Sussex Minerals & Lapidary Society - Journal 235


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SMLS COMPETITION: Friday 13th April 2012


SMLS 2102 PROGRAMME at January 2012

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by Jolyon Ralph

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Jolyon began by introducing us to Moscow with a panoramic view of the city taken from the observation point on the 32nd and top floor of the main building of Moscow State University. He explained that material for his talk was gathered on 3 separate trips to Moscow in 2009, 2009/2010 and earlier this year in 2011.
He explained that there were 3 categories of museum in the city, namely Public, Institutional and Private. He said that Moscow has the highest density of mineral museums in the world and the basis of his talk was to give us a short preview of all the museums he had discovered in his 3 visits. He began with

Public museums:

Fersman Museum
. This museum was first opened in St. Petersburg as far back as 1716. In 1934 it was moved to Moscow and today it houses some 135,000 specimens with around12,000 on display at any one time. It is open 5 days a week. There is a major systematic display of minerals in the museum and other themed displays such as fluorescent minerals. One of the problems for western visitors is that a knowledge of the cyrillic alphabet is required to read the labels for each specimen. Among some of the notable specimens Jolyon noticed was a sizeable Kongsberg silver presented to Peter the Great by the King of Sweden, some remarkable emeralds and blue topaz crystals from the Urals, some very unusual banded flints and most amazingly a pseudomorph of chalcanthite and atacamite after a mouse! Jolyon went on to explain that minerals and mineral collections were an accepted part of Russian life and they did not have to be ‘pushed’ to the public as here in the UK.

Vernadsky State Geological Museum
. Jolyon was given a private showing to this museum. This museum has a history stretching back to1759 when Mikhail Lomonosov established a collection of minerals to allow the study of natural objects. The museum was attached to Moscow Imperial University which had been founded in 1755. After many ups and downs including a fire in 1812 during the Napoleonic War when many minerals were destroyed, V. Vernadsky arrived in 1892 as curator of mineralogy and eventually his name was attached to the museum in 1988. Among the interesting exhibits is a collection of malachite given to the museum by Count Nikolay Petrovich Rumyantsev ,1754-1826. The malachite was collected from copper mines in the Urals and Jolyon was amazed to note that the location for each specimen was detailed down to the levels in each mine. Apart from the malachites there is now a standard systematic display of minerals and Jolyon also noticed a large collection of manganite specimens from Germany and a strange lump of a black organic mineral –‘carite’? from which the curator broke off a piece for Jolyon to examine! He then re-attached it after Jolyon had puzzled a moment trying to figure out what it might be. Jolyon also noticed the old synonym of bucklandite on a specimen of what is now known as allanite and lastly he was able to point out the incorrect label of smithsonite on a specimen which was obviously hemimorphite.

‘GEMS’ Museum
. This museum houses minerals sent back to the Ministry in Moscow from satellite countries in the time of the former Soviet Union. On display here Jolyon noticed huge one metre size specimens of the purple mineral charoite found uniquely in one location worldwide near the Chary River in Siberia. There is also a very large display of quartz crystals and a comprehensive collection of gems such as lapis lazuli, nephrite and aquamarines.

The Diamond Fund
. This institution houses the Russian precious gem reserve and the Russian Crown Jewels. No photographs are allowed and there are no labels for each display – you have to rely on your guide for information. In particular Jolyon admired the historic Orlov diamond. This stone originated in India but eventually ended up in Amsterdam where it was bought by Count Orlov. To regain Catherine the Great’s affections – they were earlier lovers – he gave her the stone and she had her jeweller design a sceptre to incorporate it. The sceptre was completed in 1784 and is now known as the Imperial Sceptre. The Orlov is a rarity among historic diamonds as it retains its original Indian rose-style cut. There are many gold and platinum nuggets on display with the largest gold nugget weighing 36 kgs! In addition there is a vast collection of up to 1cm octahedral uncut diamonds and a collection of considerably larger diamonds. All newly discovered significant diamonds are currently sent to this museum.

Palaeontological Museum
. This museum has a history going back to 1716 when Peter the Great needed somewhere to house his collection of bones from the Ice Age. The museum now occupies a modern building and contains not only natural fossil specimens but also a large artistic display depicting the evolution of life on earth. There are exhibits from Russia, China, Mongolia and some other countries.

Institutional Museums:

Moscow State Mining University
. This University was established in 1918 as a centre of professional education – it currently has 5500 students. It has a geological museum with a systematic display of minerals and further mineral displays based on each continent.

Russian State Geological Prospecting University
. This is the leading geological engineering institute of higher education in Russia. It was founded as the Moscow Mining Academy in 1918. Its museum is used by students for research work via its systematic collection. Jolyon also noticed that minerals on display are not cleaned in order for students to recognise minerals in their natural state. The museum also houses geological models made by the students.

Moscow State University – Earth Science Museum
. This museum is situated on the 28th floor of the vast Stalinist type building of the Moscow State University. There are some 10,000s of exhibits on around 300 stands representing geology, palaeontology, physical geography, soil science and ecology. Among the more unusual exhibits are specimens from black smokers, the moon, material from the famous 1947 Siberian meteorite and a crystal of copper sulphate grown on the Salyut Space Station. There is also a gallery of paintings and sculpture and interior design artifacts such as petrified wood and polished agates.

Russian State Agricultural University
. This is another teaching institution that has its own mineral museum.

Secondary School No.170
. Once again another teaching school that has its own mineral museum.

Private Museums

The ‘Universe’ Museum
. This private museum is located in the basement of a flat around 40 minutes outside Moscow. It mainly contains fossils.

Serpukhov History and Art Museum
. This museum is also located outside Moscow and is owned by an anti-western old time communist. He apparently has ambitions to extend his museum on adjacent land so that it will be larger than our own Natural History Museum. Jolyon commented that the owner was not a discerning collector although there was an interesting painting based on the use of powdered minerals among the exhibits.


This was a fascinating insight into what for many of us must be a seldom visited part of the world and thus virtually unknown mineral collections. Beyond the language problem and the distance involved there is no reason why a determined effort should not be made to visit these museums particularly after this stimulating talk. We look forward to Part II on the museums of St.Petersburg.

Mark Oddy

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Many thanks to SMLS member David Lloyd who, over the last few months, has donated five flats of minerals to SMLS. These have included some superb specimens of azurite, conichalcite, erythrite, tyrolite, vanadinite and wulfenite from the Granada region of Spain, also some pyromorphites from Bwlch Glas mine, Talybont in Wales and Anglesite from Parys mountain in Anglesey. Members have had the opportunity to acquire these specimens and the proceeds have gone into SMLS funds. Many thanks David.

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Those members who bought some of David Lloyd’s minerals at the November meeting from La Encontrada Mine, may like to modify the location details which I copied incorrectly from the original. They should read:

La Encontrada Mine, Molvizar, Near Motril, Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

Also all the pyromorphite at the December was from the Bwlch Glas mine, Talybont, Wales, not the Bergam Mine. I will supply some new labels at the January meeting.

