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The Caplan Topaz crystal

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Copyright © 2014 Jake Harper
 
 

The Caplan Topaz crystal

Copyright © 2014 Jake Harper  - This image is copyrighted. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

My favorite specimen in the hall is the Caplan Topaz. Keeping watch over the Hall at the top of the stairs like a glowing sentinel, this remarkable crystal has a rich and interesting history dating from the 1930's.
There is an fascinating interview with Allen Caplan in an old MR issue that records his discovery and eventual deposition of these remarkable topaz crystals with museums. Upon arrival at the AMNH, this giant, 596 pound topaz crystal received a particularly humorous reception as it was first unpacked upside down as Allen Caplan describes here:
"Finally they arrived and I had the crates opened at the customs office. I was shocked to find that the big crystal had no termination; it was just a big, 596 pound cleavage! And I thought, well, I really got clipped here. Permission was given to move the crates to the basement at the American Museum, and I was a lot happier when I opened them this time, right side up. There I saw the termination and realized that the crate had been opened upside down at customs. So I felt pretty good."

To read the rest of this highly entertaining and educational review with Allen Caplan see:
The Mineralogical record, Vol. 11, No. 6, November - December 1980.

This photo has been shown 362 times
Photo added:19th Dec 2014
Dimensions:900x675px (0.61 megapixels)
Date/Time of Photo:23rd Aug 2014 14:47:02
Camera:SAMSUNG SGH-I437
Software:I437UCDMG3
Exposure time:1/8s
Aperture:f/2.6
Focal Length:4mm
ISO speed:400
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