FrOg On-Line #1998-04

From: "Gary Grenier" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 13:24:56 -0400
From: Gary Grenier <>
To: "Earl Verbeek" <>,
        "Earl Verbeek" <>,
        "Gary Grenier" <>,
        "George Elling" <>,
        "Jay Linninger" <>,
        "Jim Chenard" <>,
        "John Jaszczak" <>,
        "Mark Leger" <>,
        "Peter Chin" <>,
        "Steve Misiur" <zincer@CERF.NET>,
        "William C. Mattison" <>
Subject: FrOg #4 News and Chat Group Issue

Welcome to the FrOg #4 (Franklin-Ogdensburg) News and Chat Group

As previously mentioned, I am the facilitator who gathers, extracts, and
sends your reformatted text or what ever I gather that may be of
interest along to Dan Russell.  He then paginates and rebroadcasts the
text to our group.  Unfortunately, Dan Russell has lost his personal IP
account and thus e-mail has been suspended while he locates another.  I
on the other hand, will be changing IP services providers and e-mail
addresses by July 15th.  An e-mail with new addresses will be snet to
all, so please bear with us through the transition.

Al lot is going on in and around the world of mineralogy.  This time I
will present a variety of topics, new web page addresses, and extracted
e-mails form outside the group.  I will present many of these topics in
the hope that I encourage your participation and sharing of information
to the group.

Subject:	Sterling Hill Swap-n-Sell, May 2-3, 1998
The event was a big success with fair weather after threatening skies.
The dealers arrived early and customers were sporadic on Saturday.
Reports of Sunday activity indicated a much better turnout.  The 3rd
annual auction was held in the Ogdensburg Fire House meeting room.
Everyone who attended was treated to a dinner and fine comradeship.
Many fine specimens were sold from three collections that had fine old
labels from important old collections including the Bement and US
National Collections.  The species offered included two ganophyllites, a
bannisterite, a roeblingite, willemites, franklinites, andradites,
tephroites, yeatmanites, kolicites, rhodonites, manganaxinites and many
others.  All and all the auction sold approximately 130 specimens and
raised over $12,000 for the museum.

During the Sterling Hill outdoor swap I was able to observe some of the
rare species as follows:

Hydrotalcite: 	Report of observed specimen from Steve Kuitems Collection
Hydrotalcite appears as 3mm yellowish cream to brown stained hexagonal
platy crystals with vitreous to glassy faces.  The crystals appear on
edge as folio pages and penetrating growths clumped in cavities and vugs
in a seam with orange-yellow platy 2mm spherical crystal clusters of
hauckite.  Also in the seam and associated with the hauckite and
hydrotalcite are gemmy red masses and small hemimorphic zincite
crystals.  The matrix is composed of white calcite with sparse granular
masses of willemite.  The vugs and cavities are small to .75" and are in
the narrow seam that is cutting midway through the matrix.  The contents
of the vugs and cavities are easily overlooked.  Franklin specimen.

Descloizite: 	Report of observed specimen from Steve Kuitems Collection
The descloizite formed very small yellowish-orange cubic-like single
crystals to .5mm dispersed on an altered dark brown "Jeffersonite".  On
the edge of the specimen in a small cavity can be seen a thin crust form
cluster of descloizite crystals.  From the Edwards collection - Sterling

Synadelphite: 	Report of observed specimen from Steve Philips Collection
What initially caught my eye was the dark brown stain on the corner of
the kraisslite face.  Upon closer inspection with a hand lens the
synadelphite appears as tiny dark brown stained prismatic radiating
crystals on the kraisslite.  The kraisslite is bronzy and fine-grained
appearing as a seam filling in granular red willemite, franklinite ore
from Sterling Hill.  The synadelphite appeared to be on and in the
kraisslite not having direct contact with the red willemite ore. The
synadelphite appeared to be undamaged and sharply terminated with
vitreous crystal faces.  The crystal form is distinctively different
from the eveite which forms flattened honey yellow to tan-brown
lath-like lattice works of crystals on kraisslite with chlorophoenicite.
There is no apparent chlorophoenicite on the synadelphite bearing
kraisslite.  Sterling Hill specimen.

Subject:	The Picking Table is Getting Back on Schedule
Reports from Dick Bostwick have the Spring-98 issue at the printer and
soon to be in your mailboxes.  When this issue is delivered the Picking
Table will be formally back on schedule with the next issue coming out
in the fall.  Dick hopes that the mailing of the fall issue will
coincide with the fall FOMS mineral show that is in late September.