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5. Peter Briscoe - Steetley Minerals

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I was a late starter. My interest in minerals can be first traced back to St. Martin’s College, Lancaster where I studied for 3 years and became interested in hill walking, spending weekends roaming the Lake District hills, getting to know the likes of Scafell Pike, Helvellyn, including a difficult winter ascent of one of the gulleys on Great Gable full of ice. Another trip involved the Newlands horse shoe which for those who don’t know it consists of ascending the ridge to the west of Derwent Water, following it round Dale Head and returning to the valley via Hindscarth. On the final descent I crossed what appeared to a walker to be scree but in a place where really there should not have been any scree. I stopped to inspect it, examining rocks that had strange white crystals on them. Intrigued, but with no idea what they were, I put a couple in the rucksack and continued the return to the car. Later I was to find out that the ‘screes’ were the tips from Goldscope mine. The pieces went as curios on to the window sill and I wanted to find out more - I had a full set of Wainright’s guides and I scoured them for walks that seemed to include ‘mines’ on them to a point that they became the objective of the walk.
A couple of enjoyable years ensured finding various minerals on the walks but I still did not know anyone with a similar interest until one trip a few years later my wife and I were at Hilton village ready to walk up the valley and investigate the mines where I had read you could find fluorite. Soon after we arrived the small parking area began to fill with other cars and equipment began to emerge such as helmets and lights. I had to find out who these people were, and plucked up courage to ask. It was a group from Carlisle who were actually going down the mine. Such things were possible in those days! They agreed to take us down with them so using spare lights they had brought we spent the day down Dowscar level. It was an amazing experience and having someone to show me around and explain what all the different minerals were made me realise what I had been missing. With this new found enthusiasm, I managed to establish that in my home town of Doncaster, there were a few other like-minded souls and eventually we established the Doncaster Mines Research Group (DMRG). Access was so much easier then into old mine workings and there were ones still working, so every second or third weekend the DMRG would be in Weardale, Nenthead, Appleby, the Caldbeck Fells or other mining areas It was not always metal mines; we just wanted to go underground. We had a speaker who described the many mines around Castleford where sand was mined for the glass industry and it was not long before we were down those too.
Within the group we found there was an increasing amount of information accumulating and the club started to publish a twice yearly journal. By now I had joined a quarrying company, Steetley Minerals, based in Worksop, Nottinghamshire which opened up a few possibilities as their hard rock quarries included Taffs Well, Llunclys and Whitwell, plus a couple of China Clay quarries in Cornwall. It certainly had benefits – One quarry manager would phone me when they hit mineralisation and by lunch time I would be down at the quarry face in my suit and tie collecting. My technique was to wait near the face until the quarry shovel had a bucket full and began reversing, then I would run onto the heap to gather any interesting-looking specimens whilst the shovel was loading the dumper and dash away again when I heard the noise of the shovel returning. Such going on nowadays would induce apoplexy in any H&S manager!!
Holidays at that time had to include Cornwall and I usually managed on the way there to call in at Richard Barstow’s, although considering his fantastic stock my limited budget proved very frustrating. The holidays besides enjoyable, involved collecting on the many old mine dumps, collecting ‘pigs eggs’ and amethyst at Steetley’s Bodelva quarry which is now the home of the Eden Project and trips down the Wheal Jane and Geevor mines which at the time were both working. I remember on the Wheal Jane trip you were offered crystallised pyrite specimens from the mine, all at the one price of 50p each!
At the start of the 1980s the UK had a couple of mineral publications,
Gems Magazine
and the excellent
Mineral Realm
(initially Mineral Kingdom) published by Ivor Thurgood and Dave Neal. However, by 1985 they had both ceased publication and although we could get American, French and German mineralogical magazines there was no longer one purely for the UK. During one of our DMRG meetings, which no doubt included some alcoholic refreshments, the idea came to us that we could expand our own in-house journal to fill the gap left by the Mineral Realm. Subsequent sober reflections nearly caused the idea to be abandoned, but we stuck with it and so started the
UK Journal of Mines & Minerals
(UKJMM). Little did I realise that I would be still involved in its production 26 years later!
Availability of North of England and Derbyshire specimens slewed my collecting preference to those areas. With Cambokeels and Frazers Hush Mine still working, I decided to try and augment my self-collected specimens with those from working mines by contacting some of the miners selling specimens. With a like-minded collector from Leeds, Saturdays found us knocking on doors in Weardale until we got to know a core of miners who had specimens available and at prices we could afford. It was really here that I could say I started dealing in minerals. Most miners had realised that the best specimens sold easily but lesser material was not as saleable. So it soon became apparent that they would not sell me the one specimen I wanted, I would have to buy a box or ‘flat’ of specimens. I also learnt that they rarely proposed a price, I had to offer a price upon which they would either agree or not to a deal. This was exciting stuff, I acquired many fine specimens for my collection but the other pieces in the flat needed to be moved on if for no other reason than to generate some cash for our next visit. We did reasonably well for some time at this and we got to know some of the miners quite well. However after a while the specimens started to dry up and we were told that another dealer had started coming up on Friday nights to beat us. Although we both worked at the time we decided it had to be Thursday nights so straight from work we headed up to Weardale and got a couple of hectic hours in the dale before it became unreasonably late to call on any more miners. It did the trick and we began to get better specimens again, but alas it wasn’t to last, the other dealer was able to get up in the day on Thursdays! As an example of the plethora of specimens available at that time I did a show in The Hague, with nothing but Cambokeels specimens the most expensive one on the table costing just £8.
Some of the best fluorite specimens we got one winter’s night from a Frazers Hush miner. Not long before, the big 325 fathom cavity had been found at Frazer’s Hush and the miner said he had got some big specimens for sale outside. The wind whipped the snowflakes round the house but we went round in the darkness to the back where he showed us an old bath that had the best part of a foot of snow in it. He told us the specimens were in there somewhere so we put out hands into the snow and kept pulling out killer pieces of purple fluorite. It was worth having freezing cold hands by the end of it.
The Weardale story wouldn’t be complete without the one that got away. I knew a miner in Stanhope who often had material and on one of my visits he brought out a number of small but stunning quality fluorites. He quoted a price which was high but they were of such quality that I could not say no. Then he disappeared down the cellar and bought up a specimen clearly from the same cavity that was the best part of a foot across consisting of a pyramid formed from some of the finest quality 1 to 1.5” twins I had seen. I really wanted it but he was adamant the price was £500, which in those days was a lot of money and after lots of soul-searching I turned it down, to my regret ever since. I believe the specimen finished up in the Liverpool Museum.
By 1995 soon after Steetley had been taken over I left and moved to Sussex. Charcoal was still being produced at a site near Battle and I became the sales director for what was a very high quality charcoal. This needless to say, was the point when I joined the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society and although I have subsequently moved back ‘Up North’ I have remained a member ever since.
For many years my stand at Haywards Heath and other shows was 100% British material but as time has moved on my stock has become more worldwide orientated. Regular new UK material is increasingly difficult to get with mines closing and collecting sites becoming exhausted or out of bounds. In 2000 I managed to get to the Tuscon show which was an eye opener to the scale of trading that goes on in the US and for the last 20 years or so I have enjoyed as a buyer the St. Marie-aux-Mine show - it has a character of its own besides the many lovely minerals.

