A good collector should label his or her tektites with as much information as possible. I work on the principle that if I get run over by a bus tomorrow then I want other people to know where the tektites came from; besides my head is not the best place to store valuable information!
Ideally one should label the tektite with locality and weight. Any additional information should also be kept. This might include stratigraphic level, the story behind the find, dates, cost if bought, who it was obtained from or it's history.
Chance find of a famous Beyer tektite!
Recently a few interesting tektites have come to light in Desmond Leong's collection. The Philippinite below was chanced upon by Des in an antiques shop in Manila a few years ago, prior to his interest really taking off. At the time it was sold to him as a meteorite. Recently Des was flicking through Beyer's book:
Beyer, H. O. 1961-1962. Philippine Tektites: Volume 1 (Parts I and II). University of the Philippines Publications in Natural History and in the new field of Space Science. Quezon City.
In this volume he chanced upon a familiar image on plate number 33! A lucky find and strange how this little tektite got to be where it is now! Perhaps this specimen should have been labelled! As a follow-up, this tektite has now also been discovered in Baker, G. 1963. Form and sculpture of tektites. In: Tektites (ed. O’Keefe, J. A.). Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago. It is located on Plate XI , Figure 11. This tektite has also been found in McCall, G. J. H. 2001. Tektites in the Geological Record. The Geological Society, London. It is Located on Page 41, Figure 2.30, number 11. This small and average tektite is very famous!
ABOVE: This tektite was found in Beyer, H. O. 1962!
ABOVE: The same tektite was also spotted in Baker, G. 1963. Form and sculpture of tektites. In: Tektites (ed. O’Keefe, J. A.). Univ. Chicago Press.
Historical Bikolites, found by van Eek, are recovered
Other tektites in the Beyer collection were better labelled. Origonally these large tektites were found in Coco Grove, Bikol by van Eek. Van Eek donated these specimens to Beyer on 8th March 1940. They were then passed on to Henry Otley Beyer's grandson Henry N. Beyer, who sold the specimens to Desmond Leong.
Brief descriptions of these specimens can be found in: Beyer, H. O. 1961-1962. Philippine Tektites: Volume 1 (Part II). University of the Philippines Publications in Natural History and in the new field of Space Science. Quezon City. The catalogue for these specimens is on pages 164-165. A short passage relating to these specimens can also be found on pages 154-155:
Notes on 1940: Unexpectedly, van Eek came to Manila on March 8th and brought for me about 40% of his very fine Coco Grove Collection. He has suddenly been ordered to Sumatra to work on the big Marsman placer property there. It is unfortunate that he has to leave Coco Grove at this time - although the tektite finds are decreasing there, as the dredges are getting further away from the old river bed. Van Eek is taking the remainder of his collection with him to Sumatra - but wishes to give half of it to Prof. Rutten at Utrecht, when he goes home on leave (if the European war permits) sometime next year. In the meantime he has promised to send back to me his revised report on the Coco Grove studies shortly after he reaches his new post.
Van Eek's splendid contribution to our Bikol Collection amounts to a total of 329 specimens (at least half of which are big) - and makes the collection unique, since it now contains some of the best specimens from all of the known Bikol areas. The entire lot is listed under BK-20, but I have not yet had time to weigh and measure them. It contains a good selection of practically all the Coco Grove types, and makes a fine study lot.
The previous year, in 1939, van Eek had written an article: Van Eek, D. 1939. The tektites of Coco Grove. The Marsman Magazine, Manila. In two parts: 4 (2): 10-12, with a map and 2 illus. and 4 (3): 10-12, with 1 illus. (Abstract in Neues Jahr., Min. Referate I: 51-52, 1940). Sad news was found on pages 173 and 174 of Beyer, H. O. 1961-1962. Philippine Tektites: Volume 1 (Part II):
(1961) We now know that van Eek was killed in Sumatra, by local guerrillas, at the beginning of the war - and that so far as anyone can now discover, all of his property (including the tektite colletions) was destroyed when the barracks were burned and looted.
It is fortunate that, despite the war damage to the Bikol collection, all of van Eek's specimens that were donated to Beyer in 1940 appeared to survive. Less fortunate is that the whereabouts of only 4 specimens is currently known. I hope, that in his name, these specimens are treasured and kept for future generations. It appears that van Eek was never given the opportunity to carry out his promise of sending Beyer his revised report on the Coco Grove studies.
ABOVE: On page 164, these specimens are in van Eek's box number 10, numbers 165 (141g) and 166 (134.7g), as determined by their precise weight.
ABOVE: On page 165, these specimens are in van Eek's box number 11, numbers 188 (151.5g) and 193 (108.3g), as determined by their weight.
According to page 10 of Beyer, H. O. 1961-1962. Philippine Tektites: Volume 1 (Part II), the 'P' on the specimen below indicates the specimen came from Lake District of Rizal Province only (all sites bearing same key-letter).
ABOVE: A Beyer Philippinite with a locality code.
These historical specimens clearly have huge value compared to their unlabelled, and now presumably lost, counterparts! Hope you enjoyed this addition to the site. Thanks to Desmond Leong of www.tektiteinc.com for allowing me to photograph and use these images of specimens in his private collection.
Futrell Collection Labels
Darryl Futrell sadly died in August 2001. He was a tektite researcher who favoured a lunar origin for tektites. He wrote a number of papers that can be found in my reference list. I recently acquired a few of his australites - it is fascinating to think that these specimens were studied by him. Australites show very clear evidence of atmospheric entry, which convinced many people that tektites came from beyond the Earth. Darryl Futrell was particularly interested in Muong Nong-type tektites, believing these held the answers. You can learn a little more about Darryl Futrell by following this link: http://www.meteorite.com/Darryl_Futrell/
ABOVE: Labelled australites that were previously in the Futrell collection of tektites. Cores at the top and partial buttons at the bottom.
The labels, for example FA41, in the above photo mean: F=Futrell, A=Australite, 41=41st specimen.
FB41 means: F=Futrell, B=Bediasite, 41=41st specimen.
FG5 means: F=Futrell, G=Georgiaite, 5=5th specimen.
FIT176 means: F=Futrell, I=Indochinite, T=Thailand, 176=176th specimen.
FV11 means: F=Futrell, V=Viet Nam, 11=11th specimen found.
FP20 means: F=Futrell, P=Philippinite, 20=20th specimen.
Libyan Desert Glass is curiously labelled FY5 - not sure why it is 'Y'. Also Muong Nongs, reportedly from Laos are labelled FT5; this label would appear to indicate Thailand.
Parts of the Futrell collection are still for sale at www.meteorites-for-sale.com