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40th Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium

Last Updated: 11th Nov 2019

By Erin Delventhal

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




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We’re live this weekend at the 40th Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium. This year promises to have many more shenanigans than usual, just for anniversary’s sake!



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We’re at the Friends of the Museum Open House - Virgil Lueth is making announcements about many things, but one very exciting thing is that the new case lighting in the museum has been fully installed! I can vouch that this has been a huge benefit to the museum!



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We have many faces here this year - lots of folks have made it that don’t usually make this event, so I’m excited to have more friends here!



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The tables are decorated with photos of past symposium adventures - here’s a 1990s era shot of Chris Cowan delivering a world class New Mexican wulfenite specimen to Bob Eveleth.
(The crystals are made of foam.)



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Bob Eveleth, Tom Rosemeyer, and Bob North in 1984.



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Jesse Kline, Brian “Tortilla Face” Huntsman (this is not a nickname for Brian that I’ve heard before), and Ray DeMark in 1998.



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The museum has a few new display cases - this one has been filled with an incredible array of Mont Saint-Hilaire pseudomorphs.



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Shenanigans, as promised! Kelsey McNamara, curator, is showing off the new amethyst “bull” donated by Phillip and Eleanor Bové, now mounted in a metal stand with wheels built by Jay Rosenbauer.



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More notable faces!



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The hotel tailgating is going on - here are a few folks chatting in the hall!



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Evan Jones is showing off this cuprite from Milpillas that my phone camera won’t even pick up.



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More shenanigans: Melissa Jones has brought me a dress. For those of you who don’t know me, this is a foreign object.



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The founding team of the New Mexico Mineral symposium: Ray DeMark, Regina Aumente, and Pete Modreski.



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There are also some rocks here, even if I’ve been neglecting them so far in this report.
Here’s a pretty gemmy kyanite from Harts Range, Australia from G. Hales Minerals.



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Registration and breakfast in the lobby - we’re already on track to break the standing record for attendees with over 280 pre-registered and more still registering on site.



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The audience is mostly seated and talks about to start.



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Pete Modreski, one of the symposium founders, is now presenting The New Mexico Mineral Symposium, a Forty-year Journey.



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A 2006 display by Jesse Kline of New Mexican emeralds.



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2008 marks the first appearance of Doktor Klaus Fuhrberger, who is making a return tomorrow afternoon.



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Virgil auctioning a specimen during the Saturday night banquet about a decade ago. We’ll see him at this task again tonight.



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One of the previous meeting spaces - still a good crowd.



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A notable group of people at the Blanchard Mine field trip a few years ago.



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Raymond Grant is presenting “Arthur Montgomery.” Ray was a student and field assistant to Montgomery.



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One of Montgomery’s early ventures.



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An early expedition of Montgomery and Ed Over.



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Some time spent in economic mineral recovery.



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One of Montgomery’s ties to New Mexico is through the Harding Mine, a highly unusual pegmatite locality. Montgomery owned the mine for a period of time, and eventually donated it to the University of New Mexico, who stills holds the property.



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Fun fact: Arthur Montgomery did not like horses (he was bitten when he was younger) and would not ride them.



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Montgomery was instrumental in founding the Friends of Mineralogy and the Mineralogical Record.



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A quote from Montgomery about New Mexico.



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It’s burrito break time!
Ray DeMark has put in a case of New Mexico baryte specimens.



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There’s some great barytes in this case but here’s a close up of an exceptional Mex-Tex Mine specimen.
(Shout out here to Niels Brouwer!)



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Some emeralds related to a talk we’ll hear later. (No New Mexico emeralds here.)



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Another case related to a later talk - Rocks and Minerals of the Cresson Mine and the Cripple Creek District.



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We’re back for talks but with a special announcement first: not only is the 40th Symposium, it is also Virgil’s 25th year in this job. We’ve put together a scrapbook of photos with pages for people to sign nice memories.



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Phil Simmons is now presenting a talk he and I coauthored: “Pseudomorphs of New Mexico.”



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Malachite ps. Azurite from the Blanchard Mine.



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A New Mexican classic: copper ps. azurite from the Copper Rose Mine.



