Club Contests

Currently Running club competitions

The club is planning on holding at least one ongoing contest per year to showcase what our members do for fun. Right now we are actively taking club member photography submissions for our 1st club-wide Mineral Photography Contest. The prize for the best photo image will be awarded at the 2021 Banquet held in January.

2020 Club Mineral Photography Contest Entries

The Rules

Club members in good standing can submit up to five photographs of minerals in their personal collection. The photos must be submitted in electronic format and emailed to either Brad Zylman ( or Dave Lurie ( Photos must be at least 1024 by 768 pixels in order to be posted for consideration.

The photos must be accompanied by a document (.doc) or text file (.txt) that lists what the specimen is, where it was found and whether it was purchased or self-collected. It can also contain any descriptive information that you wish others to know. This document must have the following wording in it: “I give my permission to post this photo and information on the MMS website, Instagram, and on Facebook in perpetuity.” In return, we will not use your name or publish personal information.

When: Starting in February 2020.

Where: Material, if sent in a usable format, will be posted within a month on the MMS website,, under the About Us tab. It will be public-facing with the intention to generate interest and highlight our club.

Why: To promote the interests of mineral collecting, geology and to create excitement for the Michigan Mineralogical Society. 

The Prize: At the Banquet each year, the Best Photograph of the Year will receive the President’s Award, a substantial cash prize given to the winner. 

We hope all MMS Members take out their Smartphones or Cameras and Submit your Photos Today!! 

February Submissions
Etched Natural Garnet.png

Mineral Variety:

Red Pyrope Garnet

Locality: Shingar, Pakistan

Weight: 45 grams

Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 15 mm

Collection Method: Purchased

DESCRIPTION: Natural Stone, no heat treatments or man-made application other than removal from the base stone and cleaning.

bismuth egg

Mineral Variety:

Bismuth iridescent geode

Locality: Made in China

Weight: 1.9 pounds

Dimensions: Approx. 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 inches

Collection Method: Purchased

DESCRIPTION: Oxidized bismuth iridescent hopper crystals inside of bismuth egg. Colors range from a rich magenta to gold in the oxidation layers. Completely man-made for elements collection.

MARCH Submissions

Mineral Variety:


Locality: McDonald Mine Hybla, Ontario

Weight: 7.2 pounds

Dimensions: 9 x 4½ inches

Collection Method: Self-collected, Circa 1965 

DESCRIPTION: Consists of hundreds of alternating transparent layers of ¼ wave thick oligoclase and ½ wave thick albite, giving mirrorlike constructive interference for a variety of colors.

April Submissions

Mineral Variety:

Albite & hornblende

Locality: 1.1 miles North of Birds Creek, Ontario

Weight: 44.2 pounds

Dimensions: 15½  x 12 x 14½ inches

Collection Method: Self-collected, Circa 1962 

DESCRIPTION: Large euhedral albite crystals (white), hornblende crystals (green), and weathered pink calcite (probably the original vug filler) - U.S. quarter for scale.

Mineral Variety:

Amethyst with Hematite

Locality: Blue Point Mine, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Weight: .49 oz

Dimensions: 1.25 x 1.25 x .5 inches

Collection Method: Purchased 

DESCRIPTION: Under normal viewing, the specimen has a homogeneous red coating on this small amethyst cluster. Under microphotography, the individual hematite spherules can clearly be seen.

July Submissions

Mineral Variety:

Iridescent Turgite

Locality: Graves Mt. Georgia, USA

Weight: 9.5 grams

Dimensions: 30 x 23 x 20mm

Collection Method: Online Purchase 

DESCRIPTION: Botryoidal iridescent Turgite - a mixture of two minerals, hematite, and goethite. Small, but beautiful specimen. Its beautiful colors are to be noticed on a rocky, crusty amalgam on matrix.

Mineral Variety:

Aquamarine Beryl

Locality: Shigar Valley, Gilgit, Pakistan

Weight: 278 grams

Dimensions: 7.5 x 8.2 x 7.5 cm

Collection Method: MMS Show Purchase 

DESCRIPTION: Pale sky blue gemmy, perfect hexagonal crystal with distinct terminations, on golden muscovite mica matrix.

Mineral Variety:

Green Fluorite

Locality: Yiwu County, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China

Weight: 600 grams

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 4 cm

Collection Method: Online Auction 

DESCRIPTION: Bright green, frosted, stepped-growth fluorite octahedrons and cubes on a fluorite plate.

Mineral Variety:

Pink Elbaite Tourmaline

Locality: Skardu, Pakistan

Weight: 4.4 grams

Dimensions: 11 x 15 x 17mm

Collection Method: Online Purchase 

DESCRIPTION: Pink Tourmaline specimen with Mica & Lepidolite. Several pink Tourmaline crystals in the mica matrix. Elbaite is one of the most varied minerals in terms of color. Colors include green, red, pink, and blue.

Mineral Variety:

Selenite Gypsum

Locality: Red River Floodway, Manitoba, Canada

Weight: 136 grams

Dimensions: 7.5 x 7 x 6 cm

Collection Method: MMS Show Purchase 

DESCRIPTION: Golden yellow Selenite ball with swallow tail twinned tabular crystals - longest crystal is 4 cm.

Mineral Variety:

Boulder Opal

Locality: Winton Formation, Queensland, Australia

Weight: 112 grams

Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 2.7 cm 

DESCRIPTION: Boulder Precious Opal with flashes of electric-blue, teal-blue, and dayglow-green on sawed ironstone matrix.

Mineral Variety:

watermelon tourmaline

Locality: Coronel Merta, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Weight: 270 grams

Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.7 x 5 cm

Collection Method: MMS Show Purchase 

DESCRIPTION: Large, dark green crystal with a bright pink interior – like a watermelon.