Quick note, by now you should have received your "Spring '98" issue of
the PT.  Congratulations to Bostwick for putting the PT back on

The fall-98 issue is going to make history.  For the first time color
images are going to be published in The Picking Table.  Since this is
going to cost more than the usual publishing expense for the PT a "Color
Fund" has been setup to receive donations rather than raise dues.
Please consider offering a donation to the club for this worthy effort.

Subject:	Rocks & Minerals Magazine Does a Story on Sterling Hill
Latest Issue of Rocks & Minerals Magazine has a color story about the
"Hill".  While briefly describing all of the many features of the
Sterling Hill tour and facilities, the story presented collector notes
from past field trips into the Passaic and Noble pits that should
inspire other more distant collectors to become active.  The R & M did
Sterling Hill a good PR service.  Pick up an issue, you won't be
disappointed, and it might just become a collectible?

Subject: 	FrOg E-mail
Date:    	April 20, 1998
From: 	Bill Mattison  "William C. Mattison"
Hi Gary,

A thought concerning the FrOg on-line occurred to me over the weekend. I
don't recall the full list of who gets the FrOg news e-mails, but what I
do recall is that most everyone on the list is an advanced FrOg
collector.  I would expect questions to be very few and far between.
Suggestion: have Doug Mitchell tell the FMS online about the FrOg news
group, and see if that gets you a bigger audience with more
less-advanced collectors.  Then you'll get more questions.

Also, notice also how sporadic FMS online is.  It goes through busy
spells; it goes through quiet spells.  It's natural that FrOg online
will do likewise.

I do have a couple more things for FrOg online, but I'm waiting for FrOg
#3 to come out first.  I find more shorter messages is better than fewer
longer messages.  Things get missed with the longer messages.

Since I did not get FrOg #2 until you sent it to me separately earlier
this month, check with me when FrOg #3 goes out to make sure I receive
it.  By the way, did anyone else receive FrOg #2?  I saw Dick Bostwick
this past Friday; it seems he did not get FrOg #2.

I have sent out a copy of FrOg #3 which you should have received before
this.  I am now curious as to who else may not be receiving the FrOg.
If anyone has received a FrOg, then you are still on the mailing list
(unless you asked to be removed), so let me know if you are not getting
the e-mail.  Also, I will be checking with Dan to get the current roster
of e-mail addresses.  Sometimes the addresses change and we do not get
the change, so let me know.

Subject:	Fluorescent Mineral Identification
Date:    	June 5, 1998
From: 	Bill Mattison "William C. Mattison"
Hi Gary,
I have a question for the group.  I have a couple of specimens,
smallish, with a little
Margarosanite, some Clinohedrite, some very tiny specks of red
fluorescence (Calcite, probably), Willemite, and lots of something that
fluoresces Hardystonite blue.  I can think of three minerals this blue
fluorescing mineral could be: Hardystonite, Prehnite, or Xonotlite.
Claude Poli would say it's "pecto-prehnite", a mix of Pectolite and
* Well, the fluorescence doesn't seem "electric" enough to be Xonotlite,
and it's massive, not a coating or crack filling.  But then, I've seen
so little Xonotlite in my life, I can't say I  know the range of
fluorescence colors Xonotlite fluoresces.
* The assemblage seems wrong for Hardystonite (well, at least
IIIIIIII've never seen or heard of Hardystonite and Margarosanite
occurring together, but then this i-s Franklin!).
* "Pecto-prehnite"?  Apart from Claude, I've never seen or heard of that
either.  Do these mix at such a scale that even with about 3x
magnification it looks like one solid mineral?  Ok, ok, this is
* Prehnite's fluorescence does cover a range of colors.  Is Hardystonite
blue in that range? The only analytical techniques practically available
to me at this time are fluorescence, association, and white-light
color.  The Hardystonite blue fluorescence is under SW, the mineral is
dead under MW, and under LW is mostly dead but shows some weak
Bustamite-like red-violet fluorescence in a few areas.  I'm at work and
the rocks are home, and I don't recall this mineral's white-light
appearance, but I do recall seeing no hint of Bustamite.

What is this mystery mineral?  How can I determine what I've got?

As far as your question about fluorescent species distinguishment, I am
sure that members of FrOg can help.  So, I will give it a try and then
ask the group to respond as well.

