Mineral Identification

Barite in Quartz Geode from Monroe Co., Indiana

I am not a mineralogist. However, over the years I have because familiar with many mineral species and localities. Curating the Gerard Troost collection, America’s second oldest mineral collection, got me fascinated with mineral diversity and the challenges of identifying species. It has further been honed working with Steve Garza’s collection. He had enough labeled specimens to familiarize myself with many similar unlabeled minerals. Researching some minerals led me to become familiar with the differences between the same species from multiple localities.

The photos selected will come under two categories: Self-collected and collected by others. Assume them to be in my collection unless otherwise noted.

Elsewhere are photos of collecting sites and information about quarries. This isn’t a research site. It’s designed to allow you to become familiar with minerals from certain localities or that have a story to tell. As a storyteller it is my intent to make this interesting and not just some “pretty pictures.”

The world’s best mineral database belongs to Mindat, a user-based website monitored by experts to insure accuracy.

Specimen images will be added as my time allows.

Calcite – the mineral that has the most crystal habits

Dolomite – an often under-appreciated mineral

Fluorite – one of the world’s most collectable non-gem minerals (NEW! A work in progress…)

Geodes – nodules of quartz that have some nice secondary minerals; a popular collectable

Quartz – the most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust; very popular by collectors

Minerals from the Illinois – Kentucky Fluorspar District

Alan’s favorites – a potpourri of minerals with stories that don’t fall under the above categories

Minerals by other categories

Copper Minerals – often very colorful

Lead Minerals – some look like metal, some like glass

Iron Minerals – black to gold

Gemstones – au naturale, don’t always look gemmy