About Mineral Zone

Mineral Zone was founded in 1998, shortly after Marcus Origlieri graduated from the University of California at San Diego. Finding the job market for chemistry graduates rather glutted, Marcus joined his parents’ printing company in Vista, California.  Marcus worked there for about 18 months during 1998-1999.  In 2000, on invitation from the Graebers, Marcus visited the Rogerley mine in northern England.  This was the second year of operations, in the Black Sheep pocket.

Prior to the Mineral Zone(TM), Marcus attempted a website at dioptase.com, but rather elected for the present domain name of mineralzone.com in May 1998. Before the dot com bubble, web domain names were prized possessions.  In order to protect the integrity of the Mineral Zone brand, a trademark application began in 1999 with acceptance in 2000.

Initially, sales on mineralzone.com were small but brisk, especially of older Tsumeb specimens, gem spinel and ruby crystals from Burma, and modern classic Mexican mineral specimens. Some fine thumbnails from the Josie Scripps collection also passed through this domain name. Payment usually consisted of accepting a check by mail.

With the advent of online payment methods, the web became more friendly to selling minerals…

In 1999, Mineral Zone began selling minerals on eBay under the username paradamite.  From this time, and updated through perhaps 2009, remains an “About Me” page.  As the market became much more competitive and the fees increased, Mineral Zone discontinued mineral sales on eBay in 2004.  Occasionally, Mineral Zone may list a special item on eBay, typically a mineralogical publication.

Mineral Zone relocated to Tucson, Arizona in Spring 2000, when founder M.J. Origlieri began graduate studies at the University of Arizona.

Ultimately, Mineral Zone shared a room with Evan Jones at a couple of the Houston Mineral Shows.  Mineral Zone also became a dealer at the Denver Mineral Show.