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Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier
  
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2011 13:27    Post subject: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier  

During the process of the translation to Spanish language of the articles of Rock Currier "About Mineral Collecting" to be published in FMF-Spanish side, it happened that by my request Rock sent to us few personal images and he added some texts, so I thought others might like to see them as well and I requested and obtained permission to use these texts and images here too.

Ladies & gentleman, have fun! ;-)




Bolivia-Salar de Uyuni-The eagle & I 1999.jpg
 Description:
On the way to the sulfur mine at El Desierto, San Pablo de Napa, Daniel Campos Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia with Alfredo Petrov we stopped at the little "island" (surrounded by salt rather than water) in the worlds largest salt lake, the Salar de Uyuni, There was a free flying eagle that liked people and would come and land on some people and winnow the "lice" out of their hair. At least that is what I think it was doing.
 Viewed:  25570 Time(s)

Bolivia-Salar de Uyuni-The eagle & I 1999.jpg



Bolivia-Carguaycollo-colectivo-1990.jpg
 Description:
Here Alfredo and I are buying nice big pieces of pure Teallite from the the miners cooperative at the Carguaicollo Mine in Bolivia. We tried to explain to them that crystals were like flowers and you certainly would not want to step on a flower before giving it to your sweetheart.
 Viewed:  25569 Time(s)

Bolivia-Carguaycollo-colectivo-1990.jpg



Bolivia-Chapare-salt river-me & coco leaves-1997.jpg
 Description:
In Chapari province in Bolivia, while visiting the worlds largest open pit danburite mine (about the size of a wash tub) we stopped to help a local farmer turn over his coca leaves.
 Viewed:  25567 Time(s)

Bolivia-Chapare-salt river-me & coco leaves-1997.jpg



Bolivia-Colquechaca-1994.jpg
 Description:
Visiting the ruby silver capital of the world (Colquechaca) was interesting.
Terrible food, worse accommodations and not specimens.
 Viewed:  25572 Time(s)

Bolivia-Colquechaca-1994.jpg



Bolivia-El Desierto sulfur mine toward the Salar de Epexa-1999.jpg
 Description:
The sulfur mine at El Desierto at the south end of the Salar de Empexa. A remote place about 15000 feet high on the border with Chile. Few people would want too live here. It took several days to get the smell of sulfur out of our clothes and we didn't even do much digging. Did get a container load of sulfur specimens here which they packed in the local version of popcorn which was cheaper than paper. It stunk up my warehouse and turned our silver jewelry black.
 Viewed:  25559 Time(s)

Bolivia-El Desierto sulfur mine toward the Salar de Epexa-1999.jpg



Bolivia-El Desierto-Bolivian unicorns-1999.jpg
 Description:
Bolivian unicorns pictured on the wall of the mine office at El Desierto, Bolivia. You see these mythical creatures in mining camps all over the world.
I finally realized here in Bolivia that these were the Bolivian equivalent of unicorns. These were mythical creatures, that none of the miners at the mining camps had ever seen but they believed in their existence and hoped to encounter one some day.
 Viewed:  25567 Time(s)

Bolivia-El Desierto-Bolivian unicorns-1999.jpg



Bolivia-Viloco way to-Ataroma-1977.jpg
 Description:
On the way to Viloco (cassiterite locality) 1975. This road was at about 16000 feet and the road in one place had mine tracks across it. The road crossed just below the glacier in the background where the local women were washing clothes in the melt water coming from it. Trying to get by a truck coming the other way was a hair raising experience. It was about 1000 feet down to the first bounce.
 Viewed:  25577 Time(s)

Bolivia-Viloco way to-Ataroma-1977.jpg



Bolivia-Potosi-Mining supply company-1993.jpg
 Description:
One one of the streets in Potosi that lead directly up onto the mountain. Here a lady with a little store that the miners would pass on the way to work sells mining supplies. Picks, shovels, dynamite, caps and fuse. No permit needed.
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Bolivia-Potosi-Mining supply company-1993.jpg


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Amir Akhavan




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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2011 18:59    Post subject: Re: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier  

Great! That was fun to read!
Are there more to come?

