The Arkenstone: Mineral Dealers & Fine Rock Collectors|
ABOUT US ... & MINERAL COLLECTION PURCHASE INFORMATION
AMERICAN MINERAL TREASURES
the most important recent text
on mineral collecting in the USA.
As mentioned in the introduction to this book, this company
helped pioneer Fine Minerals on the internet, in the mid 1990s. We contribute to the growth of the hobby when possible through literature sponsorships and outreach.
TESTIMONIALS: In lieu of testimonials, I am proud to simply stand on the what this large website now so evidently demonstrates,: that we have been trusted with handling the dispersal of many of the major collections of the last ten years; and that we are trusted with offering selections purchased, exchanged, or consigned
from MANY well-known Collections including:
Jack Halpern, Steve Neely, Ralph Clark, Eric Asselborn, Gene Meieran, Ed David,
Francis Benjamin, Wally Mann, Marshall & Charlotte Sussman,Wendell Wilson,
Bill Pinch, Mark Feinglos, Steve Smale, and MANY other collectors we deal with.
With a favorite piece...the "Magic Mirror" Morganite, from Afghanistan
With one of my great mentors at our booth in Tucson,
Dave Wilber, a godfather of modern "Trophy Mineral" collecting
What did I do in "real life?" before minerals?Although I had an early childhood love of minerals and mineral-dealing both, I never intended to go into this as a career. In fact, as I worked for and as a mineral dealer while in high school, I was solidly against the option. Despite conflict between dealing and "living" minerals vs. biology since I was a kid doing mineral shows (starting at the age of 14), biology won out at some point and I decided to pursue a career in academia.
I went to school at Rice University in Houston, becoming more and more sucked into dealing on the side while there earning an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. I earned my doctoral degree at the University of California-San Diego. In mid-2000, I finished (FINALLY!) my 6-year thesis to complete graduate studies for a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics....(click here for publications): dealing with the mechanisms of control of gene expression by nuclear receptors (estrogen, vitamin A, vitamin D, thyroid hormone receptors, etc...).
I had meanwhile been selling minerals and building my own collection and stock , and sources based on trust in my reputation, since the age of 12. On the side, it kept growing; but I vowed never to be a show dealer, relying on travelling all year and setting up at shows. With the advent of the internet, however, I had an interesting alternative that others were overlooking at the time and, given the chance, I am now pursuing the minerals FULLtime and then some (obviously!). I have been a fulltime mineral dealer since 2000 but a "nearly-full-time" dealer since 1995, and in summers since 1988 or so. I have set up in some fashion at the Tucson show since 1992 (at the Main Show since 1998 and at the Westward Look show since its inception). I moved to Texas for family reasons, in 2002, where this business has grown ever since, with help from friends and collectors in the great community here.
Currently I serve on the board of the systematic mineralogy project at University of Arizona (RRUFF PROJECT) and am an associate curator at the Cranbrook Institute, Michigan's museum of natural science. I am also a supporting Fellow of the Mineralogical Record. I collect for myself Chinese cabinet specimens, Rhodochrosite, and fossils.
I was one of the first websites to begin selling minerals on the net (in 1996), and I think that the internet has lent new life and excitement to this hobby that I have loved since childhood. It is a pleasure to have taken part in this change and to be able to help it grow further; and I thank my friends and customers for their support!
||In case you're wondering, the "Polar Bear" rock in my oldest website and ad logo (above) is a
schorl and cleavelandite specimen, collected in the '50s by Louis Spalding
Sr. from the ABC mine in Ramona, California. It is now part of Charlotte Sussman's personal
collection of animal-lookin' rocks, but was my personal "Arkenstone" so to speak. A lot of people
who see this specimen assume the schorl crystals were glued to the cleavelandite
to make the face until they see the back side of it. At the time I bought the (first!) Sussman Tsumeb collection in 2003, Charlotte Sussman decided to collect animal-like specimens and I just had to let her have it as part of the deal, so now this piece proudly resides in the Charlotte Sussman collection.
WE BUY COLLECTIONS
& PRESERVE LEGACIES!