With respect to the pale blue FL responses in the margarosanite -
clinohedrite specimen, there is not enough specimen information to
provide you with an accurate species label.  However, from what I have
seen in other collections, margarosanite mixes freely in celsian and
hyalophane rich matrixes.  If the margarosanite is disseminated
throughout the matrix it could be very hard to identify.  The best way
to be sure is to have Dick Bostwick to a look or send a fragment off to
Excalibur for analysis.

As far as the xonotlite FL response is concerned, I have never had any
difficulty distinguishing the intense violet-blue response from others.
In addition, xonotlite is far less plentiful and far more restricted in
the assemblages in which it is found than other blue to violet
fluorescing species.  Xonotlite is more often seen in tight bunches of
white to cream colored acicular xls in jack-straw to radial masses
forming last as a reaction product of weathering matrixes often composed
of hancockite, datolite, clinohedrite, willemite, thomsonite.  Also seen
in massive prehnite (which is white to gray and somewhat platy) with
masses of pectolite (which is white and often glassy) in better
specimens.  In others, these two species form a "soup" of small grains
cemented together to form and almost indistinguishable mass that is
broken up by the occasional andradite or franklinite grains mass. Often
at the contact of the pectolite/prehnite grains with the andradite or
franklinite there will have formed a reaction rim of pale blue-white
fluorescing margarosanite.  In the past this has been misidentified as
prehnite.  It is possible that prehnite has a pale blue-white response,
but I know for certain that prehnite has peach-pink SW response.  It is
important to remember that prehnite mixes often with other species that
fluoresce which makes identification confusing and most difficult to
distinguish the individual grains. Check PJD's latest 5-vol work for
helpful daylight detection help.

If anyone else want s to take a stab at FL identification, please do.

A New Web Site for All Mineral Enthusiasts The MINERALIST

Welcome to the "Mineralist" Information Page. "Mineralist" is a
moderated email list service intended to facilitate relatively
noise-free discussions of issues in and about specimen mineralogy and
related geology topics.  Bookmark this page for easy referencing of the
"Mineralist" documents and "Mineralist" archive.

Mineralist was launched on March 24, 1998.
Mineralist Documents
Mineralist Charter
Mineralist Subscription Information
Mineralist Posting Guidelines
Mineralist Moderation Guidelines
Mineralist Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Mineralist Archives

I discovered the above copy of the web page during one of my random
searches through the internet.  It has proven to be very interesting on
a global mineralogy basis.  Perhaps you will find it interesting as

Interesting E-mail from Mineralist
In an effort to introduce this next topic I must add that a common
conversation topic among Franklin and Sterling Hill collectors is that
of mineral identification services; where are they, what do they do, how
much do they cost, and how quickly can analysis results be provided.

Mineralist <>

Alfredo Petrov Writes:
A question for the mineralogists or chemists among us: Being a geologist
and mineral collector in a country with no professional mineralogists, I
find myself frequently sending off specimens of "whatzites" (to borrow
Mark Bandy's term) to mineralogists in Europe or the USA for
identification.  The replies I get back refer to analyses being done by
various procedures, like microprobe, EDX, X-ray fluorescence, Raman or
Mossbauer spectroscopy... (Or I hear that something can't be done
because one or other of the above instruments are broken :-(  It would
be helpful for us amateurs if one of the professional chemists or
mineralogists on the List could explain what the differences in these
methods are; i.e. differences in their capabilities, accuracy's, sample
size needed, elements detected, etc. I know some methods don't detect
very light elements; most can't distinguish Fe2+ from Fe3+; some need
much larger sample sizes from others; etc. I think having more knowledge
about these techniques would help us not to inundate the overworked
professional mineralogists with inappropriate samples. Thank you.
Alfredo Petrov, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Gail Dunning Writes:
For those of you out there who rely on others to perform analytical
identifications of mineral specimens, it is not easy to determine which
analytical technique is best for a specific mineral in question. I do
both in that I do certain mineral identification but also I send
specimens out for identification. There are several analytical
techniques out there which will aid the mineral collector to properly
identify his (or her) samples. For myself, I only have the capability to
perform EDS (Energy Dispersive Spectrometry) using the SEM with BSE
(Backscattered electron imaging) First, EDS has certain limitations.
With a light element detector, one can see with fairly good reliability
oxygen, if elements with high atomic number are not present in high
percentages (these elements absorb the weaker X-rays of the lighter
elements). Sample size can be small, about 0.1 mm in size usually is
sufficient if pure. For my specimen identification I always do EDS first
to determine what elements I am dealing with, then based on what I see,
I make a decision what to do next.  I use a search program to reduce to
a reasonable size what possible minerals I have using any physical
properties I can gleam from the specimen. If this does not work, then I
send the specimen for X-ray diffraction, which generally is the final
"nail in the coffin" for identification. I have found that a combination
of EDS and powder diffraction is the fastest way to identify minerals.
There are certain limitations to EDS analysis (it only sees element
levels about 1% or larger without element interference). Some element
spectrum lines hide behind the lines of other heavier elements, which
can cause problems, such as S behind Pb and Ti behind Ba. There are
other examples of interference. The bottom line in EDS mineral
identification is to have a reliable standard of known minerals to use
as a comparison. I have used this technique for many years and it works
fine. Whenever I obtain a mineral, which has been verified by X-ray
diffraction, it becomes an EDS standard. EDS is also good for the opaque
minerals such as sulfides, sulfosalts, etc. These minerals are first
made into a polished section and then examined in the SEM using BSE
which can distinguish atomic number differences if more than one phase
is present. SEM/BSE/EDS combined with optical microscopy is a powerful
set of identification tools. In certain cases microprobe must be used to
obtain analytical composition of the opaque minerals, especially when a
specimen can have several intergrown phases, such as the sulfosalts. The
probe is great but hard to find a willing investigator with time. The
availability of mineral identification people has been reduced in the
past years due to budget cuts and other priorities. To show what the
SEM/EDS can do, our mineral collecting group has identified nine new
minerals, which are currently being studied by others. It does work, but
it takes experience.
Gail Dunning

