MMGM Tours & Talks
December 17, 2015
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Talk: Crystals & Crystallography with Al Falster
Rocks & Minerals,
Jan/Feb 2016 Issue
Aquamarine from Stoneham and Vicinity, Oxford County, Maine by Carl A. Francis, Myles Felch, Alexander U. Falster and Douglas Bailey
2016 AGTA GemFairTM
February 2-7, 2016
Tucson Convention Center
2016 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
February 11-14, 2016
Tucson Convention Center
By Barbra Barrett, MMGM Director
Each month as I write my newsletter article, I reflect about all that happens at MMGM. There are a multitude of subjects that relate to our lively and fast paced days here. It’s important to step back, take stock and review.
I often refer to the MMGM community being a sum of all its parts. Each of the many hands that contribute to this process support the vision to build a world-class museum here in Bethel…a museum that reflects the efforts of many and benefits current and future visitors. I pause to give thanks.
MMGM receives support from so many individuals, first and foremost our founders, Mary and Larry, who have entrusted me to steer the ship and allowed me the opportunity to be a part of this grand vision. To the rest of our board—Bob, Arthur, Bill and Don—I thank you for carrying the MMGM flag and striving for us to be excellent.
I want to recognize our advisory committee, consultants, our volunteers, those who have donated to MMGM’s collection, those who have sat for an oral history (not once, but twice!), those who participate on the education committee, and those on the other end of the phone when I simply need advice. I want to thank Bruce Barrett, who hosts school groups at the
Bumpus Mine, effectively sparking the interest of countless kids in the region for many years.
It’s with the deepest gratitude that I thank all those who have joined us as Charter Members and those who continue to join MMGM as new members. The list is long. My apologies if I’ve missed anyone, however, I’m confident you know who you are! My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you.
Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” I could not do my job without the group of individuals that make up the staff at MMGM: Chrys, Carl, Annemarie, Maggie, Paula, Myles, Fred, Michelle, Donna, Roberta, Angela, Kyle, Skip, Karen and Al. I am especially grateful to my children, Myles and Oliver, who generously share their mom with her job and are just as much a part of the MMGM family as the rest of us. We all touch each other in known and unknown ways as we take up the mantle of everyday life. To be among a team as strong as the MMGM staff makes each day all that more fulfilling.
By Carl Francis, PhD
One of MMGM’s fundamental purposes is preserving in Maine and returning to Maine its mineralogical treasures. We both showcase Maine minerals to the world and we also show the world’s minerals to Maine. Although some minerals from “away” were acquired as part of Larry Stifler’s initial purchases, the international scope of the MMGM collection was firmly established with the purchase of David Seaman’s collection in 2013. It includes specimens from 60 countries and 43 U.S. states!
Taking advantage of the open space on the second floor of the Kennett building, the staff unpacked the 156 Seaman collection boxes, unwrapped the specimens and laid them out by country and US state. The ~2,000 specimens from Maine were further organized by town and by locality. This months-long effort made it feasible to select Seaman specimens for (1) the museum’s exhibit at Denver, which supported the show theme “Minerals of the Southwest”, and (2) the new Seaman Collection exhibit in the Preview Gallery. The staff has just finished repacking and re-shelving the collection. Now specimens selected from the electronic catalogue can be efficiently retrieved from storage.
Three other collections are strongly international. We’ll celebrate the international character of Bob Ritchie’s sphere collection by displaying a hundred or so of them on a 4’ diameter globe. Gene Bearss’ collection of micromounts, thumbnails and miniature specimens—some 19,000 in all—will vastly surpass all the other collections in locality representation. And meteorites are found around the world; of course, they hail from the cosmos.
By Amy Halsted, MMGM Communications
On Thursday evening, November 12, 2015, the Maine Media Collective held its November Cinq à Sept at MMGM. Maine Media Collective includes Maine Magazine, Maine Home+Design Magazine, Old Port Magazine, Love Maine Radio, The Brand Company, and Art Collector Maine; their Cinq à Sept event happens on the second Thursday of every month at locations around the state. Friends old and new gatheread for an evening of conversation, delectable bites by the Good Food Store, music by Spencer Albee, and a specialty custom cocktail by Portland Hunt + Alpine Club.
Often held at museums, galleries, universities and other aesthetic public places, Cinq à Sept is defined as, “A formal or informal gathering that takes place after work and prior to the dinner hours roughly between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to bring together colleagues and friends.”
