News January 2016

Published on Jan 18, 2016


At the Museum and More…

MMGM Tours & Talks
January 21, 2016
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Talk: Ages & Plate Tectonics of New England Pegmatites with Dwight Bradley

Rocks & Minerals,
Jan/Feb 2016 Issue

Aquamarine from Stoneham and Vicinity, Oxford County, Maine by Carl A. Francis, Myles Felch, Alexander U. Falster and Douglas Bailey

2016 AGTA GemFairTM
February 2-7, 2016
Tucson Convention Center
Tucson, Arizona

2016 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
February 18, 2016
Tucson Convention Center
Tucson, Arizona

MMGM Tours & Talks
February 18, 2016
3:00 – 4:30 pm


Director | Curator | Store
Events | Science | Support

Directives-Members in Mind

By Barbra Barrett, MMGM Director

Barbra Barrett DIRECTIVESNow we’re getting to the heart of the matter! In 2016, we are fully in the fabrication stage of exhibits and the final design phase of MMGM’s galleries. To all who work here, support us, provide sustenance by way of membership, funding and fellowship, this year is about you.

To celebrate the unwavering support of MMGM’s community and membership as we enter the most exciting phase of MMGM’s development, we want to show our appreciation.

At our January Board of Directors meeting, we galvanized our mission statement and present it here for the first time: To communicate the significance of minerals in our lives, our planet and beyond.

We know that many of our members and supporters are avid museum-goers. To support your interest in what these great institutions have to offer, MMGM is implementing the shared access program created by North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM). MMGM members at the Directives 1 NARM digital stickerSupporting level ($125.00) and above (Trustee Circle, Director’s Circle and Curator’s Circle) are automatically enrolled. New and existing members—dating to October 31, 2015—will receive membership cards with NARM’s logo imprinted. Here are just a few of the benefits:

Directives 2 NARM logoMEMBERS IN MIND
At MMGM, we know that our mission and programs are imbedded in the bedrock that our members represent. We are always looking for enhancements for your membership and 2016 is sure to see even more benefits and programming.

We are open to your ideas about membership too. Give us a call to discuss. Better still, stop in the Museum Store & Preview Gallery and come by for Third Thursday Talks at 3:00 pm. It’s a great chance to visit one-on-one with MMGM staff.

Collections-Crystal Blue Persuasion

By Carl Francis, PhD
Collections 2Carl Francis, MMGM CuratorWinter arrived in Bethel while I was away for the holidays. Fortunately, MMGM has abundant sanded parking and I’ve rediscovered my car’s seat heater!  Happily, we’ll shed our parkas for a few days when we head for the Tucson show next month.

The world’s largest gem and mineral show has grown up around the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society’s annual show at the Tucson Convention Center on the second weekend in February (February 11-14, 2016). It is preceded by the American Gem Trade Association GemFair™ (February 2-7, 2016). Both are complemented by dozens of smaller shows that have sprung up in commercial buildings, hotels and even tents set up in parking lots. Tucson is a beehive of mineral (sensu lato) activity for three weeks!

Carl Francis with Arizona flora

Carl Francis with Arizona flora

Maine Mineral & Gem Museum will be exhibiting at the TGMS (“main”) show where potentially ten to twenty thousand people might view our display. This year’s show theme is Shades of Blue: Minerals of the World. The MMGM exhibit dubbed, “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” will include aquamarine crystals and gems from Maine.

Diane Francis with giant amethyst geodes (from Brazil) at the Hotel Tucson City Center

Diane Francis with giant amethyst geodes (from Brazil) at the Hotel Tucson City Center

We’ll also be networking and making friends for the museum as well as shopping for equipment, ideas, and specimens to bring back to Bethel to improve the museum’s operations and programs. It will be fun and delightfully exhausting.

Events-In, Out and About in 2016

By Amy Halsted, MMGM Communications

Amy Halsted

MMGM events in 2016 build day-by-day. From January-July, we are already in, out and about spreading the word about our unique museum: offering educational programming here, providing MMGM ambassadors to the most prestigious mineral and gem shows throughout the U.S. (with some presenting talks) and providing research and articles to our colleagues. August-December will feature even more points of visibility and camaraderie with our fellows in the mineral, gem and meteorite universe.

For Bethel, Oxford County and Maine residents and students, mark your calendars for our Third Thursday Tours & Talks: January 21, February 18, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16 and July 21.