Peter gold panning at Leadhills, Southern Scotland

Yellow fluorite (18x16x12mm), Hilton Mine, ScordaleEntrance to Smallcleugh
mine in winter, Nenthead

Entrance to flats in
Brownley Hill mine
Peter selling Arran quartz at the Bakewell Show

In 2001, although I could only allocate evenings and weekends to mineral trading because my ‘day job’ was still marketing charcoal, I learnt the necessary skills to put one of the first UK mineral sites on the web under the name, which gradually developed and gave me a wider customer base. However designing it and doing the HTML myself meant that many a night was spent with the Dreamweaver software manual before another page could go up.
Recently I realised I could only take the site so far and it was time to get some professional web skills to help with the site. This has now been done and feedback has been very positive. I also decided at the same time to change the name. Steetley PLC for whom I worked and who owned Steetley Minerals has long gone, now part of Lafarge, a French company who must have decided that the name was no longer of value to them and let the registration lapse. However it seemed an appropriate name to call my web mineral site so was launched and in so doing kept alive the name of what was once one of the biggest quarrying companies in the UK until the 1990s.
Earlier this year I retired from the ‘day job’ and am enjoying spending more time on minerals and collecting. I will continue with the shows including of course SMLS’ own Haywards Heath Show, hopefully get more regular updates up on the website and I still have my involvement in the UK Journal of Mines & Minerals. I may have been a late starter with minerals but I intend to go on collecting, researching, buying and selling until I am myself as Wordsworth puts it: “rolled round in earth’s diurnal course with rocks and stones and trees”.

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Our speaker, Elsie Hansford, has a history of being very well organised and creative. She worked alongside Roy Starkey during the formative years of the British Micromount Society in the early 1980s and has always had a particular interest in micromounts and photographing them. Recognising the problems involved in promoting micromounts to others, she designed
Elsie’s Carousel
based on a Lazy Susy which enables 40 micromounts, each one meticulously focused, to be revolved so that an individual could view all of these specimens under a stereomicroscope in a short time without any going out of focus. Elsie has brought a number of these carousels to more than one Sussex Mineral Show and they created enormous interest and allowed lots of visitors to enter the world of microminerals. In 1995 Elsie wrote a BMS Occasional Paper on
Photographing Minerals Through a Microscope
, which has been in great demand ever since.

During the mid 1980s Elsie became very ambitious and started to experiment with 3D mineral photography and this essentially allowed large audiences to see microminerals as one sees them through a steromicroscope (or more so). Elsie was the only person in the UK to get involved in this and after several years developing the technique she was in much demand by various mineral clubs to demonstrate her 3D mineral photographs. She came to our club and everyone was totally overwhelmed. That was over 25 years ago.

A couple of years back while at the Oxford Mineral Show, Elsie asked whether SMLS might like her to do another 3D mineral presentation. And, of course, we accepted without hesitation.

All 34 of us at the meeting put on 3D spectacles and sat as centrally to the screen as possible as Elsie proceeded to project 50 pairs of mineral slides, giving a brief description of each one. She started with a Hope’s Nose gold where you could see through and around the individual gold ferms, we also saw a ball of malachite waiting to roll into our laps, a lone wulfenite crystal standing erect and proud in front of a deep cavity. Magic!

Elsie covered a range of colourful classic minerals from the UK and overseas including:
Campyllite, cyanotrichite, azurite, chalcotrichite, legrandite, cuproadamite, dioptase, fluorapatite, erythrite, olivinite, urophane, pyromorphite, vanadinite, mullite, garnet and scorodite. You could see around some of the crystals, peer into cavities, look into a void beyond the mineral.
TRULY AMAZING. a mineral feast never to be forgotten!
Elsie was accompanied by her friend Debbie who projected the slides from the two projectors. Debbie made it look easy but she was ever ready to tweak the focus to bring the two images into complete alignment and produce the full 3D effect.

Mark thanked them both, presenting Elsie with a bunch of flowers and Debbie with a miscellany of minerals.

A great evening, thank you Elsie.

Pam Pearce

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Some members might be interested to know that we have been experimenting recently with personalised wine labels for the SMLS wine gifts for speakers. Normally when buying personalised wines there is quite a substantial price increase on top of the basic cost of the wine. This can be reduced when applied to a case of 12, but the options for the label design and inclusion of the SMLS logo are still quite limited or expensive. We have successfully used the web service at to produce SMLS customised labels for the wine gifts given to speakers et al at the Show this month. Using Photoshop and some redesign, these labels were then modified to provide a custom template for individual presentation bottles such as those awarded recently to Derek Underdown (our Show lapidarist), Nick Hawes (open house events) and Gary Atkinson (Web site manager). The label illustrated below is currently being used on the presentation wines for our speakers in 2012. For the legally-minded among you, the wine label containing all the legal information is retained on the back of the bottle!

Cheers! Trevor Devon

SMLS Wine Label

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We are delighted to announce that Bob and Carol Symes have accepted our invitation to be our guests at the SMLS

40th Anniversary at
The Old Tollgate Restaurant & Hotel
Bramber, West Sussex
Friday evening 19th October 2012

The food is excellent, also it is possible to stay overnight at a very reasonable rate, and not have to worry about drinking and driving home that evening.

We plan to have our own room for the dinner and invite a guest speaker.

The cost of the evening meal is currently £28 also the Tollgate is offering a
Friday Night Special
package which includes a twin or double room for the Friday night with a bottle of wine to welcome you on arrival and includes the meal and breakfast on the Saturday morning. The current price is £135 for two but we have been warned by the restaurant to expect slight increases in their prices in the New Year.

This package with a room with single occupancy is £108

As in previous years, SMLS will provide a pre-dinner drink, a glass of wine (or the equivalent) with your meal and cover gratuities to the restaurant.

Pam Pearce is co-ordinating the event and is taking bookings and deposits for the meal and accommodation (for those who choose to stay).

Deposits: £10/ person for the meal only,
             or £20/person the complete package
(cheques made out to SMLS please and send to Pam Pearce at
7, Condor Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9QB)

So do come and bring your partner or a friend, it will be a night to remember.

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Harold MacMillan was once asked by a reporter what his biggest problem was – “events, dear boy, events”. And so after the floods in Haywards Heath two years ago, this year’s events were the introduction of a Saturday street market that completely blocked the main route to Clair Hall, and railway engineering works closing the Lewes to Haywards Heath line thus creating traffic congestion with herds of relief buses around the Station! However, the 2011 Show was well attended with over 600 present. Notable was the visit to the Show by Alan Barnes and Phil Taylor who had travelled down from Aberdeen!

As well as our members and visitors, we also attracted 40 dealers this year, including one or two new faces to our Show; Nicholas Schaffer came from Milton Keynes and Clive and Lynn Minker from Bedfordshire. Simon Rigby, who stood in for Bob Maurer last year, returned with his own table. Similarly J.C.Hofeld from Utrecht in Holland returned to establish his own table of microscope equipment. Allan Mortimer took over an “SMLS member/sellers table” this year from Peter Moore and so enjoyed it he wants to return next year. As many people probably already know, Mike Gough has decided to retire as a dealer so we do wish him well down there in Sidmouth.

Demonstrations & Displays

This year, after years of enjoying Derek Underdown’s lapidary demonstrations at the Show, we were pleased to welcome James Langdon, a professional stone cutter from Brighton, as his replacement. Interestingly, I noticed Derek sitting alongside James for some of the day introducing him to our Show visitors. Many thanks then to James – I think he enjoyed it! Also many thanks to our other colleagues, Terry Denny and Jo and Ivan Tingley in the junior workshop – every time I went into the room it was very busy with children vigorously polishing stones or carefully panning for gold. And finally a special word of appreciation to our members from around the country who get together each year to present a world class display of UV fluorescent minerals for us: Richard Belson, Martin Stolworthy, Simon Taylor and Bob Snoball who bring the large cabinets, UV lamps and specimens down from Norfolk; Gavin Malcolm who gets up at the crack of dawn and brings his specimens over from Hampshire and Michael Doel who drives down from High Wycombe with his specimens for the display.

