The Devon Buy Collection of Fine Minerals and Crystals

amethyst cluster brazil

Assembling a collection of museum-grade specimens can be very costly and organising them takes a lot of time. This fine massive Amethyst cluster from Brazil was a birthday gift to me from my wife.

My fascination with minerals and crystals began when I was intrigued by the glimmers and shimmers of sparkling quartz speckles on mundane granite stones in my home garden at the age of eight way back in the early 1980s. Initially, I had thought that they were diamonds lodged in rocks and had attempted to dig them out with pointy implements, with much futility I might add. You see, before all this, I was even more in love with diamonds, and had with me some artificial “diamonds” made out of cut glass which I used to carry around. Apparently, whoever said that thing about glitter and gold could very well have mentioned diamond as well!

A couple of years after, I came to realise what quartz crystals were, and hence began my foray into the appreciation of crystals (and minerals eventually) that continues to this day, over thirty years on. Today, I will be presenting my Crystal and Mineral Collection, including other items of relevant interest.

The Early Years

“…the extent of joy in this hobby was limited to just viewing of such crystals at shops and in books.”

The first crystal which found its way into my possession was, not surprisingly, a quartz crystal. I had personally found this rather small clear twin-point quartz crystal lodged in some laterite soil off the hills in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, in 1990. I was then a student in early secondary school, and the extent of joy in this hobby was limited to just viewing of such crystals at shops and in books. Limited funds and small pocket allowance made it impossible to establish a collection. Mining and collecting them by hand was just equally challenging – even common quartz crystals were hard to come by where I live. The twin-point quartz mentioned earlier was sure a lucky find.

 
Brandberg Amethyst Namibia

“Brandberg Amethysts, as their name suggests, are found in only one part of the world – near Brandberg Mountain in Namibia. They rarely exceed 50 mm in length. I am lucky to own this very fine specimen of 65 mm x 25 mm x 20 mm. With a clear point, strong amethyst purple, smoky wisps and phantoms, tiny red Lepidochrosite inclusions and some matrix on its base, this crystal also consists of a moving enhydro bubble – the water trapped within the crystal is likely to be thousands of years old…”

Devon Buy

Acquired on 17 June 2009
 

Establishing a Collection

Classification of Minerals

Minerals today are usually classified based on the Strunz classification (10 groups), or the newer Dana system (78 classes).
For this article, my collection will be presented based on the older Dana classification (9 classes) as follows:

  • I. Native Elements
  • II. Sulphides and Sulphosalts
  • III. Oxides and Hydroxides
  • IV. Halides
  • V. Carbonates, Nitrates and Borates
  • VI. Sulphates, Chromates, Tungstates and Molybdates
  • VII. Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
  • VIII. Silicates
  • IX. Organic Minerals

Fast-forward 15 years later, I was earning a decent salary as an engineer, which saw an opportunity to initiate a collection. As expected, I started the collection with the many varieties of quartz crystals. My deep fascination with quartz crystals was not merely geological but also metaphysical. The collection eventually advanced on to other interesting specimens of crystals and minerals as well, as will be presented below.

At time of writing, my collection holds about 400 samples and specimens, made up of almost 200 different types of chemical make-up and composition. It would be quite a daunting task to exhibit them all below, and so I will present only the finer specimens from the collection. These are organised by the major chemical groups based on the older Dana classification which splits minerals into the nine groups as given in the inset box at left.

Here are about 120 geological specimens gathered from around the world, which now forms part of The Devon Buy Collection of Fine Minerals and Crystals:

I. Native Elements

While most minerals are composed of a combination of compounds and chemical make-up, about twenty minerals occur naturally in pure form, divided into three sub-groups: metals, semi-metals and non-metals. See if you can identify the metals from the non-metals below.

Native Copper Michigan USA

Native COPPER; Michigan, USA

Diamond natural

Natural DIAMOND; Congo, Africa

Gold nugget leaf

GOLD nugget leaf; Colorado, USA

Graphite

GRAPHITE; Canada

Gold specks on Quartz

GOLD specks on Quartz; Wisconsin, USA

Sulphur Mina El Deserto Bolivia

SULPHUR; Mina El Deserto, Bolivia

II. Sulphides and Sulphosalts

These are made from the element sulphur combined with a metal and include some of the most important metal ores. Generally heavy and brittle, many become oxides as soon as they are exposed to weather.