EventsFor those at shows, we’ll be at the AGTA and Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in February; the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium in April; the Cincinnati Mineral Society’s 51st Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show and the New England Mineral Conference in May; the Maine Pegmatite Workshop in June; the Oxford County Mineral Club Show and, of course, MollyOckett Days on the Bethel Common in July.

We also invite our members and community to work with us if you need a distinctive venue to hold events. MMGM’s Preview Gallery in Oddfellows Hall is a distinguished location and will provide your guests with long-lasting memories.

Treasures-Romance of the Colored Stone

by Annemarie Saunders


Treasures 4 S Qtz and Tour

The Smoky Quartz Ring, mined at Lord Hill, measures 6 mm, weighs .80 cts. The Tourmaline Ring from Mt. Apatite, mined 1908-1910, weighs 2.1 cts.

The popular saying that diamonds are a girl’s best friend doesn’t, and shouldn’t, necessarily be true! Maine’s gemstones provide such a wide color array that having a diamond for an engagement just seems, well…boring.  From the pale baby blue of aquamarine to the dark blue green of tourmaline to the royal purple of amethyst, MMGM’s Museum Store has engagement rings that appeal to everyone.

If you’re inspired by our collection, you can work with us on creating your own custom ring; just make an appointment. We can also take a family heirloom and make it new again.

Treasures 3 Newry Tourm

Newry Tourmaline Ring. Features Newry tourmaline from the modern workings. 7 mm, 1.3 cts. Accented by Deer Hill amethyst.

If you aren’t looking to pop ‘The Big Question’, we have an amazing variety of jewelry and products for sweethearts of all ages.  Jessie Mixer’s line of hand cutout pieces are sure to please.

For the Valentines you love who may hold a different kind of place in your heart, we also have all kinds of gifts, toys and books.

Images: Jessie Mixer Lovebirds—hand cut sterling silver accented with a Dunton tourmaline tumbled stone. Jessie Mixer Rose—Deer Hill amethyst and hand cut sterling silver.

Treasures 2 Jessie Mixer Rose Treasures 1 Jessie Mixer Lovebirds

Be sure to visit the MMGM Preview Gallery and Museum Store. Store Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Science-Energy Dispersive Analytics, Milarite & Presentations

By Al Falster, M.S. and Skip Simmons, Jr. Ph.D.

Al Falster and Skip Simmons

The control unit and display of some of the capabilities of the Iridium Ultra system by IXRF-Systems that was installed early January.

The control unit and display of some of the capabilities of the Iridium Ultra system by IXRF-Systems that was installed early January.

Our big news is that the SEM has just been upgraded with a new Energy Dispersive Analytical system from IXRF Systems. The Iridium Ultra software package includes advanced spectra, imaging, mapping, particle analysis and microscope stage/column control tools.  As soon as we receive our detector back from repair, the system will be complete and we will again be producing analytical results with one of our most important research tools.

An interesting new find from the Emmons Quarry made by Pietro Vignola has been identified as milarite, a mineral that is easily mistaken for beryl or even apatite.  Its formula is K2Ca4Al2Be4Si24O60*H2O.

Milarite was first described from Val Giuv, Switzerland, but was reported erroneously to be from Val Mila, thus, the name milarite! More research on this material is now underway.

We submitted 3 abstracts to the NE GSA meeting in Albany, New York in March 2016 and all abstracts were accepted for presentation.

Support-Charitable Giving at the Year’s End

By William F. Stockwell, Fundraising Consultant

SupportBill Stockwell-cropNo matter what your income, if you itemize, you can almost always lower your income taxes through charitable giving. The amount of the income tax savings will depend on your tax bracket.

Here are two of the best ways to give to MMGM.

If you itemize, you can lower your income taxes simply by writing us a check. Gifts of cash are fully deductible—up to a maximum of 50% of your adjusted gross income.

If you own stock, it is often more tax-wise to contribute stock than cash. This is because a gift of appreciated stock generally offers a two-fold tax savings. First, you avoid paying any capital gains tax on the increase in the value of the stock. Second, you receive an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock at the time of the gift.

Gifts of appreciated stock are fully deductible—up to a maximum of 30% of your adjusted gross income.

Contact us for a membership form or join online at
For sponsorship and funding opportunities, call us, 207.824.3036.

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