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A gem-quality aquamarine crystal is one of several artifacts in an old cigar box of minerals that are about to be repatriated by the Geology Museum to Wurzburg University in Germany. In 1983, Clarence Olmstead, a now-deceased emeritus professor of geography, left the box of mineral specimens on the doorstep of the Geology Museum. The collection was in a cigar box and had once been scavenged from a bombed-out German university building by Olmstead when he was an American soldier during the World War II. Klaus Westphal, retired director of the Geology Museum and a native of Germany, was able to decipher some of the faint markings on the German cigar box and specimen labels, conducted a little detective work and eventually identified the origin of the collection.
Image credit: Jeff Miller
Photo date: December 2005

Klaus Westphal, retired director of the Geology Museum, holds a prehistoric stone knife, one of several artifacts in an old cigar box of minerals that are about to be repatriated by the Geology Museum to Wurzburg University in Germany. In 1983, Clarence Olmstead, a now-deceased emeritus professor of geography, left the box of mineral specimens on the doorstep of the Geology Museum. The collection was in a cigar box and had once been scavenged from a bombed-out German university building by Olmstead when he was an American soldier during the World War II. Westphal, a native of Germany, was able to decipher some of the faint markings on the German cigar box and specimen labels, conducted a little detective work and eventually identified the origin of the collection.
Image credit: Jeff Miller
Photo date: December 2005
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