International and national invitations have sought ‘showcase’ articles, featuring mineral research and collections. Top ranking scientific journal, The American Mineralogist, invited Senior Fellow Lin Sutherland to contribute a ‘Highlights and Breakthroughs’ article for their July 2017 issue. This paper, Sapphire, a not so simple gemstone, presented several current scientific models that are revolutionising ideas on the genesis of this gemstone in its varied geological settings. The paper was chosen for the Editors’ Section in August 2017, as a ‘Noted Paper’ to promote scientific discussion.

Sapphire from Inverell NSW Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

In March 2017, Australia Post launched a Gemstone stamp issue and companion booklet entitled Rare Beauties: Extraordinary Gemstones. The stamps featured four Australian gemstones from the Museum collection and the companion booklet, written by Gayle and Lin Sutherland, explained the scientific properties, distribution and origin of the selected stones, including how they came to be in the Museum collection.

As a result, the Editorial Committee of The Australian Journal of Mineralogy invited Gayle and Lin Sutherland to write an account of the gemstone stamp issue, including a description of the mineralogy and geological setting of one of the gemstones. The superb, faceted green fluorite of 147 carats from Rumsby’s Lode, New England, NSW, was chosen. The article, From gemstones to stamps: a colourful issue, will appear in the weighing December 2017 issue of the journal.

Lin Sutherland, AMRI Senior Fellow