Stibnite

STIBNITE; China
Stibium Sulphide, Sb2S3

Arsenopyrite with Quartz

ARSENOPYRITE with Quartz; China
Iron Arsenic Sulphide, FeAsS

Bornite

BORNITE, Peacock Ore; China
Copper Iron Sulphide, Cu5FeS4

Pyrite

PYRITE; Spain
Iron Sulphide, FeS2

PYRITE on matrix

PYRITE on matrix; Spain
Iron Sulphide, FeS2

Pyrite cluster with Calcite

PYRITE cluster with Calcite; unknown locality
Iron Sulphide, FeS2

Calcite on Pyrite

Close-up view of the PYRITE at left showing Calcite crystals amongst the cluster

Realgar with Orpiment

REALGAR (red) with ORPIMENT (yellow);
Palomo Mine, Peru
Arsenic Sulphide, AsS

Sphalerite Trepça Mine Yugoslavia

SPHALERITE with Quartz, Calcite and Arsenopyrite; Trepça Mine, ex-Yugoslavia
Zinc Sulphide, ZnS

III. Oxides and Hydroxides

Oxides occur when a metal combines with oxygen, forming various physical attributes ranging from dull Tenorite and Limonite to sparkly gems like Rubies and Sapphires (when polished). Note that I prefer to collect specimens in their raw and natural (unpolished) state, and in my samples of ruby and sapphire below, they occur in the natural state as shown. Limonite is the only Hydroxide here.

Hematite

HEMATITE; Morocco
Iron Oxide, Fe2O3

Magnetite

MAGNETITE; Australia
Ferrous-Ferric Oxide, Fe2+Fe3+2O4

Ruby

Ruby, red CORUNDUM; India
Aluminium Oxide, Al2O3

Sapphire

Sapphire, blue CORUNDUM; Tanzania, Africa
Aluminium Oxide, Al2O3

Cuprite in Limonite

CUPRITE in LIMONITE; Arizona, USA
Copper Oxide, Cu2O

Rutile

RUTILE; Virginia, USA
Titanium Dioxide, TiO2

Pyrochlore

PYROCHLORE; Russia
Mineral Oxide, (Na,Ca)2Nb2O6(OH,F)

Limonite

LIMONITE; Colorado, USA
Iron(III) Oxide-Hydroxides, FeO(OH)·nH2O

IV. Halides

Halides are minerals made up of metals that combine with halogen elements such as chlorine, fluorine, bromine and iodine. They are soft and dissolve easily in water, so extra care needs to be taken to keep them dry and away from moisture. Salts like Halite (first sample below) are hard to maintain in my humid country, and cannot simply be left on the shelf without drying agents or other appropriate dehumidification means.

Halite

HALITE; California, USA
Sodium Chloride, NaCl

Purple Fluorite cluster; Wenshan Mine, Yunnan, China

Purple FLUORITE cluster; Wenshan Mine, Yunnan, China
Calcium Fluoride, CaF2

Fluorite green

Well-formed green FLUORITE; China
Calcium Fluoride, CaF2

Fluorite Quartz Rogerley Mine England

FLUORITE with Quartz; Rogerley Mine, England
Calcium Fluoride, CaF2

Fluorite pink Durango Mexico

Pink FLUORITE; Mina Navidad, Rodeo, Durango, Mexico
Calcium Fluoride, CaF2

green Fluorite cluster China

Green FLUORITE cluster; China
Calcium Fluoride, CaF2

FLUORITE purple Wenshan Mine, Yunnan, China

FLUORITE, purple; Wenshan Mine, Yunnan, China
Calcium Fluoride, CaF2

V. Carbonates, Nitrates and Borates

Carbonates form when metals combine with a carbonate group (CO3) comprising of carbon and oxygen. Likewise for nitrates (NO3) and borates (BO3) – with nitrogen and boron. Calcite, which is calcium carbonate, is the most abundant under this classification, and gets a section of its own further below.

Aragonite

ARAGONITE; Morocco, Africa
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

Cerussite

CERUSSITE; Tsumeb, Namibia, Africa
Lead Carbonate, PbCO3

Malachite Chrysocolla

MALACHITE with Chrysocolla; Arizona, USA
Copper Carbonate, Cu2(CO3)(OH)2

Malachite on Hematite

MALACHITE on Hematite; Arizona, USA
Copper Carbonate, Cu2(CO3)(OH)2

Malachite, Shaba Province Zaire Congo Africa

MALACHITE; Shaba Province, Zaire (Congo), Africa
Copper Carbonate, Cu2(CO3)(OH)2

Azurite Morenci Arizona USA

AZURITE; Morenci, Arizona, USA
Copper Carbonate, Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2

Stichtite on Serpentine Tasmania Australia

Purple STICHTITE on green Serpentine;
Tasmania, Australia
Magnesium Chromium Carbonate,
Mg6Cr2(CO3)(OH)16·4H2O

Siderite Arizona

SIDERITE; Arizona, USA
Iron Carbonate, FeCO3

Zincrosasite Hemimorphite Smithsonite Mimetite Colorado USA

ZINCROSASITE with Hemimorphite, Smithsonite and Mimetite; Colorado, USA
Zinc Copper Carbonate
(Zn,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2

Rosasite on Calcite Mapimi, Durango, Mexico

ROSASITE on Calcite
Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
Zinc Copper Carbonate
(Zn,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2

Rosasite with Calcite Mexico

ROSASITE with Calcite
Ojuela Mine, Mexico
Zinc Copper Carbonate
(Zn,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2

Smithsonite purple Choix Mexico

Purple SMITHSONITE; Choix, Mexico
Zinc Carbonate, ZnCO3

Smithsonite green pseudo-Sphalerite Colorado USA

Green SMITHSONITE with pseudo-Sphalerite; Colorado, USA
Zinc Carbonate, ZnCO3

Smithsonite Blue San Antonio Mexico

Blue SMITHSONITE; San Antonio, Mexico
Zinc Carbonate, ZnCO3

Hydrozincite China

HYDROZINCITE; China
Zinc Carbonate, Zn5(CO3)2(OH)6

The Calcite Family

Calcite, like Quartz, forms a sizable part of my collection, and hence deserve a section of its own. Composed chemically of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), they belong to the Carbonate group as presented in the section above.

