Rochester 2021
Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 05.11.2021 | Filed under: Latest, Mineral Shows

And we’re back! Springtime in the woods! Rochester!

Except of course we are not fully back. We were happy to see the red maple flowers in our woods earlier than some years, and it’s always great to see the end of winter, but stay-at-home orders, lockdowns and closed borders continue. No worries – we figured this out last year…

So, the 48th annual Rochester Mineralogical Symposium was once again an online event, the eRMS 2021. We used Zoom Webinar as our platform this year, and it served us well (thanks to online hosting by John Rakovan, along with Chris Emproto and Carolyn McDougall to streamline it all).

Each year, I normally post a full write-up about Rochester, including lots of photos. However, there’s no need for that this year – the whole show is already on the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium channel on YouTube (link below).

If you are new to to the RMS or new to this website, there are links below to give you a little sense of what the full Rochester Mineralogical Symposium is about and I hope you’ll explore a bit – the RMS is for you!

As was the case last year, the RMS was a single afternoon, rather than our normal Thursday evening through Sunday morning. And even though we were only together online, the chat and the music all helped us connect personally from all around the world. Unfortunately the chat is not visible in the YouTube recordings, but we do have the music – don’t miss the Diggin’ in a Hole video from our leader in song, David K. Joyce (who also played live mineral tunes at the end so we could all to sing along). We had participants from literally all around the world from Australia to Europe and all over North America – it was a great time.

Our presentations this year included a wide range of topics, from what’s new, to the scientific, to the scandalous:


Opening (Me)

World Premiere: Diggin’ in a Hole (the video!) – David K. Joyce

What’s New in Minerals

What’s New In Minerals – Jeff Scovil

What’s New in Minerals II – John Betts, with me, Mark Jacobson and Jim Nizamoff

Contributed Papers and Short Talks in Specimen Mineralogy

The mineralogy of the gem-bearing pegmatites and hydrothermal veins at Phnom Bayong, Kirivong, Takeo province, Cambodia. P. Piilonen, I. Lykova, G. Poirier and K. Shepherd

A new spodumene-rich pegmatite from Plumbago Mountain, Oxford County, Maine. W.B. Simmons and A.U. Falster

Cyrilovite and kapundaite, two Na-Fe3+ phosphate minerals from oxidizing environments in lithiophilite alteration assemblages in the Emmons Pegmatite, Uncle Rom Mountain, Greenwood, Oxford Co. Maine. A.U. Falster and W.B. Simmons

The White Rock Quarry, Clay Center, Ottawa County, Ohio. C.J. Stefano and J.K. Brizendine

Mineralogical characterization of Hicks Dome intrusion breccia core samples and related fluorite mineralization, southern Illinois. M. Murchland, M. Rutherford, J.T. Freiburg, and J. Rakovan

Blue hemimorphite crystals from the Ojuela Mine, Durango, Mexico 2020. J. Rakovan

Simplified Method for Measuring Specific Gravity. J. Betts

Crystallography Tutorials for Collectors

Crystal Systems. John Rakovan

Miller Indices. Mackenzie (Ruthy) Rutherford

Crystal Forms. R. Peter Richards

And to finish:

Raise a Glass and Sing!  David K. Joyce

After the songs, we had a great time just hanging out online. We had expected we’d be done around 5:30, but about a hundred people stayed on after that, gradually signing off, and it went until about 7:45 pm, including some spontaneous online sharing of mineral specimens… super specimens from Peter Lyckberg and Michael Bainbridge, among others. Good fun! By the end, our Australian friends who had been up all night were getting themselves breakfast, and Peter and others in Europe were into the wee hours of the morning… while we enjoyed a nice sunset.


The talks from the eRMS are presented individually and also as a playlist on the Rochester Mineralogical YouTube channel. Click here to watch the full playlist.

If you haven’t read past RMS reports and would like to have a better glimpse into what Rochester is all about: Rochester 2019 Rochester 2017Rochester 2016.

The program notes for the eRMS 2021 will be posted on the RMS webpage here . The notes include abstracts from the technical submissions we received this year.

There will be a RMS 2022, of course! Our tentative dates are April 7-10, 2022. We will return to a full in-person symposium and we will stream part of it live. Stay tuned!

If you’d like to be in the loop with the latest developments, please make sure we have your email address by sending it to and please follow us on Facebook!

Until next year…