GIA Ac­quires Joel and Bar­bara Hauser’s Min­eral Col­lec­tion

Solitaire - - SPECTRUM -

Azu­rite (Bis­bee, AZ). Photo by Orasa Wel­don; © GIA La­guna Iris Agate (Mex­ico). Photo by Orasa Wel­don; © GIA GIA’s mu­seum has ac­quired 63 or­na­men­tal min­er­als of ex­cep­tional size and qual­ity, made pos­si­ble through a gen­er­ous donation by the fam­ily of Joel and Bar­bara Hauser. Many of the pieces are from lo­cal­i­ties with re­stricted ac­cess or that are no longer pro­duc­ing. These will serve as prime learn­ing tools for stu­dents and vis­i­tors to GIA about min­eral for­ma­tion and lap­idary artistry. Nearly 50 of these min­er­als went on view at the in­sti­tute’s Carls­bad mu­seum on Novem­ber 9th.

For more than 60 years, na­tive Cal­i­for­nian Joel Hauser ar­dently pur­sued his hobby of col­lect­ing agates, geodes, or­na­men­tal min­er­als and pet­ri­fied wood. His decades of de­vo­tion cul­mi­nated in an im­pres­sive and cel­e­brated min­eral col­lec­tion. On one trip in pur­suit of min­eral mar­vels, he un­earthed a de­posit of agate geodes in River­side County’s Lit­tle Chuck­awalla Moun­tains, known to­day as the Hauser Geode Beds.

Hauser was also a skilled lap­idary, mas­ter­ing the art of con­tour pol­ish­ing. “His freeform, un­du­lat­ing pol­ish­ing Variscite (Utah). Photo by Orasa Wel­don; © GIA style adds in­ter­est and tex­ture while re­mov­ing blem­ishes, with­out hav­ing to grind away more ma­te­rial than nec­es­sary. Joel’s ex­per­tise, guided by an artistic eye and per­spec­tive, re­vealed the lovely pat­terns, mark­ings and colours in the min­er­als,” says Terri Ot­t­away, GIA’s mu­seum cu­ra­tor. Hauser also de­signed and mod­i­fied saws and grind­ing equip­ment that could han­dle the cut­ting and pol­ish­ing of even large pieces of pet­ri­fied wood.

His wife Bar­bara and their four sons have do­nated the col­lec­tion’s finest or­na­men­tal min­er­als to GIA in his mem­ory. The sig­nif­i­cant ac­qui­si­tion helps the in­sti­tute ful­fil its mis­sion to ed­u­cate and in­spire stu­dents and the pub­lic about gems, gem min­er­als and jew­ellery.

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