Calcite on Marcasite

CALCITE on Marcasite; Missouri, USA
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

Calcite Orange

Orange CALCITE; Santa Eulalia, Mexico
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

Calcite on Pyrite

CALCITE on Pyrite; Missouri, USA
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

Calcite on Pyrite

The same CALCITE shown at left, seen from the bottom side

Calcite with Chalcopyrite

CALCITE with Chalcopyrite; Missouri, USA
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

Yellow Calcite with Pyrite Missouri

Yellow CALCITE with Pyrite; Missouri, USA
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

Large Calcite 1.5 lbs

Large CALCITE, 1.5lbs from unknown locality
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

Columnar Calcite

Columnar CALCITE; South Dakota, USA
Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3

VI. Sulphates, Chromates, Tungstates and Molybdates

Sulphates form when metals combine with a sulphate group (SO4), comprising of sulphur and oxygen. Likewise with chromates (CrO4), tungstates (WO4) and molybdates (MoO4) – chromium, tungsten and molybdenum with oxygen.

Barite blue Utah USA

BARITE, blue; Utah, USA
Barium Sulphate, BaSO4

Crocoite Tasmania Australia

CROCOITE; Tasmania, Australia
Lead Chromate, PbCrO4

Barite Pink Orange Morocco

BARITE, pink orange; Morocco, Africa
Barium Sulphate, BaSO4

Baryte white Tennessee USA

BARITE, white; Tennessee, USA
Barium Sulphate, BaSO4

Celestine blue Madagascar

CELESTINE; Madagascar
Strontium Sulphate, SrSO4

Celestine Michigan USA

CELESTINE; Michigan, USA
Strontium Sulphate, SrSO4

Selenite orange Peru

SELENITE, orange Gypsum; Peru
Calcium Sulphate, CaSO42·H20

Selenite Peru exhibiting fluorescence under UV light

Same SELENITE at left exhibiting fluorescence under UV light

duckbill Selenite Peru

SELENITE, duckbill; Peru
Calcium Sulphate, CaSO42·H2O

Hubnerite North California

HÜBNERITE; North California, USA
Manganese Tungstate, MnWO4

Hanksite golden yellow California

HANKSITE, golden yellow; California, USA
Sodium Potassium Sulphate,
Na22K(SO4)9(CO3)2Cl

Wulfenite China

WULFENITE; China
Lead Molybdate, PbMoO4

selenite Morocco

This SELENITE (Gypsum) from Morocco measures slightly over a foot in length
Calcium Sulphate, CaSO42·H2O

VII. Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates

Phosphates form when metals combine with a phosphate group (PO4), comprising of phosphorus and oxygen. Likewise with Arsenates (AsO4) and Vanadates (VO4) – arsenic and vanadium with oxygen.

Apatite Blue Brazil

APATITE, blue; Brazil
Phosphate minerals, Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)

Torbernite Australia

TORBERNITE; Australia
Phosphate minerals
Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2·8-12H2O

Mimetite Mexico

MIMETITE; Mexico
Lead Arsenate Chloride
Pb5(AsO4)3Cl

Vanadinite Arizona

VANADINITE; Arizona, USA
Lead Vanadate Chloride, Pb5(VO4)3Cl

Vanadinite on Fluorescent Calcite USA

VANADINITE on fluorescent Calcite; USA
Lead Vanadate Chloride, Pb5(VO4)3Cl

VIII. Silicates

Silicates are metals or non-metals which combine with a silicate group made up of silicon and oxygen in a tetrahedral structure. Silicates are the most common of all minerals – there are more silicates than all other minerals put together, and almost a third of all minerals are silicates. After all, they make up 90% of the Earth’s crust. It is no surprise that they also form the bulk of my collection:

Garnet red Tanzania

Red GARNET; Tanzania, Africa
Nesosilicate, X3Y2(SiO4)3

Green Tourmaline Brazil

Green TOURMALINE; Brazil
Cyclosilicate, (Al,Fe,Li,Mg,Mn)3(Al,Cr,Fe,V)6
(BO3)3(Si,Al,B)6O18(OH,F)4

Tourmaline Brazil

Green TOURMALINE; Brazil
Cyclosilicate, (Al,Fe,Li,Mg,Mn)3(Al,Cr,Fe,V)6
(BO3)3(Si,Al,B)6O18(OH,F)4