MMGM’s Preview Gallery shines as an ideal meeting location, nestled in the heart of Bethel and easily reachable Bangor to Portland to Conway. As was the case on the 12th, the backdrop of MMGM Preview Exhibits and the allure of the Museum Shop give guests as much to look at as conversation to be had. An air of elegance prevailed and Cinq à Sept lingered well beyond 7:00 p.m.
Consider MMGM’s Preview Gallery for your next gathering. Call us at 207.824.3036.
Third Thursdays Tours & Talks—December
Thursday, December 17, 2015, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Crystals & Crystallography with Al Falster
by Annemarie Saunders
The MMGM Museum Store is proud to announce our partnership with American Stonecraft and present visitors with beautiful fieldstone artworks that accentuate epicurean pursuits and home décor. We asked American Stonecraft’s Artist and Founder, Gerald Croteau, for a description of these striking pieces. He writes…
In New England, rocky farmland is legendary. Farmers clearing fieldstone built nearly a quarter million miles of stonewalls in New England. More than the miles between the earth and moon.
Frost heaves coerce a fresh crop of fieldstones from the soil each year. American Stonecraft transforms this crop into works of art for your table.
We harvest fieldstones in partnership with over 65 working farms. Each good pays tribute to its farm of origin, the heritage of stonewalls, and fine craftsmanship.
MMGM offers American Stonecraft’s Bowlders, Trivets, Slabs and Coasters. Prices range from $20.00-$320.00.
MMGM’s Museum Store is committed to sourcing thoughtful items that complement the vision of the museum and support local and regional heritage and tradition. Be sure to stop in and see what we find next.
Be sure to visit the MMGM Preview Gallery and Museum Store. Store Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. www.mainemineralgemmuseum.org
By Al Falster, M.S. and Skip Simmons, Jr. Ph.D.
Pollucite from Maine Pegmatites
Skip Simmons presented a paper entitled Gem Pollucite from Mt. Mica Pegmatite, Oxford Co., Maine. The presentation was co-authored by A U Falster, M Felch and C A Francis and was presented in a special session on Gemological Research in the 21st Century: Exploration, Geology, and Characterization of Diamonds and other Gem Minerals during GSA’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Baltimore.
The Mt. Mica pegmatite has produced some really nice etched pollucite from miarolitic cavities that contains gemmy portions. One 4 ct. stone—now in the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum—has been cut from this material. Pollucite is a rather rare cesium mineral; in fact, it is the major cesium mineral that is mined for its cesium content.
Pollucite is known from several pegmatites in Maine besides Mt. Mica: Mt. Marie, the Emmons pegmatite, the GE pegmatite, the Havey pegmatite and the Dunton, to name a few. Gem pollucite is found primarily in miarolitic cavities and only very rarely in larger pollucite masses in the interior of the pegmatites. Some gemstock has been produced from pollucite masses in the Emmons pegmatite.
Chemically, the pollucite from the miarolitic cavities is slightly more sodium-rich than pollucite from the massive type. A comparative study of pollucite from Maine pegmatites is now underway in collaboration with our colleagues from Bilboa, Spain, Encar Roda-Robles and Alfonso Pesquera.
In the Lab
In the lab, more progress is occurring on the SEM and microprobe. The SEM’s computer system has been updated with a new computer and is being loaded with the SEM software. On the microprobe, the scanners are now responding to computer commands. The three detectors with scanners can be tuned in to specific elements and then count the number of characteristic X-rays for that element in a set time span to obtain quantitative results. There are six fixed spectrometers on the microprobe and they are set for magnesium, aluminum, silicon, titanium, iron and calcium. Thus, a total of nine elements can be analyzed quantitatively simultaneously.
By William F. Stockwell, Fundraising Consultant
Why do people give to organizations, institutions and charities like the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum? Giving—at its core—is an exchange. A member / supporter structure enables the charity to provide a mission that fills a need in the communities it touches.
In the case of MMGM, this means our members and supporters mirror our mission to preserve, research, educate and inspire visitors from near and far about Maine’s rich mineral past and present and to introduce the world of the cosmos through our extensive meteorite collection and technological exhibits.
The founders of MMGM recognize that exquisite specimens of Maine minerals and gems left the state for various museums and collections years ago. MMGM and its donors solve this problem by bringing many of these back to Maine so people can experience the heritage and pride of Maine mining.
MMGM wants to tell people:
MMGM donors want to hear about:
Note that both lists say, “How we helped solve a problem.”
Contact us for a membership form or join online at www.mainemineralgemmuseum.org. For sponsorship and funding opportunities, call us, 207.824.3036.