The two major displays this year were focused on Welsh Mineral Classics and
Fossils: Before and After

Tom Cotterell accompanied by Andrew Haycock (Fig. 4) from the National Museum of Wales, mounted a fine display of Welsh minerals many of which brought back happy memories of collecting in Wales over several decades. Brookite from Prenteg; gold in quartz from the Prince of Wales mine, anglesite from Machan quarry, characteristically-faced calcite and baryte from Taffs Well and a very large pyromorphite from Bwlch glas which totally filled a dome. These were just some of the specimens from the comprehensive collection on view.

Phil James, chairman of the Southampton Fossil and Mineral Society put on an excellent display. This was not just an exhibition of superb fossils, but a collection of fossil specimens and photographs which explained and demonstrated the processes involved in preparing fossils from the rock in which they had been formed. (Fig. 5) The specimens were clamped tightly in position before using a hammer and chisel and air tools to remove the surrounding rock and leaving a magnificent fossil specimen. The photographs illustrated the various steps in this process. The prepared specimen of three cannon-ball ammonites in figure 6 is both an amazing scientific specimen as well as an aesthetic, natural sculpture. Magnificent.

The Show Talks

We had three very fluent and interesting talks this year, attracting attendances of 75, 65 and 55 visitors respectively. This section was kindly prepared by our expert reporters Roy Starkey and John Pearce.

Phil James
, chairman of our sister club, the Southampton Fossil and Mineral Society started with a fascinating talk on Mary Anning’s fossils. Mary Anning (1799 – 1847) was a British fossil collector, dealer and palaeontologist who became known around the world for a number of important finds she made in the Jurassic age marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis where she lived. These included the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified, the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and some important fish fossils. Her observations played a key role in the discoveries that belemnite fossils contained fossilised ink sacs and that coprolites, known as bezoar stones at the time, were fossilised faeces. Her work contributed to fundamental changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life. Mary had little formal education; her family lived in poverty and being a woman in those days, prevented her being accepted as a fully professional palaeontologist. Despite all that she is still remembered as contributing greatly to palaeontology.

Ivor Thurgood
 took the audience on a whistle stop tour of a handful of his favourite mineral museums. The story began with a review of the sorry situation at Harlow Museum, with decaying specimens and no competent mineralogical / earth science curator on the staff, and then on to the Sedgwick Museum at Cambridge with 40,000 mineral specimens in the “warehouse”, and a small but nicely presented display in the public areas. We then journeyed on to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History with its wonderful cast iron and glass atrium, illuminated by daylight, briefly mentioning the fabulous Pitt Rivers ethnographic collections next door. Next we were up in the North Pennines at the Killhope Lead Mining Museum in Weardale with the superb spar box collection and wonderful display of fluorite specimens from the collection of David and Elizabeth Hacker. Suddenly we were in southern Spain at the Mollfulleda Museum of Mineralogy in Arenys de Mar about 30miles up the coast from Barcelona, a small provincial establishment with a nicely arranged display of a private collection, strongly featuring the minerals of Catalonia. Then it was back to the UK to pay homage at the Natural History Museum in London where sadly many of the newer displays have been poorly designed, badly lit and do not live up to their full potential. Finally we paused briefly to salute the recent European Classics exhibit at the Munich Show earlier this month before stopping off briefly at the Sorbonne Museum in Paris, aesthetically still one of the finest visual displays of top class, well-lit and stunning minerals anywhere in the world.

Tom Cotterell
, Curator: Mineralogy Specialist at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales (NMW) in Cardiff stepped forward to give a superbly illustrated account of the renowned collection of Robert (Bob) King, now part of the collections of NMW, acquired by purchase in 1983. Bob’s interest in minerals began during his childhood in the 1930s, initially collecting in the East Midlands, but later diversifying into other parts of the UK. The Cumbrian iron mines, the North Pennines, and the Caldbeck Fells in the northern Lake District were some of his favourite collecting areas. Following the Second World War Bob worked for a time as a dairyman, later joining the Department of Geology at Leicester University. He became great friends with Professor Henry (Harry) F. Harwood, and after being appointed as curator in the Department of Geology at Leicester University he submitted a Ph.D. thesis entitled, “The Mineralogy of Leicestershire”. Harwood died in 1974, at the age of 88, and bequeathed nearly 6,000 specimens to Bob, some of which had been originally collected by Bob and given to Harwood over the years. Bob was all too aware of the importance of the collection he now owned and began to consider its long term future. Initially he intended bequeathing the British specimens to each respective National Museum, so the Scottish material to the Royal Scottish Museum, the Welsh to the National Museum of Wales and the English specimens to the Natural History Museum in London. In the early 1980s the National Museum of Wales approached Bob, to ascertain what his long term plans were regarding the future of his collection. This eventually resulted in the National Museum of Wales acquiring the whole collection by purchase in 1983, following an independent valuation. The main collection consisting of some 9000 specimens was accessioned straight into the museum’s main mineral collection. It contains the very best specimens from both the King and Harwood collections, and its acquisition transformed the National Museum of Wales’ mineral collection into one of national importance, with significant international classics.

The Dealers

After his early morning stint in the kitchen cooking bacon rolls,
Nick Hawes
kindly volunteered to act as our roving reporter whilst out among the dealers’ tables and record specimens that caught his eye; he had a good chat with many of the dealers and asked them which was their favourite specimen – i.e. the one they would most like to have/keep in their own collections. Accordingly reported below is a mixture of Nick’s personal specimen choice intermingled with dealer’s picks.

Taranis Minerals
had a most attractive Wulfenite on Mimetite from the famous San Francisco mine, Mexico with transparent orange/yellow blades to 1cm.
Ian Bruce
of Crystal Classics had his usual varied display of high end specimens including a Dalmellington mine Baryte from Frizzington in Cumbria – a nice old timer with three elongate yellowy crystals to 15cm. He also displayed a rich Linarite from Penberthy Croft mine, St Hilary, Cornwall with a good covering of micro crystals. The specimen I would most liked to have taken home was a small cabinet sized Tetrahedrite from the Casa Palca mine, Huarochiri Province, Peru. A single crystal of Tetrahedrite to 3cm on edge sat aesthetically positioned on matrix, with small sparkling highlights of some other mineral scattered across it.

Mike Merry
had his usual display of Cornish minerals, among which was an outstanding combination of Chalcopyrite on Tetrahedrite from the Herodsfoot Mine, Lanreath, Cornwall. The specimen was perfectly proportioned, about 15cm across, with some of the Chalcopyrite a lovely iridescent purple colour. Very covetable – but sadly already sold!
Gary Atkinson
of Greenside Minerals had elected to go for the big specimen look this year with some super sized specimens for sale including a Baryte from Hilton Mine almost 0.6 metres across, with blades to 15cm. He also had a very nice big green Okoruso Fluorite, about 30cm square with crystals 2 to 3cm on edge. The last specimen to catch my eye was another large one – a purple Fluorite and Galena from Greenlaws Mine, Weardale, about 40cm across, with Galena and Fluorite crystals to 1.5cm.

Ross Whittaker
, Cleobury Minerals, had several cabinets of fine quality minerals, including a range of newly mined Fluorites with Quartz from West Pastures Mine, Weardale. He also had an eye catching pseudomorph of Rhodochrosite after Calcite from the Cassandra Mine, Greece and an unusual Rose Quartz sceptre from Galilea, Minas Gerais, Brazil. There was a good display of various British and International fossils on show at
Richard Hawkes’ Stone Treasures
. These included an attractive block of Arnioceras ammonites from Robin Hoods Bay in Yorkshire (which now resides in my collection!). He also had an interesting fossil needlefish with intact needle, something that is very rare and that he had prepared in-house. The fish was about 10 cm long. Lastly he had an interesting specimen comprising three Ichthyosaur vertebrae on matrix from Lyme Regis – sadly this was one that got away as it had been sold when I returned later in the day.

