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Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today
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Jim




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PostPosted: Jul 10, 2009 14:24    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Perhaps the arguably increased negative politics in the mineral community has contributed to a de-emphasis of the scientific aspects of collecting.

Cheers,

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PostPosted: Jul 10, 2009 16:29    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Jim
Could you explain what you mean. Perhaps there is a different wind blowing in the USA then here in Europe.
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Jim




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PostPosted: Jul 10, 2009 17:43    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Hi Peter,

Maybe it is a USA thing, though I doubt the situation is totally absent from anywhere in which people use commodities/collectibles like minerals for social status and ego rather than personally education, etc.

Many elements in the mineral community feed the social status elements versus the scientific elements (no pun intended!) And in my opinion (and that of others who bring up similar observations without prompting from me), such politics and posturing has increased in recent years, not waned.

I hope that is a clear elaboration.

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keith




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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2009 05:10    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Here -> http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=1335#1335 John S. White wrote:
...Even bonsai collectors have to learn the basics of caring for these plants or they will not last very long. Minerals, at least, do not require care and feeding...

Who said minerals don't need care and feeding, they might not be little bonsai trees .. but

Hey they like to be well rested, sometimes in their own boxes and own feather beds (well, felt, foam and the like). They do like dark drawers.
They like to be photographed, named and labelled so that they can identify one aonther !!!
They even like an occasional bath, although some are a bit afraid of water so they prefer a light tickel with a feather duster.

Many like the stage and like to show off in glass cabinets and like the limelight.

Some even like to compete against others.
Then of course there are those that are show offs. Not to mention those that like to play hide and seek or simply play hard to find.

Ok so i'm nuts

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Gerhard Niklasch




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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2009 09:03    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Hah! Mine make me obtain copies of high-falutin' scientific articles so they have something to read while I'm away to work...

...and then they come to me crying when I return in the evening because the articles said `This study was conducted using synthetic crystals to avoid all the impurities and variations in natural material.'

:)

Cheers, Gerhard
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keith




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PostPosted: Nov 16, 2009 04:21    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Here -> http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=1335#1335 John S. White wrote:
...It is hard for me to understand how anyone can have a cabinet full of these wonderful objects without feeling compelled to at least take a course in elementary mineralogy, just as it has always puzzled me that so many people can drive around this country (USA) seeing amazing geological features in roadcuts, etc., and not feel compelled to learn something how that came to be and what they represent. In other words, taking an elementary geology course or reading a good textbook on geology...

Hi John

I just want to comment in your suggestion that collectors attend a basic mineralogy course.

Well I haven't - guess I have not found a Uni close enough that offers such a course or found one that offers one by coursework that was affordable and one where I could meet the time frames that may be required. If I did I would probably struggle to meet the time frames required as I have a busy practice to run.

I do belong to a mineral club but unfortunatley it meets once per month - 200kms from home on a Friday night so it is not conducive to attending meetings. There are no local associations.

SO ... I read a good deal - I probably have in excess of 300 texts on mineralogy alone and around a thousand mineral journals of one kind or another - all of which I can say have been read fully - books and all, not to mention all the reading on the net.

As I suggeted in another post it would be nice if the Record for example were to publish more mineralogically educative articles.

I for one like to collect (although I do very little) but I love finding additonal minerals on the specimens that I already have. These are usually found when I photograph them and enlarge the pics on the screen (not having a microscope has its downside). Working out the associations and gaining an understanding of the specimens I have and reading alI that I can about where they are from is what I enjoy.

I for one enjoy the Mineralogy just wish I could get more!!

Cheers

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John S. White
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PostPosted: Nov 16, 2009 05:25    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Keith:

You appear to be the perfect exception to the condition that I was complaining about. I can't imagine how you could do more except, perhaps, to buy a microscope, even if an inexpensive one. Given your dedication to mineralogy, a microscope would open a whole new world to you. I was, in my youth, a micromounter and although I did not continue with it the experience was enriching. I do, of course, own a microscope and I examine every new specimen I get with it if there is any indication that there are minute features worth examining.

I think it is tragic that you do not have a mineral club near you as you would have much to contribute to other collectors who are not as highly motivated to learn as you apparently are.

Way to go!

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Jim Prentiss




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PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 10:49    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Hello Everyone,

This is my introduction post to this forum.

I like to say, despite the subject, that this discussion has given me more hope that there are alot more techical collectors out there than I thought.

