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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
The overall health of this hobby
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2018 10:43    Post subject: Re: The overall health of this hobby  

Bob Harman wrote:
My greatest concern with all this is loss of young collectors
I also worry about that for many years. Being a teacher, I learned that many kids today, due to the digital and fast moving world around them, do not have that much interest in "classic" fields of education such as literature, history - or nature ...
I was not a good pupil but my parents showed me how beautiful the living world is, I learned to respect animals and plants, and if you go for a walk with me, I can name many of the trees, birds, fishes or insects that you can find in Germany. And no, I am not a natural scientist, my fields of study were history and German language and literature, I just learned from my parents that this world is interesting and that there is more than playing video games or watching TV ...

I'm 35 and thus not that "old" (I hope ... ;-)), but I'm often shocked how little interest the younger generations have in the world around them. Many (not all!) adolescents today do not care how their food is produced, why the Earth has days and nights, what climate change means and how we humans influence our planet, or who governs their country - how should they have interest in other living creatures or even in the rocks beneath their feet?

I think one of the things that we can do to "breed" young collectors is that all mineral enthusiasts try to enthuse their children. To arouse a general interest in the beautiful world of minerals (which can later lead to a professional interest as collector and/or dealer and/or mineralogist) is a task for parents, not for schools (they can only promote an interest that is already there).

My older son is only 2,5 y/o and even he has some interest in rocks yet (also in animals). I never forced him, I only showed him my mineral display, my magazines and pictures/videos of minerals on the internet ... and though he's only 2,5 y/o, he often wants to look at the colourful stones and he even begins to learn their names - without any force, just as a part of his process to learn the names of the things around him :-) When he turns 3, I will visit the Mineral Museum in our hometown, when he turns 5 or 6, I will take him to his first mineral show ... and I hope one day, he (and his younger brother) will inherit my interest and also my collection ...

I can only recommend to other collectors who have children to ignite the flame as early as possible :-)
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Philippe Durand




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2018 12:43    Post subject: Re: The overall health of this hobby  

My daughter, 9 years old, has her own collection of thumbnails and miniatures.
I have guided her the first years (buying minerals as gifts) but now she attends the Paris Show with me and is particularly interested in flurorites.

Maybe in the teen age, this interest will disappear, but "este gusanillo" will surely be
reborn in the future :)

What is more painful is to see only grey hairs in the show reports (Tucson, Denver, ...)
in the Mineralogical Record staff, and so on. Who will continue to educate, to spend time
for the communication around the hobby? Is there any one in the 40s or 50s to continue
what was and is being done by this generation ?
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David




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2018 15:31    Post subject: Re: The overall health of this hobby  

I'm a mineral collector because I'm fascinated by minerals, not because it's fashionable or not. It doesn't matter much for me how many people are into this. I will probably be a mineral collector until the day I die (are there minerals in heaven and hell?).
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2018 21:29    Post subject: Re: The overall health of this hobby  

"What is more painful is to see only grey hairs in the show reports (Tucson, Denver, ...)"

...That's because the show reporters are getting elderly and they take photos of their friends. If you look at show reports by young collectors, on Facebook or Instagram for example, there are only young people in the photos. Our impressions are skewed by who our friends are, our individual social circle. A lot of this discussion about the health of the hobby is based on such illusions.

Take for example the complaints about out-of-sight astronomical prices "destroying the hobby"... Another illusion, an illusion created by our increasingly refined tastes as we get older. I still have some calcite cleavage I bought for 50 cents, 40 years ago. I was excited by it at the time, of course my tastes have improved and I need much more expensive rocks now. I don't go to the flea market mineral shows in Quartzite or the Electric Park in Tucson, where that 50 cent specimen might cost a whole dollar now. But for the beginners, those deals are still available.

If we point the beginners towards the dealers with $10,000 glass cases and kilowatts of lighting, then yes, we can expect them to be overwhelmed by the prices. That's a self-defeating way to get young people started with mineral collecting.
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James
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PostPosted: Jan 08, 2018 04:16    Post subject: Re: The overall health of this hobby  

Excellent points Alfredo. I was just remarking to my children that many of 'my generation' of dealers have retired. By 'my generation', I mean the ones who were older than me and taught me and helped me. But there are new dealers taking their places. The same happens with collectors.

When I was 16 in the 1970s I had the great chance to see a collection that was way out of my league. I did feel that I could never match it. So there have always been high end collections new collectors will feel are way beyond them.

So more show reports by young collectors please.
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Jeff




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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2018 14:53    Post subject: Re: The overall health of this hobby  

Jordi, you have raised a good point in another posting about the "atomization of the Tucson show" (Tucson Show 2018 - The atomization of the Tucson Shows) which, I believe, might have some relationship to the health of the hobby -- albeit tangential. Like many collectors, I have a limited amount of time and funds to attend mineral shows and, living in the Pacific Northwest, must travel some distance to go to the Denver and Tucson shows. As a collector of mineral specimens, I find it discouraging that some shows of interest to me (and perhaps many others) begin and end a number of days before what I consider to be the main event, the Tucson Gem & Mineral convention center show. To be able to attend all of the shows I would like to would require that I remain in Tucson for at least a week or more with the attendant additional hotel etc. costs. -- something neither I nor most collectors who live some distance from Tucson can afford to do. Yes, there are many good shows for mineral collectors that can be attended within a four or so day period which is a reasonable period of time -- but I find it difficult to understand why there isn't a greater effort to consolidate shows or hold them within a shorter time period. I am aware the argument could be made that there just aren't that many venues available in Tucson to do this. And I know that many retail buyers use the time before the major convention show to acquire specimens for their inventory. Nevertheless, for the individual collector, this is a discouraging aspect of trying to engage in the hobby through attendance at major mineral shows.
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2018 15:13    Post subject: Re: The overall health of this hobby  

Tucson has thousands of dealers, literally, so whether you stay 1 weekend, 1 week, 2 weeks or 3 weeks (as I do), you'll never see them all! There are no venues big enough to hold all of them, nor even a quarter of them. Shrinking the show is a lost cause ;((
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