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 Post subject: Jolyon Ralph
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:22 am 
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Hi all,

After recovering from Ted Themelis' marathon session a member of this forum (Cinnabar) negotiated a
Chat with Jolyon Ralph of MinDat.

Jolyon is from London and studied geology at Imperial College London and had the foresight to combine his love for both minerals and computers into a website which most of use on a weekly (or daily) base.
Although he's not a gemmologist, he can provide some wonderful insights on topics that need scientific explanation or anything else a mineralogist would know that we don't. Maybe we can finally close the gap between mineralogy and gemmology.
I'm sure you all have a question for him.

The chat will be held on Saturday, May 20th, 4PM London time.

You can read his biography at: http://manual.mindat.org/index.php/Jolyon_Ralph

Hope you all will be there for a chat with the founder and webmaster of a site that we all use and admire.

And a special thanks to Cinnabar for setting us up with this nice guru.


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 Post subject: Re: Jolyon Ralph
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:04 pm 
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Doos wrote:
Maybe we can finally close the gap between mineralogy and gemmology.


This is a topic that interests me a lot. I'd enjoy hearing how others perceive that problem. I, for one, hate mineralogy's dominance in naming gem minerals, giving us such "gem" names as chrome diopside, jeremejevite, pezzottaite, clinozoisite, clinohumite, etc.

I don't care what mineralogists call the above. But gemology is related to marketing and "romancing the stone." How romantic is it to present a stone called chrome diopside to one's beloved? It sounds like something you probably bought from a pharmacist.

Why isn't it possible to contrive a system that remains true to scientific classification via mineralogy but gives gemology (essentially an outgrowth of the retail jewelry industry) the option to create more user-friendly trade names?

Certainly trade names already exist in abundance but wouldn't it be nice if we all knew what they meant? Frequently the same trade name is applied to different minerals with very different properties. It's become a Tower of Babel.

Dr. William Hannemen takes a brave stab at this problem in his book "Naming Gem Garnets." After all, mineralogy is an outgrowth of gemology if you look at history. Mineralogists didn't name ruby, diamond, emerald and sapphire.

Food for thought.

ROM


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 1:14 am 
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The majority of gemstones are lovely, artfully crafted mineral materials. In my studies of gemstones thus far I've found I'm most interested in a subject when I learn about the background of the stone. When I dig a bit deeper I appreciate and ascribe more personal value to gems. One contrast that strikes me is that a faceted gem is a mystery while a mineral specimen tells a story. On one hand cutting is an enhancement, on the other a mineral is exquisite and perfect in it's own right.

Perhaps some people have an intense focus on retail or how much production and popularity a product has on the market; which seems to be how some lose sight of why the gem industry exists in the first place. Mineralogy reminds me that the reason people go to such lengths to mine these materials is mainly that these beauties are quite captivating.

Mineralogy and gemology may be a dichotomy, and perhaps that's the way it should remain... but I tend to wonder if the seperation prematurely cuts people of both fields off from a more enriching learning experience. I recall a previous celebrity chat with Vincent Pardieu -- someone whose life and career is a picturesque mixture of gemology and mining. Vincent's ability to create that kind of unique blend of fields is ideal, in my opinion, and he is living inspiration to many.

I asked Jolyon on behalf of Doos because I want to share what great resources this guy has set up for all of us. The MineralDatabase is of course known for its extensive listings of mineral data, but also serves as a doorway where people can get direction on their own rockhounding journey, as well as meet and befriend mineralogist celebrities...

ROM:
I do understand your point of view about such technicalities. If you want I can most likely get Mr. Pezzota's contact information so you can ask him why he chose to name his discovery after himself (...with all the people you can meet through Mindat and GemologyOnline you can have yourself a name-dropping fiesta.)

Romancing the stone doesn't seem that necessary or essential to me -- they sell themselves. Should I quote Shakespeare? I suppose that goes back to the mineral/gemology dichotomy being problematic for the jeweller... New names are created using a system with several avenues -- locality, the person who discovered the mineral, or a tribution of some kind. The system is sensible, logical and outweighs cutsy names for the purpose of increasing sales for jewellers. After all, isn't that what a jeweller is paid to do? Copralite sells (somehow...) Barbra owns beetle jewelry...and wears it (my god, why?!) My engagement ring is chrome diopside...(ick! Chrome?) It wasn't from a pharmacy... My point is some people just don't like the color green, or bugs, or dino doo. Some people may take a wild guess and say ammolite is something used in war. Some people may be offended if you asked them if you knew where you could find a nice proustite for cheap. You can be resentful towards those mineralogists and their system, or you can see a more humorous side. Whatever floats your boat.

