Mineral Collections

Mineral ZoneTM  has sold parts or whole mineral collections. Mineral collections often contain choice mineral specimens no longer being found. These minerals constitute the classic specimens, which provide a baseline for appreciation of new finds. Mineral ZoneTM endeavors to provide the finest minerals, often these pieces can only be found in other collector’s cabinets. Collections handled include:

  • Gene Wright – thumbnail collection (2009)

    Gene Wright was a Tucson based collector who specialized in Bisbee minerals, and diversified into azurite and calcite, in the thumbnail size.

  • Will Estavillo (2008)

    Will Estavillo was once curator of the San Diego Natural History Museum, ultimately retiring to Bisbee, Arizona. Mineral ZoneTM handled much of his general collection, including fine tourmaline specimens from San Diego County, California and much azurite from Morenci.

  • Josephine Scripps – thumbnail collection (1995)

    Josephine Scripps (1910–1992) was a prominent collector in the San Diego area, having fine suites of minerals from Mexico and California. Much of her collection was donated to the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Gemological Institute of America. She organized field trips into Mexico with her gang, including Cal and Kerith Graeber and Bill Larson. She created the Volunteers for Minerals, a service organization designed to support the San Diego Natural History Museum, primarily through the sale of mineral grab bags at the county fair. Marcus Origlieri (pre-Mineral Zone) sold the thumbnail collection piece by piece, consisting of approximately 800 pieces.

  • University of Arizona – surplus mineral sales (2010-present)

    The University of Arizona Mineral Museum sold duplicate specimens from their collections, most notably specimens from the Hubert de Monmonier collection, to establish an endowment to support activities for future generations.

  • Joseph Mitchell collection (2011)

    The Joseph Mitchell collection consisted of systematic minerals obtained from the mid 1950s to 1990s.

  • Ralph E. Merrill collection (2013)

    Ralph E. Merrill (1917–2001) was the proprietor of Minerals Unlimited, a prolific mail order mineral business established in 1948. By 1955, he bought out the fouding partners of David Grigsby and Scott Williams. Minerals were his lifelong passion. Mineral ZoneTM acquired the entire collection of nearly 4100 pieces, mostly thumbnails and miniatures, which included many fine minerals from the Schneider collection (University of Berlin) and items traded from Harvard University (via Clifford Frondel). Some fine specimens also came from Williams and Grigsby, with their personal collection labels.

  • Harold Urish – thumbnail collection (2013)

    Harold Urish is a retired farmer living south of Tucson. He field collected extensively in southern Arizona, traded and bartered his finds into a fine collection of minerals, with specialties in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. His thumbnail collection contained over 75 fine Red Cloud wulfenite crystals.