Mike Brooke’s Broadstone Minerals
stand there was a good sized gold specimen from California, with dendritic crystals to 2 cm. Mike also had a Pallaflat Calcite with crystals to 2cm. My eye was particularly drawn to an aesthetic specimen about 5cm high of Cerrussite from Tsumeb, shaped like a Christmas tree. Mike also had some specimens for sale from the Pearl Freeman collection, including an interesting Linarite after Galena from the Blanchard Mine, New Mexico, USA: you could still see clearly the cubic Galena shape now replaced with sparkling deep blue Linarite. Finally, Mike had an attractive Ladywash Mine Fluorite with some cube edges highlighted in Marcasite.

In the corner,
Paul Lowe
was selling his new range of cabinets and lighting which looked perfect for mounting your display of best specimens. With Paul was
Keith Corrie
who had a small case of very select specimens, including a covetable Cavansite from Wagholi Quarry, India: the specimen comprised about 7 balls of beautiful sparkling Cavansite to 1cm that were aesthetically spaced on a Stilbite matrix. Colin Brough and I spent a good deal of time looking at the specimen and attempting to persuade Keith to sell at a knock down price – which, very sensibly, he didn’t!
Brian Lloyd
of Gregory, Bottley and Lloyd had a very beautiful plate of Amethyst crystals from Vera Cruz in Mexico, with individual crystals to 2.5 cm showing a lovely purple colour. They also had a very large (30cm) deep blue Azurite from Morocco and a 30cm piece of Barytocalcite, with individual bladed crystals to 3cm from the 2nd Sun Vein, Admiralty Concession, Nentsberry Mine, Northumbria. You often see small bits of this mineral at shows, but this was a big and actually pretty looking specimen, unfortunately with too handsome a price for my budget.

Ralph Sutcliffe
was tucked away in the corner by the stage, selling a wide range of North of England and other minerals. He had a couple of small crystallised Welsh Golds to a couple of mm each – crystallised gold being almost unheard of from the UK. When I asked Ralph what his favourite specimen was he beckoned me behind the table and showed me a Beryl variety Aquamarine from the Mourne Mountains, Ireland. The crystal was a magnificent deep blue, about 6.5cm long and 1 cm wide in classic hexagonal prism shape. “Wow” was all I could say - only probably the best Aqua crystal ever to be found in Ireland. Ralph told me it came from the collection of Hodder Michael Westrupp (1820-1885) of Hornby Hall, Penrith, Cumbria. It was supplied to him in the 1830s by Patrick Dovan of Glassdrummond, Co. Down, Ireland. What a privilege to see such a rare and wonderful specimen. Sadly Ralph turned down my offer of a tenner for it!

John and Robbie Lawson
of Moorland Minerals had as usual a good range of self collected material for sale, including a group of West Pastures Fluorites recently mined. They also had some very sparkly plates of Smoky Quartz form Auchenlosh Quarry, Dalbeattie with crystals to 1cm. Lastly, they had some cubes of Fluorite from Heights Mine in Weardale that were an attractive blue/turquoise colour. John is threatening retirement, citing “getting on a bit now”; we all hope he can keep his batteries charged a few more years yet!
David and Elizabeth Hacker
presented a nice range of classic UK North of England specimens together with aesthetic worldwide minerals. They were also selling off some of the specimens collected by Mick Cooper, especially Pyrrhotites, Cerrussites and Galenas. They had some Vanadinites from a new discovery at Mibladen in Morocco: what marks these out is the size of the individual crystals, with some to 2.5cm. Sadly these are not the classic red; more of a chestnut brown, but are lustrous and make excellent display specimens.

Nick Carruth
had his usual mix of mining ephemera for sale including an old leather miners’ hat from Belgium. On the minerals side, Nick had a lovely Chalcophyllite from Cornwall for sale, with a 5x4cm grouping of crystals including some rare blocky groups to 8mm. He also had an interesting range of specimens from Leadhills in Scotland, including Leadhilllite, and Linarite.

How many of us have vowed never to buy another Indian Zeolite and then visited
Rohinten Mazda’s
table. He would quietly ask “have you seen this before?” knowing full well you haven’t, and then you are hooked on yet another wondrous Indian specimen. His table displayed the usual range of quality specimens, but I was drawn to a Scolecite with Apohyllite specimen where the Scolecite was present as spheres to 7cm diameter alongside glassy green Apophyllite. There were also a further couple of covetable Apophyllite specimens on a red Chalcedony background from Lonavala. A little different were some glassy brown bladed calcites on Trachyte matrix, a recent find from Malad, a North Mumbai suburb (found when foundations for a new car park were being dug).

Fig. 1 Alistair Napier’s competition entryFig. 2 Ivor Thurgood presenting Alistair
with the trophy

Fig. 3 Alistair with his exhibit and trophyFig. 4. Tom Cotterell (right) and Andrew Haycock
with their Welsh Mineral Classics display

Fig. 5 Phil James’ display: Fossils: Before and AfterFig. 6 3 Close-up of the three cannon-ball
ammonites after preparation

Photos: John Hall

Allan Mortimer
was selling off Fluorites and a few other minerals from his collection so that he and Elvire can increasingly just focus on Zeolites and Barytes. Allan had a specimen on the table which was simply mesmerising and attracted a crowd of admirers throughout the day: it was a 45cm specimen of purple Fluorite on sparkling drusy quartz from La Viesca, Asturias, Spain. Individual Fluorite cubes were up to 6cm, with internal zoning clearly visible.
Roland Thomas
was also selling off some of his own collection of North of England minerals, including a nice cabinet sized old time Wet Grooves Baryte specimen which is now in my collection. He also had a very nice 15 cm specimen of Hematite from San Marino in Italy with individual blades to 1cm.

Ian Jones
of Unity Minerals had a lovely selection of Chinese Calcites (Ed: he always does!), North of England and Russian minerals amongst others. My eye was caught by a really nice twinned crystal of Cassiterite on a matrix of Muscovite, with Aquamarine Beryl. It was from the Xue Boa Ding Mine, Sichuan Province, China. It really was a fabulous specimen - and I was sorely tempted. I also liked a large set of Bournonite crystals showing the typical cog wheel pattern around the edges: this specimen was from the famous Les Malines Mine in France: the interlocking cogwheel crystals were up to 6cm. As if this was not enough temptation, Ian also had a really eye-catching Cuprite with native Silver and Copper from the Rubtsovskiy Mine in Western Siberia; the Cuprite comprised gemmy octahedral crystals to 2cm.

Peter Wates
of G4 Gems had a good display of cut gemstones, including a very tempting 1.2cm pink Tourmaline from Nigeria, cut as a rectangular cushion and a lovely blue Sapphire, 1cm, cut as an oval brilliant.
Nicholas Schaffer
was a new dealer at the show and had some very good quality specimens, beautifully laid out with hand written labels which gave the display a very uniform and aesthetic look. Among his specimens I noticed a 5x5 cm Calcite from Egremont with clear crystals to 3cm and a Mimetite from the Bonnie Mine, Northern Territory, Australia, with pale green crystals to 0.5cm. He also had a very nice Amethyst from Amatitlan, Guerrero, Mexico and lastly a good Erythrite from Bou Azzer District in Morocco, with good sized pink/red crystals.