Kyanite Black Brazil

Black KYANITE; Brazil
Aluminium Silicate, Al2SiO5

Kyanite blue

Blue KYANITE; Mtoko, Zimbabwe
Aluminium Silicate, Al2SiO5

Blue Kyanite

Blue KYANITE; Mtoko, Zimbabwe
Aluminium Silicate, Al2SiO5

Danburite San Luis Mexico

DANBURITE; San Luis, Mexico
Calcium Boron Silicate, CaB2Si2O8

Danburite

DANBURITE; Mexico
Calcium Boron Silicate, CaB2Si2O8

Staurolite

STAUROLITE; Madagascar
Iron Aluminium Silicate, Fe2Al9Si4O22(OH)2

Topaz

TOPAZ, brown; Utah, USA
Silicate mineral of Aluminium and Fluorine,
Al2SiO4(F,OH)2

Hemimorphite and Adamite

HEMIMORPHITE and Adamite; Mexico
Zinc Silicate, Zn4Si2O7(OH)2·H2O

Amazonite

AMAZONITE; Colorado, USA
Potassium Aluminium Silicate, KAlSi3O8

Apophyllite

APOPHYLLITE; India
Phyllosilicate, KNaCA4Si8O20(F,OH)·8H2O

Apophyllite and Stilbite

APOPHYLLITE with STILBITE; India
Phyllosilicate, KNaCA4Si8O20(F,OH)·8H2O

Apophyllite Green

Green APOPHYLLITE; India
Phyllosilicate, KNaCA4Si8O20(F,OH)·8H2O

Chrysocolla

CHRYSOCOLLA; Arizona, USA
Hydrated Copper Cyclosilicate,
Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5(OH)4·nH2O

Cavansite on Heulandite

CAVANSITE on HEULANDITE; India
Calcium Vanadium Silicate,
Ca(VO)Si4O10·4H2O

Aegirine (Acmite) with small Microcline behind

AEGIRINE (ACMITE) with small MICROCLINE behind; Mount Malosa, Zomba, Malawi
Sodium Iron Silicate,
NaFe3+Si2O6

Dravite brown Tourmaline

DRAVITE (brown TOURMALINE); Brazil
Cyclosilicate,
Na(Mg3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)

Elbaite green with white Cleavelandite

Green ELBAITE with white CLEAVELANDITE; Skardu District, Pakistan
Sodium Lithium Aluminium Borosilicate, Na(Li1.5Al1.5)Al6Si6O18(BO3)3(OH)4

Fluororichterite

FLUORORICHTERITE; Ontario, Canada
Sodium Calcium amphibole,
Na(Ca,Na)Mg5Si8O22F2

Fuchsite green

FUCHSITE; unknown locality
Phyllosilicate mineral
K(Al,Cr)2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2

Garnet large

Large GARNET; North Carolina, USA
Nesosilicate, X3Y2(SiO4)3

Jasper

JASPER chunk; USA
A variety of Chalcedony

Mesolite Needles

MESOLITE needles; Oregon, USA
Tectosilicate Zeolite, Na2Ca2(Al2Si3O10)3·8H2O

Muscovite

MUSCOVITE; Brazil
Phyllosilicate mineral of
Potassium and Aluminium,
KAl2(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2

Large Microcline Crystal Covered in Black Dendritic Psilomelane with some Orange Minium

Large MICROCLINE covered in black dendritic
Psilomelane with orange Minium; Old Sherman Tunnel Mine, Lake County, Colorado, USA
Potassium Aluminium Silicate,
KAlSi3O8

large Mica crimson red orange

Large crimson MICA; Brazil
Phyllosilicate mineral,
X2Y4-6Z8O20(OH,F)4

Natrolite

NATROLITE; New Jersey, USA
Hydrated Sodium Aluminium Silicate,
Na2Al2Si3O10·2H2O

Prehnite

PREHNITE; New Jersey, USA
Inosilicate of Calcium and Aluminium,
Ca2Al(AlSi3O10(OH)2

Sodalite fluorescent

SODALITE (fluorescent under UV); Canada
Tectosilicate mineral,
Na8(Al6Si6O24)Cl2

Diopside fluorescent

DIOPSIDE (fluorescent under UV); New York, USA
Pyroxene Silicate mineral,
MgCaSi2O6

Tourmaline on Matrix

TOURMALINE on matrix; Madagascar
Cyclosilicate, (Al,Fe,Li,Mg,Mn)3(Al,Cr,Fe,V)6
(BO3)3(Si,Al,B)6O18(OH,F)4

Muscovite

MUSCOVITE; Pakistan
Phyllosilicate mineral of
Potassium and Aluminium,
KAl2(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2

Vesuvianite

VESUVIANITE; China
Sorosilicate mineral,
Ca10(Mg,Fe)2Al4(SiO4)5(Si2O7)2(OH,F)4

Vesuvianite green

Green VESUVIANITE;
Sierra de la Cruz, Coahuila, Mexico
Sorosilicate mineral,
Ca10(Mg,Fe)2Al4(SiO4)5(Si2O7)2(OH,F)4

Benitoite, Neptunite and Joaquinite on matrix San Benito California USA

BENITOITE, Neptunite and Joaquinite on matrix; San Benito, California, USA
Barium Titanium Silicate, BaTiSi3O9

Benitoite crystals are rare and gem-quality ones come mainly from the San Benito Mine in California, where it gets its name from. Benitoite was named the Official State Gem of California in 1985. Seen above is a specimen with some small blue Benitoite crystals, amongst some dark Neptunite and yellow Joaquinite crystals.

