Smithsonite, Kelly Mine, Magdalena, Socorro County, New Mexico - available later today in the shop.
Mineral collecting can become all consuming. People's lives can change dramatically and beneficially from collecting. If only you ever buy minerals to enhance your living space and never read a mineralogy book you still have deepened your knowledge and connection with nature just knowing that crystals exist.
Parents of budding collectors often ask me if this is a useful pursuit. I tell John's experience. As a young child he discovered minerals on a family outing to a flea market. That was it. The whole family joined the local mineral club the very next month. Both he and his parents became avid collectors. It also introduced him to geology. Being a bright lad his teachers encouraged college and he was accepted with scholarships to numerous fine institutions. But which one? He plotted on a map the field collecting areas around each of the institutions. New Mexico School of Mines won hands down. (He collected the smithsonite pictured today.) He would be able to maximize his field collecting while in college. He initially studied geology but switched to geophysics and mathematics. Upon graduation he immediately had job offers.
The adult collector can enjoy a pursuit which provides continuing education, aesthetics and competition. You will also develop a social network among collectors based on common interest not politics, social station or other barriers to friendship.