Greenbank Collection book available at Tucson 2010
OVER 40 COLLECTIONS PURCHASED SINCE 1990:
including many important
and well-known collections:
The Romero Collection of Mexican Minerals:
We paid a world-record price for a non-gem
mineral specimen - "The Aztec Sun" legrandite
Click below for more information on our BOOK PROJECTS
* ACQUIRED in 2009:
* LINDSAY GREENBANK COLLECTION (Fine minerals of Northern England - BOOK COMING IN JANUARY of 2010 !)
* TOM HALL COLLECTION - selection (Worldwide Aesthetic Small Cabinets and Miniatures)
* MULLANE COLLECTION (Bisbee)
* JAIME BIRD COLLECTION (Tsumeb and worldwide, aesthetic classics)
WILLIAM LARSON/PALA INTL SAN DIEGO COUNTY locality collection! ...click here
* FRANZ SALLER COLLECTION (GERMANY) - Worldwide Classics from the 1960s-1980s
Some Recent Collection Acquisitions from 2003-on :
* MIGUEL ROMERO collection of MEXICAN MINERALS (the world's top collection of Mexican classics)!
BOOK PUBLISHED IN COOPERATION WITH MINERALOGICAL RECORD, December 2008
* The World-Class Collection of DR. EDWARD E. DAVID of Bedminster, NJ - 1000 pieces!
* Dr. ERIC ASSELBORN COLLECTION (2006) (selections)
* CHARLIE KEY COLLECTION (2006)
* MARSHALL AND CHARLOTE SUSSMAN TSUMEB COLLECTION (I)!
* Pala Intl./William Larson Garnet collection!
* Pala Intl.'s San Diego County collection!
* RICHARD HAUCK GOLD COLLECTION (2008)
* GEORGE FEIST COLLECTION (MIDWEST CLASSICS) (2007)
* THOMPSON family MINIATURES COLLECTION (Thumbnails and Miniatures)
* CHUCK HOUSER COLLECTION (SAN DIEGO COUNTY MINERALS) (2007)
* Irv Brown San Diego County Collection (2004)
* Chris Korpi San Diego County Collection (2003)
* Willy Israel Tsumeb Collection
* MARILYN DODGE thumbnail collection
* ED RUGGIERO & VIOLET DAWSON COLLECTIONS
* RICHARD HAUCK QUARTZ COLLECTION
* RICHARD HAUCK COPPER COLLECTION
* GARY HANSEN COLLECTION AND DEALER STOCK
* SAM NASSER thumbnail collection
* MARTIN LEWADNY COLLECTION
* ROB SMITH Tsumeb Collection
* CARLTON DAVIS thumbnail collection
* RARE BOOK COLLECTION of BILL PINCH
* STEVE SINOTTE & REBECCA STEWART COLLECTION
* CHARLIE KEY COLLECTION and old DEALERS STOCK (1000s of pieces!)
* Selections from the WENDELL WILSON COLLECTION
* RICHARD "DICK" JONES COLLECTION AND DEALER STOCK
* HAROLD URISH COLLECTION of ARIZONA AND US CLASSICS (fall, 2007)
* GEORGE FEIST COLLECTION (Midwest Classics)
* GEORGE ELLING COLLECTION (selection of 1000 classics and gem XLS)
* Mike and Mary Jaworski Pyromorphite Collection (2004)
Major collections where we handled a large portion:
SIR ROBERT FERGUSON Collection (1769-1840) : over 200 pieces (1998)
F JOHN BARLOW Collection (selections) : over 1000 pieces (1999)
JOSEPH FREILICH COLLECTION/SOTHEBY'S AUCTION 2001 (selections) : over 100 specimens
(more than any other dealer at the time)
MARTIN ZINN III selections & RARITIES SUITE! (500-plus specimens)
Dr. Peter Bancroft Collection (selections)
THE SUSSMAN TSUMEB COLLECTION
This IMPORTANT collection was sold by us in 2003-2004 and will be posted permanently for reference on www.tsumebfineminerals.com!
Rob Lavinsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mineral Specimens by species; or
by specimen id.