The Quartz Family

Quartz, a form of silicon dioxide SiO2, actually falls in the Silicates group in the section above, but due to the diverse types of this mineral and the numerous quantities that I own (over 70 pieces to-date), Quartz crystals deserve a section of their own. My collection currently consists of over 30 Clear Quartz crystal points and clusters, 15 Smoky Quartz crystals including Elestials, 5 Citrine points, 15 Amethysts, 9 Brandberg Amethysts, and some Rose Quartz and Spirit Quartz varieties. The various colours are due to impurities of other trace elements found in each of these crystals. I also use Quartz for metaphysical purposes.

Clear Quartz Arkansas

Clear QUARTZ; Arkansas, USA
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Smoky Quartz Himalaya Tibet

Smoky QUARTZ; Himalaya, Tibet
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Amethyst Kazakhstan

AMETHYST on matrix; Kazakhstan
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Amethyst cluster Uruguay

AMETHYST cluster; Artigas, Uruguay
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Amethyst Scepter Madagascar

AMETHYST scepter; Madagascar
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Elestial Smoky Quartz Brandberg

ELESTIAL SMOKY QUARTZ; Brandberg, Namibia
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Brandberg Amethyst Goboboseb West of Brandberg

BRANDBERG AMETHYST; Goboboseb, Namibia
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Brandberg Amethyst Goboboseb West of Brandberg

BRANDBERG AMETHYST; Goboboseb, Namibia
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Brandberg Amethyst Goboboseb West of Brandberg

BRANDBERG AMETHYST; Goboboseb, Namibia
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

Smoky Quartz large Nevada USA

Large SMOKY QUARTZ; Nevada, USA
Silicon Dioxide, SiO2

IX. Organic Minerals

Organic Minerals are naturally occurring minerals formed directly or indirectly by living organisms. Due to their organic nature, they are not always accepted as minerals. One such example is Amber, made from ancient tree sap (hence organic) which is often found with an insect perfectly preserved within. Remember how the DNA of dinosaurs was extracted from a mosquito in the movie Jurassic Park?

Copal Colombia South America

COPAL; Colombia, South America
Mixture of Hydrocarbons

Jet mineral

JET; unknown locality
Lignite Coal, Hydrocarbon

Radioactive Minerals

This section is not listed under the usual classification, but I thought it’s special enough to be on its own. These are specimens rarely found in personal collections, and I’m proud to own two such samples of radioactive minerals. Euxenite (classified under Oxides) is an important mineral as ore of the rare earth elements it contains (see below) and is slightly radioactive. Carnotite (classified under Vanadates), which is often bright to greenish yellow in colour, is an important ore of Uranium and is strongly radioactive. As such, it needs to be handled and stored with extreme care.

Euxenite

EUXENITE; Wyoming, USA
Yttrium, Calcium, Cerium, Uranium, Thorium, Niobium, Tantalum, Titanium, (Y,Ca,Ce,U,Th)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2O6

Carnotite Uranium Ore California USA

CARNOTITE; California, USA
Potassium Uranium Vanadate, K2(UO2)2(VO4)2·3H2O

Fossils

Fossils? Are they even minerals? In a way, yes. Fossils are the remains of animals or plants that are preserved in rocks. Fossils may be internal or external moulds, and in the case of most of those in my collection, are internal moulds such as Ammonites, which consist of calcium carbonate similar to the Aragonite in Section V above. To-date, there are four Ammonites and one Trilobite in my collection of fossils. I hope to expand this collection in the near future.

Ammonite Madagascar

AMMONITE; Madagascar
Mollusca > Cephalopoda > Ammonoidea

Trilobite Morocco

TRILOBITE; Alnif, South of Morocco, Africa
Flexicalymene ouzregui

Conclusion

“Looking at transparent crystals while reflecting on how these wonders of nature were formed over millions of years can quickly take anxiety and stress off one’s mind, and it is in these crystals that I often seek solace.”

There are other interesting specimens in my collection that have not been included above, including a light blue Beryl amongst Mica from Brazil and two large pieces of glassy Obsidian, one with red Hematite inclusions. These are currently kept in a container, and I have not had a chance to photograph them.

