Mineral News

Educating Our Youth Towards Middle-Range Collections

by Hershel Friedman December 10, 2014 10:56 PM


Where are the Youth?

 

There is an abundance of new mineral specimens coming out of Asia, Africa, and Russia these days. The quality of this new material reaching the market is remarkable. This higher quality stems from a new awareness among collectors, especially from lesser developed countries, to be cognizant in preserving the material they are collecting. This includes proper methods of mining and extraction, matrix preservation, preparation, and protection until it arrives at a dealer. The result is an abundance of many new fine minerals from new localities, or from places that were previously not big specimen producers.

 

On the flip-side, quality minerals from classic localities are increasingly difficult to get a hold of. In developed regions of the world, like the United States and Western Europe, many classic localities are off-limits or have been exhausted. Quality specimens from such locations can be difficult to come by, since they are only available on the market from recycled collections. When they do become available, their prices tend to be very high.

 

The upper class of collectors generally focuses only on the finest quality minerals. The market for these types of specimens seems to be increasingly strong, especially with an influx of wealthy collectors overseas who are interested less in the science of minerals and more in the aesthetics or collectible worth of minerals. I was recently witness to a $30,000 mineral transaction by a wealthy collector at the Tucson show. 

 

There is also a lower tier of mineral specimens, which I often call the “tourist stones.” This group includes small Quartz points, “Peacock Ore”, polished Hematite, sliced geodes, and the like. The sales of these are also brisk, because the general population without much mineral interest will still purchase these affordable minerals at tourist locations, “rock shops,” or from stock dealers.

 

Serious collectors want only serious minerals. However, non-hobbyists, amateur collectors, and holistic collectors generally go after cheap, common material. The minerals that live in the middle of this equation are in a difficult position when it comes to selling. This includes reference material that may not be the prettiest, or good minerals that don’t present the best quality for a species or location. This middle gap is unfortunately growing wider, as there are fewer collectors interested in this middle-tier material.

 

During my teenage years, my collection was within this middle tier. The higher-class material was out of my reach (with the exception of the hidden “sleepers” that I sometimes came across), and the lower-class material didn’t have much interest to me. However, I appreciated a varied collection of obtainable material by maintaining a great reference collection that was still highly aesthetic and representative, yet affordable.

 

I am noticing that there are fewer children and adolescents with a serious interest in the hobby. Almost all the experts on minerals these days seem middle-aged or older, with few young and serious collectors who don’t need only the finest. It seems to me that most of the youth at shows today are just looking for “pretty rocks,” or their dads with an interest in science and nature are schlepping them along to the show. I rarely encounter knowledgeable children or adolescents who have a serious interest in collecting for the sake of owning a comprehensive yet affordable collection.

 

I am not a dealer, but I sometimes sell at shows to move some of the excess material that tends to accumulate in my collection. I notice the serious collectors looking for the rare and unusual items that I offer at a fair price. Less knowledgeable collectors, kids, and general hobbyists are always buying the cheap material I have, such as mica plates and carnelian rough for cabbing. But the “nice but not super quality” material in the middle tier, and much of the reference material that isn’t particular striking, rarely moves along.

 

I think it’s time to work on getting more youth interested in this hobby. They are the ones who are interested in a serious yet affordable collection, and they will be the ones who develop into the future enthusiasts and professional collectors. If the future of mineral collecting lies with our youth, we need to focus our efforts on educating children and young adults, giving them more interest and guidance in this field.



Yet More Sulfide Minerals Added and Revised

by Hershel Friedman December 06, 2014 10:18 PM

We are continuing to add and fix up the sulfide minerals, The mineral Cobaltite was recently added, with information, pictures, and 3D crystals. Other minerals entirely revised include:

 

 



Continuation of Sulfide Minerals

by Hershel Friedman November 21, 2014 12:21 AM

We recently added several new minerals, with detailed information, pictures, and 3D crystals:


We also updated the content and revised the following mineral detail pages:
 
And we added new photos for the following minerals:



Several new Sulfide Minerals Added

by Hershel Friedman November 02, 2014 12:10 AM

We are presently addressing the sulfide group of minerals, adding in new photos to existing minerals, and adding important minerals that are missing from our database. New minerals recently added include:

 

 



The Franklin, NJ Fall 2014 Show

by Hershel Friedman September 29, 2014 11:15 PM

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Franklin, New Jersey, Fall show. The weather was extremely hot for late September, and was in the upper 80's. This made the outdoor part of the show a bit uncomfortable. I was also very surprised at the $7 admission price to the show! I don't remember the cost being this high previously, and I certainly hope the show staff takes into consideration that this will alienate supporters of the show. I took photos of all the display cases and some of the fluorescent cases, and zoomed in on some individual pieces. I did not have my tripod with me as I normally do, so the quality of the pictures is not necessarily the quality I would like these pictures to be.

 

any picture below for a larger pop-up, and use the zoom key to enlarge: - See more at: http://www.minerals.net/news/#sthash.dTwnCxIN.dpuf

Click any picture below for a larger pop-up, and use the zoom key to enlarge:

 

Various Willemites from Sterling Hill
Various Willemites from Sterling Hill

 

Willemite in Calcite - Franklin NJ Show
An Exceptional Willemite in Calcite from the Above Case

 

Franklin, NJ Show Classics
Franklin Classics, from Common to Rare (Steve Kuitems)

 

Franklin, NJ Show Classics
A Zoom Into the Above Case

 

Rhodonite, Franklin, NJ
Rhodonite with Exceptional Color from the Above Case

 

Pyrite Graphite Franklin New Jersey
Unusual Pyrite from Franklin with Graphite from the Above Case

 

Franklin Minerals Franklin NJ Show
Unlabeled Case of a Mounted Old-Time Franklin Area Collection

 

Gahnite Franklin NJ
Gahnite and Rhodonite from the Above Case

 

Garnet from Franklin & Sterling Hill NJ
Garnet from Franklin and Sterling Hill

 

Andradite Garnet - Franklin Show
Mustard-Yellow Andradite Crystals from Franklin
(Label Says Green but its more Yellow than Green)

 

Agates and Polished Artifacts - NJ
Agate and Other Polished Material from New Jersey

 

Ribbon Ore Franklin Show
"Ribbon Ore" - Franklin Area Minerals Forming in Veins

 

Fluorescent Willemite Vein in Calcite
Fluorescent Willemite Veins in Calcite

 

Steve Kuitems Fluorescent
Various Fluorescents in the Darkroom

 

Willemite in Calcite - Franklin NJ Show
Zoomed in to Really Nice Willemite Crystals on Calcite



Minerals.net September 2014 Newsletter

by Hershel Friedman September 16, 2014 5:58 PM

We have emailed our September 2014 Minerals.net online newsletter. Please click the image below for the larger version.

 



Garnet from Red Embers Mine, Erving MA

by Bryan Davis September 11, 2014 10:48 PM

One of the new finds (and big hits) at the Springfield Show this year were the garnets from Red Embers Mine, released to the mineral market by Jason Baskin. The American Museum of Natural History, Yale, The University of Arizona, and many others purchased specimens at the Springfield show this past August.

 

The project started 16 years ago when Jim Garabedian who worked the garnet mine in Erving, Massachusetts, (then named the Two Fat Guys Mine), brought James Zigras and Jason Baskin to the site to collect for a few hours. Since getting permission to work the prospect 8 – 10 years ago, Jason has been mining by hand with sledge hammers, chisels, and wedges with his cousin Kyle Baskin and Uncle Kevin Baskin.

 

The almandine/pyrope garnets are found in a massive graphite vein which varies in thickness from one foot wide to six feet wide in some areas. Garnets form sporadically on planes in the graphite on mica veinlets that are only ¼ mm to 1 mm thick. A university in Connecticut identified an accompanying mineral as black dravite tourmaline, which also occurs in the graphite between the garnets. The bright red garnet crystals range in size from 1 mm to 1-1/8” tip to tip. The garnets are gem quality and the largest stone cut so far is a whopping 4.72 carats.

