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FERSMAN, Aleksandr Evgenievich.

(1883 – 1945)

(Born: St. Petersburg, Russia, 8 November 1883; Died: Sochi on the Black Sea, Russia, 20 May 1945) Russian mineralogist, crystallographer & geochemist.

Fersman studied under V.I. Vernadski. In 1907, he graduated from Moscow University, and immediately continued his studies with F.A.A. Lacroix in Paris and the Norwegian geochemist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt [1888-1947] in Heidelberg. In 1909, he began teaching at Moscow University, and in 1910 he became a professor at the People's University, where in 1912 he introduced a course in geochemistry. Also in 1912, Fersman was appointed professor of mineralogy in St. Petersburg and senior curator of the Mineralogical Museum of the Academy of Sciences. Fersman was an investigator of incredible industry, and his studies include the mineral resources of the Urals, Crimea, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Tukestan, the Altai, Transbikalia, northern Mongolia, Karelia and the Kola Peninsula. From this work several discoveries of major economic mineral deposits were made.

Biographical references: American Mineralogist: 31 (1946), nos. 3-4, 173-8, portrait [by L.J. Spencer]. DSB: 4, 597-601 [by A. Meniailov; other refs.]. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar: 67 (1945), 534-8, portrait [by H.G. Backlund]. Gerasimovskij, V.I. and V.V. scerbina, "A.E. Fersmans Rolle in der Entwicklung der Wissenschaft über die nutzbaren Bodenschätze", Geologie, 20, (1971), 715-9. Great Soviet Encyclopedia: 27, 168-9. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 415 [other refs.]. Mineralogical Magazine: 28 (1947), no. 199, 181-92, portrait [by L.J. Spencer]. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 994-5, Suppl. 1 (1986), 1, 414 & Suppl. 2 (1995), 1, 613. World Who's Who in Science: 560.

Der Diamant, 1911

1. German, 1911.
Der Diamant. | Eine Studie | Von | A. von Fersmann und V. Goldschmidt | Moskau Heidelberg | Mit Einem Atlas Von 43 Tafeln | [ornament] | Heidelberg 1911 | Carl Winter's Univresitätsbuchhandlung | Verlags-Nr. 556.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: xvii, 274, [2] p., 206 illus. [Vol 2] 8°: [2] p., 43 plates (some with printed overlay sheets). Page size: 245 x 162 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso "Alle Rechte, ..."; [iii]-xv, "Vorwort."; xvi-xvii, "Inhalt."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-40, "I. Allgemeiner Teil."; 41-70, "II. Historischer Teil."; 71-208, "III. Spezieller Teil."; 209-216, "Atzversuche."; 217-222, "Zusammenfassung."; 223-250, "Anhang."; 251-253, "Register."; 254, "Fundorts-Verzeichnis."; 255, "Übersicht der Tafeln."; 256-274, "Erklärung der Tafeln."; [2 pgs], Advertisements to Golschmidt's other books.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; 43 plates.

Very scarce. Co-authored with Victor Goldschmidt. This is one of the best authorities on the morphology of diamond crystals as well as other features of this unique mineral species. The first part treats the general properties of diamonds including crystallography and etch figures. The second part gives an historical overview of previous investigations and includes a long bibliography. The last section describes the morphology of crystals including diamond twins. Etch figures are described including methods of developing them. The atlas is remarkable giving shaded crystal drawings and other figures rendered from actual stones. Altogether there are 292 figures of diamond crystals and associated figures.

Victor Goldschmidt. (Born: Mainz, Germany, 10 February 1853; Died: Salzburg, Austria, 8 May 1933) German mineralogist & crystallographer. Goldschmidt began as a student of metallurgy at the Industrial Academy in Berlin and the Freiberg Bergakademie, but in 1880, he graduated with a Ph.D. in mineralogy from the University of Heidelberg. In 1888, he married Leontine Porges, who supported her husband and his students. In 1888, Goldschmidt also became a faculty member of the University of Heidelberg. There he founded the Mineralogical-Crystallographic Institute.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 70. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 196-223. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2077. (Goldschmidt) American Journal of Science: 5th Series, 26 (1934), 96. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 100. Brunschwig, J., et al., A la memoire de Victor Goldschmidt. Etudes reunies par Jacques Brunschwig, Claude Imbert et Alain Roger. Paris, J. Vrin, 1985. 334 p. [In English and French. Bibliographies are included.]. DBA: II 463, 276-289. DSB: 5, 455-6 [by G.C. Amstutz]. NDB: 6, 612 [by F. Herrmann]. Poggendorff: 3, 530, 4, 510, 5, 435-6 & 6, ???. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 1114 & Suppl. 2 (1996), 1, 661. Schiffner, Alter Freiberger Bergstudenten, 1935-40: 1, 348-51, portrait. Schlichtenberger, C., "Harmony and complication. The collection of Victor Goldschmidt, founder of the ethnographic museum of the J. u. E. von Portheim-Stiftung in Heidelberg," Journal of the History of Collections, 10 (1998), no. 2, 199-206. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 672.