I find mineral collecting to be a very fascinating and rewarding hobby. Looking at transparent crystals while reflecting on how these wonders of nature were formed over millions of years can quickly take anxiety and stress off one’s mind, and it is in these crystals that I often seek solace. Knowing that some of the crystals and minerals which come from well-known mines from around the world, some typical to only one region on the globe, and others so rare they are seldom found listed in encyclopaedia, which now sits on my shelf brings value and meaning to this pastime and collection. It is also an interesting way to learn about other parts of the world, and how religions of the past were influenced in a significant way by crystals such as those presented above. After all, how often do you find the subjects of chemistry, biology, physics, geography and history (and maybe even anthropology) all rolled into one hobby?

I have also completed a collection of minerals which fall in the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Click here to see the article and sample specimens.

Meanwhile, do tell me in the comments section below which of the crystals and minerals above appeal to you!

UPDATES:

20.05.2014

The Devon Buy Crystal and Mineral Collection is listed in www.minerant.org as the first entry under the country Malaysia.

21.05.2014

Join the Crystal and Mineral Collectors of the World on Facebook! Click the banner below:

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N.B. All photographs of crystals and minerals appearing on this site are the property of Devon Buy and www.devonbuy.com. They shall not be scanned, downloaded or reproduced in any way without prior consent from www.devonbuy.com. For enquiries, purchase and use of any of these photographs in magazines, journals, periodicals and reference materials, kindly contact me.
 