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Bismutite ps. Bismuthinite.



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Malachite ps. Chalcopyrite from the San Pedro Mine. (This might be my favorite specimen in Phil’s collection.)



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An unusual occurrence we weren’t aware of until putting this talk together: epidote ps. orthoclase.



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A too quality (as Virgil would say) Black Knife Mine quartz ps. calcite.



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An incredible quartz ps. fluorite from the Cookes Peak District - Rex Nelson recently donated this specimen to the museum and Phil and I are very happy it’s here but might be slightly jealous.



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Calcite ps. Wulfenite from the Stephenson-Bennett.



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Casts! I’d like to make a public service announcement here: please stop calling epimorphs/perimorphs “casts” - they’re different things!



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Sylvite ps. Langbeinite!



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We’ve decided to ruffle a few feathers and have included fossils!



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Carnotite ps. Dinosaur bone!



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A smithsonoid!
(We’ll hear more about Kellynoids later.)



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Les Presmyk is now presenting “The New Cornelia Mine, Ajo, Arizona.”



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Continuing on the back-and-forth from the Pacific Northwest Symposium a couple weeks ago, Virgil and Les are still debating whether Arizona specimens should just be labeled New Mexico.



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Some mechanisms used to try to process economic metals - maybe these scheme were overly optimistic.



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John Greenway, developer of the New Cornelia Mine and designer of the townsite of Ajo, amongst other accolades.



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At the time of the mine’s closure, the New Cornelia was the longest operating open pit copper mine in Arizona. Morenci has since overpassed this claim.



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Attempts at sourcing water - this is a recurring theme in desert mines.



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The power plant to run the leaching plant.



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The mine was developed quite rapidly - in about two years.



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The open pit towards the end of its operation.



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On to specimens!



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A couple notable copper specimens.



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Azurite!



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Some excellent malachite ps. azurites from a time when Stan Esbenshade was collecting at Ajo.



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Some interesting gypsum specimens.



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Type locality minerals: papagoite and ajoite.



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Cuprite in calcite!



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We’re back from lunch. I’ve missed a talk because this small town does not handle a lunch rush of 300+ people well, but while we were gone, John Lufkin and Paul Barton presented “Chalcopyrite disease and other incurable ore textures.”

Now Barbara Muntyan is presenting “Prehnite in Arizona: A significant new find.”



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Haystack Butte, which we’ve agreed needs a little imagination to suit its name.



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I see Nathalie and Paul Brandes are following this report from the audience. (Hi guys!)



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Prehnite in the field!



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A view of the prehnite vein.



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Some really decent crystallization!



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Two generations of prehnite!



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A neat dome-like specimen about 3 inches across.



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Not bad for a relatively unknown locality!



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Some discussion of the listing of Arizona prehnite on mindat.



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Next up is Ben Elick (who was 13 when we saw him at this event a couple years ago but is now 15) presenting “The Cresson mine: the untold stories,” which he has prepared under the tutelage of Steven Veatch.



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Cripple Creek is still very active in production under Newmont Goldcorp.



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On to the stories! Ben and Steven have been active in digging through old documents studying the history of a number of Colorado localities, and I enjoy getting to hear about their work whenever I can catch one of their presentations.



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A previously undated photo of Richard Roelofs, which has now been dated by zooming into a calendar on the wall to check the date.



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Some of the mining protocols under the Roelofs.



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Upper management at the Cresson.



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The Cresson Mine - extensive and often difficult to access in the gulch.



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The Cresson “Vug,” which is what the Cresson is likely best known for, though there are other things worth knowing.



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Some stats and the only known photo of the Cresson Vug.



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One of the only known specimens preserved from the Cresson Vug, in the Colorado School of Mines Collection.



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One of the last photos of the mine before it transitioned to an open pit.



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Geology!



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Carbonized wood in Cresson samples — geologic puzzle!



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A nice specimen of yellow fluorite.



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Current production!



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Tom Rosemeyer is now presenting “Mineral adventures in the Keeweenaw.”



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We’re being shown some upper peninsula culture: Cornish pasties?



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An underground shot.



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Curved copper formed within elongated vesicles.