Gary Grenier Writes:
I cannot agree more with your observation regarding a general lack of
information and understanding regarding mineral quantitative,
qualitative, and microprobe analysis.  It would be very useful to have
more information, however even more important to the mineral collector
is having a list of analysis service providers.  For instance, Excalibur
Minerals provides analysis services for a fee.  Are there any others?
Gary Grenier  []
Laurel, MD

Don Newsome Writes:
There is another one that provides analysis services he is Bart Cannon,
he runs Cannon Microprobe and lives in the Seattle, WA area somewhere.
Don Newsome
Renton, WA

Henry Barwood wrote:
It would be helpful for us amateurs if one of the professional chemists
or mineralogists on the List could  explain what the differences in
these methods are (EDS, XRD, XRF, SEM, TEM, etc.); i.e. differences
in their capabilities, accuracy's, sample size needed, elements
detected,  etc.

Can't speak for the majority, but when presented with an unknown I
normally proceed in a certain order:

1) Visual examination to determine any easily observable clues such as
morphology, luster, specific gravity, streak, cleavage. This eliminates
most common things and points to what should be done next.

2) If there is sufficient sample an XRD using a diffractometer is in
order to try and identify the mineral, or if the specimen is a mixture
of minerals. If only a small amount of sample exists, a powder
diffraction camera photograph is prepared and analyzed.

3) At this point we usually have either a) a known species bases on XRD,
or b) an unknown species or mixture. If the species is one that has
isomorphous substitution, then a chemical analysis is in order.
If it is an unknown, a chemical analysis is a necessity.

4) For a quick qualitative, or semi-quantitative, analysis an EDS
spectrometer mounted on an SEM is usually the instrument of choice.
There are two pitfalls that should be noted with this method: a) the EDS
analysis is a SURFACE analysis and is subject to mis-interpretation (I
have specimens of goyazite with a thin skin of svanbergite, for example)
b) the peaks displayed are difficult to interpret and the difference
between 1-2% Fe and 10-20% Fe can be rather subtle depending on the
matrix (1-2% Fe in variscite seems quite large, but 10-20% Fe in
ilmenite/pyrophanite can seem insignificant).

5) For a complete analysis the microprobe (WDS spectrometer) is
preferred. Even here calibration and dehydration errors are common. A
skilled operator and experience are helpful.

6) If the mineral is a true unknown, then tests for Fe++/Fe+++, LOI,
optics, etc. are needed.

