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NEW MicroMineral Room

Arthur Roe Memorial Micromount Symposium & the NEW MicroMineral Room 

Member Post: Mark Ascher, Photography: Ken Don & Ron Gibbs

This year there was something new at the Show. In addition to the annual Arthur Roe Memorial Micromount Symposium, there was a room open throughout the Show dedicated to microminerals, except during the micromount symposium talks. There will be more on the room following a summary of the symposium.

The day of the symposium microscopes were set up in the Turquoise Ballroom early in the morning and visitors started gathering right away. At ten o’clock the talks started with a total of three speakers.

The first speaker was Maureen Campeau from Simkev Micromounts who presented “Micromounts - pulchritudo in parvitas - beauty in smallness. From the naked eye to .25mm.” The talk was a collection of photographs from the presenter’s collection of micromounts. There was a wide variety of species and localities presented.

The second speaker was John Koivula who is the chief research gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America. He presented “The MicroWorld of Diamonds.” The talk focused on inclusions in diamonds and the various ways they present themselves. The talk featured a spectacular array of photos and was delivered very engagingly.

The final speaker of the day was Van King, a well known collector and author, who presented “Microminerals of Franklin -Ogdensburg, New Jersey.” The title summarizes the talk very well. Van King is presently working on a book on the minerals of Franklin-Ogdensburg and has started taking photographs of specimens for the book. He presented several of the photos he plans on using and made a call for additional pieces that could be photographed for inclusion in the book.

Following the talks, the giveaway tables were opened and people started gathering around the scopes trading specimens and talking "rocks."  The giveaway tables were not as richly populated as they normally are because some material was needed for the MiroMineral room.

In the room there were microscopes set up for visitors to use. There were tables with giveaway material that was frequently updated with fresh supplies. Club members were allowed to sell microminerals in the room with 20% of the sales going to the club. Through this arrangement, approximately $500 was given back to the club from the micromineral sales.

There was also a display in the Galleria to show off microminerals and allow members of the micromount group to engage the public in our aspect of the hobby. Many kids and adults alike were taken by the beauty they could see through the microscope. There was also an electronic picture viewer that rotated through photographs of micomounts.

The micromount symposium and micromineral room were very successful from the perspective of the organizers. The micromount group plans to work this year to make improvements on the room and to get the word out about it for next year's Show.