ZooGems & Curios
Compiled by R. V. Dietrich
REVISIONS are being made continually to entries
as they appeared on the PDF file which was once on CONDOR. Those entries with such updates and/or
are indicated red in the list that is left of this text.
"Fools rush in where
fear to tread."
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
The Zoo- prefix in the title
indicates that the materials treated herein are zoogenic -- i.e.,
animal parts or products; Zoo-, rather than Bio-, was chosen
because plant parts and products are
(Two plant products -- Amber and Jet -- are treated in the GemRocks
file.) The Gems
& Curios part of the title
specify the raison d'être. With a few exceptions, fossils
and items prepared by taxidermists or treated by tanners are NOT
included. (A few fossils used for fashioning jewelry or curios
are described and illustrated in the Fossiliferous Rocks entry of the
GemRocks file.) Not being a zoologist, and because I have a
distaste related to the way some of the source animals are treated in
order to get several of these products, I suspect I may have overlooked
some noteworthy zoogenic materials that warrant addition
who believes any other material of this genre should be added, please
contact me with your suggested addition.
Most of the information presented in this
compilation comes from pujblications, including web sites, and oral
and written personal communications, several of which I
solicited -- i.e., it is not based on my original efforts.
I did, however, check or determine the properties
given for manhy of the materials, and have contacted reputable
scientists to check the status of much of the other included
data. Identifications and scientific names, which are given for
several, albeit not all, of the animals have been checked as to
accuracy and current status so far as the International
Code of Zoological Nomenclature. In any case,
greatly appreciate receiving corrections and updates, along with
references to document them, from anyone who sees the need for such.
The names given as titles for the entries are inconsistent -- some are
singular, some ar plural; some are specific, some include related
materials; duplication occurs -- e.g., IVORY and TEETH (other
than ivory); ... etc.
This inconsistency reflects my
attempt to choose the names that will be familliar to most readers and
thus facilitate and expedite their finding the materials about which
they wish to see the information given in this report.
given for all of the materials follow the same general format, and
considered in this same way and with the same disclaimers kept in mind
is urged for information given in the entries on GEMROCKS web
addition, the following comments seem noteworthy:
First: Whereas the materials
included in GEMROCKS are within my field of concentration, those
in this file are NOT. -- Consequently, the quotation preceding this
introduction seems appropriate. This said, the question arises as
to why I undertook this compilation. ---- It's a long
story; if anyone is interested, contact me and I will explain.
a) Most of the
DESCRIPTION subheadings are followed by a general
statement about the material that includes its overall composition and macroscopic means of
identifying it; inclusion of the Mohs scale of Hardness
and Specific Gravity values reflects my continual use of mineralogical
and petrographical procedures. b) USES of zoogenic
materials to fulfill
functional needs, as well as for adornment and fashioning of decorative
items, date back to early records of humans of several cultures, and
thus help define human beings. Consequently, a few functional as
well as decorative items are included for many of the described
OCCURRENCE & LOCALITIES are
combined because occurrences of animals and their products are
i.e., they are environmentally controlled. d) REMARKS
include such things as etymology of the name of the material(s),
treatments known to have been used to prepare the materials for the
recorded uses, care that should be given anything fashioned from the
materials, and tidbits that might help engergize conversations -- "Did
you know ...? ". e)
SIMULANTS, which include natural
and man-made materials, take on a new meaning so far as their uses in
decorative pieces: Today,
from a legal standpoint, some zoogenic materials are not available or
are available only in limited amounts. This is true because of
the endangered status of the animals from which they come. In
1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES) was formed to establish regulations for international trade
involves wild animals and plants whose survival is threatened.
CITES pronouncements, which are recognized by most nations, apply to
travelers as well as commercial traders who export or import any of the
listed animals, plants and/or sourvenirs (etc.) made from materials
derived from these animals or plants. Anyone who has any question
about a given animal, plant or biogenic material should check its
status on the CITES ... (n.d.) web site. As a
consequence of this oversight, simulants of some of the materials
herein are especially noteworthy. Indeed, the use of many of the
simulanats has the positive aspect that no animal was harmed or
slaughtered in order to fashion any items made from these simulants!
REPLICAS are noted under this last subheading of some of the
entries. Items fashioned to represent -- be it well, only grossly
or stylistically -- the animals whose parts are the foci of the
entries are noted; the roles these items have and the
materials from which they are made are included.
GLOSSARY, BIBLIOGRAPHY and INDEX are included.
The BIBLIOGRAPHY includes references cited in the text plus
selected references that seem noteworthy. Additional and
alternative sources could be given for several of the subjects.
My selection is based on such things as availability and the fact that
many of these references have bibliographies that may serve to lead
readers to additional pertinent
A is a list of the mterials used to
fashion replicas and includes links to the entries where each of these
materials is mentioned.
Third, the uneven
coverage for any one material versus any of the other materials should
not be interpreted
to relate to the amount of information available about any
of the given materials. It is based on my opinion as to the
amount of coverage
that seems appropriate for this compilation.
the presented information will date me. Some of my choices of,
for example, anecdotes will, I suspect, give those who are so-oriented
insight into my psyche. So be it.
Acknowledgments: Kurt R. Dietrich,
Richard S. Dietrich annd Craig A. Gibson critically read the original
copy for all the entries; George H. Wittler, of the Biology
Department, Ripon College, checked several of the entries;
William R. Mann and Robert E. Weisblut, co-founders of the
International Ivory Society, made several suggestions incorporated into
the Ivory and Hornbill Ivory entries;
Jessee J Smith, of the Silverspot
Studio, critiqued the Porcupine entry. Margaret Dodd
(Interlibrary Loan Department, CMU), David. Ginsburg (Refernece
Librarian at CMU), Cathleen A. Jonathan (Periodicals/Research Librarian
at the Richard T. Liddicoat Library and Information Center of the
Gemological Institute of America), and Stuart D. Overlin (associate
Editor, Gems & Gemology)
helped me, well beyond the call of duty, to get several of the
references listed in the bibliography. Miles Alters (Red Lobster
of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan), Edith Blanchard (Curator, The National
Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Jack A.
Brown (Kecheneny Fish Prints, Noank, Connecticut), Robert B. Brown
(Arnold Transit Co., Mackinac Island, Michigan), Robert D. Conkwright,
Jr. (Maryland Geological Survey), Jason Damm (assisted by Amanda Hagy
and Elizabeth Peterson, of the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural
History) , Christy A. Hensler (The Rock Garden, Newport, Washington),
Justin B. Ries (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns
Hopkins University), Margaret Sandwith (Niven Library of the Percy
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town,
South Africa), H. Catherine W. Skinner (Department of Geology and
Geophysics, Yale University), Reed Wicander (Department of Geology,
CMU) and Deborah A. Yonick (Jewelry Journalist, South-central
Pennsylvania) supplied materials for study, putlications and/or
information. Emmett Mason,
Professor Emeritus, CMU set up the
format for this web site. The people and/or organizations from
whom I received permission to include their photographs are noted in
the appropriate captions.
I gratefully THANK each of the above
individuals for her or his contributions.
(b. 1924), a native of the St. Lawrence Valley, Northern New York, is a
graduate of Colgate University (A.B.), and Yale University (M.S. &
Geology). Now retired, he was a College
professor of Geology, with Petrology his main field of research. He has authored or coauthored many
professional papers and books, some of which are textbooks, and also 14
sites, most of which are available at http://stoneplus.cst.cmich.edu/Default.htm
For additional informaton, click the
following link: XXXX.