I have been involved with two mineral clubs (supposedly) in the last several years that were more basic social clubs than rock, mineral or geologic clubs. Actuall very little intrest in minerals, a little in fossils. I was feeling like the Lone Ranger. I long for the technical discussions in this field as I enjoy in my profession as an aircraft mechanic. It would go a long way toward my further education in the hobby. That is the primary reason I had joined the clubs.

I have had only a geology course, some years ago, which introduced me to the basics of rock and mineral identification. That sparked my interest in what I call the technical side of the hobby. I have acquired a set of hardness points and specimens, an elderly two pan labratory grade gram scale that I have played with doing specific gravities, an inexpensive stereoscope and I have several texts on mineralogy.

I agree with those who can get as excited over the intense red and crystal perfection of a Sweet Home Rhochrosite or the minute striations of a Pyrite cube they broke out of the shale used in the neighbors retaining wall, as a kid. It is the little details I enjoy in my specimens, for instance my Cylindrite, the crystal habit as well as it is a type locality piece. I have a few rather nice specimens, that I have on display. I am rather proud of them. Yet, they seem like gravel when compared to the displays at the Houston, Carnegie, or other Museums.

Still in all, I enjoy getting to know them. I periodically pull out on of my specimen drawers and spend the afternoon going through looking at them again either with the hand lens or microscope. I also subscribe to two periodicals and whenever I come across some new detail of a particular mineral that I have, I reinvestigate my specimens, especially if my piece is from the same locality mentioned in the article.

I suppose this Forum is the closest thing I am going to come across in terms of a club of individuals that have the more in depth interest, and technical background, I am looking for, to futher my knowledge base in this hobby.

Thanks to you, Jordi and John, and everyone else who support this site.

Jimp
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Dec 01, 2009 11:42    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Jim Prentiss wrote:
Thanks to you, Jordi and John, and everyone else who support this site.

Welcome aboard Jim, I hope you enjoy FMF.

Me (and I'm sure that John too) we are proud that people like you participate here!

Jordi

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PostPosted: Dec 02, 2009 05:42    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Absolutely! Having someone like you, Jim, coming aboard is very rewarding to those of us who are involved in this effort. We hope you find it worthwhile.
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Ed Huskinson




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PostPosted: Dec 02, 2009 11:06    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Yes, what they said. Welcome to the party Jim!! Enjoy the photos, the give-and-take, and the camaraderie overall.

Ed in Kingman, Arizona.

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Jim Prentiss




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PostPosted: Dec 02, 2009 13:18    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Thank you Gentlemen,

I have been perusing some of the other subjects to see what all has been going on.

Jim Prentiss
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parfaitelumiere




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PostPosted: Dec 03, 2009 14:14    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

regarding the club,it's the same thing here in France.
I was member of a bonsai club,more a third age club,where guys have more to play bridge than to grow up trees.
one friend is member of a "mineral" enthusiasts club,that prefer stay near the glasses and bottles.
Last week at the show,the main exposition was old popular tools and items,really good for a mineral enthusiasts club....
regarding the sellers,more than one guy didn't seel any mineral,only man-made items,what a shame...
What a luck for customers,I was there,and I have sold(near given in fact...)the quasi entire stock of trade specimens I had...
Of course I have keeped the best ones for further swaps or better shows!
What is good in fact are the two demantoid from Mada I'm baught,and a really,really killer herkimer on matrix I have missed,probably the best I have ever seen....a 3cm glass crystal in a vug,with black hydrocarbide(?!)
I wil try to know who has baught this item!
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zanthal




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2010 19:45    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

After sitting down and making a first real attempt to educate myself on geology, mineralogy and the formation of rock types, I dove right in and dug into all the information I could find.

I started getting intimidated when identification and classification got tied into chemistry, and seeing just how many different tests and categories and types of observations made of a sample in order to identify it definitively. The terminology is daunting and it really shows the depth of the subject.

That level of pursuit is really further down the road for a novice like myself, and I stopped reading into it.

However I've found that the study of formation of rocks, and the locations of major formations and how they came about to be a very rewarding research topic and not enough to break the brain of someone like me who, woefully, did not graduate college.

I have to admit I'm guilty of my own collection starting with a "wow, that's a pretty and shiny looking thing, isn't it?" statement.

Those that don't learn at least some of the intricacies of how these pretty things came about and how they're retrieved from the earth is missing out, though.

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PostPosted: Mar 07, 2013 12:21    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Chemistry, crystallography, mineralogy, gemology and geology are passionating sciences but these are also very vast domains with many ramifications, so it's probably best to start by asking yourself what you want to learn about exactly.

