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  • MSA Monthly (In-Person & Zoom) Meeting - October 19, 2023 - "The Many Faces of Fluorite” Presented by Herwig Pelckmans

MSA Monthly (In-Person & Zoom) Meeting - October 19, 2023 - "The Many Faces of Fluorite” Presented by Herwig Pelckmans

  • 10/19/2023
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • (In Person Meeting): Franciscan Renewal Center, (Piper Hall), 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
  • 39


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Franciscan Renewal Center, (Piper Hall),

October 19, 2023 @ 7.30 pm Arizona time

Presented by Herwig Pelckmans

Herwig Pelckmans standing next to the gravestone “Sacred of the memory of James Smithson, Esquire Fellow of the Royal Society of London who died in Genoa, Italy June 26, 1826, age 75 years”.

James Smithson is the founder of the Smithsonian Institution.

Photo by Kathy Hrechka.

* October 19th meeting is on 3rd Thursday. 

* Registration required to receive Zoom Link.

* Okay to bring refreshments to share---OPEN to All.

Our October 19th program “The Many Faces of Fluorite" will be presented via Zoom from Spain by Herwig Pelckmans.  Herwig will talk about the mineral fluorite, about its history and its general properties.  Next he will talk about the 7 basic crystal forms and the combinations they can form. Then after talking about "normal crystals", we will look at fluorites that show unusual shapes. The photos of this talk were chosen from the many thousands of fluorite photos on, and complemented with many on-purpose made photos by top notch photographers.

Mark your calendars as Mineralogical Society of Arizona is excited for Herwig to present his special program!


I was born in the summer of '62, and that might be the reason I like warm weather better.   I grew up in the suburbs of Antwerp, Belgium, where I was exposed to large teeth and bones found in the local sands. These were HUGE, so of course they were dino bones! Later on, they turned out to be fossil shark teeth and whale bones, but that really did not matter, for I was already infected with the collecting bug. That infection is still very active today, to my joy!

Studied geology at the Uni Ghent, but never practised it. Became a DBA for the Belgian Army till I retired in '13. Ever since, I never had such a busy life! People need you everywhere and all the time! :-)

Besides some field collecting, most of my time is spent writing articles and giving talks. I have been invited repeatedly to talk in person on many occasions in the USA (Rochester, Tucson, Socorro, San Francisco,...) and Europe (Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, ...). I have even given Zoom talks for students at Colombian universities. If you're in need of a passionate speaker, send me a PM! Or if you are in need of articles for your club newsletter, let me know too!

I am also fascinated by the history of minerals, and by their behaviour under the POL, by fluorescence, and the spectroscopy of minerals. I love learning more and find this hobby to be an endless source of information! I call myself a "recreational mineralogist", because the expression "mineral amateur" has a negative ring to it, at least in Belgium and surrounding countries.

Still living in Belgium with my (way) better half, two sons, a dog and a small garden, in the small town of Hasselt. We love to travel and have spent most of the summers in the USA for the last 35 years. Some of our friends say we know the US better than they do! :-)

When not in Belgium, you can find me near Castellon (Valencia, Spain) enjoying life and minerals there!

(Old) Books and magazines on minerals and mineralogy is another passion. My library hosts over one thousand mineral books now (2023), besides many magazines (full sets of Lapis, Min Rec, Min Welt, Bocamina, Mineral Up, Le Regne Minéral, ...). If you are in search of a specific book or article, or are interested in exchanging minerals for books/magazines, shoot me a PM via!

Hope you'll enjoy this hobby as much as I have done so far, and look forward to many more enjoyable years!


Herwig Pelckmans


Thank you, Herwig, for your numerous contributions to Earth Science!

This will be BOTH a virtual event via Zoom and In-Person. Link to the meeting will be sent in email when you register for the event.

Meeting starts at 7.30PM Arizona time.


Mineralogical Society of Arizona's purpose is to promote interest and education in Earth Science, and related fields.

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