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How all you got started in collecting?
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vic rzonca




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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2011 09:07    Post subject: How all you got started in collecting?  

Reading John's posts made me think it might be an interesting thread to related how all you, on the forum, got started in collecting, many paths to the same passion, what made you find value in accumulating future dirt...
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nimfiara




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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2011 11:33    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Hi vic rzonca:

This is an interesting and intimate questions.
In my case it was thanks to my father.

I told my parents, very young, each time walking the countryside or the beach, always came home with pockets full of stones, especially if they were brilliant (mainly quartz and opals polished by the sea).

Here in Cadiz there were no stores devoted to minerals, but my father worked in Madrid and one day decided to give me for Christmas a box of 16 minerals that bought near his workplace.

Minerals were simple in white cardboard boxes (calcite, a halite, pyrite crystals added very very small but very bright ...) I would then 9 or 10 years.

I remember being amazed by these small pieces, and since then has been not a day that has left the hobby.

I kept my pocket money to buy minerals, it also hid the coins that my mother gave me for breakfast at school (a mineral was more important than a chopped pork sandwich lol) and always received as a Christmas present a few pieces or books

Currently I have about 2000 minerals in my collection, I like them all, but I keep a special care and love those first 16 minerals that my father gave me. (Actually 15, because the pink halite disappeared with the humidity, things inexperience)

To me, they are the most valuable part of my collection and not for anything in this world.

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so hammering as well, so .. so hammered that I saw .....
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GneissWare




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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2011 12:06    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

A very nice story...and it is a good parent that encouraged your interest.

My story is somewhat similar. I started picking up interesting rocks when I was very young, and as long back as I remember I was asking my mother to take me to mineral shows, buy me minerals, or take me places I could pick up rocks.

The first serious mineral she bought for me was a Fluorite from the Blackdene Mine, Weardale, County Durham, England at the huge price of $15 when I was 8 years old (poorly pictured below). I'm now 53, so this was a long, long time ago. I still have the piece; even though it is not of the quality I currently collect, it will probably be buried with me.

I eventually went to University and received a BSc and MSc in Geology, because of my love of minerals. All my vacations are pretty much focused around minerals, as are my friends. So, minerals have always been a primary focus in my life.



GW000205.JPG
 Description:
Fluorite
Blackdene Mine, Weardale, County Durham, England

6.2 X 3.8 X 3.0 cm overall
 Viewed:  25519 Time(s)

GW000205.JPG


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mmauthner




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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2011 12:13    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Apparently I was as interested in the pebbles on the shores of Hansen Lakes in the Yukon as I was trying to crawl into the water whenever my parents were not looking.

Though there were earlier specimens, the 1) earliest, 2) self-collected, 3) extant (i.e. I still have it), and 4) documented (process-dated photo of me in the pit with my father), specimen in my collection is a fossil---a trilobite I collected on a field-trip at the age of four.

One milestone was in grade three when my father refitted a bookshelf he made with sliding glass panes. When it was finished, in went my entire collection which consisted of 115 labeled (not all accurately!) mineral, rock and fossil specimens, some of which I still possess today.

I first saw a "real" museum mineral display (Butte Tech) at the age of 22, and first attended a rock show (BC Gem & Mineral), met other mineral collectors, started my geology degree and became a mineral museum employee at 24, all in one year. That was almost half my life ago, and I've missed only one Tucson and several Denver shows since.

Some time ago, in a conversation with a friend, I wondered what my life would be like had I been introduced to Tucson and the community at the age of five. "Scary", was the response.

Rock on, All!
Mark
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vic rzonca




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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2011 16:49    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Thanks for sharing, Nimfiara. Some where else in the forum I told of my start at five or six, in the pile of crushed stone my dad got for our driveway. I knew I had found an emerald ,of course I didn't know what an emerald was, but this bit of green rock was one. My first collected specimen. Well ,I tracked the source down and I still collect in that quarry, still picking up bits of green rock, correctly identified. My next transforming event was in 6th grade, 11 or 12 tears old. I was in Mr. Ramashko's science class and we had a kind of show and tell. Kenneth Twining brought in a handful of herkimer diamonds and passed them around, I could not understand how these thing could be found in the dirt! Thanks to Ken and his dad I was able to feel the thrill of discovery and the fever of the hunt. Finding amazing things, formed by invisible forces in unexplored places, what could be more captivating. Maybe a thing that is common among us is this innocent wonder, at least toward part of the world, that keeps us amazed and engaged. Well many moons later I still have the mind of a six year old. I didn't say that right, but you get the idea.
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nimfiara




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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2011 19:18    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

I would like to visit Tucson, must be impressive, I have seen many pictures online, but the trip is too expensive for me.
Maybe in a few years, if I win the lottery ...