The best weapon is careful observation and learning some simple
physical, chemical and optical tests.
Henry Barwood

Subject:	Analytical tools
Date:	Sun, 31 May 1998 11:20:21
From: 	Mineralist <>

Pete Richards Writes:
I'd like to amplify what Henry Barwood said about the importance of
simple tests. I am painfully aware that when collecting rare species or
places with complex mineral assemblages, these may be insufficient,
but I suspect that many  collectors could at least narrow the range of
possibilities, and often make positive identification of specimens which
are either unidentified or sent to specialists who do, after all, have
something else to do...  >:^)

Most mineralogical texts from the '60s and before have substantial
sections on determinative mineralogy.  Optical tests are very powerful,
but somewhat out of reach of most, since they require a petrographic
microscope and various other equipment which is not easy to learn to use
well, but also expensive even used. However, simple qualitative chemical
tests such as blowpipe tests and bead tests (using molten borax or
sodium carbonate or similar chemicals to dissolve fragments of the
mineral) do not require fancy equipment and, once you learn to use them
by practicing with known minerals, can tell you a lot about an unknown.

A simple example: at a recent trip to Mont. Saint-Hillarie, someone gave
me a piece of breccia which contained green andradite (not uncommon
there and recognizable by color and morphology), brown vesuvianite or
tourmaline, and gray molybdenite or graphite.  I determined that the
brown mineral was vesuvianite by melting a fragment with a butane
microtorch and watching it bubble as it melted quite easily.  This fits
nicely with the description of vesuvianite as fusible at 3 (i.e. rather
easily) with intumescence, but not with the tourmalines, most varieties
of which are infusible or only fusible on very thin edges.  The gray
mineral was, as suspected, molybdenite, based on the fact that it was
soluble in nitric acid.  I could have tested with some other reagents,
which yield a colored solution when molybdenum was present, but I did
not feel it was necessary in this case.  I could have done a streak
test, but I find it hard to be sure of the difference in streak color
between moly and graphite. At any rate, with a little reading in the
textbooks to choose my tests and less than an hour of fooling around in
the basement, I identified these two minerals to my satisfaction.

Admittedly, if the brown mineral did not look like anything familiar, or
if it could have been any of 8 different species, I would have preferred
the greater certainty of x-ray/EDS approaches.
Pete Richards

Harry Barwood Wrote:
I would like to amplify somewhat Pete's excellent advice. Here are some
inexpensive techniques I have seen applied by amateur mineralogists with
great success:

1) Simple chemical tests. This can range from bead tests to fairly
complex microchemical tests.  Curt Segeler used to teach the ring oven
technique to Scout classes. When Curt would send me something to
identify it usually had a note like "... I tested this and found
selenium and copper but no lead. It was identified as demesmaekerite...
Can you help me out with this one?".

2) Optical tests. These can range from a simple R.I. determination using
even a rudimentary (non-petrographic) microscope to sophisticated tests
such as using the spindle stage. A late friend taught himself
petrography and used the spindle stage with such accuracy that most of
my identifications for him were simply confirmation of his
identification. Even very inexpensive microscopes can be converted to
use polarized light and R.I. oils are not excessively expensive (they
can even be made at home with a bit of skill).

[Mod. Note - "R.I." means "refractive index", referring to the degree to
which incident light is bent or refracted upon entering the substance]

3) Physical properties. Never underestimate the value of streak, luster,
specific gravity, hardness and cleavage in separating minerals. Small
grains and fragments can be tested for S.G. with excellent
accuracy and a set of hardness points is invaluable.

An excellent example! I would like to use a quote from the late Neal
Yedlin: "Buy and use a good book!". In this case a good elementary
mineralogy text.
Henry Barwood

NEW Topic:

I have been studying digital cameras for possible use in mineral studio
and field photography.  My objectives have been very simple.  I need a
camera that will duplicate the close-up results that I am able to get
with my Pentax 35mm SLR with a Macro lens.  In searching and trying the
many digital cameras on the market I have had to develop a new
photographic vocabulary as well as appreciate the need for more computer
equipment. The following e-mails and extracted adds from the internet
reflect on the growing availability and complexity of the digital camera
solution.  I encourage any and all who are interested in adapting the
digital camera or video-cam mineral photography and image
re-presentation share their findings with the group.

My first search for information led me to (2) magazine publications;
Camcorder and PC Photo.  Both of these magazines publish camera
reviews.  Based on what I have read in these magazines I visited web
sites looking for more detailed information.  For the most part this
leads to information overload, so live trials are a necessity.  I tried
both of the Sony Mavica cameras 5 & 7.

The Sony Mavica has the benefit of using a floppy to transfer images to
your computer.  It also records at a 640x480-pixel image size.  The
camera can be set to low resolution as well as high resolution. I have
included a sample image as an attachment for you to view.  I found the
Mavica easy to use and reasonable in cost at $599.00.  In testing the
close-up ability of the camera I found that the viewfinder and the
actual recorded image were not synchronized.  It was easy to move to
close to the subject and shoot an out of focus image.  Even though the
camera has a playback screen, the photographer can not detect the
out-of-focus nature of the image until it is on the computer monitor.
The average range of a close-up image can be determined by how close the
camera can be moved to the subject mineral, in the case of the Mavica by
trial and error.  I found the Mavica to allow a camera to specimen
distance of  9" to 12".

