April Speaker: Updates from the Smithsonian Collection, presented by Dr. Jeffrey Post

by Cindy Schmidtlein, MSDC Vice President

Smithsonian Curator-in-Charge Jeffrey Post at home among specimens. Photo by Duncan Pay © GIA, courtesy of The Smithsonian Institution, http://geogallery.si.edu

Our speaker for April is Dr. Jeffrey Post who has been the Mineralogist and Curator-in-Charge of Gems and Minerals of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Mineral Sciences Department for over 25 years. He has been a frequent presenter to our group and has kept us informed of happenings at the wonderful mineralogical resource which is the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

Dr. Post's research interests include environmental mineralogy, single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, manganese oxide minerals, clay minerals, computer modeling of mineral structures, Rietveld analysis, and gemology. He is the recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award which honors outstanding contributions in mineralogical preservation, conservation, and education.

In most years, Jeff reports on the Tucson Gem Show that he visits with other Smithsonian mineral scientists, but due to COVID, was unable to go this year. Instead, he is going to discuss new acquisitions to the collection, give us an update on the news from his department and the Museum, and other favorite topics, anecdotes, and “hidden gems” that is sure to wow us, as usual!

A 116 carat tsavorite gem that was recently donated to the Smithsonian collection. Photo provided by Jeff Post.

Be sure to check out Jeff’s new book: The Smithsonian National Gem Collection ― Unearthed: Surprising Stories Behind the Jewels, published on March 23, 2021. In this book, the scandals, mysteries, and human stories behind the world’s greatest gems are brought to life by the curator of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection (available from Amazon here).