Prepaid reservations are required. Cost includes all presentations, breakfast and lunch, as well as Museum admission.
Join experts in the field at the 2020 Tellus Mineral Symposium to learn about fine mineral collecting. We will have speakers discuss building a collection for any budget, valuing your collection and assessing its quality, joining an organization, and going out in the field to collect.
* This scientific mineral symposium is recommended for those with a geologic background and general mineral knowledge.
* Speaker lineup subject to change without notice.
Discover your collecting palate! So you’ve discovered the world of gems and minerals and even acquired a few, what’s next?! Christopher Clark will discuss his journey as a collector of gems, minerals and jewelry and how to start planning a collection, with tips on what to think about as your collection grows.
As a lifelong collector (comics, Transformers, trading cards), Christopher eventually transitioned to collecting silver and jewelry, and then gems and minerals. Now, though he still maintains several collections, Christopher focuses mainly on silver, jewelry, gemstones, spheres, and mineral specimens. His fascination with mineral specimens came about when he was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with mineralogist Renata Lafler, editing the Sisk Gemology Reference. Since that time, he has become more of a mineral collector (a transition he thinks is natural for any longtime gem collector) and has helped to build a fine internal collection for Jewelry Television, where he is a Gemologist (GG, FGA) and Concierge. Though Christopher’s favorite specimen varieties are fluorite and tourmaline, he also collects pseudomorphs, unusual crystal forms and natural spheres. For Christopher, aesthetic and unusual specimens are the most sought after when adding to his collection.
Matt will speak on the motivations which sparked the creation of the Young Mineral Collectors group. He will then dive into the group’s demographics and preferences, highlighting a few members and group initiatives. He will discuss the group’s future directions to bridge gaps between the greater mineral collecting community, to spread awareness, and to inspire future generations. He will also speak briefly about his background as a collector and his connection with the Young Mineral Collectors group.
Ever since opening his first geode as a child, Matt has fostered a fascination with minerals that has evolved from a curiosity to a passion. He is 31 years old and has collected minerals off and on for most of his life, though like many young people, struggled finding others who shared the same interest. After meeting a few other young collectors through social media, he joined the Young Mineral Collectors group and quickly embraced it, getting named as the first moderator in the group (outside of the founders). Matt has worked with the rest of the leadership team to help execute group initiatives such as collaborative group exhibition cases at major shows (most recently a 10-case pod at Tucson Gem & Mineral Show), official logo/branding initiatives, and collector spotlights featuring members of the group. More recently, he has accepted a position with The Arkenstone beginning in March of 2020.
Jeff will speak on field collecting and will share his views on the rewarding aspects of field collecting, with a focus on the Southeastern US and Georgia. Special emphasis is given to mineral clubs and their role in science education. Additional observations are provided on contemporary collectors, specimen acquisitions, and museum donations.
Jeff Deere holds a lifelong interest in Geology and a passion for collecting specimens in the field. He served as field trip chairman for the Rome Georgia Mineral Society for 17 years, is a member of the Georgia Mineral Society, and is a Tellus Science Museum member, Tellus RockFest volunteer, and donor. He resides in Cartersville, Georgia, with his wife Desiree of 34 years, and their dog Baxter.
Thirty-five years as Exhibits Chair for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® has given Peter Megaw unique access to the international mineral community and many of the community’s most august personalities and institutions… not to mention the inner workings of mineral shows worldwide. Through all of this runs a thread of individuals dedicated to preserving and presenting minerals for all to see and enjoy. The interactions Peter’s had with the many friends he’s made in the mineral community over the years have strongly influenced his personal collecting and his approach to wrangling exhibits for TGMS… which boils down to a strong preference for context… geological and mineralogical. To paraphrase the realtors of the world…it’s Locality, Locality, Locality!
Peter is a Consulting Geologist (PhD UofA), President of IMDEX/Cascabel, and co-founder of MAG Silver and Minaurum Gold. Peter has been a dedicated mineral collector since first setting foot in Santa Eulalia in 1977. He moved to Tucson in 1979 and quickly joined the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society, serving in most roles (except Treasurer) over the years. He took on the job of Exhibits Chair for the Tucson Show in 1984, a job he has kept for most of the last 36 years, giving him the opportunity to visit most of the world’s major mineral museums with a special eye out for what they should bring to Tucson. His mineral collecting has come to focus almost exclusively on Minerals of Mexico and he has spoken and written extensively on specimen localities there; most recently an in-depth article for Mineralogical Record on the Santa Eulalia Mining District in Chihuahua, Mexico. He is also a contributing editor for Rocks and Minerals. In his spare time he collaborates on studies of silver isotopes in silver minerals, is Mindat’s moderator for submissions on Mexico and co-moderator of the FMF Mineral Forum, often with tongue planted firmly in cheek. A combination of the above led him to be awarded the Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2009.
Built in 2012, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has pioneered a “loan-versus-own” collection method to display and regularly rotate some of the world’s highest-quality jewelry, gems and minerals. In 2019, the Gems and Minerals Center of Excellence officially launched with the aim to increase interest in gems and minerals, while positioning the museum as a global leader in gem and mineral education. Kimberly Vagner, the first director of the center, will speak on this new model and on working with collectors to change out displays on a constant basis.
At the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Kim is responsible for curating the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall, creating programming specific to gems and minerals, and building partnerships with the mineral and gem community. With over 19 years’ experience in the gem and mineral world, Kim has worked at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), David Webb Fine Jewelry, Donna Distefano Ltd., and The Tsavorite Factory. Kim credits her start in the field with volunteering in the Mineral Sciences Department of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. She has a Master of Arts from Parsons School of Design, a Graduate Gemologist certificate from the Gemological Institute of America, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs with minors in Earth Sciences and Art History from The George Washington University.
With prices for mineralogical purchases climbing in recent years, many collectors are wanting to get an updated appraisal of their mineralogical treasures. A comprehensive overview of the appraisal process is presented that will address when and why you should get an appraisal, who you might hire for an appraisal, and how much you should expect to pay for an appraisal. Different types of values used in various appraisals will be discussed along with the main factors that affect the appraised value of your mineral specimens. As a collector and as a mineral marketplace consumer, you can play an important role in value preservation of your own collection, and through your interaction with dealers and other collectors you can also advance good collecting practices generally.
Gary White is a personal property appraiser with a focus on fine mineral specimens, natural history decorator items, and non-precious “collector” gemstones. Following a successful 37-year career in petroleum exploration and risked investment management, Gary is now providing independent appraisals of fine mineral specimens and related natural history collectibles. Since 2017, Gary White Fine Mineral Services, LLC has provided USPAP compliant appraisals for non-cash charitable contributions, insurance against damage or loss, and all other appraisal related endeavors. Gary is an associate member of the Appraisers Association of America and a gem enthusiast member of the International Gem Society. Gary and his wife Rosemary are founding members of the Houston Area Mineral Society (HAMS) and they have won several awards (including Desautels) for mineral displays at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society shows. Gary White Fine Mineral Services, LLC is a sponsoring fellow of The Mineralogical Record and a supporter of Mindat.org.