I tested similar fixed lens through the viewfinder cameras that include
the Olympus D300L, the Ricoh RDZ-300z, and Cannon Powershot 350.  In all
cases the pixel image size was critical to the quality of the resulting
image.  The Olympus D300L is better at 1024x768 as is the Ricoh and
Cannon.  The better cameras will shoot a 1560x1280-pixel image size or

The big drawbacks with any and all of these cameras are that they have a
fixed lens not through the lens image finder with a fixed focus range.

In asking mineral dealers on the web what they use I found the

Subject:	Digital Cameras
Date:	Monday, 9 Feb 1998 21:30:14 -0500
From:	OsoSoft Mineral Connection

I use a video camera designed for video conferencing, along with a
Snappy video capture device on The OsoSoft Mineral Connection. Since the
Snappy has a video passthrough, I use a 13" color TV as a monitor for
focusing, etc. The camera cost just $89 from Damark, and the Snappy
sells for about $150 street price. The TV was surplus at my house, so
cost nothing.

This system works OK and is very fast to use, which is critical for me
since I have to take dozens of photos in a session to post items for
sale on the site. It's not as high quality as shooting on film, then
having the
images put on disk, of course, but you don't have to wait.  The biggest
advantage of the video system is that the camera focuses as close as
necessary, even to the front element of the lens, making it easy to
shoot thumbnails, etc. Also, I've adapted it to my stereo microscope for
use in photographing micromount specimens. You can see that setup
explained on the site.
Best wishes,
George Campbell
OsoSoft Mineral Connection

Subject:	Digital Imaging
Date: 	Monday, 9 Feb 1998 09:11:16 EST
Subject: Re: Digital Cameras

Hi Chris and all,
I use a Casio QV-30 and love it.  It had a Color LCD screen and weighs 9
ounces without the batteries.  I use rechargeable batteries and they
work great.  The only draw back on this camera is that it is a battery
hog!  That is why I use rechargeables.

You can see some of the pictures on my web page:

The price: I bought mine for $299 at office depot.  I don't know the
retail on it.
Mark Case
Randleman, NC

In a message dated 98-02-09 08:09:09 EST, you write:
Stretching the relativity a little, but since there seems to be a
proliferation of mineral/fossil websites with varying image qualities, I
am interested in getting as much experienced based feedback as possible
digital cameras.  If you want to respond directly that's fine or send it
to the discussion group.  I am interested in performance, brands and
Chris Johnston

Subject:	How Do You Take Those Pictures
Date:	Tuesday, 17 Feb 1998 12:31:27 -0600
From: 	Kevin Ward <>
Hi Gary,

Sorry it took so long for me to answer your question but you wouldn't
believe how swamped I've been with work and filling orders since
arriving home.

When I take my photos I use a simple love of minerals and my expertise
in photography to bring out the best image I can. I use a 35mm manual
camera with macro and super macro and natural light. I use 200 speed
Kodak film that seems to give the most accurate portrayal of colors and
scan the prints into my computer with a UMAX graphics scanner. I then
use PhotoShop, PSP, Image Composer, etc., to crop and sharper the image
and of course, to compress the memory size.

I compare the final image to the mineral and if I'm not happy with the
accuracy I redo the scan. Everything you see on the site is 98% accurate
to real life and you should be happy with each mineral you purchase from
the mineral rooms. I keep getting compliments on my photography so the
process seems to be working.
Have a good one!

At 03:21 AM 2/15/98 -0500, you wrote:
Hi Kevin:

I am curious, you have a very well done web page with a great deal of
detail in your images of specimens I could expect to quite larger.  How
do you take the wonderfully detailed and seemingly color-correct photos
of the minerals for sale in the 9+ rooms in the Mineral Gallery?  What
camera are you using?

Since it can not be practical to carry a scanner around with you and you
can not be at the mercy of the photo processors, can I assume that you
are using a digital camera and out putting JPEG files?  Next, what is
your light source? And just how close can you get to the specimen with
your camera?  Also, is it safe to assume that you are doing all of your
image cropping and web page setups from laptop?  What software do you

Please let me know some more about your images and how you take them,
because I am making some big decisions on your material based on what
appears to be some very good photography.

