Mineral collecting

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A collection of identified rocks & minerals on display.
Azurite specimen from the Morenci mine, Morenci, Arizona, USA. Morenci is the largest copper mine in North America, and Morenci copper mineral specimens are beautiful, abundant, and relatively inexpensive.
Creedite specimen, 11 x 7 x 3 cm, from Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, formerly in the Perkins D. Sams collection.

Mineral collecting is the hobby of systematically collecting, identifying and displaying mineral specimens. Mineral collecting can also be a part of the profession of mineralogy and allied geologic specialties.

History[edit]

Generally considered the "father of mineralogy", Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555) was also an avid mineral collector. He wrote several books, including two of enduring significance: De Re Metallica, an early treatise on mining, and De Natura Fossilium, the first (1546) modern textbook of mineralogy.

Another famous 16th century mineral collector was Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (1552–1612). He built a large mineral collection while employing Anselmus de Boodt (ca. 1550–1634), his court physician and another avid mineral collector, to expand and tend his collections. After Rudolf's death his collection was dispersed.[1]

Motivations[edit]

Mineral collectors find a variety of reasons to collect minerals. Many minerals are strikingly beautiful and collected for their aesthetic value. Others collect to learn more about mineralogy, the local mining industry and/or local geology. Some simply enjoy exploring the outdoors and socializing and trading with other mineral collectors. Serious collectors will go so far as traveling great distances to find the right specimen.

Notable public mineral collections[edit]

Notable mineral collectors[edit]

Malachite specimen from the Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona. Dr Douglas saved many of the best mineral specimens from the Copper Queen for his personal collection. His family later donated many of them to the Smithsonian.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Mineralogy museums at Wikimedia Commons