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A pile of collected float copper - note the five gallon buckets for scale.



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Tom and his friends often metal detect the dump piles after they’ve been crushed (with permission!).



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“This is a YOOPER!”



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Copper crystals included in quartz!



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More copper included quartz.



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Copper wires in vugs of prehnite.



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A copper screw dislocation!

Tom says there will be an article in Rocks & Minerals on these copper wires in the spring. (If I forgot to mention, Barb Muntyan has an upcoming article on the Arizona prehnite locality, so make sure your subscriptions are up to date!)



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Slabbed copper - I’d describe this a copper cemented breccia but I might be way off on that.



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Breccia wasn’t the right word - it’s conglomerate. Here’s some of Tom’s specimens in his living room.



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I guess we can’t talk about Yoopers these days without mentioning “yooperlites.”



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A GIANT “Yooperlite.”



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An impressive mass of copper crystals!



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A closer detail of this specimen - saved from its temporary residence in a scrapyard.



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Tom’s forced lifestyle of dumpster diving for dinner after acquiring the specimen.



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We have a short break, and people have been busy signing Virgil’s book!



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Here are a few of the items that will be part of the live auction at tonight’s banquet. All proceeds benefit the museum.



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Nathalie Brandes is up presenting a talk coauthored with Paul Brandes. Natalie and Paul are regular speakers here but this is the first New Mexico symposium talk on a locality in the USA: “Goldfield, Nevada: Short but Sweet.”



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A geologic map - Goldfield is the largest high sulphidation epithermal good deposit known in North America.



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Typical Goldfield ore minerals, often in a complex paragenetic sequence.



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Native gold! A special thanks from Nathalie and Paul to our very own mindater Jon Aurich for providing access to much of this information - thanks Jon!



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Type locality for goldfieldite.



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The best mineral in this list has been saved for last - JAROSITE!

(Jarosite is Virgil’s favorite mineral.)



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Goldfield in 1903.



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In just a few years, Goldfield became the largest city in Nevada with ~30,000 people.



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Extremely rich ore led to many troubles.



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Short but sweet: the glory of Goldfield lasted about a decade.



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A photo of the flash flood mentioned in the previous slide - WOW.



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Some interesting historical tidbits tied to Goldfield, including a boxing match that lasted 42 rounds and ended in a disqualification, and the origin of a hockey team name.



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Future plans for Goldfield?



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Virgil is introducing this year’s featured speaker - this was a speaker that Virgil asked to speak at his first symposium 25 years ago, but the speaker was too busy and requested Virgil think of him later.



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So, in life’s cyclical fashion, 25 years later, here is Brad Cross speaking on “An Overview of the Agates of Northern Mexico and Southern New Mexico.”



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Brad is giving a little of his background - he attended UTEP for regional access to agate localities in New Mexico and Chihuahua. He and Virgil both studied under advisor Phil Godell, who is in attendance and I had the pleasure of meeting last night. It is always a pleasure to encounter figures who have inspired those around them!



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While many mineral collectors may shun agates for lacking crystal faces, we might all be secret agate lovers.
(Here’s a classic photo of Virgil with a distinctly face-like agate.)



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A sneak look at agate country.



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A Laguna agate.



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The specimen that caught Brad’s attention and gave him the agate bug - “I knew my life was going to change.” Now in his collection.



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The first known mention of Mexico. Agate was Kunz in 1902.



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Iris agate - we just had an audible “Oooh” in the audience.

These agates have names, usually based on their location, but I’m going to be honest: I don’t know how to spell them. :(



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Tony Kramer, an agate peddler of some notoriety.



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Some of the localities we’ll be taking a look at.



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A Moctezuma agate.

(I, in all my cleverness, have discovered that the spellings are in the abstract, so I will try to do better with giving the proper names here!)



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An in situ shot: “it’s like trying to chisel a glass bottle out of concrete.”



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An “Apparejos” agate.

(In further cleverness, I have found that maybe not all the names are in the abstract - I’ll try my best to get these names right, but please excuse any misspellings.)



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Mining at Agua Nueva.



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An Agua Nueva agate.