Hopefully this gives readers a good vicarious tour of the show. Apologies to any dealers left out – it’s hard to cover every single table in detail. Maybe next year?
Nick Hawes”

On reading through Nick’s very thorough report above, I think you will agree it gives an excellent flavour of the range and quality of the specimens on show (and for sale!) that are provided by our dealers.

The Show Competition: Self Collected Minerals from the British Isles

Mark Oddy invited six entrants to this year’s Competition and has provided a comprehensive report below. It should be noted that this was the first year that the Competition was dedicated to self collected minerals only; from the degree of interest in the entries shown during the day on the stage, it can be judged a real success, so well done Mark.

“The six invited entrants were Steve Burchmore, Don Ford, Dave McCallum, Alastair Napier, Martin Stolworthy and Mike Wood. The judge for this event, where only a 1st prize is awarded, was Ivor Thurgood. A short description of some of the notable minerals in each cabinet now follows:

Steve Burchmore
. Steve travelled down from Yardley Hastings near Northampton and entered a cabinet of 28 mineral specimens from a wide variety of locations including Eire. The most eye-catching specimen in his cabinet was an enormous 60-70cm long thin slab of copper and cuprite which he excavated from New Cliffe Hill quarry in1994. From the same location came a large specimen of ore material coated with malachite and yellowy-green vesignieite, a rare barium-copper vanadate secondary mineral. From the Nant y Cagel (Eaglebrook) mine in central Wales a small but very bright dark blue linarite found in 1993 was on display together with a delicate feathery mass of millerite needles found at the Nant Helen open cast coal mine in South Wales. Returning to the Midlands, Croft Quarry was the source of a large 25cm specimen of individual calcite crystals after laumontite sitting on a bed of analcime and calcite. A collecting trip to Eire in 2009 produced a notable specimen of pale green wavellite spheres on dark shale collected from the well known Laharran Quarry at Minane Bridge in Co. Cork.

Don Ford
. We are very grateful that Don was able to enter a cabinet after a previous entrant had had to drop out at the very last minute. Don, a founder member of the Sussex Society, entered a cabinet of 36 specimens all collected from the South of England – specifically Kent, Sussex and Somerset. The Sandford field site in the Mendip Hills was the source of a specimen of ferruginous quartz and from the site of an old Roman mine in the same area Don displayed an example of Yellow Ochre which is a fine grained goethite or hematite. Dark brown columns of stalactitic goethite were outstanding on a piece of sandstone collected from the Washington sand pit in Sussex and from the same county came an example of chalcedony flint from Newhaven beach. There was an example of the typical baryte sprays found in nodules on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent and Don also entered a specimen of celestine, a strontium sulphate mineral that forms a series with baryte, which he found in the Yate Quarry in Somerset.

Dave McCallum
. Dave who hails from Mexborough in Yorkshire is a well respected explorer of old mines and quarries (he recently guided a Sussex Society group in the Strontian mines in Scotland). As Dave was unfortunately unable to travel down to Haywards Heath due to pressure of work we were lucky that Dave Green – a collecting partner- was able to enter a cabinet of specimens collected on trips in the company of Dave McCallum. Outstanding specimens in this cabinet included a fine group of clear pale blue baryte crystals collected recently from Wet Grooves mine near Askrigg in Yorkshire and another group of honey brown tabular baryte crystals situated in calcite nodules gathered from cliff falls at Peak Hill, Sidmouth in Devon. The beach below the Cligga mine in North Cornwall has been the source of some remarkable botallackite finds in recent years and Dave had entered a typical example of beautiful mid green elongate crystals coating a sizeable piece of granite. Heights quarry between Eastgate and Westgate in Durham has been the source of magnificent green fluorite crystals in the past and Dave entered a beautiful dark green group of cubic crystals on matrix from this location.

Alastair Napier
. Alastair, who was a first time entrant, entered a cabinet of 39 specimens
(Figs. 1 and 3) collected from a wide geographical spread of British locations. Prominent among the minerals was a group of four specimens of pink rhodochrosite encrusting limestone from Durnford Quarry near Bristol. This very attractive material was found in March 2007 and as well as the rhodochrosite, some of which had replaced calcite, there were additional scattered crystals of magnetite and wulfenite on these specimens. Also from the Mendips there was a large undamaged 3-4cm crystal of cerussite found in 1991 in the oxidised zone of a Cu-Mn-Pb deposit within the Carboniferous Limestone in Merehead quarry. There were three notable specimens from Scotland including a large apple green botryoidal prehnite from Loanhead quarry near Beith found in 2010, a hexagonal crystal of beryl on matrix found in April 2011 at the Mica mine on the little visited Knoydart Peninsula and a superb specimen of cubo-octahedral galena crystals on cockscombe baryte collected in 2002 from the dumps at the Strontian mine.

Martin Stolworthy
. Martin is a member of the Norfolk Mineral Club and he came down not only to enter this Competition but also with other Norfolk colleagues to mount the ever popular display of fluorescent minerals – so he was a busy man! Prominent in his cabinet was a large 20cm sawn and polished ammonite in calcite collected from the Crimplesham quarry in Norfolk. There were two good examples of cubic yellow fluorite from the Hilton mine near Appleby in Cumbria collected in 1981 and a further fluorite group from Milltown quarry near Ashover in Derbyshire. Petit Tor near Babbacombe in Devon was the site where Martin had collected a specimen of pink tabular baryte in 1996 and venturing further west Martin had displayed a large piece of china clay source rock covered in cassiterite crystals found in the Rostowrack pit at St.Dennis, Cornwall.

Mike Wood
. Mike, a previous entrant, travelled from Harrogate in Yorkshire and entered a cabinet of 29 zeolite and associated mineral specimens collected in the Isle of Skye. Mike is probably the pre-eminent collector of Skye zeolites and his cabinet collection showed why. The less well known coastal location of Sgurr nan Cearcall provided a fine example of green prehnite lining a cavity in the Tertiary basalt and there was also a mass of quartz crystals from the same site. The beach at Sgurr nam Boc was the source location for four outstanding specimens, namely a large stilbite, an apophyllite with stilbite, a pink mass of heulandite crystals and a lustrous pale green blocky apophyllite on chabazite. A locality in the south of the Duirinish Peninsula, Biod a Mhurian, has produced some of the best calcite specimens collected on Skye and Mike duly displayed one such specimen of blocky penetration twins on a matrix of smaller drusy crystals.

. As mentioned above, the judge this year was Ivor Thurgood, a mineralogist whose collecting days stretch back decades, a sometime Editor of Mineral Kingdom/ Realm and a progenitor of earlier mineral shows. Prior to the presentation of the 1st prize, Ivor commented on the very high standard of all the entries and the difficulty of selecting a winner. Nevertheless after careful deliberation, and on the basis of the variety of minerals, their quality and the overall appearance of the cabinet collection, Ivor judged the winner to be Alastair Napier and duly presented the prize to Alastair, the 7th recipient of this award (Fig. 2).
I would like to place on record my sincere thanks on behalf of SMLS to all the entrants for taking the time to assemble their specimens, transport them to the Show and thus provide a worthy spectacle for the public to appreciate the attractions and rewards of mineral collecting, and hopefully be encouraged to join the hobby.”
Mark Oddy.