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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Mar 29, 2011 02:08    Post subject: Re: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier  

Amir Akhavan wrote:

Are there more to come?


I don't know Amir, it will be according Rock. Hopefully yes! ;-)
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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 13:14    Post subject: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier - 1  

Good News. Here you have some more delightful photos & texts from Rock Currier!

Ladies & gentleman, get fun! ;-)




Republic of S. Africa - Uppington Orange River 1974 106.jpg
 Description:
The Orange River. You cross this river from the Republic of South Africa and when you reach the north end of the Bridge you are in Namibia, or South West Africa in the 70s when I was going there for specimens.
 Viewed:  25154 Time(s)

Republic of S. Africa - Uppington Orange River 1974 106.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb - on way to - our goats 1975 78.jpg
 Description:
The first trip I took to Tusmeb, we drove fro Johannesburg to Tsumeb. It took about two and a half days. We were driving in this little pickup truck and were taking two male goats up to a ranch north of Tsumeb. The damn things peed all over my luggage and even going 60 miles an hour you could smell them in the cab. And people have the nerve to tell me that my specimens are too expensive?
 Viewed:  25155 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb - on way to - our goats 1975 78.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb area - 1975 77.jpg
 Description:
Much of the way when you got close to Tsumeb was bush veldt like this. This picture was taken at sundown just after a storm and the waining sun on the hills made it look like some other planet.
 Viewed:  25150 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb area - 1975 77.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb area - overnigt ant hill 1974 70.jpg
 Description:
Most all of the roads around Tsumeb are not paved and you have to be careful about termite mounds which can spring up over night and have killed more than one motorist who ran into them.
 Viewed:  25164 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb area - overnigt ant hill 1974 70.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb 1977 65.jpg
 Description:
Welcome to Tsumeb.
 Viewed:  25165 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb 1977 65.jpg



Namibia, Tsumeb - main street 1975 99.jpg
 Description:
Main Street Tsumeb. You can see the head frame of the Tsumeb Corporation Limited mine on the right down toward the end of the street. A large percentage of the Tsumeb specimens in our collections came up this shaft.
 Viewed:  25171 Time(s)

Namibia, Tsumeb -  main street 1975 99.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb - Clive in rock room 1977 96.jpg
 Description:
Mineral dealer Clive Quiet in his "rock room". Clive was my main contact in Tsumeb and between trips he would send me thousands of small dioptase specimens and specimens of other minerals. We used to run around together and visit the other miners to see what they had when they came off shift. Clive is wrapping up a specimen with toilet paper which he used to buy in big lots like five big boxes at a time. The toilet paper manufactures down in the Republic must have assumed that everyone in Tsumeb had the runs.
 Viewed:  25186 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb - Clive in rock room 1977 96.jpg



USA California Blackstone - Dioptase Mary Johnson 1977 25.jpg
 Description:
Boxes full of dioptase specimens and Dr. Mary Johnson, Harvard trained mineralogist. Well back then she was just an undergrad at the California Institute of Technology. One summer she helped me catalogue my mineral collection. She could paint the smallest numbers that I have ever seen.
 Viewed:  25174 Time(s)

USA California Blackstone -  Dioptase Mary Johnson 1977 25.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb - Robie Groeblers sales room 1974 85.jpg
 Description:
The garage of Robie Groebler, a miner at Tsumeb. The bottom shelf was all specimens for one rand, the one above were two rand and so on. He got in trouble with the mine for selling mineral specimens.
 Viewed:  25170 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb - Robie Groeblers sales room 1974 85.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb - Mine lettter to employees 1974 81.jpg
 Description:
Here is a letter from the office of the mine manager informing all the miners that taking specimens from the mine was theft and that they would take legal action.
 Viewed:  25168 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb - Mine lettter to employees 1974 81.jpg



Nimibia Windhoek - Dioptase, best one with Sid Peters 1975 59.jpg
 Description:
One of the great dioptase specimens that was in the Collection of Sid Peters. He eventually sold it for $10,000 which was a huge amount for a specimen at the time but today sounds cheap. Its not a good picture of the piece.
 Viewed:  25173 Time(s)

