyrite from the Naiad Queen Mine.

Philip Simmons is now presenting "Enchanted adventures: 30 years of field collecting in New Mexico."

In case anyone who doesn't know Phil doubts his 30 years of collecting, he's donned a wig to better represent his credibility on the subject.

Here is a map with pins on every mine or Mine group that Phil has collected at.

Collecting Sierra Blanca quartz during the "early years."

The find that most folks probably know best: Carlsbad blue halite!

A bit about Carlsbad apthitalite crystals - we saw one of these in the museum earlier in this report.

Some of the items that will be auctioned off tonight at the Mineral Symposium Banquet.

A large Sierra Blanca smoky quartz plate!

Ray DeMark is presenting "Caledonite and linarite from the Blanchard Mine, Bingham, New Mexico."

An example of galena with anglesite/cerrusite alteration, followed by linarite which in this case has partially altered to malachite.

I don't know if anywhere in the world that produces specimens like this.

One of the best linarites ever produced at the Blanchard - this is a fairly well known specimen.

A ~5mm caledonite crystal.

Bob Jones is presenting the featured presentation "The history of the Bristol, Connecticut Copper Mine."

"Original Workings at the Bristol Copper Mines."

A two inch chalcocite in the Yale collection.

"The Flucan-(Fault Gouge) and veins."

This is before crystal pockets received names.

Chalcocite twins!

We're at the Joseph A. Fidel Center for the banquet dinner now. There is some neat glass work in the atrium.


And auction items!

All the money raised here will benefit the museum.

Molydebnite from the Questa Mine. This locality is closed now.

A lavendar calcite from the Tri-State District. This is generating some conversation.

A thing I may have to bid on a crysocholla ps. malachite, Congo.

A thing I did bid on - Rabb Canyon moonstone!

Some interesting galena.

A beautiful variscite slab.

The live auction is beginning!

Things will get pretty contentious as this goes on.

Two bottles of Mineral Wine are up now!

And now a copy of Fine Minerals of China (in English!).

Since Bob Jones wrote the intro, he's offered to sign it!

Now a print from the Creede, Colorado area.

A pink Searles Lake halite.

Now the smoky!

Virgil is now auctioning 10 mineral analyses performed by New Mexico Tech with a full report included.

This is a phenomenal idea!

Now a goethite egg carved from Bursum/US 60 Mine material.

This comes with a sock for wrapping.
It also doubles as a sock puppet, as Virgil is demonstrating.

Now the hottest item of the night: Ray is auctioning off a personal tour of the Blanchard Mine. Choose any adit you'd like, and a champagne brunch at the mine is included!

We have a winner!

We'll resume with a half day of talks in the morning.

We're back at the hotel for more tailgating and socializing.

Ray DeMark has some various New Mexico specimens available at great prices.

DiWolf has a variety of crafted items - excellent quality as always!

Circle K Designs has some jewelry including this tiger eye and citrine necklace.

Rock-N-Dbl C has some jewelry also - here's a lovely pendant.

Tom Hughes has some Alhambra Mine silvers that are beautiful!

Mel's as a really neat phenakite on microcline from Galileia, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

And an asbestos specimen that fluoresces. I can't get a great photo of it but you'll have to trust me - I took it in the bathroom to check.

We're back for the final day of the symposium.

Folks are checking out the items available at today's auctions.

Virgil is giving some symposium reports.

The event is a break-even event, with the idea of allowing folks to attend.

The attendance this year is 249, which is not the largest but not bad at all. The auction fundraising last night was a record.

Donna Ware is presenting "The Creation of the Sherman Dugan Museum of Geology at San Juan College, Farmington, New Mexico."

This is a project I had some involvement in.

The research portion of developing this museum involved many, many hours spent on mindat!

Patrick Haynes is now presenting "Kelly Mine mineral update."

Pat has recently added 20-some minerals to the Kelly Mine mineral list on mindat.

We saw one of these earlier in the report in the museum research collection: a smithsonite replacement of a crinoid section.

This one has some azurite with it, so according to Pat, it is an "azurnoid!"

Niedermayrite and ktenasite!

A rhombohedron of smithsonite with a scalenohedron phantom of smithsonite.

Pat showed me this under the microscope and it's exquisite.