From the above reports it will be clear that we had yet another busy show with lots to see, people to meet, specimens to buy; the refreshments area was also very busy this year catering for several hundred lunch snacks. Reports back from the dealers indicated fairly brisk trade and we had 79 visitor questionnaires completed. Analysis of these confirmed a wide-ranging enjoyment of all the features of the Show, but especially the displays and talks; again mention was made this year of how friendly and helpful the dealers were in explaining features of their specimens. The winner of the prize draw this year was Miss Stenna Urban from Chelsea, who receives a classic Indian specimen consisting of glassy apophyllite prisms on chalcedony.

Finally, thanks from the Show organizing committee, Mark Oddy, Colin Brough and me to the 50+ members and friends who gave up time to help us prepare and run the Show this year.

Trevor Devon

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We now have a veritable caravan of travellers to the St Marie Show in June with 33 people signed up from among the Sussex and Norfolk clubs! Of these 16 are booked for the Eifel collecting trip following the show. Now I say “show”, but matters have now got very confused because two shows are being advertised; first we received advanced notice of a change of venue from the village of St. Marie aux Mines to nearby Colmar - a larger show in purpose built exhibition halls; then we hear that there is still to be a mineral show at St. Marie (probably smaller though). So we may have two shows to visit! Richard Belson has got an early booking of the hotel rooms at Sasbach (just over the Rhine), but our numbers might just require a second hotel! As reported in November, the Eifel collecting trip remains fully booked and we already have a reserve list!

Trevor Devon

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Change of Address and Telephone:

Angela McGlennon. Assist HSM House, Woodbridge School, Burkitt Road, Woodbridge Suffolk IP12 4JH
Tel: 01394 548 839

Corrected Details:

Beryl Taylor. E-mail

New Members:

Ann Barrett, 2 Waltham Close, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent TN24 0QY.
Tel 01233 623126, E-Mail

Alan Simmonds, 6 Oathall Road, Haywards Heath RH16 3EA
Tel 01444 413667, E-Mail

Jack Austen, 185 The Welkin, Lindfield, West Sussex
Tel 01444 484505, E-mail

Paul Simmonds (+Roger Scofield, Oliver Simmonds, Ben Simmonds), 37 Pickers Green, Lindfield, RH16 2BT
Tel 01444 482989, E-Mail

Mrs Marashean Parker and Mr A.J Parker 33 Colerne Drive, Hucclecote, Gloucester, GL3 3SX
Tel 01452 618015, E-Mail

Maureen James, 91 Farlington Avenue, Haywards Heath, RH16 3EZ
Tel 01444 450716, E-Mail

Anthony Digna, 20 Rue Petite Coyarde, 1367 Mont-Saint-Andre, Belgium

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S.M.L.S. COMPETITION: Friday 13th April 2012

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Now is the time to start getting your entries ready and we hope that members will be encouraged to enter as many Classes as possible.
The mineral theme for Class 11 this year will be
Zeolites and their associates

S.M.& L.S Competition Classes and Rules


Class 17 tumbled stones or up to 3 polished slabs or cabochons
Class 21 mineral or rock specimen - British
Class 2A1 mineral or rock specimen - Foreign
Class 3A display of mineral or rock specimens - British
Class 3AA display of mineral or rock specimens - Foreign
Class 4Up to 3 faceted stones
Class 5A single fossil or display of fossils
Class 6A creation using any number of cut or uncut stones, minerals or fossils
Class 71 micromineral - British
Class 7A1 micromineral - Foreign
Class 8A presentation of one or more minerals, fossils or lapidary items, supported by text and, if desired, graphics
Class 9A photograph where the main subject is geological or a specimen of a mineral/s, fossil/s or lapidary item/s
Class 9AA photograph where the main subject is an activity related to our hobby
The scrutiniser will decide whether class 9 or 9A is most appropriate if there is any doubt.
Class 10One Day’s Collecting. A minimum of 2 and maximum of 6 minerals
Class 11Annually Themed Display: Theme for 2012
Zeolites and their associates
N.B.The judges appointed by the Committee will judge Classes 1 to 7, 10 and 11, while the votes of the members attending the competition evening will determine the awards in Classes 8, 9 and 9A.

General Rules

1.The competition is open to paid up members only
2.All entries must comprise specimens collected or work done (by the competitor) in the two year period preceding the date of the competition (three years for Classes 2 and 3)– except entries in classes 8, 9, 9A and 11 where there is no time limit on when the specimens were collected, or otherwise obtained or photographs taken. Class 11 can include mineral specimens from any source, including self-collected, bought specimens and those obtained from exchange or gift, but
borrowed specimens, which conform to the theme designated for the year
3.Items which have been entered in the competition in a previous year, may not be re-entered in the same class in subsequent years, except classes 8 and 11
4.A maximum number of two entries per person per class is allowed
5.When a member cannot attend the competition in person, then another member is allowed to make entries on their behalf
6.The winners of the all classes (except Class 11) will be eligible to be considered by the judges for the “Best in Show” award
7.Judges will be appointed by the committee. If a judge is a SMLS member then he/she may not enter any specific class they are judging, but may enter other classes. The Committee will also appoint one or two scrutineers to ensure that entries are within the rules and conditions. The scrutinisers will usually be members of the society
8.All entries must be registered with the registrar by 8.00 p.m. on the evening of the competition
9.Entries will be judged in three categories:
(i) Open          (ii) Best first time entrant          (iii) Best under 16 years
Competitors should notify the registrar, at the time of registration, if they fall within categories (ii) or (iii)
Although awards of 1st. and 2nd. prize are made in the Open Category in each Class, there will be only one award for entries in Categories (ii) “Best first time entrant” and (iii) “Best under 16 years”. All entries in Categories (ii) and (iii) will qualify for consideration in the Open Category as well as in their own Category

Conditions for Specific Classes

1.Specimens in classes 2A, 3A, 5,7 and 7A must have been collected by the competitor within a maximum period of 2 years prior to the date of the competition; three years for classes 2 and 3, but 1 year for class 10. Classes 10 and 11 can include minerals from UK or overseas
2.Specimens in classes 2, 2A, 3, 3A , 5, 7, 7A, 8, 10 and 11 may be prepared for display by the removal of foreign matter, cutting and polishing etc, to expose their natural features
3.Entries in Classes 1, 2, 2A, 4, 7, 7A, 9, 9A and 10 must comply with the number of items stipulated
All entries in Classes 2 and 3 must comprise specimens collected within the British Isles, defined for these purposes as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, but excluding the Republic of Ireland,.
4.All entries in Class 2A must comprise specimens from anywhere in the World, excluding the British Isles, as defined above
6.Entries in Class 3A may exceptionally include a limited number of British specimens, up to a maximum of 20% of the total number of specimens in the entry
7.For entries in Classes 3, 3A, 5, 10 and 11, the maximum flat dimensions of the display must not exceed 12” x 18”
8.Entries in Classes 1,4 and 6 must be the competitor’s own work and may be made with rough from any source
9.Class 6 – in the case of jewellery, any final cutting, polishing or tumbling of stones and all findings, except chains and minor fittings, must be the work of the competitor
10.Classes 7 and 7A - a micromineral is defined as a mineral specimen, part or all of which requires illumination and magnification for proper observation. If there is any doubt, the section of the specimen which requires magnification should be clearly marked. All entries will be judged with the same microscope of 30X maximum magnification. (There is no size restriction for this class, but it must be possible to view the specimen with the Society's microscope)
11.Class 8 – the maximum size of the presentation is not to exceed a width of 24” and a depth of 12”
12.Classes 9 and 9A – entries in the photographic section may include prints or copies from negatives, slide film or digital media in black and white or colour. The original photograph must have been taken by the competitor. The subject matter must be related to Geology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology or Lapidary. This may include specimens, geological features, landscapes or people undertaking an activity related to these topics. All entries must be unframed, clearly labelled identifying the subject matter and with a minimum size of 6” x 4” or a maximum of A4 size excluding the label. Details of camera used, lighting, camera settings or automatic as appropriate should be given wherever possible

N.B. All entries will be reviewed by the scrutinisers for compliance with the above rules. Competitors will be notified of entries which are not within the rules and will be given the opportunity, time permitting, to make any necessary alterations to correct any breaches. Any breaches which can not be rectified will result in the entry being disqualified. Any instances where the entrant does not accept the scrutiniser’s judgement are to be referred to the co-ordinator for adjudication. The co-ordinator’s decision will be final. The scrutinisers will notify both the entrant and the judges of any disqualified entry.