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“Laguna” agates with gold bands are almost certainly from Agua Nueva instead - many were misnamed because marketing.



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On the other side of the hill from the Agua Nueva is the “Mi Sueno” claim, which features purple vein agate.



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As well as some intriguing tube agates.



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While Brad is firm that the tube agates are specimens, their cross sections are beautiful. Many historical specimens were likely sliced, perhaps for jewelry (perfectly matched earrings).



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On to Coyamito! I’m hearing something about pseudomorphs and I’m super excited!



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PSEUDOMORPHIC AGATE!



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A curious patchy colored agate.



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Some exquisite free standing agate pseudomorphs.



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“La Sonyareña” agate.



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Beautiful purples.



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Laguna agate.



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Another Laguna.



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Another Laguna.



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Now onto Apache agates, which won’t have the banding we have seen up until now.



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The Apache agate “owl.”



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Now Casas Grandes agates. Many of these were mined by Benny Finn.



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A typical texture of crazy lace agate. This locality is not found within a volcanic unit like all the others we have seen so far; instead, these come from a limestone.



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And to NEW Mexico!



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Some very interesting mineralogy to these thundereggs.



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We’re going to breeze through a few of the hundred specific localities that we didn’t have time to talk about in depth.



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A stunning dendritic agate.



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Amazing textures!



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And with this last slide, we’re off to the banquet!



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We’re over at the banquet and the silent auction.



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Some auction items!



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Professional Paper 200!



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Sulfur in a drill core from Texas!



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Stained glass quartz made by Kelsey McNamara!



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Pat Haynes micros!



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The live auction is going to start soon - Virgil is about to Vanna White this giant polished petrified wood from the Master Turd Polisher Alan Perryman.



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Another hot item should be this specimen of lazaraskeite donated by Jim McGlasson - I’m hearing this is a brand new mineral and this is the first specimen being offered for sale! Post live report update: this was donated not only by Jim McGlasson but also W. Lazar and B. Ross - thank you all very much!



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Another treasure: a turquoise egg from Wolfgang and Diana Mueller. The rough was from Rock Currier three months before he passed away and was in the Swoboda collection prior to that.



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Bob Eveleth is getting ready to be auctioneer!



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I got a little tied up helping take bids but here’s a few shots from the live auction - Bob Eveleth and Virgil Lueth at work!



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Matt Zimmerman muscled the giant petrified wood around the room like a real MAN.



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Here’s a group shot of current and past museum crew!



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Chris Stefano is pretty excited about this gerhardtite-rouaite from the Tenke Deposit, Democratic Republic of Congo he just added to his collection.



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Peter Megaw brought me a new thumbnail for my collection - a Hopi “mudhead” Kachina doll!



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Jim McGlasson is showing me some micro photos of the new species lazaraskeite we saw earlier.



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We’re now engaged in a game of 31, hoping Brian Huntsman might tell us a story about some linarite.



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DiWolf has a massive Mont Saint-Hilaire serandite sphere.



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We’re back for the second day of talks! Here’s a display of Kellynoids and aldridgeite that Klaus Fuhrberger will be speaking about later today.



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And a case of fabulous fakes from Dr. Fuhrberger.



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Virgil is making morning announcements - we had 297 registered attendees this year!



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As is tradition, Virgil has asked all veterans to stand for a round of applause.



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Bruce Cox is leading with “Fluorescent Calcite of Southwest New Mexico: Ultraviolet colors to rival Franklin, New Jersey.”



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We’re looking at manganese-rich calcite, so there are relationships with manganese localities.



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Calcite from the Universal Mine.



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And the same specimen under shortwave.



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A Blanchard Mine calcite that is also phosphorescent.



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A fault breccia from near the Luis Lopez District.



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And under shortwave.



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Breccia from the Nitt Mine in the Magdalena District.



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Chalcedony from the southeast flank of the Cookes Range.



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And lit up!



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Calcite from the Apache Mine, which has no (or very little) manganese.



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Some analysis of the samples we’ve seen so far.



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David Stoudt is up now with “Colombian emeralds and their “oily” heritage.”



