On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., we’ll be having our monthly meeting virtually, featuring…
Micro-Minerals: A Beginner’s Guide to Crumb Picking
with Thomas Mortimer
Members, watch your email for connection information!
Is your mineral collecting in a rut? Are you finding the same old things in the same old locales? Is this becoming mundane, almost boring? Well, the solution may be micro-mineral collecting. Decades ago, micro mineral collecting was termed “micromounting,” which hobbyist pioneer Neil Yedlin defined as the collection of “natural mineral specimens, preferably in distinct crystals, mounted properly, labeled and requiring magnification for meaningful appreciation.”
Today, most practitioners of this branch of the mineral hobby are more accurately called micro-mineral collectors. Most have dispensed with gluing tiny, individual crystals onto toothpick-sized posts, in preference for centimeter-sized specimens with mm-sized crystals on their host matrix. The advantages of this subspecialty of mineral collecting include 1) a huge increase in the species available to field collect, 2) a substantial reduction in required storage, 3) the acquisition of perfection in crystal forms, and 4) if purchased, affordability.
There are some downsides, however. A suitable microscope with lighting is essential, and the identification of tiny crystals can be problematic for the beginner. This talk is an introduction to this branch of mineral collecting and to the resources and techniques for the beginner to start down the path to years of enjoyment.
About the presenter…
Thomas developed his interest in minerals starting at an early age, but it evolved into a passion after college graduation and joining a local mineral club. Several members of that club were also members of the Micromounters of New England. They introduced him to this aspect of the hobby and were most generous with extra specimens, patience, and knowledge. Tom’s focus on New Hampshire minerals began with a 1995 comprehensive display at a Nashua Mineral Society show. He scoured friend’s collections, museums, and universities for every NH species he could find. The results were a display of 214 distinct NH species, many of which were represented by photos of millimeter-sized crystals. His efforts to locate and confirm additional NH mineral species is ongoing, with a 3,000+ photo web site (https:// mindatnh.org) and an interactive display at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, New Hampshire.