All the Best,
Cinnabar


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 11:29 am 
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Gemstones comprise a very small percentage of the mineral kingdom. Although there are certainly many mineral collectors in the world (you should see my house!) who view crystals from an aesthetic perspective, the task of the mineralogist is not to provide the collectors, museums and rock shops of the world with lovely specimens.

A mineralogist is paid to look at mineral deposits from a totally economic perspective. A lovely outcrop of scheelite translates into a potential titanium yield, tin will be extracted from bauxite, the presence of mariposite in the Sierras indicates the probability of gold deposits, etc.

As far as wanting to name gems in a commercially accessible way, I think it makes sense. Tanzanite is an excellent example. Certainly, the general public is rarely interested in the mineralogical classification of their gems, but they are interested in the lore, legends and symbolism associated with them. Romancing the stones and educating the consumer are essential elements in the success of our business. No, gems do NOT sell themselves. I WISH!!!!

The MineralDatabase is a resource I use on almost a daily basis. It is nothing short of astounding. Thanks so much, Cinnabar for arranging this chat! I will be quite content, reading the log on Sunday :( , snif snif.

Quote:
Barbra owns beetle jewelry...and wears it (my god, why?!)



Sidebar: :P I wear my iridescent beetles because they are beautiful gems onto themselves. They have interesting cultural and archaeological associations. Remember how dung beetles (scarabs) of ancient Eqypt were associated with spontaneous creation and being credited with rolling the sun across the sky. Their association with the sun god, made them essential talisman to the pharoahs.
Tread lightly when stepping around my bugs, Madame.
:wink:


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 3:11 pm 
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The guru chat Jolyon held with us last weekend is posted at http://gemologyonline.com/Jolyon.pdf.

We learned alot and especially about the importance of crystal form in its natural habitat.

Many thanks Jolyon for hosting it for us in a relaxed environment.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:22 pm 
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Great link thanks.

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Ilike loose diamonds.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:58 am 
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thanks for information.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:45 am 
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great resources. thanx for it!

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http://www.custombobble.com: The Ideal Gift!


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 Post subject: Re: Jolyon Ralph
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:25 pm 
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ROM wrote:
I, for one, hate mineralogy's dominance in naming gem minerals


Ah, me too. I got a piece of spinel rough from Vietnam and I was SO worried about customs. "Spinel" sounds like "spinello" that in Italian is the name of the marjiuana joint. The mineral in Italia is also called "spinello", that adds even more trouble. :D
It arrived safely, but I suspect now I'm filed as a drug-lord or something :D

I remember my old professor of the lab. of mineralogy telling me he was talking with another prof on a bus about spinel chemistry. He told me an old lady scolded him saying more or less something like: "You should be ashamed to use drugs at your age!". And he's an old-style professor with gray beard and an old-looking gray suit, not one of those berkeleyans with t-shirt, ponytail and sandals. :lol:

Federico Pezzotta gave his name to a new mineral species, it's quite usual. "kunzite" and "morganite" e.g. have the same origin, even if they are not mineral species, they are gemological/commercial names (I don' like this too much, but I actually don't care...), but nobody seems to complain.

Curiosity corner: I had in heritage Pezzotta's "office" at the university of Milan, during my PhD. That hellhole is famous for being the worse room in the whole univers...ity. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Jolyon Ralph
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:36 pm 
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maialetto wrote:
he's an old-style professor with gray beard and an old-looking gray suit, not one of those berkeleyans with t-shirt, ponytail and sandals. :lol:


For the record, I never had a professor with a t-shirt, ponytail and sandals while I was at Cal... and lots of them were old with old suits. ;) Now, as far as the students and street people.... :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:02 pm 
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My hosting professor at Cal has a beard, no ponytail (actually almost no hair... so he has little choice about that :) ), but he always wears sandals.

I should admit that there are many professors wearing suits. But the overall impression is much more informal. And I perfectly fit there. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Jolyon Ralph
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Hi to everybody!
Maialetto, if you quote spinel as a doubtful name, what about zoisite, whose pronunciation in English sounds like "suicide"? It's not a fault of ours, minerals HAVE their proper name and gemstones should be called for what they are! A red spinel can't be called "balascio ruby", a citrine quartz can't be called "topaz quartz" or "topaz variety citrine quartz"! Don't you agree? :?:
Greetings from Italy :smt002 by Riccardo.


maialetto wrote:
ROM wrote:
I, for one, hate mineralogy's dominance in naming gem minerals


Ah, me too. I got a piece of spinel rough from Vietnam and I was SO worried about customs. "Spinel" sounds like "spinello" that in Italian is the name of the marjiuana joint.


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 Post subject: Re: Jolyon Ralph
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Hi to everybody again!
Another example: don't forget about zoisite, whose English pronunciation sounds like "suicide"!!!
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.


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