 

The specimens are processed using air abrasion using a unique plastic blasting media provided by Kramer industries. This process is aggressive on graphite and gentle on the tourmaline and garnets. The specimens are abraded on both sides so that the garnets are visible from both sides of the specimen, allowing light to show through and show the gem quality of the crystals and the phenomenal color. A typical 5” x 5” specimen takes on average an hour or more to process to expose the garnets. The largest piece took over 20 hours to abrade and prepare. Processing of the specimens presented at the Springfield show has been progressing, mostly in secret, for the past four years.

 

Almost 50 flats have sold in the last 2 weeks, exhausting almost the entire inventory processed in the last 4 years. Some of the largest specimens have upward of 70 garnets on one specimen, with individual crystals up to the size of a dime. The largest specimen to date is 16” x 11.” The site is closed to collectors and is both posted and under video surveillance. However, specimens can continue to be obtained via Jason Baskin who will be selling at the Franklin Show and most likely at the North Jersey Mineralogical Society fall swap and sale at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. Select specimens and cut stones have also been featured by Alan Benson at the Marriot show. Jason is also working with Eric Greene of Treasure Mountain Mining on articles for Rocks and Minerals and the Mineralogical Record.

 


Jason Displaying a Large Plate of Garnet with Backlighting at the Springfield Show

 


These Garnets Show Exceptional Red Color when Backlit

 


More Backlit Garnets with Trapezohedral Crystals

 


Smaller Specimens Prepared at Jason's Booth at the Springfield Show

 


Jason Showing Some Cut and Polished Gemstones

 



The Springfield 2014 Show

by Hershel Friedman August 22, 2014 12:08 AM

The Springfield Show, officially called the East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show, is held every year in the summer in a large hall in the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This year the show was held on August 8 through 10. This is a great show, with many important dealers present, and some new material that I never saw before. This show also has public exhibits, with top-notch collectors displaying their material to all the show-goers.

 

This year's special exhibit featured California collectors and collections. It featured some of the top minerals from nine prominent California collectors, and was coordinated by John Veevaert of Trinity Minerals.

 

The Springfield Show news posts will be divided into several sections:

 



Jerry Rosenthal Public Exhibit at the Springfield Show

by Hershel Friedman August 21, 2014 12:31 AM

Jerry Rosenthal had twelve full display cases of exceptional minerals. Below is his introduction, as stated in one of his exhibits:

 

I grew up in the orchard country of San Jose that is now Silicon Valley. During my early years my interest was sparked by my grandfather who gave me a petrified wood domed limb cast. I was intrigued by the thought of wood turning into stone.


My collecting began in thw 1980s once I had some disposable income. I had a deep fascination with lapidary tools and what you could do to rocks with them. As I continued on my interest branched into actual mineral specimens. I met lots of dealers, diggers, collectors, prospectors, traders and more than a couple of con men. Thanks to finding a few honest dealers I was able to compile a collection of over 800 specimens of which a fraction are presented here.


For years my collection was "housed" in cardboard flats and boxes. With the expansion of my plumbing business I was able to build a custom walk in display room to show my mineral and sphere collection. The beauty of the minerals is why I collect but I should also mention that I am color blind so don't be surprised if I ask you what color my minerals are.

 

Pictured below are all of Jerry's public showcases, as well as some individual minerals from within those cases.

 

Click any picture below for a larger pop-up, and use the zoom key to enlarge:

 

Jerry Rosenthal Copper and Silver Case
Jerry Rosenthal Copper and Silver Case, with Jerry's Bio

 

Crystallized Copper from Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigian
An Amazing Crystallized Copper from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigian

 

Native Gold Display Case
Native Gold Display Case

 

Gold Nugget from American River, Placerville, CA
Gold Nugget from the American River in Placerville, California

 

Jerry's Showcase of Gem Beryl
Jerry's Showcase of Gem Beryls

 

Showcase of Gemstone Minerals
Showcase of Various Gemstone Minerals

 

Elongated Topaz from Ouro Preto, Brazil
Elongated Topaz from Ouro Preto, Brazil

 

Pink Kunzite from Minas Gerais, Brazil
Excellent Pink Kunzite from Minas Gerais, Brazil

 