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so hammering as well, so .. so hammered that I saw .....
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Maxilos




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PostPosted: Jan 14, 2011 10:13    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Hi,

I got one piece of rock crystal and one piece of almandine from my father when I was five years old. I saw how beautiful these were and wanted to have some more.

Mark



046 Almandien.jpg
 Description:
This is that almandine, it's from Troms in Norway. It's about 1x1x1 cm and it has a very nice crystalstructure.
 Viewed:  25374 Time(s)

046 Almandien.jpg



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VRigatti




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PostPosted: Jan 20, 2011 21:57    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

I like this thread, good stuff. I began an interest in rocks as a young boy but mainly tossing them into the pond. Then at the age of 5 or 6 on a trip to our family farm in western NY I discovered, much to my wonder a myriad of fossils, mainly brachiopods & corals in the numerous shale rocks laying on the ground. I asked lots of questions and my parents bought me a mineral book to keep me quiet , and a small box of rocks that had written labels, including a tiny gem apatite that I still have in my case. I was fortunate to grow up in Connecticut with famous mineral sites and lots of places to explore for them. I really enjoyed looking for gem garnets in the hills and along road cuts as a teenager....I was a rock nerd for sure.

I went to college thinking I would be an engineer and took a Geology class for fun and I was hooked for good. I survived Igneous and Metamorpihic petrology and earned a BS in geology and geophysics and have enjoyed a 30 year career (and counting) as a geoscientist that has taken me all over the world. I still collect of course, and am seriously fortunate to be able to acquire some fine pieces. I now live in Colorado, another great place for minerals, but a bit tougher to get to good locations as they are at high altitude. Cheers
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silvio steinhaus




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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2011 20:47    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

When he was 5 years old, my father encouraged me to collect stamps because he had a collection of childhood, I started collecting stamps from Brazil and then stamps from different countries, and found it interesting that we had them for learning, for doing research on images, dates and characters who appeared in them.
When I was 17, I lived in Israel, and became interested in fossils he had seen in museums, and was living in a kibbutz in the Negev Desert, was constantly collecting fossils and minerals sometimes, on this occasion was more to pass the time. I collected some ammonites, bivalves and pieces of pottery.
When I returned to Brazil, I decided to find out what I had brought, and with it my interest increased. I spent just getting interested in collecting minerals in the mining visitations.
From there I started to sell some samples of minerals to keep my collection for some years had a stall at a crafts fair on Sunday in Sao Paulo (Republic Square) where he had contact with collectors and miners who came to sell the parts . With that my collection grew.
Unfortunately today lack the time to browse because mining of most get very far from São Paulo (600 km to 2,000 km) to find interesting pieces, both for collection and for purchase in recent years has grown little.
Thank you all.
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Anton Potgieter




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PostPosted: May 23, 2011 14:51    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Well i was first collecting stones for bonsai's in South Africa. And whent up to the Drakens burg Mountins fore a 4 day hike and pickt up sam Drakensbeg agat diring the hike. And from that day on im collecting.
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gpander




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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2012 23:46    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Most of the influence my friends got were from older generations as well. I even have 3 friends whose fathers also went with the same group and in that case, that is their biggest influence. Personally, it was because of this trip to a river when we chanced upon a big group going through pieces of stones that newly sprung up. They were holding some strainers to eke out valuable pieces from the ones that are ripe for throwing.
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Snateraar




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PostPosted: Feb 29, 2012 00:38    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

I found my first mineral near a glacier in Switzerland, a simple quartz crystal. Then I started collecting.

