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The following are brief introductions to the people who will be posting minerals on my auction.
These are good folks and they have my 100% backing.
 
 
 

March 1997                                                                            December 2006
John Veevaert - Trinity Mineral Company

I have been an avid mineral collector - primarily a field collector since 1975.  My first love was with gold but in 1977, while taking mineralogy, I discovered benitoite and there was no going back.  Most of my field collecting was in southern California, Nevada and Arizona.  I have had the opportunity to see just about every nook and cranny in the Mojave Desert, almost all of Nevada and all of western Arizona.  Living in southern California in the 1970s was worth it as Pala was virtually wide open and easy to visit as were the myriad mines all over the Mojave desert.  I can even put collecting in the Red Cloud mine for wulfenite on my check list.  It was rather easy to find good zones back in the 70s. 

My education is in Geology and my undergraduate work was done at Fullerton College and Humboldt State University in Arcata - both in California.  My graduate work, centered around fluvial geomorphology, was also done at Humboldt State University. 

After completing my bachelors degree I was gainfully employed as an exploration geologist working for two mining companies - one out of Anchorage, Alaska and one out of Reno, Nevada.  After grad school I went to work for Redwood National Park for three years and then transfered to the US Forest Service as a geologist on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.  I started Trinity Mineral Company in 1996 with the intent of losing money but enjoying my hobbies of computers and mineralogy. The idea was to lose money and pay fewer taxes.  But it was one of those rare situations in a person's life where they are at the right place at the right time.  The Internet was in its infintile stages and I was able to get in while the "gettin' was good". You can read more about my life here and here.

In 1997 I quit my government job at the GS-12 level and plunged head on into full time mineral dealing. My wife, Colleen (we've been married since 1985) quit her day job a year later in 1998 to join me on this adventure and we've been doing it ever since.

The two pictures above have me rather concerned about how the mineral specimen (a self collected benitoite and neptunite from 1986) is aging... hmm...YIKES!


 
 
Keith Hayes (Auction Manager)
 
I happened to look over my description the other day and realized that a lot of things have changed since I wrote it. It's been over 6 years since I started working with John on Mineral-Auctions.com.  At first, I auctioned some rocks while I was in the process of changing jobs.  It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of nice people which led me to push John to expand the scope of the auction site.  My role expanded along with the site and I am the auction administrator.  In addition to auctioning items, I plan most of the theme auctions and many of the special auctions outside of Tucson and Denver.  I also work with John to improve the site and make it more enjoyable for the users and dealers.

Before getting involved in the auction, I have spent a long time collecting minerals. I was introduced to minerals by my grandfather's friend when I was very young, but my interest really took off when I found my first geodes and fossils on a family trip when I was about 7 years old.  After that, I would beg to stop at every road cut and drive the family crazy.  I ended up choosing chemical engineering in college, so I forgot about minerals for awhile until I visited Australia and saw an exhibition at the Earth Exchange that featured some awesome minerals from Broken Hill.  After I returned to Michigan, I started looking for quarries and collecting sites to hunt in.  I have been collecting and selling for about 17 or so years now. 

I actually met John shortly before he quit his day job and started into the mineral business.  We made a trade or two after meeting on the rockhounds mailing list and look where it ended up.  :)   


   

 
Luciana Barbosa
 
I was born in Brazil and lived there for most of my life. My father, Jose Eduardo Barbosa is a Mining Engineer and Gemologist and since a very young age, I was around gems and crystals and just loved it. I started working at his company, Gemological Center, as a teenager and have been working with gems and minerals for over 20 years. 2010 was my  22nd consecutive Tucson Show. My degree is in international business adminstration. I specialize in rare gems for collectors, special inclusions in Quartz and minerals that catch my eye. I have been living in the US since 2008 but try to go back to Brazil as much as I can on buying trips. My father does send me shipments regularly so I always have new things coming in.

I exhibit at the Tucson and Denver shows, and I started this year a website lucianabarbosa.com.  I also have a blog about rocks and food. Check it out:
http://betweenarockandaheartyplace.blogspot.com/  Cooking is my other passion, along with photography and travelling. 
 

  
 

Dr. Alessandro Genazzani - Italian Minerals

I started collecting "rocks and stones" when I was about 10 ... you can imagine, really rocks and stones ! My mama was very "happy"... Nevertheless the love for the perfection of the shapes of the crystals was growing,  So little by little I became more expert and after several years I found myself deeply involved in mineralogy, with a growing collection and a lot of friends. The problem today is that my real job is on the other side of the moon compared to my love for minerals as I am a medical doctor.  I am involved in science and research at the University of  Modena, Italy. 