ENCYCLOPAEDIA AND BOOKS USED FOR REFERENCE IN THIS ARTICLE
 
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Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! <ul><li><strong>woo_about</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_aboutlink</strong> - #</li><li><strong>woo_ad_300_adsense</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_ad_300_image</strong> - http://www.woothemes.com/ads/woothemes-300x250-2.gif</li><li><strong>woo_ad_300_url</strong> - http://www.woothemes.com</li><li><strong>woo_ad_image_1</strong> - http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/711-53200-19255-200/1?campid=5337728159&toolid=7115320019255200&customid=&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]&adtype=1&size=125x125&mpvc=</li><li><strong>woo_ad_image_2</strong> - http://www.devonbuy.com/ads/amazon-harry-potter_125x125.gif</li><li><strong>woo_ad_image_3</strong> - http://www.devonbuy.com/ads/amazon-outdoor-125x125.gif</li><li><strong>woo_ad_image_4</strong> - https://ua.siteground.com/img/banners/general/comfort/125x125.gif</li><li><strong>woo_ad_image_5</strong> - http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/711-53200-19255-206/1?campid=5337728159&toolid=7115320019255206&customid=&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]&adtype=1&size=125x125&mpvc=</li><li><strong>woo_ad_image_6</strong> - http://www.devonbuy.com/ads/amazon-auto-125x125.gif</li><li><strong>woo_ad_page</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_ad_url_1</strong> - http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-200/1?campid=5337728159&toolid=7115320019255200&customid=&mpvc=</li><li><strong>woo_ad_url_2</strong> - http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?o=1&p=20&l=ur1&category=harrypotter&banner=0QBKQY11P91PAXPSF6R2&f=ifr&linkID=915843b356b381d0db40062ff7bfe45b&t=mocbd-20&tracking_id=mocbd-20</li><li><strong>woo_ad_url_3</strong> - http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=httpwwwdevonb-20&o=1&p=21&l=ur1&category=outdoorrecreation&banner=164JRD7N4C2VKTAZDFG2&f=ifr&linkID=5HFYXR3JJZDYKOHE</li><li><strong>woo_ad_url_4</strong> - https://www.siteground.com/index.htm?afcode=773e910100e56782270d8b111a35f150</li><li><strong>woo_ad_url_5</strong> - http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-206/1?campid=5337728159&toolid=7115320019255206&customid=&mpvc=</li><li><strong>woo_ad_url_6</strong> - http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=httpwwwdevonb-20&o=1&p=21&l=ur1&category=automotive&banner=0Y63CP2W57HPZQGWDXR2&f=ifr&linkID=F4TDIZU3ZKNAQBPZ</li><li><strong>woo_ads_rotate</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_alt_stylesheet</strong> - 3-grey.css</li><li><strong>woo_archives</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_asides_category</strong> - Select a category:</li><li><strong>woo_author</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_auto_img</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_centered</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_content</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_content_feat</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_content_left</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_custom_css</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_custom_favicon</strong> - http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/26-favicon-db.png</li><li><strong>woo_custom_seo_template</strong> - a:3:{i:0;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:10:"seo_info_1";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:5:"label";s:4:"SEO ";s:4:"type";s:4:"info";s:4:"desc";s:189:"Additional SEO custom fields available: <strong>Custom Page Titles</strong>. Go to <a href="http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=woothemes_seo">SEO Settings</a> page to activate.";}i:1;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:10:"seo_follow";s:3:"std";s:5:"false";s:5:"label";s:16:"SEO - Set follow";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";s:4:"desc";s:77:"Make links from this post/page <strong>followable</strong> by search engines.";}i:2;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:11:"seo_noindex";s:3:"std";s:5:"false";s:5:"label";s:13:"SEO - Noindex";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";s:4:"desc";s:56:"Set the Page/Post to not be indexed by a search engines.";}}</li><li><strong>woo_feat_image_height</strong> - 195</li><li><strong>woo_feat_image_width</strong> - 540</li><li><strong>woo_featured_category</strong> - Select a category:</li><li><strong>woo_featured_posts</strong> - Select a number:</li><li><strong>woo_feedburner_id</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_feedburner_url</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_flickr_entries</strong> - Select a Number:</li><li><strong>woo_flickr_id</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_flickr_url</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_framework_template</strong> - a:17:{i:0;a:3:{s:4:"name";s:18:"Framework Settings";s:4:"icon";s:7:"general";s:4:"type";s:7:"heading";}i:1;a:6:{s:4:"name";s:21:"Super User (username)";s:4:"desc";s:244:"Enter your <strong>username</strong> to hide the Framework Settings and Update Framework from other users. Can be reset from the <a href='http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-admin/options.php'>WP options page</a> under <em>framework_woo_super_user</em>.";s:2:"id";s:24:"framework_woo_super_user";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:5:"class";s:4:"text";s:4:"type";s:4:"text";}i:2;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:21:"Disable SEO Menu Item";s:4:"desc";s:61:"Disable the <strong>SEO</strong> menu item in the theme menu.";s:2:"id";s:25:"framework_woo_seo_disable";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";}i:3;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:33:"Disable Sidebar Manager Menu Item";s:4:"desc";s:73:"Disable the <strong>Sidebar Manager</strong> menu item in the theme menu.";s:2:"id";s:25:"framework_woo_sbm_disable";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";}i:4;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:28:"Disable Buy Themes Menu Item";s:4:"desc";s:68:"Disable the <strong>Buy Themes</strong> menu item in the theme menu.";s:2:"id";s:32:"framework_woo_buy_themes_disable";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";}i:5;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:24:"Enable Custom Navigation";s:4:"desc";s:180:"Enable the old <strong>Custom Navigation</strong> menu item. Try to use <a href='http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-admin/nav-menus.php'>WP Menus</a> instead, as this function is outdated.";s:2:"id";s:20:"framework_woo_woonav";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";}i:6;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:25:"Theme Update Notification";s:4:"desc";s:101:"This will enable notices on your theme options page that there is an update available for your theme.";s:2:"id";s:35:"framework_woo_theme_version_checker";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";}i:7;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:29:"Disable Shortcodes Stylesheet";s:4:"desc";s:76:"This disables the output of shortcodes.css in the HEAD section of your site.";s:2:"id";s:32:"framework_woo_disable_shortcodes";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";}i:8;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:26:"Remove Generator Meta Tags";s:4:"desc";s:81:"This disables the output of generator meta tags in the HEAD section of your site.";s:2:"id";s:31:"framework_woo_disable_generator";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"checkbox";}i:9;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:17:"Image Placeholder";s:4:"desc";s:151:"Set a default image