An Article In Magazine
by Robert Verish

Selected Articles from Mineral News - 2006 Issues

Meteorite collectors may find these articles from the past year's issues in Mineral News of some interest.

It was about this time last year that I ran a series of articles about mineral collectors, and with their concern about the decline in their hobby and in the value of their collections, concerns which they expressed in articles published in the monthly newsletter, Mineral News. I drew parallels to show the similarities between meteorite and mineral collectors, and raised the question as to whether these concerns and problems, currently in the mineral collecting community, should be concerns for the future of meteorite collecting. My articles attempted to draw attention to these parallels. Even if the meteorite community doesn't share the same current concerns with the mineral collectors, it would be hard to prove that we couldn't have similar problems in the future. Just the fact that "both" communities share the same yearly venues (the various Mineral Shows), it should give all of us pause to consider our future.
In any case, I found these articles to be very informative, and now I would like to share some of them with you.

February 2001 - an old image of my "Meteorite & Meteorwrong" case on display at the San Fernando Valley Rock & Gem Show


My article this month is a continuation on these following subjects:

For example, in the January 2006 issue of Mineral News, you will find this article, "Collection Disposal Commentary" by K.L. Nestorak, where the author states that, "After reading the recent Mineral News article about "How NOT to Disperse a Collection" (see in November 2005 issue - "Editor") I have yet another point to add..." And his point was that, "most collectors are deluding themselves by thinking that building a sizeable collection is a smart investment of their disposable time or income." Without a doubt, this is a subject that has been much discussed in meteorite collecting circles and is a matter of record on the Meteorite List Archives. Although the author directed his acerbic comments to the mineral collecting community, it is quite remarkable how his comments are so relevant when applied to meteorite collecting.

In the March 2006 issue of Mineral News there are "a trio of Tucson Show articles" about a variety of topics, such as, "consolidating the Show and making it shorter", to "Tucson Pricing Discourages Collectors".

In the May 2006 issue of Mineral News can be found an article by the publisher of Mineral News (Tony Nikischer) who is also the owner of Excalibur Minerals. Many of Tony's articles are related to his continual concern about the future of mineralogy, in particular, and for the future of geosciences in general. In this article, Tony writes about something closer to home (and business). Here he asks the question, "Death Spiral of Mineral Shows: Is it the Chicken or the Egg?" The author states, "I recently learned that yet another local mineral show has died a quiet death". Tony goes on to offer a 9-point strategy to clubs that host Shows and has some critical suggestions for the Show promoters, as well as, for the dealers, AND their customers.

In the above link to Tony's article I've included another article from the June 2006 issue of Mineral News which was a "Reader Reactions:" to the May 2006 article "Death Spiral of Mineral Shows: Is it the Chicken or the Egg?"

And in the December 2005 issue of Mineral News can be found the (not as satirical as you may think) article by John Watson of Fallbrook, California, "New Pricing Standards For Mineral Specimens". A novel idea is described as the author explains how the "industry has adopted a new set of pricing conventions".

And just to show by example the range of subject matter, I've included this February 2006 Mineral News article by Vivien Gornitz, "Clay Minerals on Mars". This article will make you think twice when you see "clay minerals" in your Mars meteorite specimen. It will make you wonder whether that clay is good ol' terrestrial weathering, or if it could actually have formed on Mars!

And finally, in the May 2006 issue of Mineral News can be found another critical article by the publisher, Tony Nikischer, "Opinion: American Education System Flunks Geology Usefulness Exam" which is followed by another article in the June 2006 issue of Mineral News, entitled, "Readerís Reaction:", where the author states, "Your comments on the decline of the earth sciences in American higher education are echoed in two articles by Lisa Rossbacher and Dallas Rhodes that appeared in the April and May 2004 issues of Geotimes, published by the American Geological Institute."


Mineralogy collections - Natural History Museum The Meteorite Collection : Around 3,000 specimens are organised according to the classification of the meteorite. "Disposal of registered specimens by exchange with other institutions is now a rare event - it is more usual to donate a small portion of a specimen when research material is requested, thereby retaining the main portion of the specimen in the collections. Some disposals through deterioration occur on a small scale - the Trustees are informed when this occurs. Unregistered material is frequently discarded if it is undocumented or of trivial importance..."

Acquisition and Disposal of Collections - as published in Smithsonian Reports - Institutions must find another way to stay afloat, or to close and disperse its collections to other public organizations ... deaccession and disposal of collection items, including: ... - Bob's Findings - August 2005 Article ...
Mineral Collecting - a Hobby in Decline - Could This Happen to Meteorite Collecting ...

U of A display shows off pieces of the heavens -
At one time, there was a collection of meteorites on display in the old Arts Building on ...

NBMG Information: Meteorite Collection and Identification.

[PDF] Rockhounds the Hobby_Publication
Organizations are on the decline.. The reasons for this decline... travel to attend gem and mineral shows, or educational symposiums. This is valuable information...

Martian Clay :: Astrobiology Magazine ::
Could life have emerged and taken hold during Mars's early years? Possibly. The presence of the clay minerals make a clear that there was plenty of water ...

Astronomy - Where there's clay, there's water - Bruce Moomaw
Mars Express' visible and infrared mineralogical mapping spectrometer, called OMEGA, found deposits of clay minerals and other phyllosilicates. ...

Mindat Mineralogy Messageboard :: General :: Fred Pough Letter
This was the May issue, p8, "American Education System Flunks Geology Usefulness Exam". Pough's letter to Dana just 'hit the nail on the head' SO succinctly ...

KVOA News 4, Tucson, Arizona - Gem Show exhibitors accuse hotel of price gouging...
A Tucson, Best Western hotel is getting slammed with reports of bad ... Some of the exhibitors say this is price gouging. The show promotor disagrees. ...

The articles transcribed above, are courtesy of Mineral News:
Mineral News was founded some twenty years ago by Lanny Ream of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, author of the book "Idaho Minerals". Over the years, it developed a following of avid mineral collectors seeking timely information about new finds and other items of interest to the collector community.

With the purchase of Mineral News by Excalibur Mineral Corp in 2003, the monthly newsletter has expanded to sixteen pages a month, revitalized its look by improving paper and print quality, and it has added significant features such as frequent book reviews, photographs to supplement new mineral descriptions and a greater focus of articles directed to descriptive mineralogy.

My previous articles can be found *HERE*

For more information, please contact me by email: Bolide*chaser