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John Sinkankas
SINKANKAS, John.

SINKANKAS, John.
(1915 - 2002)

(Born: Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.A., 15 May 1915; Died: San Diego, California, U.S.A., 17 May 2002) American author, mineralogist & gemologist.

Sinkankas was born to Lithuanian immigrant parents, who had come to America to escape the Tsarist regime. The famous traprock quarries in the vicinity of his hometown led to his youthful interest in minerals and eventually to a lifelong interest in mineralogy. In 1936, after graduation from college, he fulfilled a longtime desire to fly by enlisting in the U.S. Navy for flight training. His military career lasted until 1961 at which time he retired in the rank of Captain, U.S. Navy. However, at the end of World War II, Sinkankas began correspondence courses with the Gemological Institute of America. During this period through self-instruction he began faceting gems and writing numerous articles for various journals. This lead to his constructing specialized equipment to facet giant stones that are still among the very finest large gems ever created and are on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. In 1971, with his wife Marjorie, he founded and operates an antiquarian earth science book selling business named Peri Lithon Books after Theophrastus' treatise. Sinkankas has popularized mineralogy and gemology through numerous articles and important books (see: Gemology, an Annotated Bibliography for a complete list). In recognition of his numerous contributions, he has received many awards. The mineral "Sinkankasite" was named in his honor in 1985.

Biographical references: Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: 2, p. 1163-5.

Gemology, 1993

1. English, 1993.
[rule] | Gemology | An | Annotated | Bibliography | [rule] | Volume 1 [-2] | By | John Sinkankas | [ornament] | The Scarecrow Press, Inc. | Metuchen, N.J. & London | 1993.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8: [2], [i]-xxxiii, [1], [1]-570 p., colored frontispiece, illus.; [Vol 2] 8: [4], 571-1179, [1] p., illus. At publication, two versions of the work were offered to the public. The 250 copies of the "Limited Edition" were boxed two-volume sets, bound in brown two-tone leather-grain, with colored frontispiece, decorated endpapers and the autograph of the author. Page size: 280 x 210 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [1 pg], "Of the Two-Hundred-Fifty specially bound copies of | Gemology: An Annotated Bibliography, this is | Copy Number - inscribed to | - | John Sinkankas | ..."; [1 pg], Blank.; [Frontispiece, recto "Jacobs and Chatrian ...", verso "Rosenthal ..."].; [i-ii], Title page, verso "...Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data..."; [iii], "Contents."; [iv], Dedication to Marjorie Sinkankas.; v-vi, "Foreword"-authored by Richard T. Liddicoat.; vii-xiv, "Preface."; xv-xix, "Symbols | and | Abbreviations."; [xx], Blank.; xxi-xxv, "List of Serial | Publications."; [xxvi], Blank.; xxvii-xxxiii, "Bibliographies & | References Consulted."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-570, Text [=entries A to Krasov].

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Half title page, "[rule] | Gemology | An | Annotated | Bibliography | [rule]," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso "...Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data..."; 571-1161, Text [=entries Kraus to Z].; [1162], Blank.; 1163-1165, "Biographical Sketch | Of The Author."; [1166], Blank.; 1167-1179, "Index of Entries."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. The first complete and annotated bibliography in the field of gemology. Previous to this work, the bibliography of gemology was only done in piecemeal fashion. However, this master bibliography brings into one reference 7,458 entries related to gemology, printed in all Western languages, together with major works printed in other languages. Most entries are described completely, with critical notes about the historical significance of the author and their work. Coverage includes books, journals, articles, pamphlets, auction catalogs, technical documents of the United States and other governments, reprints, publicity booklets, sales catalogs and other documents that extend the knowledge of gemology. Fully annotated, the bibliography also contains extensive biographical information on both the famous and almost forgotten authors in the history of gemology. Many entries have a useful commentary on the quality and significance of the work. Complete descriptive bibliography information is provided for most entries, including title, collation, pagination, size, contents listing and known repositories. The library upon which this bibliography was largely based was acquired in 1988 by the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. Because of the close relationship between gemology and mineralogy, Sinkankas' remarkable reference has frequently been cited in this Biobibliography and hence its happy inclusion, even though it was published well after the normal cut of date of 1920.

Bibliographical references: Mineralogical Record: ?? (1994), p. ??-?? [review].

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