A yellow acicular unknown.

A "pagoda" wulfenite.

Allen Schmiedicke is presenting "Micro and thumbnail treasures of the Graphic Mine, Magdalena District, Socorro County, New Mexico."

A neat specimen of azurite and malachite with some pseudomorphing happening.

There are some really lovely specimens being shown off.

A little background for those who are unfamiliar with the area: the Waldo, Graphic, Juanita, and Kelly Mine are all within about a half mile of each other and are so interconnected underground that the line between where one starts and another begins is incredibly vague. The underground workings are quite extensive at nine levels.

My style of specimen: weird and kind of ugly!

Mr. Schmiedicke has had a lot of luck on the Graphic dump piles - these are his numbers from an area about 1 to 1.5 meters square.

Steven Veatch is presenting "Cripple Creek Highgrading: The Untold Stories."

We saw another presentation from Mr. Veatch at the recent Gold and Silver Symposium - it was very good and I am looking forward to this one.

He's brought some helpers this time: Ben Elick and Jenna Salvat.

As much as high-grading has a bad rap, there is one advantage: some specimens have survived the smelters because of it!

Ben Elick is showing us some of these specimens now.

At age 13, he's speaking with more authority on telluride minerals than I could.

Jenna Salvat is now showing us some more about the Cripple Creek mineralogy. Today is her 17th birthday.

I take back what I said about "helpers": these two young adults may very well be giving the best presentation of this symposium. Incredibly impressive!

Miss Salvat has just explained the mechanism of gold replacement or calaverite crystals.

The material from this presentation is from the collection of the Cripple Creek District Museum.

I think these last two presentations have inspired much excitement for the future generations of studying mineralogy.

Anna Dometrovic is now presenting "The Desert Museum's limestone caves and cave-like minerals."

A smithsonite soda straw.

Talks are over but it's time for final auction bids.

There are many treasures!

Auction is closing in five minutes!

I've won a box of books for $5! Mostly I needed an somewhat updated Fleischer's. 2004 is actually an update for me as I believe my copy is from ~1986 and things have changed a bit since then.

Jolyon tells me there's some website for this though?

Everything is over and, in my usual fashion, I seem to be the last person to leave.

It's been an excellent symposium as always and wonderful to see old friends and make new ones.

A special thanks to the New Mexico Bureau of Geology Mineral Museum for hosting this event, and all the accompanying sponsors:
Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club
Chaparral Rockhounds
Los Alamos Geological Society
New Mexico Geological Society Foundation
Grant County Rolling Stones
Friends of Mineralogy
Friends of Mineralogy - Colorado Chapter
City of Socorro

Abstracts from this symposium (and those previous) can be found online here: https://geoinfo.nmt.edu/museum/minsymp/abstracts/home.cfml

And thanks to all the people who are involved in this event - I don't think it's possible to name them all, but the hard work is much appreciated!

I'm on my way home now and off to the next adventure, but I hope some of you who have followed along here will come out and join us next year!

This article is linked to the following show/event: 38th New Mexico Mineral Symposium, Socorro (November 11-12, 2017)

This article is linked to the following museum: New Mexico Bureau of Geology Museum (New Mexico)

Article has been viewed at least 7436 times.



I'm a bit dissapointed that there isn't any ugly mineral to be seen in this report :p
And hopefully will there be an aquamarine later....

Tom Costes
8th Nov 2017 6:49pm
Your reportages are always Very interesting and Nice to See.
Just an observation on "hematite from Sardinia" in my opinion that specimen Comes from Elba Island, May be Bacino mine, Rio Marina

Achille Sorlini
8th Nov 2017 7:29pm
Erin already posted 53 aquamarine photos but I deleted every one.

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
8th Nov 2017 10:09pm
No aquamarines will be used in the making of this report.

Erin Delventhal
8th Nov 2017 10:13pm
Awh :(

But you didn't dissapoint with the unappealingness of the Palygorskite

Tom Costes
8th Nov 2017 10:29pm
Fantastic report! I had no idea they had such a large and diverse collection. I hope that you will later enter at least some of the more unusual and spectacular specimens into the locality database. Perhaps with a little cropping and tweaking (won't take much)! The New Mexico specimens in particular, and a few others like that fantastic Cardiff Mine uraninite. Thank you!

