Boston Mineral Club
Welcome to the Boston Mineral Club website! If you have suggestions, questions or comments about the site, please use the Contact page.
You do not need a college degree in earth sciences to join the club! We are open to all. We welcome and encourage new members to join the club. Membership
The Boston Mineral Club (BMC) was founded in 1936 to "promote the study and collecting of rocks and minerals, to encourage friendly cooperation among mineralogists and collectors, [and] to promote the study of mineralogy and related arts and sciences coming within the purview of earth sciences..."
In the pursuit of these goals, the BMC offers educational programs at club meetings, mineral collecting field trips, a newsletter, and access to our mineralogical reference library.
The Boston Mineral Club is a member of the American Federation of Mineral Societies and the Eastern Federation of Mineral and Lapidary Societies. The BMC also is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) educational organization.
The Boston Mineral Club is proud of its long tradition of conducting field trips to collecting localities throughout the New England area. Information about trips planned for the current year is published in our newsletters which can be found in the members only area of the website.
The club also organizes occasional trips to localities outside of New England. Previous destinations have included Nova Scotia, Kentucky, Georgia and Arizona. You can view photos of our 2009 trip to Nova Scotia here: Nova Scotia 2009.
Information about the regular monthly meetings of the club can be found on the meetings page.
The mineral kingdom displays its beauty in many different ways. Although many of our die-hard field collectors strictly focus their attention on well formed natural crystals (whether gemmy or not), there are many others who also appreciate the dazzling effects that an expert gem cutter can produce by applying his or her skills to create cut stones from gem rough. To give BMC members a glimpse into this aspect of the hobby I have finally been able to schedule a presentation by the well-respected gemologist and gem cutter, John J. Bradshaw, for the March meeting of the Boston Mineral Club.
John J. Bradshaw received his BS degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts in 1979 and then took courses in mineralogy and crystallography from Salem State College in 1980 and 1981. He began cutting gemstones on a part-time basis in 1979 but soon launched a full-time business as a faceter and dealer of a wide variety of gems ranging from the types of stones normally found in jewelry to the soft, difficult-to-cut gems created specifically for collectors. He received his Gemologist Certificate from the Gemological Institute of America in 1983. John has worked as a consultant on many gem projects, both in the US and internationally, including a 20-year tenure as the curator of gems at the Harvard Mineralogical Museum. He has several published articles and has spoken on many aspects of gemology. John lives in Nashua, NH and is a partner in Coast-to-Coast Rarestones International. You can find their website at www.rarestone.com. John also was once a member of the Boston Mineral Club and at one time served as BMC treasurer.
John’s presentation to us is based on a talk that he recently gave in London at the Gem-A conference. A synopsis is provided below:
“Over 400 mineral species have been described in the mineralogical literature to date. Of these, approximately 200 species have been faceted including roughly 30 species routinely seen in the gem and jewelry trade. Where do the other 170 species fit in the marketplace? These species along with their varieties would be known as ‘rare’ stones (i.e.: stones not routinely available in the market). Some of these are occasionally available and also are durable enough to be used in some capacity for jewelry purposes. Apatite, hauyne, benitoite, scapolite and sphene certainly fit into this category. Hardness, cleavage and durability issues prevent gems such as calcite, fluorite and sphalerite from being commonly used in jewelry. In addition to these, many gems are considered so rare that perhaps only a handful of stones exist in the world and/or are extremely difficult to cut and polish. These would be considered only for the collector’s market. Examples include cinnabar, phosphophyllite and carletonite. This presentation will discuss the sources, properties, cutting, pricing and availability of several examples from the different categories described above.”
To complement the presentation BMC members are encouraged to bring in faceted gemstones from their collection to display. The BMC display case will be available to display and protect your specimens. Please note that the Harvard Mineralogical Museum will be open to us from 7 to 8 PM as usual and refreshments will be provided during the meeting. The meeting will conclude with our traditional mineral raffle. Also please remember that guests are always welcome at all of our meetings and should be invited to attend this one as well.
- Nate Martin, BMC President
Boston Mineral Club