Subject:	Digital Imaging
Date: 	Monday, 9 Feb 1998 09:11:16 EST
From: 	D E Russell <>

There's some more info on this at the Digital Camera Resource Page:

Look under the headings for March 4. Good News!

A very smart company in California has come up with an ingenious device
that is the size of a 35mm film canister and fits in ordinary 35mm
cameras. It has a 1.3 million pixel ccd and records up to 30 images to
be transferred to your computer. Brilliant!

 Sounds enticing! Last year a company here in NY announced a similar
device for medium format cameras  (they were way too pricey for my
budget!).  It would be great to finally have a digital imaging device
with all the features that we've come to love on our 35mm cameras...
even if it means  using a retrofitted 35mm.

Subject: 	35mm Camera Digital Conversions
Date: 	Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 09:30:22 -0500
From:	D E Russell <>
I have been told that the new film back insert for 35mm cameras "will
sell for under $1,000"

Since whenever anyone says that it *never* means a great deal less than
$1,000, I presume we mean in the $900 range... possibly with a lower
street price.

Subject: 	35mm Camera Digital Conversions
Date: 	Sunday, 14 June 1998
IMAGEK web page
"Going Digital is a Snap" If you've ever thought of owning a
cutting-edge digital camera,
 IMAGEK has news for you,
                                  ---You already own one!---
Fit the IMAGEK EFS-1 electronic film cartridge into the film cavity of
your standard 35mm point and shoot or SLR camera and turn it into a
digital camera instantly!

* 1.3 mega pixel resolution *
                         Doubling the quality of an average digital
     The system shoots and stores 30 pictures at a time and is reusable
up to 100,000 times.
     Connects to your PC for instant viewing, electronic storage,
immediate e-mail transmission and artistic
     Enables custom and standard photos with your printer.
     One EFS-1 Electronic Film system saves you the expenses of 100,000
rolls of film and processing.
     Compatible with all standard digital printing methods.
     Provides creative freedom with your existing lenses and
     Allows flexibility to choose between standard 35mm film or EFS
format at will.

I have not received any more information, price, or first trials of this
product.  I am interested in reading of if any of you have used this
Another Approach to Digital Close-up Images

I have also investigated using Camcorders, VHS or 8mm, to shoot minerals
with success.  The cameras provide through the lens viewing, zoom
magnification to 32x, and can work in low light.  I have found that the
Raynox Close-up Lens kit woks well on most Camcorders that will accept
lens filters.  The other benefit to using a Camcorder is the high
resolution that each image stream achieves.  Of course the draw-back is
that the product of a Camcorder is streaming video or a movie.

To turn the streaming video or movie into stills on the computer
requires another piece of hardware.  One can buy a "Snappy" digital
video feed hardware editing solution for $199.00, or the Matrox Marvel
G200 TV card for $329.00, that connects the computer to the Camcorder
for play-back into the computer.  I have not tried the "Video Sphinx"
but the data sheets provided by the manufacturer states that brilliant
snap shots can be captured in high resolution (1600x1200 pixels) from
any video source, which is very good.

In all cases the ability of the amateur photographer to use household or
family video equipment to achieve close-up digital still images that are
computer captured is readily achievable and farther advanced than the
digital cameras. Certainly, the close-up capacity and magnification
factors are farther advanced with video than with digital cameras that I
have found.  Is this your experience as well?  Please share your
techniques and observations.

Visit  for a complete video
technique presentation using a microscope and a $200.00 video
conferencing camera in "Video Micro Photography of Minerals On A
Budget".  Also visit  for a
collection of images using this technique.

What to Do With Your Slides, Negatives, Prints and Maps

Another resource for the photographer with 35mm equipment is the printed
photos and slides already shot and processed.  To make use of these
images and convert them into digital formats that can be read into a
computer requires the use of one of two techniques and additional
equipment.  Minolta, Nikon and other manufacturers make a negative and
slide scanner.  The Minolta Dimage costs about $600 and scans both
slides and strip negatives at 1280x1024 pixels.  The Polaroid SprintScan
35 Plus scans positives & negatives, mounted and unmounted chromes at a
2700 dpi resolution, but is expensive at $1,549.  While I favor this
technique of capturing libraried slides and negatives, I have not yet
tried to scan and capture images from my stock shots.