Kelly Nash
8th Nov 2017 10:39pm
Wonderful world-class collection! I was unaware of its existence... must go to see it some day. So thanks for the report, Erin.
(Btw, just to throw a bit of nitpicking in, the big ferberite twin is from the Tazna mine, not Tazma.)

Alfredo Petrov
8th Nov 2017 10:59pm
Wonderful report Erin

Much appreciated - I'm unlikey to ever visit the museum so thank you for one of the best museum reports around.
Would have liked to see more of those copper rose specimens - I hadn't seen one buried in its matrix before. Good to see some of the behind the scenes.
And Alfredo, you beat me to the Tazna label.
Tom, You must have missed the few Beryls and at least one aquamarine in one of the above photos (pegmatite minerals) so don't be disappointed .... just don't tell Jolyon -:)) (I'll not)!!

Thanks Erin


Keith Compton
8th Nov 2017 11:35pm
Great report, Erin!!!

The New Mexico Tech Mineral Museum has truly become a world class museum since moving into the Headen Center in 2015. Virgil and Kelsey have done a fantastic job with the displays. Nat and I are sad that we will not be there this year to see everyone. But, come next year, Nat has promised a fantastic presentation for the Symposium once again...

Paul Brandes
9th Nov 2017 1:06am
Thanks A lot for the Report, Erin. Lots of memories from my days as Curator at the Bureau. Can't believe it's been 30 years since I chaired my last NM Mineral Symposium! I'm looking forward to seeing your follow-up reports on the field trip and Symposium.
Thank You!
Bob North

Robert Manson North
9th Nov 2017 8:26am
Very nice report!

Uwe Kolitsch
10th Nov 2017 5:38pm
Hammer drilling with no safety goggles !!

Erin that looks like a long walk back to your car!

Keith Compton
10th Nov 2017 11:46pm
Fantastic report Erin! I was impressed with your knowledge and the breadth of your reporting. Nicely done. If Alfredo and company can only find one misspelling in this lengthy report, you deserve a gold star (or maybe a tungsten star?). Gail and I did our first ever dig at the Blanchard with Ray Demark about 10 years ago and we were hooked. Gail and I each opened up new pockets on our first day! (beginner's luck). We've been threatening to go to the NM symposium for years. Maybe next year, especially since Paul promised to have Nat give a talk!! Regards, Jim

Jim Spann
11th Nov 2017 4:33am
Hi Erin

Thank you for the roses -:))

And - Jim to be fair - it was the label that was wrong


Keith Compton
11th Nov 2017 6:10am
Great report Erin. Thank you.

You mention that the museum is organising a funding for new display cases.
Any idea who to contact for this ?

Paul De Bondt
11th Nov 2017 10:23am

Contact Connie Apache at 575-835-5302.

Erin Delventhal
11th Nov 2017 3:49pm
Very nice report Erin!

Harjo Neutkens
11th Nov 2017 11:50pm
Never been able to make it to the Symposiums... great report. Some day hope to make it to one, but will have to wait for retirement (if I ever make it that far). Last time I was there was to drop the daughter off for college in 2000. So, I saw the Museum that was just prior to this one. And yes folks, it is a "sleeper" museum - many don't know what goodies it houses. (And Erin - do you know a Bruce Delventhal, who went to NMT in the late 70's, early 80's?)

Doug Daniels
12th Nov 2017 1:42am
I do know Bruce Delventhal - he's my dad!

Erin Delventhal
12th Nov 2017 3:55am
The lavender calcite in the auction is most likely from the Casteel Mine in the Viburnum Trend.

Kevin Conroy
12th Nov 2017 4:38pm
Erin - tell your Dad "hi" from me and the wife, Carolyn. He may remember me better as "Penn". All three of us were at Tech in the late 70's.

Doug Daniels
13th Nov 2017 1:57am
I thoroughly enjoyed your reporting. Thank you!

Jeff Krueger
13th Nov 2017 3:22am
Thanks for the coverage of the symposium. It was neat to see a lot of world class specimens from New Mexico. I sincerely hope the museum is successful in raising enough funds for their new display cases.

Jamison K. Brizendine
13th Nov 2017 2:08pm

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