I began collecting and mining minerals as a kid and majored in mining engineering for two years in the 1950’s. After exploring different fields of study I finally chose to take a degree in Philosophy in 1958. Upon graduating I took an interest in the computing field which was just beginning and began a career in computing. It seemed a wise choice because at that point I had a wonderful wife and two children!
In 1974 my wife and I separated, a very sad time for us all. I began searching for a way to combine making a living with my love of painting and my intense interest in the mineral kingdom. I discovered cutting cabochons and I realized it could be considered a branch of miniature painting, naturally my favorite cutting materials were the jaspers. I made my living in this fashion for twenty years but because jewelry did not interest me as much as collecting I felt more at home selling agates and jasper specimens to collectors. I never set material aside as being not for sale, it’s just that I protected my most treasured pieces with higher prices and then when they sold I could go out and buy something even better… dealers are often collectors at heart, a fairly innocent neurosis 🙂
I’ve supported myself selling specimens to collectors at rock venues such as Tucson, Denver, Madras, Hillsboro, Deming and Alpine. In 2014 I spent several months in Germany and was a dealer at the IAB near Idar Oberstein , at the Hormersdorf show in Saxony and at the Munich show.
Increased activity of the internet and assisted by my background in computing I began moving steadily through the development of several online stores. Now all these threads come together in this store and I hope you will have a good time exploring and shopping here.
Please see a more extensive biography in volume III of AGATE by Johann Zenz, available through The Gem Shop.
I have an extensive photographic collection of agates, jaspers, thundereggs, slabs, cabochons, and antique jewelry in my gallery, as well as some of my paintings.
Some of my mining experiences include:
- Poppy Jasper, Santa Clara County, California, 1946
- Garnets, Jumping Sands National Monument, 1948
- Lone Hill Thundereggs, San Jose, California 1950
- Almandine garnet plates, New Idrias, California, 1953
- The Benitoite Mine at New Idrias, California. 1953
- Morrisonite deposit, 1994 -1996
- Agua Nueva and Mi Sueno deposits, Rancho Agua Nueva, Mexico 2000, 2001, 2003
- Graveyard Point. 2010, 2011