September Submissions
Phantom Calcite.jpg

Mineral Variety:

Phantom NailheaD Calcite

Locality: Unknown

Weight: 1.3 lbs.

Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 2 inches

Collection Method: Purchased 

DESCRIPTION: Transparent nailhead calcite crystals with phantom zones of black goethite and yellow opaque calcite underneath at a 60-degree axis.

Mineral Variety:

Sphalerite & Pyrite

Locality: Arkansas

Weight: 1.1 lbs.

Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 2 inches

Collection Method: Purchased 

DESCRIPTION: Zone of deep reddish-black sphalerite crystals with Pyrite polyhedrons and pyrite druzy. Calcite crystals are in zones near the back and fingerlike calcite crystals cover the entire bottom of the piece.

Mineral Variety:

Spirit Amethyst

Locality: Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Weight: 18.5 lbs.

Dimensions: 14.4 x 6.1 x 6.5 inches 

DESCRIPTION: Many fine towers of cactus amethyst in a clustered formation. Clean sparkly crystals shine with multiple points of light when viewed in person.

Mineral Variety:

Fluorite & Galena

Locality: Rogerley Mine in County Durham, England

Weight: 11 ounces

Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 2.2 inches 

DESCRIPTION: Cubic gemmy mint green crystals with zones of druzy corroded Galena (left) under normal light. The second photo (right) is under UV spectrum lights where the crystals glow a deep blue-ish purple as shown. In 1852 fluorite gave its name to the phenomenon known as fluorescence, or the property of fluorite to glow a different color depending upon the bandwidth of the ultraviolet light it is exposed to.


Mineral Variety:

Calcite with Sphalerite

Locality: Unknown

Weight: 5 ounces

Dimensions: 3.5 x 4 x 1.7 inches 

DESCRIPTION: Yellow Calcite cubic formed crystals with Sphalerite on Calcite caps (left) under the daylight spectrum. (Right) The Calcite glows yellow under the UV spectrum and bright purple near the Sphalerite zones creating a multi-spectral fluorescent piece.

DECember Submissions
Yellow Fluorite.jpeg

Mineral Variety:


Locality: Annabel Lee Mine, Harris Creek Sub-district, Hardin County, Illinois

Weight: 134 grams

Dimensions: 6 x 4.5 x 3 cm 

Collection Method: Purchased at Detroit Gem & Mineral Show

DESCRIPTION: Yellow with purple zoning at end of crystallization. Step growth and hillocks seen on the crystal. No dissolution. 

Mineral Variety:

Blue Halite & Sylvite

Locality: Kerr McGee Mine, Carlsbad, Postash District, Eddy County, New Mexico

Weight: 182 grams

Dimensions: 8 x 6.5 x 4; Large Halite crystal is 20 mm side

Collection Method: Purchased from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

DESCRIPTION: Halite is NaCl and Sylvite is KCl. In the case of the blue halite radioactive potassium naturally present in the Sylvite decays through gamma-ray emission causing damage to the halite crystal structure. The dislocated electrons emit light in the blue wavelengths. Since K-40 has a half-life of over a billion years, it takes a very long time for this color change to occur. 

Fluorite; Barite; Sphalerite 263 A.jpg

Mineral Variety: Fluorite, Barite, & Sphalerite

Locality: West Green Mine, Cave-in-Rock, Illinois

Weight: 233 grams

Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 5 cm; fluorite 25 mm

Collection Method: Purchased.

DESCRIPTION: Beautiful undamaged sky blue fluorite crystal and creamy barite crystals aesthetically arranged on sphalerite. A classic for this locality.

Mineral Variety: Quartz with included hematite

Locality: Tinejdad, Errachidia Prov., Draa-Tafilalet, Morocco

Weight: 177 grams

Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm

Collection Method: Purchased from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 

DESCRIPTION: Quartz crystals with hematite inclusion in the last stages of growth.

Mineral Variety:


Locality: Steeli Mine, Iveland, Norway

Weight: 47 grams

Dimensions: 3 x 2.7 x 2.5 cm

Collection Method: Purchased.

DESCRIPTION: Very nice layering of black, deep red, and yellows. Crystal is opaque with transmitted light. Great faceting with step growth showing.


Mineral Variety: Okenite

Locality: Bombay (Mumbai), India

Dimensions: 4 x 2 x 2 cm

Collection Method: Family Purchase 

DESCRIPTION: Okenite is an acicular silicate mineral associated with zeolites that appears like a little snowball. Its chemical formula is Ca10Si18O46 · 18H2O

January Submissions

Mineral Variety: Stilbite

Locality: Limbe-Jalgoan Manarashtra, India

Weight: Approximately 1.2 pounds

Dimensions: 6 x 8 x 10 centimeters

Collection Method: Purchased

DESCRIPTION: Bladed and radiating pink Stilbite crystals with Zeolite. Classic location. Stilbite formula (Na,Ca,K)6-7[Al8Si28O72] · nH2O

Mineral Variety: Calcite

Locality: Sylvania Quarry, S. Rockwood, MI

Weight: -

Dimensions: 4.5 x 4 x 3 cm, rhomb is 2.5 cm.

Collection Method: Self-collected

DESCRIPTION: Translucent butterscotch Calcite crystal in a rare rhombic habit growing from the matrix. It has some opaque, cubic, white crystals of unknown material on the lower left side.


Mineral Variety: Pyrite

Locality: Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois

Dimensions: 84mm diameter at 2mm thick

Weight: -

Collection Method: Purchase 

DESCRIPTION: Lusterous Pyrite medallion from Illinois. Round radiating striations generated from the central point. Chemical formula of FeS2.

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