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Mineral collecting

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Title: Mineral collecting  
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Subject: Mineralogy, Fossil collecting, Amateur geology, Grandview Mine, Georgius Agricola
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Mineral collecting

A collection of identified rocks & minerals on display.
Azurite specimen from the Morenci mine, Morenci, Arizona, USA. Morenci is the largest copper mine in North America, and Morenci copper mineral specimens are beautiful, abundant, and relatively inexpensive.
Creedite specimen, 11 x 7 x 3 cm, from Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, formerly in the Perkins D. Sams collection.

Mineral collecting is the hobby of systematically collecting, identifying and displaying mineral specimens. Mineral collecting can also be a part of the profession of mineralogy and allied geologic specialties.


Generally considered the "father of mineralogy", De Re Metallica, an early treatise on mining, and De Natura Fossilium, the first (1546) modern textbook of mineralogy.

Another famous 16th century mineral collector was Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (1552–1612). He built a large mineral collection while employing Anselmus de Boodt (ca. 1550–1634), his court physician and another avid mineral collector, to expand and tend his collections. After Rudolf's death his collection was dispersed.[1]


Mineral collectors find a variety of reasons to collect minerals. Many minerals are strikingly beautiful and collected for their aesthetic value. Others collect to learn more about mineralogy, the local mining industry and/or local geology. Some simply enjoy exploring the outdoors and socializing and trading with other mineral collectors. Serious collectors will go so far as traveling great distances to find the right specimen.

Notable public mineral collections

Notable mineral collectors

Malachite specimen from the Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona. Dr Douglas saved many of the best mineral specimens from the Copper Queen for his personal collection. His family later donated many of them to the Smithsonian.

See also


  1. ^ Frasier, Si and Ann (1995). "The History of Mineral Collecting, 1530-1799". Rocks & Minerals. 
  2. ^ Natural History Museum of Los Angeles; Gems and Minerals. access date: 5/22/2010.
  3. ^ Best of Collectors St. Marie aux Mines page
  4. ^ Larson, W.F (2005). "A Lucky Man: Jack Halpern and his Colorful Collection". Mineralogical Record. pp. 189–194. 
  5. ^ Bio on Mineralogical Record
  6. ^ Bio of Gene Meieran at Purdue and Intell
  7. ^ Carnegie Mineralogical Award
  8. ^ Perkins Sams obituary
  9. ^ Perkins D. Sams biography at Mineralogical Record
  10. ^ the book of his collection at Lithographie

Further reading

  • Wilson, Wendell (1994). Wilson, Wendell, ed. The History of Mineral Collecting, 1530-1799. Mineralogical Record. 

External links

  • Beginning Guide to Mineral Collecting at
  • Criteria for selecting crystallized mineral specimens for a display collection by Jack Halpern Reprint article, the Mineralogical Record, 2008
  • Tips for collecting minerals in the field, by the Mineralogical Society of America.
    • Collector's Corner, at MSA
  • The American Federation of Mineral Societies, with links to regional and local clubs in the USA.

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