placeholder for your thumbnails. Use this if you want a default image to be shown if you haven't added a custom image to your post.";s:2:"id";s:27:"framework_woo_default_image";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:6:"upload";}i:10;a:3:{s:4:"name";s:8:"Branding";s:4:"icon";s:4:"misc";s:4:"type";s:7:"heading";}i:11;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:20:"Options panel header";s:4:"desc";s:50:"Change the header image for the WooThemes Backend.";s:2:"id";s:34:"framework_woo_backend_header_image";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:6:"upload";}i:12;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:18:"Options panel icon";s:4:"desc";s:56:"Change the icon image for the WordPress backend sidebar.";s:2:"id";s:26:"framework_woo_backend_icon";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:6:"upload";}i:13;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:20:"WordPress login logo";s:4:"desc";s:51:"Change the logo image for the WordPress login page.";s:2:"id";s:31:"framework_woo_custom_login_logo";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:6:"upload";}i:14;a:3:{s:4:"name";s:15:"Import / Export";s:4:"icon";s:4:"misc";s:4:"type";s:7:"heading";}i:15;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:14:"Import Options";s:4:"desc";s:59:"Import the options from another installation of this theme.";s:2:"id";s:28:"framework_woo_import_options";s:3:"std";s:0:"";s:4:"type";s:8:"textarea";}i:16;a:5:{s:4:"name";s:14:"Export Options";s:4:"desc";s:94:"Export the options to another installation of this theme, or to keep a backup of your options.";s:2:"id";s:28:"framework_woo_export_options";s:3:"std";s:1512:"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";s:4:"type";s:8:"textarea";}}</li><li><strong>woo_framework_version</strong> - 4.1.0</li><li><strong>woo_google_analytics</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_home</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_home_archives</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_home_flickr_count</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_home_flickr_url</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_home_flickr_user</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_home_lifestream</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_home_one_col</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_home_posts</strong> - </li><li><strong>woo_image_disable</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_image_height</strong> - 190</li><li><strong>woo_image_single</strong> - true</li><li><strong>woo_image_width</strong> - 350</li><li><strong>woo_layout</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_logo</strong> - http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/32-logo-devonbuy-2016.png</li><li><strong>woo_mainright</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_manual</strong> - http://www.woothemes.com/support/theme-documentation/fresh-news/</li><li><strong>woo_nav</strong> - true</li><li><strong>woo_options</strong> - a:28:{s:18:"woo_alt_stylesheet";s:12:"6-whitey.css";s:8:"woo_logo";s:57:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/3-logo.png";s:18:"woo_custom_favicon";s:0:"";s:20:"woo_google_analytics";s:0:"";s:18:"woo_feedburner_url";s:0:"";s:14:"woo_custom_css";s:0:"";s:8:"woo_home";s:5:"false";s:14:"woo_home_posts";s:0:"";s:19:"woo_home_lifestream";s:0:"";s:20:"woo_home_flickr_user";s:0:"";s:21:"woo_home_flickr_count";s:0:"";s:19:"woo_home_flickr_url";s:0:"";s:17:"woo_home_archives";s:0:"";s:13:"woo_mainright";s:5:"false";s:7:"woo_nav";s:4:"true";s:8:"woo_tabs";s:5:"false";s:9:"woo_video";s:4:"true";s:9:"woo_about";s:0:"";s:13:"woo_aboutlink";s:1:"#";s:14:"woo_ads_rotate";s:4:"true";s:14:"woo_ad_image_1";s:45:"http://www.devonbuy.com/ads/bh_125x125_02.gif";s:12:"woo_ad_url_1";s:37:"http://www.bluehost.com/track/indigot";s:14:"woo_ad_image_2";s:45:"http://www.devonbuy.com/ads/icoolsoftipad.jpg";s:12:"woo_ad_url_2";s:68:"https://www.regnow.com/checkout/cart/add/27148-7?affiliate_id=593001";s:14:"woo_ad_image_3";s:41:"http://www.woothemes.com/ads/125x125b.jpg";s:12:"woo_ad_url_3";s:24:"http://www.woothemes.com";s:14:"woo_ad_image_4";s:41:"http://www.woothemes.com/ads/125x125b.jpg";s:12:"woo_ad_url_4";s:24:"http://www.woothemes.com";}</li><li><strong>woo_other_entries</strong> - 6</li><li><strong>woo_popular_posts</strong> - Select a number:</li><li><strong>woo_resize</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_rss_thumb</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_shortname</strong> - woo</li><li><strong>woo_show_video</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_single_height</strong> - 120</li><li><strong>woo_single_image_height</strong> - 100</li><li><strong>woo_single_image_width</strong> - 100</li><li><strong>woo_single_width</strong> - 200</li><li><strong>woo_suckerfish</strong> - true</li><li><strong>woo_tabs</strong> - false</li><li><strong>woo_themename</strong> - Fresh News</li><li><strong>woo_thumb_height</strong> - 100</li><li><strong>woo_thumb_image_height</strong> - 75</li><li><strong>woo_thumb_image_width</strong> - 75</li><li><strong>woo_thumb_width</strong> - 100</li><li><strong>woo_uploads</strong> - a:30:{i:0;s:72:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/32-logo-devonbuy-2016.png";i:1;s:72:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/31-logo-devonbuy-2016.png";i:2;s:72:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/30-logo-devonbuy-2015.png";i:3;s:72:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/29-logo-devonbuy-2015.png";i:4;s:72:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/28-logo-devonbuy-2015.png";i:5;s:72:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/27-logo-devonbuy-2015.png";i:6;s:64:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/26-favicon-db.png";i:7;s:65:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/25-favicon2014.png";i:8;s:64:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/24-header2014.png";i:9;s:64:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/23-header2014.png";i:10;s:64:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/22-header2014.png";i:11;s:64:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/21-header2013.png";i:12;s:69:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/20-header2013type2.jpg";i:13;s:69:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/19-header2013type2.jpg";i:14;s:69:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/18-header2013type2.jpg";i:15;s:69:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/17-header2013type2.jpg";i:16;s:64:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/16-header2013.jpg";i:17;s:63:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/15-logo_cart.png";i:18;s:63:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/14-logo_cart.png";i:19;s:63:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/13-logo_cart.png";i:20;s:63:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/12-logo_cart.png";i:21;s:63:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/11-logo_cart.png";i:22;s:60:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/10-logo_3.png";i:23;s:59:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/9-logo_3.png";i:24;s:59:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/8-db-fav.png";i:25;s:59:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/7-logo_2.png";i:26;s:59:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/6-logo_2.png";i:27;s:59:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/5-logo_2.png";i:28;s:59:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/4-logo_2.png";i:29;s:57:"http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/woo_uploads/3-logo.png";}</li><li><strong>woo_video</strong> - true</li><li><strong>woo_video_category</strong> - Select a category:</li></ul>