NEWRY — Details for next month’s second annual New England Mineral Conference are fast becoming crystallized.

The event will be held from May 9-11 at the Grand Summit Resort & Conference Center at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry.

There is still time to meet the April 28 deadline for early registration and save $5, Jeff Morrison of Poland, president of the New England Mineral Association, said recently by email. After April 28, anyone can register at the event, starting at 2 p.m. May 9.

“Things are definitely heating up,” he said.

Promptly at 3:30 p.m. May 9, registered conference participants can tour the new Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel. Capacity may be limited. A second tour will be offered at 9 a.m. May 11.

Presentations or lectures and speakers will be:


* “New England Minerals in the National Gem and Mineral Collection,” from 7 to 8:15 p.m. May 9, by Michael Wise of the Department of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

* “Love on the Rocks,” from 7 to 8:15 p.m. May 9 by Sean and Lily Sweeny.

* “Waisanen Quarry Apatite, Greenwood, Maine,” from 9:10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 10, by Jim Nizamoff and Carl Francis. Francis is the curator of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel, which hasn’t opened to the public yet.

* “Mineralogy of the Parker Mountain Mine, Center Stafford, New Hampshire,” from 9:10 a.m. to noon May 10, by Tom Mortimer.

* “Maine Pegmatite Mining Musings,” from 9:10 a.m. to noon May 10 by Frank C. Perham.

* “The Branchville Pegmatite, Ringfield, Connecticut,” from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 10 by Ted Johnson.

* “Recent Advances in the Study of the Mount Mica Pegmatite,” from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 10 by Skip Simmons of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans.


From noon to 2 p.m. on May 10, several authors have agreed to sign their books, Morrison said.

Some of the contributing authors and their books include:

* Woody Thompson, “The Geology of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.”

* Jim Clanin, “The Fundamentals of Mining for Gemstones and Mineral Specimens.”

* Bob Whitmore, “The Pegmatite Mines Known as Palermo.”

* Skip Simmons, “Pegmatology.”


* Bob Ritchie, “A Sphere Maker’s Craft.”

* Peter Cristofono, “Rockhounding New England: A Guide to 100 of the Region’s Best Rockhounding Sites.”

“We are hoping to have some additional authors on board by the start of the conference,” Morrison said.

Authors who want to be part of the book signing are urged to contact Morrison at 207-232-4973, [email protected] or write to him at P.O. Box 33, East Poland, ME 04230-0033.

Dealers are also still being sought. Morrison said it will cost them a room fee and a donation of mineral-related items for Saturday’s silent auction from noon to 5:30 p.m.

“If you are coming to the conference already and have rocks or mineral-related items to sell, this is a great opportunity to do some dealing without investing a lot of money,” he said.


Donations for the auctions are welcome.

“We are trying to keep prices low for the participants and also expand on the offerings at the conference,” Morrison said. “Any funds we receive go toward making this a better event.”

There will be volunteers near the registration area who will receipt donations through 9 a.m. on May 10.

A field trip will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, but only for registered conference participants who have paid the extra field trip fee. The location will be announced at the conference.

New this year is an Education Day from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. primarily for students. Conference officials are encouraging conference participants and the general public to participate, as well.

Morrison said some students have made posters for a poster session which will be on display. There also will be educational stations for student learning.


“If your school or student wants to come to the conference, they need to confirm a time slot for beginning rotations on the various educational stations,” he said. “Whether a student or not, if you never have been to the conference or never went to the symposium, this is a great chance to see a little of what it offers for free.”

During Education Day, everyone will get a chance to go to the dealer rooms, view the world-class mineral displays, check out what the students are doing and mingle with some of the wonderful people in the mineral world, he said.

“The conference gives you a chance to meet some true legendary ‘rock stars,’ whether they be some of the miners from New England, some serious collectors or some of the scientists studying pegmatites,” Morrison said.

Some of them may sign autographs, he said.

“At every New England Mineral Conference, there are people who have traveled the world in pursuit of finding the perfect specimen,” Morrison said. “These people just love talking rocks, so if any of you have any interest, you will want to be here and meet your favorite ‘rock star.'”

For a schedule of events or more information, visit their website,, or their Facebook page, New England Mineral Conference.

[email protected]

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