Nimibia Windhoek - Dioptase, best one with Sid Peters 1975 59.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb - old time 34.jpg
 Description:
Old time Tsumeb. The pay master arriving on a narrow gage railway car. Early 20th century.
 Viewed:  25155 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb - old time 34.jpg



Namibia - Map of Tsumeb 1975 27.jpg
 Description:
Some places to visit around Tsumeb. Some of the names will be familiar to all mineral collectors.
 Viewed:  25143 Time(s)

Namibia - Map of Tsumeb 1975 27.jpg



Namibia Tsumeb - refinery 1975 67.jpg
 Description:
The smelter at Tsumeb. Many of the finest mineral specimens produced by Tsumeb have been turned into copper in this place.
 Viewed:  25138 Time(s)

Namibia Tsumeb - refinery 1975 67.jpg



Namibia - Grootfontein meteorite 50.jpg
 Description:
The Grootfontein meteorite. Just laying out in the open. Why not, it is just way too heavy for anyone to haul it off. You could see where people had been trying to break off pieces of it. I think the weight of broken hammers and chisels by far outweighed any pieces of the thing that people had managed to carry off. I would not want to be any where within 50 miles of the thing when it hit the ground.
 Viewed:  25281 Time(s)

Namibia - Grootfontein meteorite 50.jpg



Namibia Windhoek - Meteorites - Grootfontein 1979 57.jpg
 Description:
Meteorites from the Grootfontein fall that were found in the strew field. Even the smallest of these weighed more than 200 pounds. At least I could not pick up the smallest on them. They used to keep them in the park till someone tied a rope to one of them and tried to drag it away. In the morning they found a broken rope and the meteorite that they had managed to drag about 20 feet from the pile of its cousins. In the mid 70s they had moved them to the old fort at the top of the hill which was kept locked up at night.
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Namibia Windhoek - Meteorites - Grootfontein 1979 57.jpg



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Amir Akhavan




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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 13:33    Post subject: Re: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier  

Great :-) :-)
Thanks!
Amir

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Debbie Woolf




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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 19:18    Post subject: Re: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier  

Great stuff ! I had a good laugh at the goat story in the bakkie (pick-up truck) a common mode of transport for animals, in Cape Town we once saw a bakkie with a race horse roped in the back & mounted by the jockey whilst being driven on the motorway to the racecourse. All I can say is 'only in Africa'
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PostPosted: May 08, 2011 14:03    Post subject: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier - 3  

A new batch of photos & texts from Rock Currier

Ladies & gentleman, enjoy it! ;-)




Madagascar - Betafo area near Mahaiza village_Rose Quartz mine_1999_178.jpg
 Description:
In a mine for massive rose quartz not far from Betafo, Madagascar. Please don't think that I did my own, but when you are confronted with such a nice big juicy boulder of the stuff, you can't help but show off a little.
 Viewed:  24820 Time(s)

Madagascar - Betafo area near Mahaiza village_Rose Quartz mine_1999_178.jpg



Madagascar - Celestite mines_1995_54.jpg
 Description:
A hand dug shaft of a "celestite mine" near the village of Sakoany, Madagascar. Here you can see a miner and the little foot holds in the side of the shaft that he uses as a ladder to go down and come up. There is no wood used to shore up the sides of the shaft which is in not very well consolidated earth.
 Viewed:  24803 Time(s)

Madagascar - Celestite mines_1995_54.jpg



Madagascar - Ibiti market dickering for rocks_1999_147.jpg
 Description:
Negotiating in the weeds for rhodizite/londonite specimens at the weekly market at Ibiti, Madagascar. The market had a little separate area for those who were running little gambling operations like a roulette wheel made from a bicycle wheel and little dice games. The specimen guys hung out in this area. You are not likely to find anything really good here, but I did buy about 100 specimens of so so rhodizite.
 Viewed:  24801 Time(s)