About 10 years ago I met a growing number of collectors and new friends while using Internet (among those there was John Veevaert !) and during those months the final step to create my own website was made. ItalianMinerals.com started little by little in 1997 and came on with full steam in June 1998. It is a full operating website to show and offer good rocks from Italy and other global locations to the Internet world of collectors ! My primary goal of the website is to create a condition so that my hobby helps pay for itself, at present it partly works but being an avid collector of nice specimens .... sometimes it doesn't!
 

 

 

Giorgio Spiga & his wife Marisa - Best Minerals

Different to most collectors and rockhounds, my attraction to minerals began when I was not any more a child but after I had finished my degree in Chemistry at the Cagliari University in 1966.  Until then, my time was divided between study and Sports.  At 15 years I began Greek-Roman Wrestling and three years later I was selected as a reserve in the Italian team for the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.  The following year, I became the 52 kg. Italian champion and successfully fought for the first time in the national team versus Hungary.  At the end of 1963, I gave up top-level wrestling because, following a training accident that year, I failed to participate in the Naples Mediterranean Games, which was a sort of passport for the following Tokyo Olympics.  Back to Sardinia after eighteen months spent in Sweden and England, for scientific and professional development.  In 1968 I began teaching Analytical Chemistry at the Iglesias Mining School where there was a very good mineralogical museum and a many collectors among the collegues; from then on, I started my activity as a mineral collector and rockhound. During the following twelve to fifteen years, I spent most of my weekends and vacations digging in the tail dumps of the old mines and around the vulcanites and granites in Sardinia. My professional activity absorbed all my time and energies from 1982 up to 1994 when I started again with revived enthusiasm for minerals and in 2000, with the cooperation of my son Bruno, I started www.bestminerals.com, where you can see my own collection, including a suit of 45 top class sardinian samples of my preferred mineral: Barite.  Actually, for the next 2.5 years, I am heavily engrossed in the clean up of a large contaminated site in Sardinia.  I hope it will be my last professional work and after it I want to dedicate all my time to my three hobbies: minerals, photography and roses.
 


    
 
Isaias Casanova - icminerals.com

I was born in a crossfire hurricane....only kidding!

Actually, I was born in Havana, Cuba in 1951 and came to the states in 1961. Lived in Miami until 1987 when I moved to Orlando. Developed an interest in minerals early and then forgot about it until 1986 during a Colorado vacation. I have been dealing in minerals since 1989 and became a full time dealer in 1998. I obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications (Film) in 1974 from the University of South Florida, but had a 20 year career in Finance, before attacking the minerals full time. I am divorced with three girls, that are now all grown up (most of the time)! 


  
   
 
 
Brian & Amy Scholten - Scholten's Fine Minerals
 

Brian has been an avid field collector for almost 40 years and always enjoys the thrill of discovering something new and unique. His interest began as a child during a family trip to a farm in New York. While walking past the horse stables, he saw a piece of limestone covered with fossilized brachiopod shells sticking out of the ground. He quickly got down on his knees and pulled the rock out. After that, on monthly visits to the public library with his mom, he borrowed every book that had anything to do with fossils or dinosaurs.

At age 14, he joined his first mineral club, The New England Prospectors, and met several serious mineral collectors and prospectors. They saw Brian's enthusiasm and shared their passion for minerals with him. It was at that point that Brian became interested in minerals and turned his focus on them.

Amy has been interested in opals since the age of 8. She is a freelance wellness/medical writer and artist who enjoys painting, mineral photography, and designing and maintaining the Scholten's Fine Minerals website. 


   

Giovanni & the rest of Webmineral Shop - Webmineralshop.com

We are a group of friends from Italy with the hobby of mineral collecting , here is a picture of us  at the famous Hofbrau house  during the last Munich Show in 2004 from left to right: Giuseppe, Giovanni, Carlo, and Gianfranco. 

We all started collecting minerals from 25 to 10 years ago and we have our own collections.  We started  the first version of the webmineralshop site early in 1997 and finally got the site on the web in 2002.  Our primary goal was to create a condition whereby our hobby would pay for itself so as to improve our own collection, allow us to do research and collecting trips, various mineral shows and so on.

We aren't full time dealers but we do it in our free time so that now it's a second job. We attend all the main shows in Italy and Europe were it's always a pleasure to meet our web-customers and doing business with other dealers. Three years ago our group founded the Genova Mineral Show as it organizers.  It is a growing show in Italy. 

Thanks to John to give us the opportunity to be part of the new mineral-auctions site.


