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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS

TAKING COLLECTING TO ANOTHER LEVEL

Cobaltoan calcite and malachite, Kakandia, Congo.

Collections of minerals may be started and maintained in many ways. No one way is necessarily right or wrong; it is up to the individual collector to decide the direction in which a given collection is pursued. This is equally true for almost any kind of natural history objects, whether it be a collection of leaves, insects, shells, fossils, or what have you.

Many such collections, however, begin as general acquisitions, without regard for any particular species (mineral or otherwise). Diversity of specimens is oThen the collector’s initial goal and is a worthwhile endeavor for becoming acquainted with the enormous variety of objects (e.g., minerals) at hand.

Calcite and sphalerite, Elmwood, Smith County Tennessee.

Beyond this stage, though, a person or even an institution tends to become more specialized and to seek out chiefly specimens of one or just a few mineral species. In doing so, these collectors are oThen drawn towards specimens thatcome from a number of “classic” localities, where particular mineral species that are especially attractive have long been mined. Over the years, those sites have produced a host of very desirable specimens that may no longer be available today, except through the gradual recycling of older collections reintroduced onto the collector’s market.

An example is provided by calcite crystals from Pugh Quarry, Wood County, Ohio. Nonetheless, such specimens can usually be acquired through diligent searching, either at rock and mineral shows or via the internet. Such a task was much more difficult and time-consuming in the years before the digital revolution.

A third way of adding to (or growing) one’s collectioncomes from the recognition of mineral associations. Essentially, there is nothing new or diTherent about collecting minerals or any objects, either natural or man-made, by their associations with others. For example, if you collect coins, then all of those of the same denomination, or that were minted at the same city, represents an association of sorts.

Collecting minerals by association is even a practice that you may have already begun, though somewhat haphazardly and largely subject to chance, through the collection of specimens originating from those “classic” localities. Given enough time and exposure to them, it is almost bound to happen, regardless of one’s intent.

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Beckett Rock & Gem July 2019, Aragonite & Ancients : Serving to Enhance Ammonites, Canadian Diamonds, Captivated By BirthStones, And More....