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A new type of micromount box
Some notes on micro-minerals

Dave Babulski, Ed.D.
("Tips and Trips", Volume XXXII/One ,January 2003, Page 8)


This month we will look at a number of things relating to mineral micromounts. First, I have found a new type of micromount box (Well it is new to me at least!) available from David Shannon (Dec. 1/2004). David was a mineral dealer from the Mesa, Arizona area. His wife still offers a standard slip fit micromount box with either a black lid or a black base. These are wonderful in that it eliminates the need to paint the inside of the box or the lid. One needs only to paint the support pedestal for the mineral specimen. Another plus on these boxes is the lack of mold flashing. On some micromount boxes you must trim off the little rough bits where the box was attached to the plastic mold. I have found that the Super Glue brand model/hobby cement made by the Pacer Corporation (available at Michael's Craft Stores) works well to attach cork pedestals to the inside of the black plastic lid or box. The address for David Shannon Minerals is: 6649 E. Rustic Drive, Mesa, Arizona 84215. A catalog of minerals and supplies is available from David Shannon Minerals for $2.50. Ask for list # 352.

Some notes on micro-minerals. One of the most difficult minerals to get in good small crystals is Cinnabar. There is a lot ofmassive material available, but good cinnabar crystals are hard to come by. I just received a shipment of thumbnail size mineral specimens from David Shannon Minerals and one that I ordered was Cinnabar from the Dewey Mine near the geysers in Sonoma County, California. Excellent, tiny well formed cinnabar crystals and crystal groups were found in abundance on the specimens. Cinnabar is a very attractive bright red mineral (essentially HgS) that makes a handsome addition to any mineral collection. Another interesting acquisition from David Shannon Minerals are several specimens of cuprian Adamite (a basic zinc arsenate Zn2(AsO4)(OH)). These are micromount size, pretty, light green adamite in classical adamite crystal habit. I might add that the cost of these specimens is really quite reasonable.

Next month we will begin a detailed description of how to make "pin mounts". These are very tiny micro minerals mounted on the head of a pin. Sounds difficult, but it really is an easy mount to make and it presents a very attractive and neat micromountpackage. And now (drum roll please), I want to announce a new web site for mineral art. As many of you know your intrepid micromount chair person is also a mineral artist. I specialize in watercolor paintings of micro minerals painted from the microscope. I have put together a small web site called "Crystal Pocket Studios" to display the art. The URL for the web site is: Stop by on the web and let me know what you think of the art.

Well that is about it for this month.


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