   
   
  

  
 

Andrei & Kim Rykoff - AA Rock Shop.Com

 Hi, my name is Kim and I'm Andrei's wife. I have been a jewelry designer and goldsmith for 22 years in the Pacific Northwest.  I specialize in custom jewelry made with gold, platinum, silver, precious and semi-precious gemstones. I work with clients to design a functional piece of art that can be worn for many a generation. I have participated, founded, presided over and been a board member of several high-end art shows in the Pacific Northwest such as; Creative Metal Arts Guild, Art in the Pearl and Best of the Northwest.Hi, I'm Andrei and as far back as I can remember I've always loved rocks. By training and profession, I'm a Forester and Natural Resources Professional. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980 and currently work for the US Forest Service in Northwestern Oregon (near Portland). I'm the District Ranger for the Clackamas River Ranger District on the Mount Hood National Forest. It's a great job and one that I love. Where else do you get paid to work out in the woods and stumble across an occasional rock? As much as I love my day job, I love minerals just as much.  
Together, we make up AA Rockshop.  We try and travel together to various mineral shows throughout the year to not only increase or stock, but to purchase specimens for our collection while increasing our knowledge of mineralogy.  We make a good team when it comes to selecting specimens for sale or for ourselves as Andrei is drawn to Rhodochrosite while Kim is drawn to metallic minerals.One of the things we've really enjoyed is getting the chance to meet and become friends with many a dealer, collector and some of you as well.  We all share a love of minerals and mineral collecting and enjoy sharing our treasures with you via these auctions and through our site as well. Thanks for taking a moment to get to know a little about us and perhaps we'll run into you at a show someday. All the Best!
Kim and Andrei


 
 

Geoff Krasnov - Geokrazy Minerals

I have been interested in minerals since I absconded with a specimen of tigers eye in the 3rd grade. My interests led me to find attractive roadside specimens until the day my mother took me to a local mineral shop. It was not long until I had a collection of a few dozen display quality specimens. In the early 1980's my interests picked up with field collecting in the Blue Ridge Mountains and near Hiddenite NC. My collecting grew with my attendance at mineral shows. In the early 1990's I sold off the bulk of my collection and re-invested it in calcite specimens. By 1996 I was selling at local shows in Pennsylvania. I now live in Wilmington NC and show in Raleigh, Asheville and Cartersville Georgia. Geokrazy minerals was born in 1997 and my website www.geokrazy.com was launched in September 2009. 


   

Diana & Mike Hopkins - Mad Mineralz
Mike's Story:
Shortly after my father was transferred to Ft. Huachuca Arizona in the mid 1970's, he soon became smitten by regional tales of gold.  We'd make the short drive to Gleeson and to the old silver mines behind Tombstone in search of treasure.  I was thirteen at the time and it was here that I experienced my first forays into mineral collecting.  I spent a lot of time puttering around on the dumps and picking up copper minerals.  On one adventure, we found a large vug lined with small stubby quartz points that was large enough for both of us to stand inside.  Our collecting adventures mostly yielded Azurite and Malachite which decorated my room and our yard.

Seventeen years later, married and living in Kansas, I noticed Diana had minerals in storage that she had acquired while living in Arizona.  An Illinois Fluorite, a large dog tooth Calcite from Chihuahua, Quartz from the Huachucas, and Calcite from Bisbee. She told me if I really wanted to see minerals, we'd need to attend the next Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  WOW!  I was hooked. 

Diana's Story:
I first became interested in minerals as a result of my third grade science class.  I was fascinated by the natural occurring processes and the minerals that were formed as a byproduct of these processes.  Encouraging me, my mother brought me to my first mineral show where I purchased my first minerals for the science class project.  Even back then I was attracted to specimens that were unique and aesthetic. 

Knowing I wanted to live in Arizona before I was even in kindergarten, I managed to secure a guaranteed duty station at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona the late 70's.  Bisbee in at that time was still somewhat of an artist mecca, and when I wasn't hiking the Huachuca Mountains, I was exploring Bisbee.  Hanging out in Bisbee back then was a treasure hunt for me; what a great location to feed my appreciation for aesthetic mineral specimens.  Ditto for the Tucson Show.

We've since combined our interest in minerals, Diana keeps an eye out for the uniquely aesthetic specimens, and Mike identifies and catalogues our finds.  The challenge of capturing the details of each specimen for display on the website is a labor of love for Mike. Our decision to offer minerals for sale came about as a way to share our enthusiasm for minerals with others who are interested in building a collection.  As Mike states, "the decision to start selling minerals came about as a way for me to admire a hundred or so minerals at a time on a rotating basis!"


