Hershel Friedman, founder and editor-in-chief of Minerals.net
Hershel has been collecting, studying, and researching minerals since the young age of seven. As a child, he would go hiking and exploring with his dad, frequenting old mines, historical sites, and museums. This interest further developed in his teenage years, when he founded Minerals.net.
Hershel originally started Minerals.net as a way to organize his collection in a database. His idea was to expand the concept by providing detailed information on the minerals in his collection. At a certain point, he realized how much useful information had been invested in his new catalog, and decided to place it online. Minerals.net was officially launched in 1997. With the Internet still in its infancy, and few websites devoted to this hobby, Hershel's new website was an instant hit, well-beyond his expectations. He kept on adding content and expanding the website, growing it to encompass several thousand pages of original content.
Hershel's career in web design began in 1996, with Minerals.net being his first website. He is currently president of Radial Web, a professional web design and development corporation in operation since 2002. His unique skill set is a dual expertise in graphic design and programming. Hershel has developed close to 300 professional websites in his professional career, and continues to provide his large customer base with ongoing support and maintenance.
Mineral collecting is a strong passion of Hershel, and he maintains a collection of several thousand fine mineral specimens. His collection places special emphasis on rare and classical minerals from obscure regions of New York, especially the Hudson Highlands and Ramapo Mountains. He also has an extensive representation of the Northern New Jersey traprock minerals of New Street, Prospect Park, and the surrounding region.
Aside of his primary regional focus, Hershel's collection also contains a large suite of worldwide minerals. His collection is increasingly focused on display showpieces and unique reference specimens. He can be sometimes be seen selling at some of the local shows in the New York/New Jersey area. Although not a dealer, Hershel often has interesting items for sale that are extras in his collection.
Minerals.net has afforded Hershel the opportunity to conduct extensive studies and research on minerals and gemstones. Hershel has written many articles on this subject, and has published in the Mineralogical Record. He has also put together several short video clips on minerals.
Hershel is an avid hiker and explorer. He has recently completed every marked trail in Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks, and has hiked along many of the trail networks in other park systems in New York and New Jersey, including the Shawangunks, Catskills, Taconics, Kittatinies, and Wyanokies. He maintains an active hiking blog at www.harrimanhiker.com where he posts updates on his recent hiking activity. Nature photography is another hobby of Hershel, and many of his photos can be seen on his hiking blog. He is also a founding member of CommSAR, a community search and rescue organization, and has been instrumental in many search recoveries.
Hershel graduated in 2003 with honors from Ramapo College of New Jersey, with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. He resides in Rockland County, New York, with his wife and 4 children.