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David has worked in oil exploration in Colombia and is reporting some very interesting things - however, there is some sensitive material here that we’ve been requested not to put in “print.” I’ll be covering this in a little less detail than I would otherwise.



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Colombia has some of the strongest environmental laws in the world.



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Colombian emeralds are the only emeralds found in sedimentary deposits.



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Some more details about formation conditions.



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Some description of some of the samples in David’s display (we saw this earlier in the report).



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Some characters from Colombian emerald history,



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Ray DeMark is presenting a talk coauthored with Michael Michayluk and Tom Katonak on “New Mexico microminerals: Obscure, rare, and aesthetic species.”



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We’re opening with the Blanchard Mine.



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Antlerite.



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Murdochite.



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A pseudomorph after galena!



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Libethenite from the Mex-Tex Mine.

(By the way, the quickest way to annoy a New Mexico mineral collector is to call this mine the Tex-Mex. NO.)



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Spangolite from the Buckhorn Mine.



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Adamite from the Carnahan Mine.



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Gold from the San Pedro Mine.



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Bromargyrite from the Commercial Mine.



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Wulfenite from the Denver Shaft.



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Willemite from the Dictator Mine.



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Garnets from East Grants Ridge.



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Libethenite from the Eureka Mine.



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Helvite from the Iron Mountain Mine.



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Dundasite from the Juanita Mine.



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Ktenasite from the Linchburg Mine.



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Searlesite from Point of Rocks.



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Eudialyte from Point of Rocks.



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Uranophane from Poison Canyon.



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Santafeite from the Grants Uranium District.



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Molybdenite from the Questa Mine.



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Vesigneite from the Wilson Prospect.



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Microlite from the Harding Mine.



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Pucherite from the Harding.



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Bixbyite from Paramount Canyon.



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I’ve just given a talk on the Blanchard Mine.



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And now Dr. Klaus Fuhrberger is up, for the most riotous event of the weekend.



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Kellynoids!

This is a quartzinoid.



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Smithsonoid!



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Malachrosasmithsonoid!



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Hemismithsobrach!



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Spinel twinned copper with brochantite.



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Kelly Mine dundasite!



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Dundasite ps. Mouse!



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A species of wildlife unique to the Kelly: PEEPS!



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The audience has responded to this presentation appropriately: with tomatoes.



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I’ve kept one as a souvenir.



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Answer I believe that concludes the event - so here’s a parting shot of Virgil, Klaus, and myself (yes, there’s a dress).

The 41st can’t come soon enough!





Article has been viewed at least 3846 times.

Discuss this Article

9th Nov 2019 00:08 UTCNiels Brouwer

Let the anniversary shenanigans commence! Thanks for sharing the report for those who can't visit the symposium.

9th Nov 2019 06:57 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

We desert rats tend to engage in a fair number of shenanigans on a daily basis, but I’ve got some inkling that this weekend is going to take it to a whole new level!

9th Nov 2019 07:34 UTCKeith Compton Manager

Erin
Thank you for the on-going report.
Hope to see what other shenanigans you get up to (and in that new dress!!!). Sounds all very formal!

Cheers

10th Nov 2019 00:45 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Formal is a funny word for it, Keith!

9th Nov 2019 17:56 UTCDonald B Peck Expert

Erin,   I am thoroughly enjoying your report (as I have, others in the past).  Great job!

Wish I were there.

Don

10th Nov 2019 00:45 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

I wish you were here as well, Don!

9th Nov 2019 23:18 UTCTony Albini

Erin, great report.  Since you like pseudomorphs, when you are in Tucson next year, I can show you ferberite after scheelite.

10th Nov 2019 00:46 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

I would LOVE to see that!
We’ll be in Tucson for about three weeks, ending at the Main Show.

10th Nov 2019 02:22 UTCBarb Matz

Since I couldn't make it in person this year, the next best thing is attending vicariously through your report - thanks!

10th Nov 2019 04:15 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Wish you could be here but we’ll see you sometime down the road!

10th Nov 2019 04:29 UTCHerwig Pelckmans Expert

Erin,
Many thanks for the great reports! You sure gave me many reasons to attend the one in Kelso, WA! The NMM Symposium is one of my favorites. Sure looks like both symposia can be combined fairly easily during a single trip to the US.  Hopefully next year.