The second technique for capturing photos, slides, and maps involves
using a VHS or 8 mm camcorder.  By placing a camcorder on a tripod or
mounted in a copy stand and then arranging peripheral light sources to
eliminate glare you are ready to use the close-up capabilities to
capture any positive images on video tape.  You can do the same thing
with slides that are placed on a light box.

Once the images are captured on videotape, you have the opportunity to
transfer them into your computer via any number of video capture
hardware and software components, such as the Snappy, Python, or Sphinx
pro.  Using the Snappy or similar component will allow you to select one
image at a time or to stream them with special effects into your

Of course, conventional scanners have been around for many years and
color scanners have improved considerably over the past four years.  We
can now scan almost anything an a flat-bed scanner in 16 million colors
with nothing less than exciting detail.  For instance the HP 4c scanner
cost $1000 two and half years ago and now can be purchased for $485.
Like most scanners, it comes with OCR and image software to allow you to
scan positive images and text.  All of the photos that I have scanned
using this method have been superior in detail retention to shooting
with a 640x480 pixel digital camera.  The drawbacks include the speed of
the scanner, setting up for each image scan, and subsequent software
handling, but the method works.

The convergence of digital and conventional photographic techniques is
occurring as I write.  Professional photographers have had the ability
to shoot conventional film and process the film directly to digital
images.  The Olympus Digital Photo Studio is an excellent example of
this approach and is available for the "casual photographer.

If anyone is using a technique like I have described please share some
of the particulars, like price, setup, how to use, and what the results
look like.


The mineral list has changed significantly over the past four years
since the publication of Pete Dunn's five-volume monograph.  Some
species have been added and others have disappeared from the list
without comment.  How many changes have you noticed.  For instance
Basnaesite-group mineral is off the list and Cummingtonite is on;
Horneblende is on and Melanterite is off; and there are others.   Have
you noticed changes in the list?

One of the interesting twists of the list is the discussion and
verification process of new species to the deposit that is eventually
added to the list.  It seems that species that we have known for years
to be "on the list", verified by reputable sources, discussed at
Franklin and often confirmed by the Franklin Mineral Museum may not
appear on the list.  Such species as Povondraite found at Sterling Hill
by Dr. Jenkins, Pyromorphite found at Sterling Hill by Dr. Jenkins,
Smythite found at Sterling Hill by Dr. Medreski, and Szaibelyite found
at Sterling Hill by Dr. Jenkins are not on the list.

Aside from the list published by Dr. Dunn the only other published list
is printed in the FOMS Annual Show program.  The last list was published
in September of 1997 and contained 338 species.  I thought there would
be more until I noticed some species have been removed.  I suppose the
removals were made under Dr. Dunn's watchful eye.  It is also likely
that if you have material in your collection originally purchased or
collected under the removed name, you should hold onto the material,
since the species may have been moved to the "under study" or "unknown #
?" category such as Hematolite-Like Mineral.  Does anybody know for

Subject:	Mineral Changes in the Amphibole Group
Date: 		June 25, 1998
From:		The Mineralogical Record, volume 29, May-June 1998

In the article is entitled The Second List of Additions ad Corrections
to the Glossary of Mineral Species (1995) by Joseph A. Mandarino the
work on and changes in the amphibole group of minerals was discussed.
One of the changes of significance to the Franklin and Sterling Hill
mineral collector was the mention that Tirodite (p. 170) was no longer a
valid species name the manganese magnesium silicate hydroxide.  Instead
the replacement name is Manganocummingtonite.  This article is a fine
summarization of the more complex and detailed work presented in the
American Mineralogist and other publications.

If in your reviews of these published amphibole changes you notice more
nomenclature changes relevant to species on the Franklin and Sterling
Hill list please bring them to our attention.

Subject: 	Call for Papers -- New York Mineralogical Club
Date: 	Wednesday, 3 Jun 1998 16:33:17 -0700

1998 George F. Kunz Competition sponsored by the New York Mineralogical
Club is open to all authors. Articles about places, people and events
within 350 miles of New York City (this includes Virginia to central
Maine, all of Pennsylvania, etc.) are eligible for the $500 first prize.
For details visit:
Links to other mineral related sites:

Mont St. Hilaire
Mineralogy Club of Antwerp
Franklin Mineral Museum
Herbe Yeates
Graves Lapidary
Bob's Rock Shop
Franklin Historical Society
Mineral Journals
Mineralogical Record
Seamans Museum
Bad Boys
UC Minerals
OSO Soft Minerals
The Mineral Gallery
John Betts Fine Minerals
Red Cloud

'Bye for now!

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