 
 

Rick Kennedy - Earth's Treasures

I've been a collector ever since I was able to pick anything up with my hands.  I've collected everything from stamps and coins to bottle caps. Minerals and rare gemstones became my passion for several reasons: their natural beauty, the fact that I could never learn everything about the hobby and the adventures involved in collecting these beauties in the field.

I received my BS degree in Earth Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1994, seven years after finishing my course work (It is a long story!).  I started Earth's Treasures in 1985 as a part time buisiness while I was still in school and continued it as a part time business while I worked managing a small business for one of my mineral collecting partners.  In March of 2006, I left that world for good and became a full time mineral and rare gemstone dealer and have never been so happy!

Personally, I collect "rough and cut" suites of rare gem minerals, but my passion will always be for Benitoite, and I proudly flaunt my status as the poster boy for the Benitoite Mine Run sales that John and Steve did a few years ago, my 5.06 carat flawless cut Benitoite is indeed the "Jewel" of my collection.


      
   
 
 
Bob & Lisa Williamson - BandLminerals. Com

 

I got hooked on mineral collecting at about 10 years old in Monterey, California. Actually, I started on fossils, as there are a lot of fossil beds in that general area. I quickly branched out into mineral collecting, and remember fondly my parents taking me and the rest of the family down the coast to Jade Cove in Big Sur to collect Jade where it washes up on the beach.  As we all know, most kids like rocks and fossils, but not many keep this passion for collecting when they 'grow up'.  I was one of those few, and obtained a BS and MS in Geology from the University of Arizona, and then worked for 10 years as a mine geologist for various copper companies in Arizona.  I gave that up several years back and am now teaching earth and environmental science at a school in Tucson.  Lisa's "real" job is as an RN, but she has joined me in my passion and hobby of mineral collecting.  We started selling mineral specimens online at BandLMinerals.com in 2004.  We are lucky enough to live in Tucson, and so, every February, dealers from all over the world bring their beauties to us!
 


      

 
Mark Mauthner

Perhaps like many collectors, I started out as a "species" collector in that if a particular mineral with a name that I had not yet ticked off in the index of my Golden Guide had crossed my path, I simply had to add it to my collection. My father had built a book shelf and retrofitted it with glass panes to house my collection and by the time I was in Grade Three, I had 115 rock, mineral and fossil specimens in it, all labeled (though in several cases not accurately, e.g. I distinctly remember a rounded piece of earthy hematite that looked "just like" the ruby---pronounced "rubby", at the time---in the Guide.).

Seventeen years later, after a diverting foray doing a Bachelor of Arts degree, during which I did collect things collectable in southern Alberta (mostly calcite and gypsum), and a move to Vancouver (1988),  I a) met other collectors, b) visited the Museum at the UBC every day I could, c) started another degree (two, actually) in the field which I declared as a child I would be in - geology, and d) began a career in mineral museums.  My hobby turned profession.

After a 20 year career in gem, mineral and fossil museums (curatorial assistant, University of British Columbia Geological Museum; director/curator, Pacific Mineral Museum; associate curator of gems and minerals, Houston Museum of Natural Science; assistant/research curator, Gemological Institute of America), economic realities forced a change and I decided to make a new career out of my other "hobby": photography.  Between museum jobs, I worked as an exploration geologist, traveled and dabbled in mineral dealing...and so, back to that too, except the exploration geologist bit, though, that was fun!

Currenty I work at the Oceanview mine in Pala, california and am responsible for specimen marketing.


     
 
 
Don & Gloria Olson

Don's interest in minerals started at age 8 when he was invited to collect at the Himalaya Mine and the Little Three Mine in Southern California.  At that time he lived on his grandparents' turkey ranch in Ramona, CA.  When he and his parents moved to Osseo, Minnesota, three years later, he continued with this hobby by collecting Lake Superior agates and trading them for mineral specimens.  Until 1984, Don worked in corrugated-box sales for Champion International in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, had a part-time mineral business (Minerals International) and raised four children.  In 1985, Don and Gloria started their mineral and gemstone company, Donald K. Olson and Associates, which was based in Milwaukee,  until they moved to their current home in sunny California.

Gloria also started field-collecting at age 8, but in Lima, Ohio.  She and her father frequently visited the quarries in the Midwest, which back then were open to collectors.  Gloria graduated from Miami University with a major in chemistry.  She then received MS and PhD degrees in mineralogy from Ohio State University.  She was co-owner of the store, What on Earth, in Columbus, Ohio for 16 years and, at the same time, was employed at Chemical Abstracts Service in the editorial and marketing departments.
 
You will see us at major gem and mineral shows across the country.

   
   
 

Take the time and visit their websites.
Thanks!


 


All graphics, design & mineral text & specimen images copyright 2001-2008 - John Veevaert - Trinity Mineral Company