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John Veevaert, Brett Keller, & Luciana Barbosa Exhibits at the Springfield Show

John Veevaert is a California mineral collector well-known for his Benitoite collection. Below is his introduction, as stated in one of his exhibits:


I have been an avid mineral collector - primarily a field collector since 1975. My first love was with gold but in 1977, while taking mineralogy, I discovered that there were lots of different minerals and I was hooked. Most of my field collecting was in southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. I have had the opportunity to see just about every nook and cranny in the Mojave Desert, almost all of Nevada, and all of Western Arizona. Living in southern California in the 1970's was advantageous as Pala was virtually wide open and easy to visit as were the myriad of mines over the Mojave Desert. I can even put collecting in the Red Cloud mine for wulfenite on my check list. It was rather easy to locate productive zones back in the 70s.

My education is in geology and my undergraduate work was done at Fullerton College and Humboldt State University in Arcata, both in California. My graduate work, centered on fluvial geomorphology, was also done at Humboldt State University.

After completing my bachelor's degree I was gainfully employed as an exploration geologist working for two mining companies - one out of Anchorage, Alaska, and one out of Reno, Nevada. After completing my MS in Geology, I went to work for Redwood National Park for three years and then transferred to the US Forest Service as a geologist on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. I started Trinity Mineral Company in 1996 with the internet enjoying my hobbies of computers and mineralogy. The idea was to lose money and pay fewer taxes. But it was one of those rare situations in a person's life where they are at the right place at the right time. The Internet was in its infantile stages and I was able to get in while the gettin' was good.

Soon after becoming a full time dealer I decided to focus my collection on Benitoite from any global location and the minerals found at the Benito Gem Mine.


Pictured below are John's public showcases filled with Benitoite and related minerals.


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John Veevart - Benitoite - Springfield Show
John Veevaert case of Benitoite


John Veevart - Benitoite - Springfield Show
Another of John Veevaert's Benitoite Case, showing how the Benitoite forms


John's case of Benitoite, Neptunite and Friends


John Veevart - Benitoite - Springfield Show
Excellent Cluster of Benitoite Crystals


Benitoite Sushi Plate - Springfield Show
The Famous "Sushi Plate". This is a well-known combination of perfectly triangular Benitoite, doubly terminated Neptunite, and an orange-brown Joaquinite, all sitting on a Natrolite matrix.



Brett Keller had several interesting display cases, including his "Mineral Wines" cases which were cleverly put together. Each "Mineral Wine" bottle had a painting of a display specimen from well-known artist Fred Wilda, together with the actual specimen in the case. Unfortunately a few of the display photos with the wines didn't come out properly.


Below is his introduction, as stated in one of his exhibits:


I started collecting minerals in high school and decided to enter college to study mining engineering. This was in the 1990's, however, when the bottom dropped out of the job market for that profession. So, I sold my collection and moved to Lake Tahoe to ski and figure out what to do with my life. I met my wife Adrea during this time and fell in love with her home town of Angel's Camp in the heart of Mother Lode country in California. This was also a fledgling area new to wine production so my interest coursed that way.


I enrolled in Fresno State University and pursued a bachelor's degree in enology and viticulture. All this and my interest in minerals led to my establishing my own winery and Mineral Wines label.


In 2007 my daughter helped rekindle my interest in collecting again when she found some quartz crystals in our road rock that had come from the famous Carson Hill mine. We booked a trip to screen some benitoite material at the Lost Gatos Park and actually found some interesting things and there was no going back.


My focus is on the highest quality "toe nail" sized specimens I can afford. My collection won "Best of Show" in the 2014 Tucson Show this past February. I am pleased to be able to display samples of my wine with my collection here at the East Coast Show.


Pictured below are Brett's public showcases filled with minerals and interesting artifacts.


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Brett Keller Springfield show award
Brett's Award Display



Brett Keller Mineral Wines Gold
Minerals Wines Gold Label



Brett Keller Springfield show award
Samples and Award from Brett's Collection



Brett Keller Mineral Wines Rhodochrositr
Minerals Wines Rhodochrosite Label



Brett Keller Mineral Wines Benitoite
Minerals Wines Benitoite Label



Luciana Barbosa had a display cases interestingly set up showing some of her quartz inclusion collection.


Below is her introduction, as stated in her exhibit:


I was born in Brazil and lived there for most of my life. My father, Jose Eduardo Barbosa is a Mining Engineer and Gemologist. Since a very young age, I was around gems and crystals and just loved it. I started working at his company, Gemological Center, as a teenager and have been working with gems and minerals for over 20 years. 2010 was my 22nd consecutive Tucson Show. My degree is in international business administration. I specialize in rare gems for collectors, special inclusions in quartz and minerals that catch my eye. I have been living in the US since 2008 but try to go back to Brazil as much as I can on buying trips. My father does send me shipments regularly so I was always have new thing coming in.


My personal collection is composed of rough and cut specimens. Most are from my home country of Brazil but I have several from other places as well. I also have a blog about rocks and food. Check it out:
Cooking is my other passion, along with photography and travelling.


Pictured below is Luciana's showcase:


Click any picture below for a larger pop-up, and use the zoom key to enlarge:





Below are two more public exhibits - one was a group case by several members, and the other is a type of Tiger's Eye found in Australia.


Benitoite - Springfield show 2014
Benitoite and Friends from Various Exhibitors.



Marra Mamba Tigers Eye - Springfield show 2014
"Marra Mamba" Tiger's Eye from Australia

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