In any way, I already want to invite you, Erin, and all of you who are interested in mineral symposia, to attend RMS 2020. IMHO, the Rochester Mineral Symposium is still the best US Symposium to date! Although I am happy to say the NMMS is a close second!  :-)

RMS 2020 is located in Rochester, New York; and running in 2020 from Thursday afternoon, April 23 through Sunday April 26 around noon. Being so close to Canada, it is THE place to also meet many avid Canadian mineral collectors and sing with David Joyce on Saturday night (after the banquet)! Good times & great memories!
Cheers, Herwig (from Belgium)

10th Nov 2019 06:35 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Great to hear from you, Herwig!  Rochester is definitely on my list and I’m hoping I might be able to attend next year!

10th Nov 2019 09:54 UTCKeith Compton Manager

Erin,

We finally got to see you in your new dress ... go girl

Great report. Looks like you had a ball as well.
That Kachina doll looks a bit voodooish to me ...... hmmm better beware me thinks !!!

Thank you, from the other side of the world.

Cheers

10th Nov 2019 14:21 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

That's not Erin, Keith...... That is Kelsey McNamara, the Museum Curator with fellow Museum crew.

10th Nov 2019 14:55 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Paul’s correct, that’s Kelsey.  But my time in a dress is still coming!

I’m not as familiar with Hopi culture as I am with the Navajo culture, so I’ll have to brush up on my knowledge of kachinas and the figures they represent, but there’s no voodoo involved!

10th Nov 2019 22:06 UTCJohn Montgomery Expert

Very thorough report Erin....thanks

11th Nov 2019 23:12 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

You're quite welcome!  Phil and I would love to see you down here for the event one of these days!

10th Nov 2019 22:24 UTCLarry Maltby Expert

I just spent an enjoyable evening scrolling through this article. I got to see my old friend Tom Rosemeyer and my younger friend Nathalie Brandes. It looks like I will have to get up to the Keweenaw next summer just to buy Tom a good healthy lunch. I also got to see the old “Hooded Owl”. That agate amazed a lot of people in the 50’ and 60’s. Thanks for the huge effort that you put into this Erin.

Larry,

11th Nov 2019 23:12 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

My pleasure, Larry!

10th Nov 2019 23:42 UTCNathalie Brandes Expert

Nice job on the article, Erin. It was great seeing you and many other friends at the symposium.

Larry, it's a fantastic symposium I think you would enjoy. Maybe Paul and I will see you next summer in the Keweenaw!

11th Nov 2019 23:12 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Always a pleasure to see you and Paul!  And of course, GREAT talk!

12th Nov 2019 03:16 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

Oddly enough, we were discussing next year's preseentation (while having lunch at Whataburger in Sweetwater, TX) which promises to be another great talk.

12th Nov 2019 04:49 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Without needing any further detail, I am looking forward to it!

11th Nov 2019 03:29 UTCKeith Compton Manager

My apologies for mis-identifying you Erin. But the sentiment of the comment still applies !
"We finally got to see you in your new dress ... go girl"

Cheers and thanks for the report.


11th Nov 2019 23:13 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

No worries at all, Keith!

11th Nov 2019 15:06 UTCNiels Brouwer

Love that case of baryte specimens! Such an impressive amount of variation in colours, habits and associations with other minerals. Perfect summary of why it's such a fun mineral to collect!

11th Nov 2019 23:13 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

I figured you might enjoy that case!

11th Nov 2019 21:56 UTCFrank Ruehlicke

Thanks Erin for putting this report together.  It's the next best thing to being there!

11th Nov 2019 23:13 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

My pleasure, Frank!

14th Nov 2019 00:03 UTCMarek Chorazewicz

Erin, fantastic report as always!

I have one comment though for the sake of the historical accuracy ;-) There was a micro lazaraskeite specimen sold at the Northern California Mineralogical Association Symposium verbal auction last June. Also, a few pieces have been sold on e-rocks auctions since October.

14th Nov 2019 06:50 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Thanks for the correction, Marek!
 
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