Please do read carefully the above rules. Hopefully they are clear enough to avoid any misunderstandings and any consequent disqualifications. Please do enter the competition and give members as wide a view of the society’s activities as possible.


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Please note The talk on the SMLS trip to the Faroes will now in February

Fri Feb 3rdGen. Meeting
SMLS Visit to the Faroe Islands 2011
by John Pearce
Essex Mineral & Gem show. 10.00 am-4.00 pm
February 18th
North Romford Community Centre, Colliers Row, Romford
Fri March 2ndGeneral Meeting:
The Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Urals
(the meeting of Europe and Asia)
by Richard Herrington (NHM)
Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show
March 4th
10.30am – 4.00pm Exeter Hall, Oxford Rd, Kidlington, North Oxford
Sat – Sun
Rock ‘N’ Gem Show
March 4th
10th/11th 10.00am-5.00pm Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Rd. East
Sussex BMS Branch Micromount Study Evening
March 16thTheme:
Introduction to Crystallography
Coordinator: John Hall
March 18th
Field Trip to Sheppey
Co-ordinator : John Burgess
FridayGeneral Meeting:
Competition and Social Evening
April 13thCo-ordinator: Allan Mortimer
Sat – Sun
Rock 'N' Gem Show
March 31st/April 1st
10.00am – 5.00pm Brighton Racecourse, Freshfield Rd, Brighton
April 28th - 29th
Field Trip to the Calais Region
Co-ordinator : Colin Brough
FridayGeneral Meeting:
Minerals on Stamps
May 4thby Trevor Devon: Sponsor John Pearce Display:
Sat – Fri
Field Trip to Wales
May 12th – 18thCo-ordinator : John Burgess
Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show
May 13th
10.30am – 4.00pm Exeter Hall, Oxford Rd, Kidlington, North Oxford
FridayGeneral Meeting
Mineral Collecting in Greenland
: Display:
June 1stby Michael Doel: Sponsor John Pearce
Sat – SunRock ‘N’ Gem Show
June 9th/10th
10.00am-5.00pm Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Rd. East
Wed. June 20th
Visit to Ste Maire-aux-mines Show (France) and F/T to Eifel
To Sat June 30th
(Joint trip with Norfolk Mineral and Lapidary Society)
Co-ordinators : Trevor Devon & Richard Belson
AGM and Members' Evening
July 6th
SMLS Hits Mineralogical Record
by Allan Mortimer

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2012 Programme

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January 6th
General Meeting: Mineral Quiz
John Pearce, John Hall & Austin Woodbridge
February 3rd
General Meeting: Minerals of Devon
by John Pearce : Sponsor Mark Oddy
February 18th
Essex Mineral & Gem show. 10.00 am-4.00 pm
North Romford Community Centre, Colliers Row, Romford
March 2nd
General Meeting: The Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Urals (the meeting of Europe and Asia)
by Richard Herrington (NHM) : Sponsor Austin Woodbridge
March 4th
Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show
10.30am – 4.00pm Exeter Hall, Oxford Rd, Kidlington, North Oxford
Sat – Sun
March 10th/11th
Rock ‘N’ Gem Show
10.00am-5.00pm Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Rd. East
March 16th
Sussex BMS Branch Micromount Study Evening
Coordinator: John Hall
March 18th
Field Trip to Sheppey
Co-ordinator : John Burgess
Sat – Sun
March 31st/April 1st
Rock 'N' Gem Show
10.00am – 5.00pm Brighton Racecourse, Freshfield Rd, Brighton
April 13th
General Meeting: Competition and Social Evening
Coordinator: Allan Mortimer
April 28th/29th
Field Trip to Northern France
Co-ordinator : Colin Brough
May 4th
General Meeting: Minerals on Stamps
by Trevor Devon : Sponsor John Pearce
Sat – Fri
May 12th – 18th
Field Trip to Wales
Co-ordinator : John Burgess
May 13th
Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show

10.30am – 4.00pm Exeter Hall, Oxford Rd, Kidlington, North Oxford
June 1st
General Meeting: Mineral Collecting in Greenland
by Michael Doel : Sponsor John Pearce
Sat – Sun
June 9th/10th
Rock ‘N’ Gem Show
10.00am-5.00pm Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Rd. East
Wed. June 20th
To Sat June 30th
Visit to Ste Maire-aux-mines Show (France) and F/T to Eifel
(Joint trip with Norfolk Mineral and Lapidary Society)
Co-ordinators : Trevor Devon & Richard Belson
July 1st
Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show
10.30am – 4.00pm Exeter Hall, Oxford Rd, Kidlington, North Oxford
July 6th
AGM and Members' Evening
SMLS Hits Mineralogical Record Allan Mortimer
August 4/11th
SMLS Barbecue & Social Afternoon
Hosted by Trevor & Fiona Devon, Battle Barn Farm Sedlescombe
Sat – Sun
August 4th/5th
Rock ‘N’ Gem Show
10.00am-5.00pm Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Rd. East
September 1st
Hampshire Mineral & Fossil show
10.00 am - 4.30 pm Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lyndhurst
September 7th
General Meeting: Meteorites
by Carolyn Smith (NHM) : Sponsor Austin Woodbridge
September 9th
Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show
10.30am – 4.00pm Exeter Hall, Oxford Rd, Kidlington, North Oxford
Fri – Sun
Sept 14th – 16th
Field Trip to Isle of Wight
Co-ordinator Nick Hawes
Sept 22nd 
SMLS at Home with Richard Tayler
October 5th
General Meeting: TBC
October 13th/14th
Bakewell Rock Exchange
10.00am – 5.00pm Lady Manners School, Bakewell, Derbyshire
October 19th
SMLS 40th Anniversary dinner
The Old Tollgate, Bramber
October 26th
Sussex BMS Branch Micromount Study Evening
Coordinator: John Hall
Sat – Sun
October 27th/28th
Rock ‘N’ Gem Show
10.00 am-5.00 pm Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Rd. East
November 2nd
General Meeting: An Introduction to Microminerals
By John Hall : Sponsor John Burgess
November 3rd
Festival of Geology
University College London
November 10th
10.00am - 4.30pm Clair Hall, Haywards Heath
Sat – Sun
November 17th/18th
Rock 'N' Gem Show
10.00am – 5.00pm Brighton Racecourse, Freshfield Rd, Brighton
November 25th
Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show
10.30am – 4.00pm Exeter Hall, Oxford Rd, Kidlington, North Oxford
December 7th
General Meeting: British Mineral Deposit Geology
By Chris Carlon : Sponsor John Pearce

All meetings held in Redwood Centre, (next to Clair Hall) Perrymount Rd, Haywards Heath. 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Items in italics are for members’ information only.

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