Yellow, Gemmy Orthoclase from Itrongahy, Madagascar
Bright Yellow, Gemmy Orthoclase from Itrongahy, Madagascar

 

Jerry's Azurite Collection
Jerry's Azurite Collection

 

Garnets from Jerry Rosenthal's Showcase
Collection of various Garnets from Jerry Rosenthal's Showcase

 

Garnet Crystals on Matrix Tyrol, Austria
Amazing Garnet Crystals on Matrix from the Tyrol in Austria

 

Demantoid Garnet from Val Malenco, Italy
Demantoid Garnets on Matrix from Val Malenco, Italy

 

Jerry's Tourmaline Collection
Jerry's Tourmaline Collection

 

Jerry's Fluorite Showcase
Jerry's Fluorite Showcase

 

Exhibit of Uncommon Worldwide Minerals
Exhibit of Uncommon Worldwide Minerals

 

Veszelyite from the Black Pine Mine in Montana
Large Elongated Crystal of Rare Veszelyite from the Black Pine Mine in Montana

 

Legrandite from the Ojuela Mine in Mexico
Beautiful Spray of Bright Orange-Yellow Legrandite from the Ojuela Mine in Mexico

 

New Mineral Recently Named Marshalsussmanite
New Mineral Species Recently Named "Marshalsussmanite"

 

Jerry's Quartz Exhibit
Jerry's Quartz Exhibit

 

Jerry Rosenthal's Collection of Polished Spheres
Collection of Polished Spheres

 

Lapidary Glasswork from Jerry's Collection
Lapidary Glasswork from Jerry's Collection



Rick Kennedy Public Exhibit at the Springfield Show

by Hershel Friedman August 20, 2014 10:51 PM

Rick Kennedy had seven display cases at the Springfield show public exhibit. Below is his introduction, as stated in one of his exhibits:


I've been a collector ever since I was able to pick up with my hands. I've collected everything from stamps and coins to bottle caps. Minerals and rare gemstones became my passion for several reasons: their natural beauty, the fact that I could never learn everything about the hobby and the adventures involved in collecting these beauties in the field.


I received my BS degree in Earth Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1994, seven years after finishing my course work (it is a long story!). I started Earth's Treasures in 1985 as a part time business while I worked managing a small business for one of my mineral collecting partners. In March 2006, I left that world for good and became a full time mineral and rare gemstone dealers and have never been so happy!


Personally, I collect "rough and cut" suites of rare gem minerals, but my passion will always be for Benitoite, and I proudly flaunt my status as a poster boy for the Benitoite Mine Run sales that John and Steven did a few years ago, my 5.96 carat flawless cut Benitoite is indeed the "Jewel" of my collection.

 

Pictured below are all of Rick's public showcases, as well as some individual minerals from within those cases.


Click any picture below for a larger pop-up, and use the zoom key to enlarge:


Amethyst/Smoky Quartz scepters, Hallelujah Junction, NV
Amethyst/Smoky Quartz scepters from Hallelujah Junction, NV

 

 

Amethyst/Smoky Quartz scepter, Hallelujah Junction, NV
Amethyst/Smoky Quartz scepter from Halleluyah Junction, NV

 

 

Minerals from Western States from Rick Kennedy
Minerals from the Western States from Rick Kennedy; Large Blue Fluorite in Center.

 

 

Rick's Suite of San Benito County, CA Minerals
Rick's Suite of San Benito County, CA Minerals

 

 

Benitoite with deep blue color
An Exceptional Benitoite with Deep Blue Color

 

 

Rick Kennedy's Tsumeb Minerals
Rick Kennedy's Tsumeb Minerals

 

 

Dioptase on Calcite from Tsumeb
Dioptase on Calcite from Tsumeb

 

 

Rick Kennedy Gem Mineral Rough and Faceted
Rare Gem Mineral Rough and Faceted

 

 

Purple Apatite from Maine
Purple Apatite from Maine with Rough and Faceted Examples

 

 

Miscellaneous Mineral Case from Rick Kennedy
Miscellaneous Mineral Case from Rick Kennedy

 

 

Minerals from the California Blue Mine
Minerals from the California Blue Mine in San Bernardino Co.





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