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Timothy Blackwood's Mindat Home Page

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Tim Blackwood's Mindat Home Page

Registered member joined prior to 15th Oct 2005 (unrecorded)

Timothy Blackwood has uploaded:
184 Mineral Photos
1 Other Photo
Hi! Welcome to my Home Page. I've been a member of Mindat since before October 15th, 2005, but have been mostly a quiet observer, looking at the fine minerals in the Members Galleries and reading postings to the Message Board. Once in a while, I even got brave enough to post a comment or ask a question. After a little more time, I even began posting photos from my own collection. I really enjoy being able to learn from members and see beautiful minerals as a part of this wonderful online global community.

Where should I begin? I’ve been collecting minerals for the past 25 years, and making a more serious study of them for about the last 15 to 20 years. I began by picking up slabs and polished stones at a local rock show in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It wasn’t that some nice specimens weren’t available. I just wasn’t mature enough to fully appreciate them. Shame on me! As my interest in minerals began to develop, I found some of my first specimens at the Grand Rapids show, including rhodochrosite (Sunnyside Mine, Colorado), rosasite (Silver Bill Mine, Arizona), and atacamite (La Farola Mine, Chile – this was my first actual thumbnail). One year, one of the vendors told me about the Agate Days show, held in Moose Lake, Minnesota, the second weekend in July. Moose Lake is a small town, but the area club puts on a great show. The main focus of the show is agates, especially Lake Superior agates, but they have a wide variety of vendors, including several mineral dealers who have a variety of nice specimens. It was here that I saw my first Tasmanian crocoite, Tsumeb dioptase, Sicilian sulphur, and Romanian stibnite. If you ever get the chance, you have to check out this show. I’ve been going for 20+ years and I never fail to see some really good things.

While working toward my Master’s degree in biology at Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minnesota, between 1994 and 2004 (there were some distractions and changes in major along the way), I maintained my interest in minerals. During my undergraduate time I even worked part-time for a small rock shop in Bemidji. I had jobs on campus, so my work at the shop was more for fun than anything else. My “pay” was being able to pick out pretty much anything I wanted. The owners always brought back lots of stuff from Denver and Tucson, but didn’t always pay attention to quality. Still, I was able to find and rescue the occasional good specimen. While most specimens have been traded away over the years, I still have several nice pieces, including a Sweetwater Mine calcite, a Dal’negorsk ilvaite, an Indian stilbite/apophyllite, and a Charcas danburite. My time there was short, as the shop didn’t get a lot of business and closed.

While at school in Bemidji I corresponded regularly with Rob Lavinsky (The Arkenstone) and John Veevaert (Trinity Mineral Company). They helped me to expand my mineral knowledge even more. Being unable to attend the big shows in person (still unable to do so), I read their show reports and viewed their updates with great interest, seeing beautiful specimens from new and classic localities. I’ve not only gotten better at identifying a variety of minerals, especially rarer ones, but have learned to use overall appearance and associations of specimens to determine where individual pieces are likely to have come from. I’ve learned a lot, but have more to learn.

Since the summer of 2007 I’ve been helping Rob to maintain his Mindat photo gallery by uploading photos and data for specimens on his site. Each update helps me to learn more about classic localities, interesting associations, and new localities that will one day become classics. And I have a lot of fun in the process. Working for Rob has allowed me to see more specimens than I could have hoped to otherwise. And I’ve been able to add new specimens to my own collection as well. Please check out the benitoite thumbnail in my gallery. It’s new to me and already one of my favorite specimens. Is it possible to have more than one favorite? Sure hope so, as I’d hate for any particular species to feel slighted.

What are my collecting interests? I collect mostly thumbnails and miniatures, but won’t turn down a small cabinet if it’s really striking. I love specimens from the mines at Tsumeb, Ojuela, Elmwood, and Majuba Hill. For several years I’ve been fascinated with pyromorphite, especially from the Bunker Hill Mine. I have 10 or 12 specimens and no two look alike. I’m also quite fond of adamite, crocoite, dioptase, rhodochrosite (especially Colorado and South Africa), and wulfenite. There are many more, but it’s hard to choose.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell, so to speak. Please check out my photo gallery. I haven’t been a mineral photographer for very long, but think I’m doing pretty well. However, I have a long way to go to catch up to the more experienced photographers on the site. Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. I've even had a paper published in which I described a new genus in the mollusk family Strombidae (conchs). Here's the citation to the journal article:

Blackwood, T. 2009. Barneystrombus, a New Genus of Strombidae (Gastropoda) from the Indo-West
Pacific, with Discussions of Included Taxa and the General Morphology of their Shells. Visaya.
Sept. 2009. Vol. 2, No. 5. Pp. 11-17.

It's kind of mineral-related, as shells contain both calcite and aragonite. :)


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