In my mind, it sounds logical that one would want to learn what makes a mineral in the first place, which would suggest to first focus on inorganic chemistry and then on crystallography, moreover those two sciences will also explain lots of things once you get to the other domains.
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PostPosted: Sep 01, 2013 10:49    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

I, also, went to some very well attended local shows recently; the dealers generally were pleased with the outcome. This may be a result of living in central Colorado, which was the focus of the recent "Prospectors" TV show.

With regard to collecting, it seems to me that one of the interesting things about the hobby is who collects what and why. I, personally, am not interested in the folks who spend thousands on aesthetic specimens and "build" collections over the short term (often with the help of "consultants"), only to dump them back on the market to make a profit. But, they're a part of the hobby, just like Philistine art collectors, for whom possession of something expensive and impressive is the only goal. On the other hand, having the money to buy superb specimens doesn't necessarily imply Philistinism--some of these folks are very serious and focused.

My experience with several local clubs over a long collecting "career" is that most collectors have very limited interest in the technical aspects of mineralogy, and their collections lack focus. They're more interested in the social aspects of the hobby than in the scientific value of their collections. Beyond that, generalizations are hard to make and unlikely to be accurate.
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Mark Ost




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PostPosted: Sep 01, 2013 11:43    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

I think it is not an either/ or dichotomy. There is a lot of room for all types of folks. Having a degree in geology (and being a working professional in the field) does lessen my appreciation of the aesthetic side of minerals. I do have specimens that are chiefly of technical interest but collecting fine aesthetic specimens taught me much that college did not. You can only put so much in a semester or three. Also, it put me in touch with those who know far more about the collection of minerals, the market, and mineralogy. True dedicated mineralogists are specialists in a very complex science but collectors bring much to the table also. I recall meeting a fossil collector in Florida once during a diving expedition. The entire story is hilarious but cannot be repeated here due to time and concern for correctness, if you catch my drift. Suffice it to say for one who did not have a formal education in the earth sciences, he had a superb knowledge of the practical side of finding fossils. In his realm, a good field man. Most geologists (myself included) are not going to risk going into the interior of Pakistan and finding a nice specimen. Heck I don't go anywhere unless there is an accessible bar nearby. It is a fact that most geologists, with any sense, (myself not included ) become project managers and risk dieing in their cubicles or office, if academics.
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Don Lum




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PostPosted: Sep 01, 2013 15:04    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

I agree with Mark. Different people have different reasons for collecting minerals. Also people may have different degrees of interest or limited time that they can spend on their interest. I say so what if a person is an aesthetic collector or a systematic collector. Is he not a collector? When I meet a collector or dealer or dealer/collector, I don't question what their motive is for collecting. I take everyone I meet at face value, no more, no less.

My undergraduate degree is in chemistry, mostly inorganic but also organic, biochemistry and physical chemistry. I also have a medical degree so most of my time, when I am not working, is spent reading the medical literature.

Collecting minerals is a diversion for me, my avocation. If a collector has time to study chemistry, crystallography, mineralogy, gemology, and geology then I say "fine and dandy," go for it.

It appears that some collectors I've read about have been interested in minerals while they were "in utero." :-) Not so with me. My interest began later in life.

In Max Ehrmann's poem, Desiderata, written in 1927, he writes:

"If you compare yourself with others you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."

I think the same can be said of comparing mineral collections. I have seen mineral collections in museums, galleries and private homes. If my friend has what I consider is is a nice collection , I think to myself, he is more fortunate than I am or "Gee whiz, he has a fine collection."

Dave Wilber had an interesting comment in his presentation that I will include in my Third Annual Dallas Symposium Report regarding this subject.

Don

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PostPosted: Sep 01, 2013 21:08    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Not sure that this has gotten off track or not. Originally, my introduction of this subject was simply a lament that so many collectors today appear to lack much intellectual curiosity about what the objects that they are collecting actually represent. It certainly was not meant to be a condemnation of those who can afford to collect very expensive aesthetic display-type specimens, even if many in this category probably qualify. As has been stated above, people collect for a variety of reasons, and I welcome them all to the hobby. There is always the possibility that at least some of those who seem indifferent to the science will become motivated at some point to look a little deeper at these extraordinary objects.
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PostPosted: Sep 02, 2013 06:33    Post subject: Re: Very little mineralogy in mineral collecting today  

Meant to say does "not" lessen my interest in aesthetics! I do not claim to be able to keyboard!
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