Madagascar - Ibiti market dickering for rocks_1999_147.jpg



Mexico - Taxco_1993_42.jpg
 Description:
The town of Taxco. There are still silver mines active here that produce specimens, but most of the town, a town of 1000 silversmiths, takes the silver produced here and from other places and turns it into a multitude of silver items.
 Viewed:  24803 Time(s)

Mexico - Taxco_1993_42.jpg



Mexico - Taxco_silver figurine_1993_93.jpg
 Description:
Silver ships made from the silver mined at the mines at Taxco.
 Viewed:  24816 Time(s)

Mexico - Taxco_silver figurine_1993_93.jpg



Mexico - Durango_Mapimi_ suspention bridge_198_26.jpg
 Description:
The suspension bridge designed by Washington Roebling that spans the canyon at Mapimi, Mexico. You can sit on it at sunset and watch the bats fly out of the old workings.
 Viewed:  24813 Time(s)

Mexico - Durango_Mapimi_ suspention bridge_198_26.jpg


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Duncan Miller




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PostPosted: May 09, 2011 09:27    Post subject: Re: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier  

I don't want to hijack this thread, but it is about reminiscence. I thought I recognised Rock Currier's photograph of the Sid Peters dioptase. Here is another photo of the same specimen, which I took in Windhoek in 1975. It was a whopper, with some nearly thumb-sized crystals. At the time Sid also had some spectacular cerussite specimens, the largest of which I also photographed. It was a double spray, about 20 cm across. I wonder where it is now.

The dioptase specimen connection made me realise that in 1975 Rock and I met each other, briefly, in Sid's shop, where I was working for him faceting some of his Cape Cross jeremejevites. Rock astounded me by knowing then what they were.

Duncan Miller
Cape Town



Dioptase 1975.jpg
 Description:
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Dioptase 1975.jpg



Cerussite 1975.jpg
 Description:
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Cerussite 1975.jpg


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PostPosted: May 21, 2011 15:13    Post subject: Travels and Jokes of Rock Currier - 4  

More photos & texts from Rock Currier

Ladies & gentleman, enjoy it! ;-)




Chile - Mina Farola 1981.jpg
 Description:
Mina Farola near Copiapo Chile. I never did find out why they had these toilets out in the open like this, but they did offer a wonderful view of the surrounding country.
 Viewed:  24469 Time(s)

Chile - Mina Farola 1981.jpg



Brazil - Crystalina 1996.jpg
 Description:
Some medium size quartz crystals that were with one of the dealers in Crystalina, Brazil.
 Viewed:  24484 Time(s)

Brazil - Crystalina 1996.jpg



Brazil - Minas Gerais_Isla mine.jpg
 Description:
Isla mine near Taquaral, MG, Brazil. To get to the mine which is in the middle of the river you got in a dugout for the ride out to the mine. Here they produced some of the best specimens of rose quartz crystals known and many fine specimens or rare phosphate minerals that were often associated with the rose quartz.
 Viewed:  24466 Time(s)

Brazil - Minas Gerais_Isla mine.jpg



Brazil - RGS, factory_big diamond saw_Legep.jpg
 Description:
Inside a 2 meter diamond saw at one of the factories in Soledade, Rio Grande do Sul. They commonly use these saws to cut open the big amethyst geodes that are mined in the region. Kerosene is used as a coolant for the big diamond blades in these saws. Sometimes they catch on fire as you can see in the next picture.
 Viewed:  24486 Time(s)

Brazil - RGS, factory_big diamond saw_Legep.jpg



Brazil - RGS factory_big diamond saw.jpg
 Description:
A 2 meter diamond saw that has been through at least one fire.
 Viewed:  24471 Time(s)

Brazil - RGS factory_big diamond saw.jpg



Brazil - RGS_Factory_amethyst druse.jpg
 Description:
A lot of amethyst with one of the dealers in Soledade, RGS, Brazil. An acre of amethyst anyone?
 Viewed:  24478 Time(s)

Brazil - RGS_Factory_amethyst druse.jpg



Brazil RGS_Factory_amehyst geodes.jpg
 Description:
Another acre of amethyst.
 Viewed:  24502 Time(s)

Brazil  RGS_Factory_amehyst geodes.jpg


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