Only recently a family member died, who had a large collection of minerals of which he said I could have.
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Riccardo Modanesi




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PostPosted: Feb 29, 2012 08:49    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Hi to everybody!
How did I get starting in collecting minerals? Ok, when I was 8 years old (it was August 1973) my father convinced me in going with him to Val Formazza, Italy (formerly province of Novara, nowadays province of Verbania), joining an American family living in Italy, whose chief was a fellow of his job (then I got friend of his kids). That time I just finished my first English course year and my father told me: "Albie and his family are very glad to see you and then you can practise your English well!"
When I saw Albie's kids "playing" with a beautiful quartz crystal, I started looking for other ones and I found some. Normally a child plays with miniature "animals" or "soldiers" but that time what I was playing with wasn't a miniature, it was a TRUE mineral!!! I was playing with something true and not with a miniature!
The following Christmas I was presented a small mineral collection with a small book inside and some 20 specimens of common minerals (pyrite, rose and amethyst quartzes etc.) and a small loupe. I still have those specimens in my collection, including the quartz crystals I found in Val Formazza in 1973! I hope you didn't get bored by reading those lines.
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.

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Hi! I'm a collector of minerals since 1973 and a gemmologist. On Summer I always visit mines and quarries all over Europe looking for minerals! Ok, there is time to tell you much much more! Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.
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David




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PostPosted: Feb 29, 2012 14:57    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

I started collecting back when I was a child; I think I was 6 or 7. Near my grandparents’ house in the Carpathian Mountains there was a shallow river flowing, with loads of rocks on its banks. I used to search for those which looked different from the rest and crack them open. I was actually expecting to find some sort of gems inside. Suffice it to say I didn’t find any, but it was fun. I remember my mother wasn’t too happy to have rocks inside the house. Fortunately, my wife tolerates my hobby.
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Joseph D'Oliveira




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PostPosted: Feb 29, 2012 16:53    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

As strange as it may seem, my mineral collecting started with a dog bite. When I was 11 years old, I wandered onto a construction site looking at the rocks that had been blasted that previous week. The owner of the site was there with his German Shepherd dog, which charged at me and tore a 5cm gash in my calf.

After the hospital visit, he explained that there had been vandalism to equipment at the site and that is why the dog was there. It turned out that earlier in his career he had been a prospector and as I was interested in minerals, he gave me a set of 50 rocks and minerals that he had used during his prospecting career.

I collected until I graduated from geology at the age of 21, at that time I was re-locating to a small mining town to begin my career and had grown tired of the many boxes of mineral specimens that I had accumulated. Shortly before I graduated, I donated my entire collection to the college, where many were displayed.

18 years later, while working in a production role at a mine in the United States, I discovered the Denver Minerals show and decided to visit. Like many with an addiction, I fell off the wagon and purchased a few specimens for display. It's been 15 years since that happened and while I still work in mining, my hobby has turned in to a business and hopefully will keep me active through my retirement years.

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Snowman




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PostPosted: Jun 06, 2012 05:55    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

I started out as a child collecting quartz and pyrite from veins....

Ive been addicted since, now im a Technologist and i go out of my way to collect rock and mienrals... Ill buy them, i find them ill even trade for them... I enjoy having them and learning from them... Its made me a better Tech....
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randolph




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PostPosted: Jun 06, 2012 07:54    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

One piece at a time :)
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: Jan 16, 2014 12:20    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

I got hooked on the beauty and mystery of minerals as a 4 years old kid, picking up every weird or shiny rock from the ground, and my parents and grandparents encouraged my curiosity, as they always had. These things were such a curiosity, and treasure hunting was such an excitement!
When I grow up I wanna be a miner, so I'll be doing the two most exciting things in life:
hunting for crystals and riding mine-wagons :-)

Now, as an adult, I realize that there are actually 3 most exciting things in life: I want a girl in that mine-wagon!
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Mark Ost




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PostPosted: Jan 16, 2014 18:45    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

Oh you poor boy! you were on a roll until the last one, which might ensure the loss of the first two!
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jan 17, 2014 01:01    Post subject: Re: How all you got started in collecting?  

cascaillou wrote:
Now, as an adult, I realize that there are actually 3 most exciting things in life: I want a girl in that mine-wagon!


A smart 'wagon' would almost certainly draw a girl! A not so smart wagon could keep the 'wrong' girl away till mrs Right comes along.

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'The tree of silence bears the fruit of peace. '
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