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50 Years of What's New in Minerals

I recently received a big box that was delivered to my home. It was heavy, with three large books inside. My set of Fifty Years of What’s New in Minerals had arrived. This set, comprised of 2 large volumes and and an index, is a compendium of "What’s New in Minerals" and Related Columns in the Mineralogical Record from 1970-2019. (I had no idea that "What’s New in Minerals" went that far back!)

This compilation is an amazing feat by Tom Moore
. Aside from the historical context and reference of having all these articles in one central publication, the index is a masterpiece. At 184 pages, the index was too large to include within the original books, and needed to be its own separate book. The index lists all minerals organized by localities from all the “What’s New in Minerals.”

Browsing through some of the older articles in the first volume is a trip through mineralogical history. It is fascinating to see “new” discoveries that have now become mainstream, as well as some historical specimens. On Page 177 in the first volume, there is a black and white photo of the famous Rhodochrosite “worm” on Pyrite from Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico, belonging to Ken and Betty Roberts and displayed at the 1979 Detroit show. This specimen was one of the highlight specimens at the Jim and Gail Spann collection display this year at the Tucson 2020 show.

It is also interesting viewing photos of renowned mineral personalities in their younger years. On the same page as the above-referenced Rhodochrosite is a young and perky Dave Wilber smiling in front of his case of minerals at the 1974 Lincoln, Nebraska federation show.

Seeing the history and developments of earlier shows in a different era is an experience you get going through the volumes. Many smaller shows and events are represented, before all the current mega shows have fully developed into the powerhouses they are today dominating the mineral showplace.

I had the privilege of contributing both photos and articles in this compilation, and am honored to be part of this exciting and historical piece of work. I only wish that in earlier years, I would have written more and taken more photos of shows that I attended and had more information to provide. 

The 3-volume set is available and in-stock from the Mineralogical Record website. Wendell Wilson, editor-in-chief of the Mineralogical Record, told me that there are only 500 sets that were printed, and there isn't any additional printing planned. All those with an interest in mineral discoveries in the past 50 years and their history should take the opportunity to purchase this set before it is too late.    

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